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Drive [Blu-ray] (2011)
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Directed by Nicholas Winding Refn and the winner of the Best Director award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. DRIVE is the story of a Hollywood stunt driver by day (Ryan Gosling), a loner by nature, who moonlights as a top-notch getaway driver-for-hire in the criminal underworld. He finds himself a target for some of LA's most dangerous men after agreeing to aid the husband of his beautiful neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan). When the job goes dangerously awry, the only way he can keep Irene and her son alive is to do what he does best—Drive!
Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive--a pulp fairytale about a driver struggling to protect an optionless family--has deep cinematic roots that run through the canon of existential noir from the '60s onwards, borrowing the central characterization of Walter Hill's The Driver, the professional code of Jean-Pierre Melville's The Samurai and the palette and pace of Michael Mann's Heat. Ryan Gosling has formidable presence as the un-named hero: a classic celluloid stranger whose eyes give away everything his controlled dialogue tries to conceal. He makes fair money as an in-demand getaway driver with a legit career in stunt-driving and racing ahead of him. But when a protective relationship is struck with a coping mother (Carey Mulligan) and her young son (Kaden Leos) he breaks his own rules to help her backslider husband with one last heist. Sure enough, nothing goes according to plan--and the driver must lay down a trail of retribution, attitude and scorched rubber to shake off a brutal entanglement with the mob. Gosling's depiction of heroic cool is flawless, as are supporting performances from Mad Men's Christina Hendricks as a trashy moll, Albert Brooks as a dangerous investor and Ron Perlman as the demonic gangster pulling the narrative strings. The cinematography of Newton Thomas Sigel (The Usual Suspects) also gives Los Angeles a hip starring role: the shots of Gosling racing his 1973 Chevrolet Malibu along LA's concrete riverbed--or just rolling it around the sodium-tinted backstreets--make franchise concepts like The Fast and The Furious look suspiciously like nerd territory. --Leo Batchelor
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Top Customer Reviews
Arguably our driver is either mysterious or astonishingly lacking substance; new to an apartment he quickly develops a bond with his neighbour. When the neighbours husband needs a favour things go terribly wrong, and with the driver's life threatened, but more importantly the neighbour and her child's life threatened, driver does everything he has to to keep them safe. At times this gets very gory, and there are those who will question the need to be quite so graphic. Drive does not glorify violence by any means, but does tell us a lot about Driver whose quiet demeanour could otherwise be mistaken for passive or apathetic.
- Stunning visuals and sound. Fans of 80's Michael Mann films will be happy in this respect.
- A serious and engaging story for the more patient viewer.
- Many will be put off by the graphic violence. Some will say it is unnecessary, although probably most will disagree.
- What for many will be an interesting albeit quiet protagonist, will for others be soulless and borderline sociopathic.
- Engaging and stylish for the patient.
- Tedious and one dimensional for the impatient.
- Horrific for those with weaker constitutions.
Great acting, great movie, fantastic soundtrack. Soundtrack is one of the best I've ever heard. Blu-ray HD quality is pretty good, and still keeps that cheesy 80's feel. I get a little more out of it each time its watched. Recommend it!
One of the outstanding scenes was the elevator sequence, which was essentially a series of striking visuals and explicit imagery that's a key example of how the film conveys so much through emotions and through the moving image as opposed to the use of any spoken narrative. The use of very capable Bryan Cranston as Shannon is great casting, he seems to have such a far-ranging palette of characterisations. The whole casting of the film is good, and in some ways rather quirky.
To sum up, then, this is a good neo-noir crime thriller film that for me really delivers. That said, and I hate to sound repetitive, but I can appreciate why there are detractors as my partner is one of them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dangerously close to being style over substance, nevertheless this is a compelling film which stands up to repeat viewing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Uther Doul
Brilliant Film. When we find an actor we like, you just know all of their films are going to be good and this once didn't disappoint!Published 6 months ago by L Mellings
to be honest pretty boring... only just managed to get through it.
just not much to say about this film. Ull either like it or not