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 Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)

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Largo's Shark
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:21 am

I heard somewhere that her character gets shot in the face with a shotgun. Hope springs eternal.

http://www.google.co.uk/movies?near=England&hl=en&mid=33a1360549219135&ei=o5p_TqfFFqqQ0AWIlfXOCQ

I believe DRIVE's showing in the UK. Type in your location on the top left.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:00 am

Sharky wrote:
I heard somewhere that her character gets shot in the face with a shotgun.
Nah, it's not Mulligan that gets her head blown off.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:46 pm



Because.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:52 pm

Harmsway wrote:


Well, as I said in my comments, all DRIVE has to offer, really, is style, an attitude, a pose. There's no depth or substance to the story, which is a simple set of bullet points. The characters are barely sketches, more impressions than people. But that kind of stripped-down-to-the-point-of-abstraction storytelling nevertheless works here, since it's honestly all about its swagger, and it's a pretty killer swagger, too.

Agreed, 100%. Much better communicated that what I attempted in my review in the movies thread, haha.

I loved the attitude and way the film was presented. That's all I can really say.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:00 pm

The fact that the characters are just sketches is what led me to be really impressed by the cast, because from the top down they all really work to try and give all of these very basic characters a sense of subtext and inner life.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:26 pm

I really like this movie. Antagonists are the only characters with anything approaching meat on their bones, but that's okay, it gives the movie something to work against the style ... sort of like how MIAMI VICE would occasionally have a baddie (Bruce Willis leaps to mind) who utterly burns up the screen and distracts you from the pastels (though in this case the pastels are instead sodium vapor streetlights.)

I couldn't believe how much it evoked THIEF for me, not just in the music, but in how it made me feel while watching it. In the theater, THIEF was nearly as phantasmagoric as 2001 (well maybe I exaggerate -- would you believe ZARDOZ?), and the fact the story was so simple didn't bother me ... until I tried seeing it on TV and dozed off. Ending very much reminded me of THIEF as well, for the implausible aspect.

Best use of amped up sound for the couple of gunshots in the middle of the movie ... usually I don't like knee-jerk sound effects (see 2010's plate breaking in sink for classic example of Peter Hyams crap-headedness) but these were done well.

I don't know why Hendricks was cast at all; they could have gotten anybody for that role. I do appreciate how well the fake chest women were cast in the strip club, there was a zombie quality to them, like the silicone had been injected into their brains as well as their boobs. The main girl's role was so minimal it was mainly achieved in the music; kinda reminded me of TWIN PEAKS a lot in that way.

My only significant question has to do with who drove the car that chased him in mid-movie? That driver could really hold the road, and suggests a character with abilities equal to the lead. In fact, I'm imagining a character from THE LIMEY, the guy who had that 'what's the smartest thing to come out of a woman's mouth? Einstein's cock.' line.

My wife really wanted to see the Clive Owen, but I think now we'll just see this another time instead.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:03 pm

Originally Refn wanted to cast a porn star for the Blanche role, but found that none of them could act worth a damn even for that simplistic of a role, and his wife suggested Hendricks. Hendricks liked it because it was a small role she could do on a break from Mad Men that wasn't her usual femme fatale seductress thing, but a lot of critics have accused Refn of underusing her.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:06 pm

I take it Hendricks plays the Janet Leigh role?
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:11 pm

Indeed. Shock to me the first time I saw it. I figured she'd be in the movie more given her current status, but almost her entire role is in the trailer.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:33 pm

trevanian wrote:
Ending very much reminded me of THIEF as well, for the implausible aspect.

I haven't seen Thief for years though I still think of it as one of Mann's best films. The ending is excellent and echoed by Mann years later in Heat - "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat."
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:01 pm

I find it odd that - in the reviews I've read so far - "Shane" is never listed as one of the movies that was used as an inspiration.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:47 pm

Westerns are so uncool. Get with the programme, Oppers.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:15 am

Too bad they were responsible for defining much of the cinematic vocabulary. tongue
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:42 am

The past is overrated. I'm into this new idea, fascism.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:01 pm

Salomé wrote:
I find it odd that - in the reviews I've read so far - "Shane" is never listed as one of the movies that was used as an inspiration.

I can see SHANE.

Come back past. Past, come back.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:33 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:24 pm

So I finally caught up with DRIVE and am wondering whether I saw the same flick that everyone else did, for I don't see what all the fuss is about.

For the first half hour or so, DRIVE is solidly entertaining albeit highly derivative fare - it plays like a blend of THE DRIVER (lifting its opening sequence practically wholesale), COLLATERAL, HEAT and RESERVOIR DOGS. After that, though, it becomes increasingly silly and unpleasant as it piles on unbelievable plot turns and the sort of preposterously OTT grossout gore more appropriate to a supernatural splatter movie (indeed, at one point Ryan Gosling dons a horror monster mask for some unfathomable reason - story logic certainly doesn't call for it, and I can only conclude that Nicolas Winding Refn simply thought it would, uh, look cool and shit). A couple of mawkish and ridiculously clichéd luuurve story moments are, however, chucked in to provide brief respite from this festival of ultraviolence.

Worst of all, there isn't a single character to care about, least of all Gosling, who has all the facial mobility of an Easter Island statue and all the conversation of a Trappist monk. Yes, yes, I know that he's supposed to be a taciturn tough guy (with a heart of gold, natch) who's mysterious and cool in a Man with No Name kinda way, but he merely comes across as a tosser with no social skills whatsoever who can barely bring himself to give the time of day even to the woman he allegedly loves. And, needless to say, I didn't buy his Jason Bourne-ish fighting and weapons skills - mind you, this is a movie that asks one to believe that a roomful of strippers would just sit there looking haughtily bored like coked-up supermodels at a fashion shoot in Cannes while watching their employer get the crap smashed out him by a hammer-wielding lunatic who for all they know is about to start on them as well. It also asks one to believe the Zen-like calm of Gosling right at the end - not to spoil the ending, but, trust me, it's definitely not the kind of situation in which anyone would behave the way Gosling does. Then again, DRIVE flew off into the realms of pure fantasy long before this point. RAMBO III is a significantly more realistic film.

Of course, DRIVE has been defended as an exercise in style, but I'm not sure that any film (other than the most stylish, I suppose, although even then I have my doubts) can get by on style alone - especially when, as here, the style on offer is so derivative and shopworn.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:59 pm

Loomis wrote:
After that, though, it becomes increasingly silly and unpleasant as it piles on unbelievable plot turns and the sort of preposterously OTT grossout gore more appropriate to a supernatural splatter movie (indeed, at one point Ryan Gosling dons a horror monster mask for some unfathomable reason - story logic certainly doesn't call for it, and I can only conclude that Nicolas Winding Refn simply thought it would, uh, look cool and shit).
I think the horror monster mask was meant to signify the Driver's turn into a kind of superhero, which is what DRIVE ultimately is, moreso than it is a driving flick. But like everything else in DRIVE, it's primarily there for the pleasure of the image, like everything in DRIVE. The story is kinda just there to provide a skeleton on which the images can hang. It's really a fashion shoot masquerading as a movie (note how often Winding Refn films images/moments where the characters scarcely even move).

I think looking for any kind of realism from a film that is so intentionally surreal and outrageous is a big case of missing the point. DRIVE is meant to be more dreamlike than anything else, kinda/sorta like the more "out there" DePalma films like DRESSED TO KILL, THE FURY, BODY DOUBLE, or FEMME FATALE, though I do not mean to suggest that Winding Refn is DePalma's equal as a filmmaker. Far from it. But I just meant to suggest that DRIVE is meant to occupy the same space of laugh-at-it-while-you-enjoy-it exercise in absurdity, a postmodern arthouse exploitation film, something closer to DEATH PROOF than THE DRIVER.

That said, I've cooled on DRIVE quite a bit since I saw it, even if my more mixed reaction isn't as wholly negative as yours is (I, for one, quite liked Gosling in the film, and really dig the soundtrack). The film needed to lighten up quite a bit, drop some of the pretension. Perhaps cast someone like Rihanna instead of Carey Mulligan, and give us a big, glorious, satisfying, ludicrously blockbuster-y climax rather than the whimper of an ending it currently has.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:20 pm

Harmsway wrote:
I think the horror monster mask was meant to signify the Driver's turn into a kind of superhero, which is what DRIVE ultimately is, moreso than it is a driving flick. But like everything else in DRIVE, it's primarily there for the pleasure of the image, like everything in DRIVE. The story is kinda just there to provide a skeleton on which the images can hang. It's really a fashion shoot masquerading as a movie (note how often Winding Refn films images/moments where the characters scarcely even move).

Thing is, though, I don't think DRIVE has any particularly pleasurable images, let alone any iconic ones. I don't deny that the cinematography is extremely good from a technical point of view (which makes for a satisfyingly pin-sharp Blu-ray), but where are the shots that really linger in the mind?

Harmsway wrote:
I think looking for any kind of realism from a film that is so intentionally surreal and outrageous is a big case of missing the point. DRIVE is meant to be more dreamlike than anything else, kinda/sorta like the more "out there" DePalma films like DRESSED TO KILL, THE FURY, BODY DOUBLE, or FEMME FATALE, though I do not mean to suggest that Winding Refn is DePalma's equal as a filmmaker. Far from it. But I just meant to suggest that DRIVE is meant to occupy the same space of laugh-at-it-while-you-enjoy-it exercise in absurdity, a postmodern arthouse exploitation film.

I don't think there's much to laugh at in DRIVE, though - not even on the expected level of black humour. As you say, it needed to lighten up quite a bit and drop some of the pretension. Or not lighten up and be the genuinely gritty, down-to-earth, stripped-down thriller I was hoping for. As it is, though, DRIVE is neither one thing nor the other. It's neither truly outrageous and off-the-wall, nor truly back-to-basics and realistic.

Neither do I see that the film is especially dreamlike, if indeed that was what Winding Refn (or Refn, in case it's not supposed to be a double-barrelled surname) was going for. I do see where you're coming from with the De Palma comparison, though.

As for looking for realism in this kind of film, I don't demand realism so much as I ask for some kind of emotional engagement, even if to a relatively slight degree. I need to find the characters (however cartoonish and/or lightly sketched) interesting and sympathetic to at least some minimum extent, which I don't find here.

That said, DRIVE certainly starts out as a relatively realistic flick and I found its sudden leap into KILL BILLish/Eli Rothian gore and Bourne-ish heroics to be too jarring. Not because I found the bloodshed hard to watch (I've seen much worse in other movies), but because it didn't seem to chime with what had gone before. I'm all for absurdity, but not when it comes out of a clear blue sky. If DRIVE is ultimately supposed to be a kind of superhero story, it needed to establish that atmosphere much earlier than it does.


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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:36 pm

Loomis wrote:
Thing is, though, I don't think DRIVE has any particularly pleasurable images, let alone any iconic ones.
No iconic ones, but I do think there are some images that will stay with me for a bit, like the "horror" mask framed in the door window, or the Driver going after Ron Perlman in the ocean, with the lights flashing in the smoke behind him.

Loomis wrote:
I don't think there's much to laugh at in DRIVE, though - not even on the expected level of black humour.
Not terribly much, no, though Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman seem to be there mostly for black comedy. I do think that the whole thing is terribly tongue-in-cheek, though.

Loomis wrote:
Neither do I see that the film is especially dreamlike, if indeed that was what Winding Refn (or Refn, in case it's not supposed to be a double-barrelled surname) was going for.
It is double-barrelled. I was throwing the name Refn around and somebody corrected me. Odd name, I must say.

Loomis wrote:
I need to find the characters (however cartoonish and/or lightly sketched) interesting and sympathetic to at least some minimum extent, which I don't find here.
Fair 'nuff. I did find Gosling's Driver to be more interesting than you did, it would seem.

Loomis wrote:
That said, DRIVE certainly starts out as a relativey realistic flick and I found its sudden leap into KILL BILLish/Eli Rothian gore and Bourne-ish heroics to be too jarring. Not because I found the bloodshed hard to watch (I've seen much worse in other movies, but because it didn't seem to chime with what had gone before.
Refn talked a lot about really wanted to strongly shift at that point, to have the violence seem completely out-of-step with what's come before. I'll admit it's an odd mixture, and I can see why the incongruity doesn't work for you. I didn't mind the shift so much, even though I think the film handles the "realistic" first half much more successfully than it does the more absurd second half.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:11 pm

Yeah, I wish DRIVE had continued in the same vein as its "realistic" first half (which I was enjoying).

I don't have a problem with Winding Refn shifting gears and introducing violence. In and of itself, this is a perfectly legitimate step for the film to take. Obviously, one expects right from the get-go that Gosling's character will end up involved in violence in some way, either at the receiving end of it or meting it out, or both. That's the whole nature of the genre.

The problem I have, I guess, is that the violence is too stylised and cartoonish for the universe that the film seems to have established by the time of the shotgun incident at the motel. I felt taken out of the film and distanced from the characters, which I resented as I'd been enjoying the film and found the charaters potentially engaging. The human interest disappears from DRIVE at this point, replaced by empty "style".

The film also seems to start breaking its own rules. I mean, we've been told that Gosling doesn't carry a gun - indeed, he makes a point of telling people this. It doesn't mean that he has never carried one, of course, or that he can't use one, but it does make us think "Okay, this guy has one big skill, driving - but he's very, very good at it." It makes us think he's a specialist, and we buy this. But then it turns out that he's not just good at driving - he's also great with weapons, handy with his fists, has Jason Bourne-ish reflexes in a shootout, and can ambush and intimidate people.... He's initially presented as, well, a pretty simple fella, frankly, yet all of a sudden he's a devious planner. It's too much. It's hard to buy his transition to superhero.

Also, why do we never see his precious five-minute-window rule challenged? Why does the film introduce this idea if Winding Refn has no interest in showing what Gosling will do if someone doesn't come back to the car within five? There's no payoff for some of the film's ideas, while there's too much payoff for others (Gosling becomes not only avenging angel but near-superhero).
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:32 am

so there is a DVD of this waiting for me at my store for days... is it worth my time to watch this?

Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:10 am

NOOO!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:36 am

It's worth a rental, but that's it.
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PostSubject: Re: Drive (2011, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)   Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:27 am

Not even worth a rental. Best avoided altogether.
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