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Great alternative to the typical Hollywood action-fest
First off, I want to say I was totally impressed by this movie by the way I was totally removed from the theater I was in.
The director started off with a Michael Mann-esque muscial/visual showcase of Los Angeles after dark. The 1980s revival-style pop music set the mood for the rest of the movie. Great choice for the soundtrack throughout the movie to convey emotion and feeling. Had a little feel of of Brian DePalma 80s movies (Scarface and Body Double).
The opening chase sequence introduced us to this mysterious driver. Gosling's character spoke almost nothing for the first 30-45 minutes. I was very impressed by his ability to convey emotion and actions through only his expressions and body language. Cudos to him, he was channeling a little bit of Steve McQueen in this movie. (While I am a huge fan of BULLITT-1968, I'll try to keep the comparisons brief, in respect for both films and directors)
It's only in his interactions with Irene and Benicio that we see his humanity.
Carey Mulligan displayed her versatility as an actress as the single mother/Denny's waitress Irene that befriends the Driver. What a difference between this character and her roles in "An Education" and "Wall Street: Money never Sleeps".
The turning point of the movie, stood out to me was the immediate change in the Driver's mood and attitude when he was in the Diner and a former criminal from a previous Drive confronts him. This where he answers other than a one word answer. He shows intense disdain and threatens the criminal with a mouthful.
Absolutely loved the 5.0 Mustang/300 chase sequence (perhaps another homage to BULLITT, a Charger would have been to obvious?)
On to the other characters in the movie. Christina Hendricks was underutilized in this film. Would have liked to seen more dimension to her character, other than her guts being splattered in the bathroom.
Bryan Cranston was spot on as "down on his luck" action sequence director/garage owner/NASCAR crew chief wannabe Shannon. He's the Driver's boss and only ally.
Albert Brooks was the cold and ruthless withdrawn West Coast mobster. This was totally outside of his typical light-fare. His cruelness was totally unexpected. The scene after his interaction with Shannon in the garage, when he replaces the razor in the case is haunting.
Ron Pearlman was Ron Pearlman. Hated his character but that's what your supposed to. He got what was coming to him.
If I had one negative it was the intensity and gruesomeness of the violence. However, I acknowledge that this is what the director wanted to convey. The disgusting and bloody violence that really happens as a result of survival and mob pressure.
Overall a superb film. It most likely won't garner any Oscar or Golden Globe attention, except for perhaps Sound Editing, go figure.
However, I believe this is one of the best films I've seen in the past 5 years. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was definitely worth the price of admission and time spent in the seat. (Only enhanced by D-Box theatre experience by Cobb Theaters that just opened near us in Northern VA.)
I look forward to more films in this similar vein.
If you liked this movie, I recommend the following similar films:
BULLITT (1968) Miami Vice -TV Pilot (1984) Heat (1995) Collateral (2004) Miami Vice (2006) Street Kings (2008)
Great Episode of old SNL
Dave Matthews Band, great performance.
One of the best parts though was Adam Sandler's spoof of "Dancing in The Dark" in the opening monologue. Springsteen's video was where Courtney Cox really broke out. I laughed hysterically when they kept cutting to a tape of saxophone player, Clarence Clemens , clapping, they must have done it like 5 times-Hilarious. Haven't seen it in a while, Comedy Central needs to get back the old SNL, I know E! pretty much has the monopoly now, but they show the awful Tina Fey/ Jimmy Fallon era shows. BOO! Seriously PLEASE bring back the old SNL Phil Hartman, Mike Meyers, Jon Lovitz....
Wow this one was WAAAAAY over Hyped
I went to see this movie Saturday of its opening weekend expecting a great movie. Having seen Superman Returns the night before, this movie was a total bore. The movie went nowhere. I don't think there was one part where I really laughed or really enjoyed part of it. It was very canned viewing, very stereotypical pirate/island fantasy story. The whole sequence with the natives was absurd, and hugely playing upon other movies with island natives, no original thought( I know this was a movie but I couldn't help notice the large rock formations and high cliffs that are definitely reminiscent of Thailand or Indonesia, definitely NOT the Carribbean.) There was no real flow to the movie. The plot was sorta there, get the compass, get the key...not gonna spoil it, but it seemed like it was too simply executed. The creatures on The Flying Dutchman were totally stupid, Urchinboy, blowfish man...etc. The only character or actor for that matter with any merit was Bootstrap Bill Turner played by Stellan Skarsgard. While I'm on the topic of actors sorry to all those 13yr old Orlando Bloom fans, but HE SUCKS! He can't carry a lead role in a film, that's why "Kingdom of Heaven" did so poorly( what could have been a great film with Ridley Scott and Liam Neeson).Johnny Depp's character was not nearly as good from the first movie, he must have said "Bugger!" 30 times. All in all it was too thin of a movie with Michael Bay's best in fake action and CGI. Keira Knightley someone with a good deal of talent had too few scenes, including probably the best of the movie, the bar fight. This movie is nowhere close to the original. It seems its only use is as a minor conveyance to the next PIRATES Movie.All in all I was totally unimpressed, especially since 2 of the 6 of us who went FELL ASLEEP!