Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cinema Saturday

Sony Pictures
January 31, 2012
100 minutes; R for strong, brutal, bloody violence, language and some nudity (per IMDb)
IMDb; DVD and BluRay; Amazon Instant Video
starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston

While I feel almost silly doing a post for this movie because I think (just about) everyone saw it before I did, I think it's still a movie worthy of a Cinema Saturday post: Drive.

Starring Ryan Gosling as a part-time stunt drive, part-time getaway driver for hire and mechanic who gets into more trouble than he bargained for (and definitely more than he expected) when he takes a job to help someone out - instead of because of why it can help him - Drive was released to theatres in 2011.

The first half (or so) of Drive is quite different plot-wise than the second half. It sets things up, it's quieter, not exactly more subdued but it feels that way. It's a sort of calm before the storm. (And with the rating, the previews and all of the talk surrounding the movie, it's not spoilerish to say that there's more coming than what happens in that half.)

It's later in the movie when the violence - and there definitely is some - comes.

The beginning's an interesting and, I think, kind of beautiful, mix of scenes of Gosling (known only as Kid or Driver) driving that are filmed like like a really, really great 'driver' view of some brand new video game along with scenes between Driver and his neighbor Irene (Mulligan) that have sparse if any dialogue but are somehow almost perfect. There are, of course, other scenes as well as other characters - displaying both of Gosling's character's jobs and those he interacts with - and setting up the story. I didn't notice their specialness as much, though.

I have trouble not always thinking of Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow (from the [brilliant] Doctor Who episode "Blink") but she was really fantastic in Drive. And I've always liked Ryan Gosling (you've seen The Notebook, right?) but  I kind of got him more after this more after this movie, or something. The two of them were brilliant in their scenes together - and apart - as much as they sometimes did just involve looking at each other.

Now, back to that violence. Whether I missed hearing just how much of it their was or just forgot, I don't know.  There is quite a bit - and the filmmakers don't really skimp on showing it to you, either. It's not horror movie violence either where people get hacked up but it's obviously fake, in Drive you know it's fake, but it still makes you cringe. That said, it's part of the story and who the characters are and it not being there would do the both a disservice.

Drive felt almost like a Clint Eastwood movie to me - though, that may be that I just need to watch more old movies or more old feeling movies that look new. It had that classic feel about it but with some of the current day things that wouldn't be in a true classic film. (That and the 80s/retro sounding soundtrack.)

I'm sorry it took me so long to see this one, but glad, too, because it gave me something great to see this week!

(On a side note, I don't know if the video-game-esque driving sequences had anything to do with the writer and the director apparently not having drivers licenses (yay!special features - but I loved them.)

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