Baby Driver

MKS
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Joined: Jul 2006
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Who else saw this? I watched a screening earlier today and have mixed feelings. It's hard not to refer to this as The Driver but with a pop soundtrack... Though that's also applicable to Drive, which I also consider a much better film.

It's frustrating to not want to praise a Wright film and suspect this will be a big crowd pleaser but this was the least I've liked a film of his walking out of the theater. Now, I've never liked a film of his less upon a rewatch, so I'll definitely give this another try or two but as of now, it's his weakest work.

The film's narrative is derivative, especially of both the Driver and Drive, but it shares a ton with most "last job" films. This wouldn't be much of a problem if not for the equally rote dialogue. There's a bunch of "we've got to end this," "I said run," and other equally tired hard boiled lines, seemingly employed without tongue firmly in cheek. What this creates is tonal dissonance between scenes that seem to revel in lively fun and those that are purely genre convention. This is clearly an off shoot of Wright trying to spread his wings beyond pure comedy but I don't think he finds the proper balance with drama, comedy and action.

There's a plot point involving recordings that's almost too irritating to ignore but I don't want to spoil it...

That said, Wright is still and incredible director and the film is front loaded with great moments and sequences that burst with cinematic life. The cast all do a great job, in particular Hamm, Foxx and Collins (who could play the sweet innocent girl just about as well as anyone else).

It's a very watchable, very good film but as it falls into pure convention and predictability... I can't help but feel very mad at it for not being great.
Jun 28, 2017 6:50 AM
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I'm a car-chase junkie, will I be sufficiently entertained? Didn't seem to be anything like the Cornetto films based on the trailer, so I'm at least hoping to wallow in some stunt driving.

I went to IMDB and snuck a peek at the soundtrack and was pleased to find two of my favorite driving songs on the list.
Jun 28, 2017 1:00 PM
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If it's derivative of Drive, then it's derivative of Thief.
Jun 28, 2017 3:55 PM
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MKS
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Captain TerrorI'm a car-chase junkie, will I be sufficiently entertained? Didn't seem to be anything like the Cornetto films based on the trailer, so I'm at least hoping to wallow in some stunt driving.

I went to IMDB and snuck a peek at the soundtrack and was pleased to find two of my favorite driving songs on the list.

The car chases are REALLY well made but none of them have the satisfying conclusion to match the craft that comprises the bulk of it.
Jun 28, 2017 6:16 PM
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MKS
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CatbusIf it's derivative of Drive, then it's derivative of Thief.

Not true. Both Baby Driver and Drive use Walter Hill's the Driver as their backbone influence. Drive also pulls from a diverse array of other films, like Scorpio Rising, Thief, and Cobra. This makes Drive something more of a post modern pastiche while Baby Driver is almost a story remake of The Driver filtered through Edgar Wright's hyper kinetic and colorful eye.
Jun 28, 2017 6:19 PM
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While I certainly need to watch it more than once to make sure of it I think it may actually be my favorite of Wright's films. While I agree it doesn't break any new ground, the way the music infused itself into the rhythm of each scene was almost hypnotic for me and it drew me into the movie. I thought all of the actors did a fine job and I found most of the dialogue snappy and entertaining. ?The action itself was solid but again the way the it all tied into whatever song was playing just worked for me in a way that few films have. ?I love it when music plays a role or compliments the action on screen and this just took that to a new level that for me personally made all of the little faults of the film insignificant to the whole world it created.
Jun 28, 2017 7:35 PM
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I kinda feel the same. I thought it was pretty good, but ultimately fairly disposable as far as action thrillers go. Hamm & Foxx both do some fun work, but not all of the plot points really hold up that interestingly, and you realize part-way through that the viewer isn't going to be connecting to Baby in any hugely meaningful way beyond some mostly contrived backstory & loved ones stuff.

So yeah. It's fun, but... I had higher hopes given the very high tomatometer. The action is very good in its bursts, but even that isn't as sustained as I was hoping something like this would be.
Jun 28, 2017 7:50 PM
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MKS
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neumdaddyI kinda feel the same. I thought it was pretty good, but ultimately fairly disposable as far as action thrillers go. Hamm & Foxx both do some fun work, but not all of the plot points really hold up that interestingly, and you realize part-way through that the viewer isn't going to be connecting to Baby in any hugely meaningful way beyond some mostly contrived backstory & loved ones stuff.

So yeah. It's fun, but... I had higher hopes given the very high tomatometer. The action is very good in its bursts, but even that isn't as sustained as I was hoping something like this would be.

I think it's definitely the type of film that gets a very high tomatometer, in that it's well made and fun enough that I can't really see anyone disliking it but its inoffensive enough to not be polarizing.
I think I likely would have enjoyed this more hand my music taste been more comparable to Wright's as well. With almost every song that I'm familiar, he played during a more downbeat moment. It's hard not compare it Guardians of the Galaxy in its extensive use of its soundtrack and while Guardians didn't mix it's audio or use its music in nearly as dynamic or magnificently edited of a manner, the music itself carried an energetic punch that made the sequences burst with life. Here, I felt like the biggest sequences relied on music that just felt fine to me. It stirred very little within me.
Jun 28, 2017 10:52 PM
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I've already seen The Driver, Thief, Drive and most of QT's movies and so it feels as if I've already seen this movie.

I just don't have any excitement for it.
Jun 29, 2017 12:44 AM
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I'm probably gonna give this a shot because it's Edgar Wright, but between the title (which I find obnoxious for reasons I can't put my finger on) and the fact that I wasn't crazy about his last two, I can't muster any enthusiasm for it.
Jun 29, 2017 1:12 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
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I would still recommend this movie to both of you and say that it is better than its title.

Rock, what didn't you like about Scott or the World's End?
Jun 29, 2017 1:39 AM
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MKSI would still recommend this movie to both of you and say that it is better than its title.

Rock, what didn't you like about Scott or the World's End?

Scott Pilgrim I didn't find the main character to be particularly engaging the way I found the leads in Shaun or Hot Fuzz to be (largely because Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are far more charismatic than Michael Cera), but mostly I found it really repetitive. The movie didn't need as many action scenes as it had, especially when each was pretty much the same gag stretched out far too long. Also, even though she's a fairly minor character, I found Mae Whitman absurdly grating, to the extent that her obnoxiousness looms over the whole movie for me.

The World's End I'm open to revisiting, but I felt like it was being more serious because the third film in the "trilogy" is supposed to be weightier and not necessarily because the content merited it, and as a result I found it tried a lot less hard with its humour. I also found the action fairly repetitive, but not to the same degree as Scott Pilgrim.
Jun 29, 2017 1:45 AM
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MKS
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Rock
MKSI would still recommend this movie to both of you and say that it is better than its title.

Rock, what didn't you like about Scott or the World's End?

Scott Pilgrim I didn't find the main character to be particularly engaging the way I found the leads in Shaun or Hot Fuzz to be (largely because Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are far more charismatic than Michael Cera), but mostly I found it really repetitive. The movie didn't need as many action scenes as it had, especially when each was pretty much the same gag stretched out far too long. Also, even though she's a fairly minor character, I found Mae Whitman absurdly grating, to the extent that her obnoxiousness looms over the whole movie for me.

The World's End I'm open to revisiting, but I felt like it was being more serious because the third film in the "trilogy" is supposed to be weightier and not necessarily because the content merited it, and as a result I found it tried a lot less hard with its humour. I also found the action fairly repetitive, but not to the same degree as Scott Pilgrim.

Your assessment of Scott could largely be applied to Baby Driver, though it didn't have a character nearly as innocuous as Her?
The World's End warrants revisiting and improves with each watch. After I finish this Jaws analysis video I'm working on, I'm probably going to do one on that film. Well, and the way that it's thematic conclusion is built upon the foundation of Shaun and Hot. Basically, all films operate as a tryptic that reveals the primary character evolutions possible. I don't think it tried less hard with its humor but that it's more subtle and many jokes aren't clear until a rewatch. The evolution of word play and how everything has double meaning is astounding. Pay close attention to every name of every character and bar and the events that surround them.
For example, when they lack cell phone service early on, a character remarks "it's probably the network." Only for the alien entity to reveal itself as "the network."
I don't think it's the best in the trilogy but I think it's a fitting and necessary flavor.
Jun 29, 2017 2:00 AM
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Oh well. Should have watched Okja.
Jun 29, 2017 2:16 AM
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Black PhilipOh well. Should have watched Okja.

Too late, Lux. He already watched one movie. He can't watch any more.
Jun 29, 2017 2:19 AM
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Rock
Black PhilipOh well. Should have watched Okja.

Too late, Lux. He already watched one movie. He can't watch any more.

It's called a double feature. Remember Grindhouse? I sat in theater for nearly 3 1/2 hours. I'll catch Baby Driver the way I catch all of Wright's films. When it leaks.....MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Jun 29, 2017 2:21 AM
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Black PhilipRemember Grindhouse?

No.
Jun 29, 2017 2:27 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46498
Rock
Black PhilipOh well. Should have watched Okja.

Too late, Lux. He already watched one movie. He can't watch any more.

It stinks because every time I'm told to watch it, it adds a day to my not being able to watch it
Jun 29, 2017 2:31 AM
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SPOILERS


question: why did spacey's character turn good and help him at the end? that seemed pretty out of left field to me.?
Jun 29, 2017 7:01 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
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IllyriaSPOILERS


question: why did spacey's character turn good and help him at the end? that seemed pretty out of left field to me.?

Two reasons:
1) subvert expectation
2) throw away line about "I was in love once."
Jun 29, 2017 7:58 AM
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