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[film] Drive - badgerblog
October 4th, 2011
12:51 am


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[film] Drive
The best 70-80s noir Michael Mann never filmed, Drive is a Jim Thompson-esque crime movie set in LA. My love of the Miami Vice television show [1] and my recent evenings spent playing Ubisoft's new game Driver: San Francisco [2] served me well to set the mood for seeing this film. Like noir? See this.

Besides nearly everything Michael Mann did in the 80s, I saw or imagined nods to F/X, The Stunt Man, and the 1975 The Killer Elite. The director is quoted as saying Drive is a homage to Alejandro Jodorowsky, which I wouldn't have thought of but can see bits of El Topo in Drive. I liked the film score by Cliff Martinez as appropriate and evocative: for example I found the music over a stunt scene and grocery shopping sequence early on strongly reminiscent of Tangerine Dream's score from Risky Business. A masked implacable pursuit bit closer to the end kept reminding me of Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver.

Ryan Gosling is one of the most laconic and still characters I've ever seen on film, and gives an impressive performance. I saw Carey Mulligan in An Education when it came out and Never Let Me Go last week and enjoyed seeing her again. Nice to see Christina Hendricks working while Mad Men isn't happening again yet, Ron Perlman is solid, but other than Gosling I was most impressed by Albert Brooks, previously an actor who I had filed as "makes comedies I don't find remotely funny and if he's in it it's one less reason for me to see whatever it is." Remember when Steve Martin did Mamet's The Spanish Prisoner? Right. This is like that. Brooks is great here.


* Haywire - Looks a little like Salt. Soderbergh directs. January 2012.

* Red Tails - January. Lucasfilm finally figures out what to do with all those people who can do X-Wing fighter combat.

* Paranormal Activity 3 - The Bloody Mary mirror "say her name" thing, with videocameras involved.

* Dream House - Daniel Craig. Out now. New trailer, more spoilery than the first one was. New one puts me in mind of Ralph Fiennes' _Spider_.

* The Rum Diary - Johnny Depp. Hunter Thompson. Hilarity ensues. I'm expecting Depp's Hunterish journalist to ask why is the rum always gone.

[1] I generally describe Miami Vice as my second-favorite television series ever made (not -best, that's another list.) This surprises even friends. On the other hand, almost no one who knows me is surprised by my favorite television series ever. One unsuccessfully-pitched project of mine in the mid-90s was a book on Miami VIce. It'd be nice if someone did one some day.
[2] Which I'm having a lot of fun with. The Bentley is nice.
Incidentally, when did Brier Creek hit $10/ticket? Ouch.

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(4 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 4th, 2011 09:17 am (UTC)
don't forget The Driver. IMHO Drive is pretty much Thief + The Driver:


i'm not complaining, it's just really blatant. and that's OK.
[User Picture]
Date:October 4th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
I disagree: a) Drive has no Bruce Dern counterpart and so The Driver's central cop/criminal dyad is absent, and b) the car chases in Drive are far less important than they were to The Driver. Thief is referenced above in nearly everything Michael Mann did in the 80s.
[User Picture]
Date:October 4th, 2011 12:43 pm (UTC)
My response was similar, though I forgot to mention how much I love Michael Mann in my review. (Heat is way up there on my list of favorite movies ever.) I missed the F/X reference though. (Another great movie, one we should suggest to Cinema Overdrive if only for the poster...)

Brooks endeared himself to me based on Broadcast News but he's been playing sleazy lately to good effect, both in Drive and a season or two back on Weeds.

AFA Miami Vice, what did you think of the movie? It's grown on me over a couple of watchings but it didn't feel so much like the series as what the series would have been if pitched in 2006.

[User Picture]
Date:October 4th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC)
Brooks tends to do humor that doesn't work for me even more than Woody Allen's humor generally doesn't work for me. I watched only the first season of Weeds and so never saw Brooks on it, but I'm happy to hear he's done good work recently. Just because I generally don't like his work does not mean I wish him ill.

As for the 2006 Miami Vice film, as I read at the time and I believe Mann mentions on the director's commentary of the DVD, the 2006 film is closer to what Mann wanted to do with the series originally but primetime television at the time constrained him somewhat and morphed the show as it was in development. While I love the series, it's apparently not quite what Mann had in mind when he pitched it.

(looks over old blog entries)
(first viewing)
(second viewing)
(dvd director's cut versus theatrical cut)
(posts tagged miami vice)

I really wish someone would do a decent book about Miami Vice: the only one I've noticed out there is a horribly written self-published [1] political screed relating the show to American political imperialism in the 1980s.

[1] With captions for missing illustrations throughout the book: there's a statement at the beginning by the author that he couldn't afford the $50,000 royalty fees to publish the screencaps and images.
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