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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

DRIVE (2011)

DVD Review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  100 minutes, four featurettes, director interview

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:  English SDH, English, Spanish


STUDIO:  Film  District/  Bold Films/ Oddlot Entertainment/ Marc Platt Productions

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  9-16-2011

DVD/ Blu-ray RELEASE DATE:  1-31-2012


Ryan Gosling plays a nameless driver who doesn't say much during the course of DRIVE, the latest film by director Nicolas Winding Refn (BRONSON, VALHALLA RISING).  Driver works as a Hollywood stunt driver and at an auto garage while moonlighting as a wheelman for hire (for heists in Los Angeles).   He stays to himself and only talks when he is talked to (except when he has something to say).   Ryan Gosling plays Driver with a cool silent intensity.   Ryan's character gets involved with Irene (Carey Mulligan), a neighbor in his apartment building.   He starts to care for Irene and her little boy, but things get complicated when Irene's husband Standard gets out of jail early.   When a local gangster threatens to hurt Irene and the boy (if the husband doesn't do a pawn shop robbery), Driver decides to help Standard.  The heist goes wrong and the Driver finds himself getting deeper into a mess as he tries to keep Irene and the boy safe.


DRIVE flows like a Michael Mann film from the 1980s.  It is a stylistic character drama that burns slow and explodes with action when it needs to.    Nicolas Refn is able to create films that are different from the previous film.  He is able to adapt each film to its own narrative flow and create unique stylistic films.   He casts his films with character driven actors in mind and DRIVE is a film where star Ryan Gosling convinced the producers to bring Nicolas Refn as the director of DRIVE.   DRIVE is populated with actors who like character roles (Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston, Ryan Gosling).

DRIVE ultimately is a journey for Driver as he goes from a silent player to an aggressor within the course of the film.    DRIVE introduces the characters and intertwines their destinies by the middle of the film and the story continues into darker territory.    It captures Los Angeles in a way that Michael Mann does with the characteristic touches Refn brings to his film.   LA comes alive at night through DRIVE.  I will be waiting to see what Refn does with his next film as a director.   DRIVE is a sublime film that is one of Refn's strongest films and it is one to watch.



The featurettes do overlap with the stories about the making of, development of the script, and the casting.   The featurettes have interviews with various cast and crew, but star Ryan Gosling is absent from those featurettes.


I DRIVE: THE DRIVER-   The first featurette focuses on the character of The Driver and the story.

UNDER THE HOOD-   how the story developed, and how teh actors and director rewrote it to flesh out the characters including rewriting the character of Irene to white from a Latino.

DRIVER AND IRENE-  the relationship between teh Driver and Irene is discussed

CUT TO THE CHASE-  all about the three chase scenes in the movies including how they were impressed by how they were able to show the actress in the shot with a car crash in the background


DRIVER WITHOUT A DRIVER: INTERVIEW WITH NICOLAS WINDING REFN-  this 25 minute interview with the director covers how the movie came to be and the casting of the roles to how the story developed.  I liked the story about how the director was stoned on anti-flu medicine when he had his first (disastrous) meeting with star Ryan Gosling and how the drive back to Refn's hotel was the first thing that inspired the idea for DRIVE.   He mentions how one of the movie's scenes came together a week before shooting as he was frustrated over the scene on how it was originally written.   He mentions how he views DRIVE as a Grimm fairy tale where it starts with innocence before it is ripped away by violence with a moral core to the story.


FINAL ANALYSIS:   DRIVE is a classic- one of the best movies from 2011.   I wish they had an interview with Ryan Gosling included on the disc, but the featurettes and interview paint a fascinating picture on how the movie was developed.


this DVD review is (c)2-2-2012 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com