Author Topic: Baby Driver  (Read 3051 times)

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RegularKarate

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Baby Driver
« on: March 15, 2017, 10:58:47 AM »
+3

Baby Driver
After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
Written and Directed by Edgar Wright



I saw this on Saturday at SXSW. While it's not without its flaws, it's a very inspired movie.
99% of the movie is choreographed to match what is playing on the main character's iPod. The first ten minutes of the movie are pretty mindblowing. It slows just a little before the finale and the love interest doesn't really get too fleshed out, but this is something I think I'll end up re-watching over and over.

Ravi

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2017, 11:30:03 AM »
+2
This isn't quite at the level of Hot Fuzz, but it's a lot of fun nonetheless. Loved the way the action was choreographed to the music, and the use of music throughout was great.

jenkins

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 11:27:31 AM »
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i mean if it's a lot of fun it sounds better than Hot Fuzz to me. Scott Pilgrim is the high bar, which i'm not alone in thinking.

this is open and i'll be going tomorrow. very excited. this and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets are my summer movies.
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polkablues

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 05:59:57 PM »
+1
Definitely going to try and see it this weekend. In the meantime, one of the reviews I read led me to this music video Edgar Wright directed a few years back, which definitely shares a splatter of DNA with the movie:

Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

modage

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 10:17:20 PM »
+1
This is pretty good and fun and if you ignore all the fanboy reviews and you'll probably have fun. But as someone who has been following Wright's career for 13 years now, I have to say that his films have never quite caught up to his talent. Shaun still stands as his best by a mile, and as his skills behind the camera have grown he's been increasingly hamstrung by his films, particularly the Pegg collaborations. World's End was the low point of their collaboration's diminishing returns as Wright is ready to cut loose behind the camera and choreograph insane fight sequences, but without a script or characters that support them. (Why does Nick Frost know how to fight like Neo again?)

Scott Pilgrim I have different issues with, it seemed like a perfect match for his sensibilities and visually it's still pretty great, inventive, etc. but narratively and as a comedy I have a hard time with it. As a fan of the books, I've returned to the film 4 or 5 times over the years just to LOOK at (and see if I've softened on it) but usually end up coming away with the same criticisms. Mainly that Cera isn't miscast per se, but just plays the role wrong (he's too timid for the character) and that the stylization makes it fun to watch but saps the drama and comedy away from the "normal" scenes when they should've been presented more or less as real world stuff and then the fights break out into Wright-land fantasia. Anywho.

Baby Driver is a great concept for Wright to cut loose on. He's clearly grown as a filmmaker over the years, learning to less obviously ape from Bay with quotation marks and just start to follow his own muse. But the film has some issues that hold it back from greatness for me.

SPOILERS TO FOLLOW.

- If you're shooting a movie whose main attribute is the style of the piece, for the love of God, do not shoot in fucking Atlanta. It's booooring as fuck. Wright wrote for LA, which looks great obvy in Drive and The Driver. Baby Driver starts at a major handicap right off the bat, because Atlanta (unless you're making a movie or show ABOUT Atlanta, like Atlanta) is boring as fuck. See: all Marvel films from the last 5 years.

- The idea that the hero has to listen to music in order to drown out the hum in his ears caused by the accident that killed his parents is a great setup. Unfortunately the movie does nothing with it dramatically. The film is wall-to-wall music, which sounds cool except almost none of the sequences rise to the occasion of being worthy of the song it's scored to. Because it's just EVERYWHERE, it all blends together into something that has no peaks and valleys. There is one cute moment where he gets into a new car and can't start driving until he finds a good song on the radio which does the most with this idea. It's fun. But it doesn't have any real dramatic function in the film. And thus, the hero essentially has no arc. Which makes it kinda boring.

DIGRESSION: Here's my small rewrite that solves this issue: he has to drown out the hum in his ear because whenever he isn't listening to music he's forced to focus on the ringing, which always brings him back to his mothers death which he feels partly responsible for (maybe they got in a fight or he distracted her with his ipod music mashups or something). So it is essentially his way of not dealing with the trauma of his childhood. And for all the chases in the film, where he must be completely focused, each one is scored to a song. However something happens to his ipod for the final getaway, it gets broken or something, and he has to do the entire chase in silence, and the film takes away the score, both differentiating it and upping the dramatic stakes. You can even throw in some flashes to his mom for drama. And then once he completes it he learns that he doesn't NEED the music, he can face his past. Right? Why did something like this not happen?


- The ending is unearned. Instead of coming up with a plan to outsmart the other dudes, why does he just go along with it and then go to prison? I get it's the unexpected thing to do, but again, dramatically it doesn't really make sense. He's been blackmailed by these dudes essentially that he has to be their driver, so why not have some agency and fuck them over instead of just turning yourself in for something that you weren't entirely responsible for?

- Lily James is cute and charming and unfortunately a placeholder for where an actual character should go. She doesn't even have a tragic/sympathetic backstory to explain why the hell she is cute, single and waiting for this weirdo to take her out of Atlanta.

- Kevin Spacey, we've seen him do this before. Ditto Jamie Foxx. And why was Hamm the last man standing and Spacey turns around to not be a prick? The law of action movies says "have a good bad guy that we want to see get dead." Not sure why they pulled the switch and made it Hamm, someone he had no beef with, and not Spacey, who was manipulating him into doing this in the first place. It's FINE. It's just odd.

- He makes these little mix tapes sampling people and then again, the film does nothing with it! Why isn't the entire film him driving around to these fucking remixes that he's made himself? Would've made the entire score memorable instead of just an oldies jukebox and dramatically tied the tapes back into the score. Also: the fact that this movie trots out Beck's Debra as a major plotpoint and then gives them a weak-ass half-scene to score it to, is a major fail. #RescueDebra

- The name reveal is kinda an eye-roll. (Why was he telling unrelated waitresses his bank robber code name instead of his real name?)

There's more I'm sure. But I went in wanting to love it. And so did the theatre full of 200+ nerds who paid $28 a ticket to see Kid Koala spin beforehand and just wanted to have a blast, but the theatre was pretty quiet. Which is a shame, because you want a movie like this to be full of fuck yeah moments that make you raise your fist and cheer, but it just couldn't quite engineer them.

Again, it's not a bad movie, it's still prob Wright's 2nd or 3rd best movie, but it's just a disappointment because you know he SHOULD be making great movies instead of pretty good ones.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

jenkins

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2017, 02:47:41 AM »
0
it's not that i'm necessarily going to ignore all that, it's just not how i think about movies. i don't want to be an oppositional perspective so much as a different perspective. glad the movie evoked big responses from you!
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jenkins

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 06:41:44 PM »
+1
second of all he's brave for throwing himself into the pit of vipers known as nerd land.

first of all it's such a clear progression. Scott Pilgrim was a clear progression, which is what made The World's End more frustrating (since it wasn't), but he's back on track. it was just phenomenal to me in every capacity.

i'll address modage for shits and giggles

SPOILERS TO FOLLOW.

- If you're shooting a movie whose main attribute is the style of the piece, for the love of God, do not shoot in fucking Atlanta. It's booooring as fuck. Wright wrote for LA, which looks great obvy in Drive and The Driver. Baby Driver starts at a major handicap right off the bat, because Atlanta (unless you're making a movie or show ABOUT Atlanta, like Atlanta) is boring as fuck. See: all Marvel films from the last 5 years.

the cloverleaf interchange and visions of skyscrapers toward the end was great. he let us wait for it. he let the city blossom, which is rare for city movies, which tend to drug you with aesthetics. i like the fuller vision of cinema Edgar Wright has, personally. cinema is like a person to him. that's a good idea imo.

Quote
- The idea that the hero has to listen to music in order to drown out the hum in his ears caused by the accident that killed his parents is a great setup. Unfortunately the movie does nothing with it dramatically. The film is wall-to-wall music, which sounds cool except almost none of the sequences rise to the occasion of being worthy of the song it's scored to. Because it's just EVERYWHERE, it all blends together into something that has no peaks and valleys. There is one cute moment where he gets into a new car and can't start driving until he finds a good song on the radio which does the most with this idea. It's fun. But it doesn't have any real dramatic function in the film. And thus, the hero essentially has no arc. Which makes it kinda boring.

okay, did you like fall asleep for a little bit sometimes? Jon Hamm fires guns beside his ears and it brings a ringing intensity which allows the audience to feel like Baby. it was amazing, and that's just one example. the cutest earbud sharing i've ever seen is in this movie. um there just were peaks and valleys... i don't know how to respond, given how exceptionally brilliant the peaks and valleys are. i mean this is a guy whose true pen is cinema, okay. and i was wowed away by his script, personally. but Edgar Wright's pen is cinema, and it seems crazy to me to put down the music in this movie

Quote

DIGRESSION: Here's my small rewrite that solves this issue: he has to drown out the hum in his ear because whenever he isn't listening to music he's forced to focus on the ringing, which always brings him back to his mothers death which he feels partly responsible for (maybe they got in a fight or he distracted her with his ipod music mashups or something). So it is essentially his way of not dealing with the trauma of his childhood. And for all the chases in the film, where he must be completely focused, each one is scored to a song. However something happens to his ipod for the final getaway, it gets broken or something, and he has to do the entire chase in silence, and the film takes away the score, both differentiating it and upping the dramatic stakes. You can even throw in some flashes to his mom for drama. And then once he completes it he learns that he doesn't NEED the music, he can face his past. Right? Why did something like this not happen?

lol oh you're remembering. Jon Hamm shoots his ipod. this movie is absolutely an action-movie bildungsroman. he does learn that he can take care of himself. that's actually what the movie is about, yes. no apologies for it not treating the music as you would.

Quote
The ending is unearned. Instead of coming up with a plan to outsmart the other dudes, why does he just go along with it and then go to prison? I get it's the unexpected thing to do, but again, dramatically it doesn't really make sense. He's been blackmailed by these dudes essentially that he has to be their driver, so why not have some agency and fuck them over instead of just turning yourself in for something that you weren't entirely responsible for?

...idk you should've written it or something? i thought it was awesome that he had to face consequences for illegal actions. i was really proud of the movie giving him a sentencing, even while describing his great character

Quote
Lily James is cute and charming and unfortunately a placeholder for where an actual character should go. She doesn't even have a tragic/sympathetic backstory to explain why the hell she is cute, single and waiting for this weirdo to take her out of Atlanta.

diner culture. it's USA culture. it's well-known.

Quote
Kevin Spacey, we've seen him do this before. Ditto Jamie Foxx. And why was Hamm the last man standing and Spacey turns around to not be a prick? The law of action movies says "have a good bad guy that we want to see get dead." Not sure why they pulled the switch and made it Hamm, someone he had no beef with, and not Spacey, who was manipulating him into doing this in the first place. It's FINE. It's just odd.

no comment.

Quote
He makes these little mix tapes sampling people and then again, the film does nothing with it! Why isn't the entire film him driving around to these fucking remixes that he's made himself? Would've made the entire score memorable instead of just an oldies jukebox and dramatically tied the tapes back into the score. Also: the fact that this movie trots out Beck's Debra as a major plotpoint and then gives them a weak-ass half-scene to score it to, is a major fail. #RescueDebra

the dramatic weight of the mixtapes were obvious and well-known within the world of electronic music



Quote
The name reveal is kinda an eye-roll. (Why was he telling unrelated waitresses his bank robber code name instead of his real name?)

you should've written the movie!

honestly i just like attacked the conversation here and i really believe (guess) that we do both appreciate each other as people who like movies. same tribe. honestly it became immensely obvious to me that you need to watch the movie again. if you don't get mad at me you'll surprise yourself, promise.

summary: during the movie i cried 3x and it's the best move i've seen since Holy Motors
Every perspective is an act of creation.

modage

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2017, 07:16:16 PM »
+4
Definitely don't appreciate you as a person if you're gonna continue being snotty. If you loved the movie, great. I think my criticisms still stand. I wanted to love it, I came away thinking it was a B- and for a movie Wright has supposedly been thinking about for decades, seemed like he never really got past the initial hook. I don't need to rewrite the movie, it just seemed to leave a lot of dramatic meat on the table.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

jenkins

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2017, 08:08:00 PM »
+2
i never quite like when a person says "i was snotty because you were." i agree that the good thing to do would've been to ignore you. whenever i bat for the team if i'm not nice enough to the other person everything goes haywire. it's not my first rodeo and like i said, i was attacking the comments, same tribe imo. bless xx
Every perspective is an act of creation.

jenkins

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2017, 01:34:57 PM »
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birds of a feather



Quote
Paul Williams: I just want to keep saying, the story in this movie is fantastic. I don't want to talk about the specifics, but the way it develops with Baby and his relationship to his mother and fatherů the heart in that. I got teary in the picture two or three times and the ending just slayed me. I loved it. And you combine that with Jon Hamm and one of the most frightening transformations since Robert Mitchum in Cape Fear. He takes it to a place that's hauntingly terrifying. I told you wanted to write a review!
Every perspective is an act of creation.

Gold Trumpet

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2017, 10:28:07 PM »
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It's good popcorn filmmaking. I didn't think too much about characterization. What impressed me more is the lyrical ways Wright was able to sync the soundtrack to the actions and keep a fun flow with the camera and staging. Technically, it's well thought out. I think that depth is what it was most interested in.


Spoiler The end got a little too messy in blood lust but that's all.

jenkins

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2017, 12:57:33 AM »
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throughout his career characterization has been an important technicality to Edgar Wright. which raises him above popcorn filmmaking. and that's just a fact.
Every perspective is an act of creation.

Gold Trumpet

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2017, 01:11:54 AM »
+2
His idea of characterization here is pretty typical, sorry.

It's not the strong suit of the film and since you just gave me a standard statement, I returned in kind.

jenkins

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2017, 01:24:11 AM »
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for example, most of the other criminals put Baby down. they call him retarded. they do this casually. it's how they talk. multiple people do this in different ways. Kevin Space like: stfu. John Hamm don't seem to mind so we all think he's the good guy, and everybody has been hilariously pissed about that

Baby, he can't explain himself to these people. the New Yorker call hims boring. again: everyone wants to put Baby down.

but Baby ain't having it. Baby ain't being put down by the put downs. he's got other problems indeed. no one cares about them indeed.

he's got one girl who understands him. she wants to head out with him.

you guys are hilarious and kisses to all the haters. the hate is gonna die out like that, live it up while you can.

it's this movie which will last.
Every perspective is an act of creation.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2017, 01:39:47 AM »
+5
you guys are hilarious and kisses to all the haters. the hate is gonna die out like that, live it up while you can.

Or maybe this doesn't have to be a battle and we can just handle a difference of opinion.
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