Author Topic: Baby Driver  (Read 4154 times)

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jenkins

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2017, 01:44:19 AM »
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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.

jb is what an allegory. in it, the movie will be as strong as Baby was in the movie. it was some sass in the face of sass, and it's interesting to target me. me and you jb -- every time i wonder why. every time.

i apologize for being difficult and i promise to stay away from xixax for a while. thank you.
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Gold Trumpet

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2017, 04:24:25 AM »
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See, Baby being put down by everyone around him is easy set up though. The film ultimately wants to make Baby look perfect and excellent in ways completely inhuman. It's the super hero complex a lot of movies have. It all stems from Superman II. Not when Superman does anything fantastic against the main villains, but when Clark Kent gets his powers back and stands up to a diner bully. People salivate over the good guy winning the day over the bully. It's just been grossly exaggerated since. Now because super hero movies are everywhere, it's bled into everyday movies. Baby Driver just finds a different way to get to that same tired point.

Also, most of Baby's characterization/personality complex stems from a single moment. While for someone as young as his character is, it probably is the defining moment for who he is. However, all the film had to do is make one allusion to that moment and then go find different ways to show his character being effected by the trauma. Instead, the film just recycles variations of the same memory over and over again. There isn't any variation to Baby besides our own idea that the memory just is painful for him to deal with - like each time the memory is shown.

The best characterization in the movie comes in small scenes like Baby and Debora enjoying each other's simple company in a laundromat and making the moment unexpectedly romantic. The way the movie can also bounce off music and Baby finds himself drawn to characters like Debora is really charming in ways atypical.

See, I love the movie. I really do. It will get a lot of replay value for me. I just think the characters are pulp and treated as such. Because that's how they are treated, i think it's fine work.

RegularKarate

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2017, 10:25:59 AM »
+2
Yeah, I think the majority of the criticisms here are valid, they just didn't matter to me. I was moved by the movie both times I saw it. I don't think it tries to be anything outside of pulp.

LOL at the freakout based on nothing, btw. Nobody bit you, dude, you came out swinging like an insane person.

pete

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2017, 12:36:47 PM »
+2
I would've been blown away if this film happened 20 years ago, but now all the things it so proudly shows off have been so relentlessly featured in so many things already - and nothing obscure either, we're talking like Kill Bill, Stomp, La La Land, Drive, and Guardians of the Galaxy - like huge movies that themselves are tributes to other films too. And I usually don't mind recycling something that works except this film really wants you to know that these things are super cool - setting anachronistic music to action scenes, having a cassette of your mom (which is also a major plot thread in the upcoming Patti Cake$), quiet getaway man, and all kinds of stuff that all would've been fine except the film seems to be really proud of these things and spends much more time on them rather than making you care about the characters.

also you know they tacked on that ending so the film can play in China.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2017, 01:36:57 AM »
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This is officially Edgar Wright's most successful movie. Outperforming expectations with a $30 mil opening...


http://deadline.com/2017/07/despicable-me-3-baby-driver-the-house-july-4th-weekend-box-office-independence-day-1202122599/

“It’s great to see an original, non-IP film breakthrough this summer; it’s a shot in the arm for anyone who supports original filmmaking,” beamed Sony worldwide distribution and marketing chief Josh Greenstein this morning. [...]

Baby Driver is director Edgar Wright’s biggest opening at the box office, his previous high being Scott Pilgrim vs. The World ($10.9M, which actually bombed). We hear Wright is like a kid in a candy shop; just completely over the moon with this weekend’s success.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2017, 02:08:40 PM »
+1
Saw it. Loved it. Completely understand why one might dislike it. But... this:

I think the majority of the criticisms here are valid, they just didn't matter to me.

Exactly this.

I think Scott Pilgrim, which I deeply love, prepared me for Baby Driver. Once it clicked that this was a heightened universe, I was in, and there was no escaping.

Most of the supporting cast, Kevin Spacey and John Hamm especially, were just magnificently fun. Some things exist just to be funny or weird, but they also sort of feed the propulsion of the whole thing.

The movie was both bananas and emotionally resonant, and I'm genuinely not sure how that happened, because it shouldn't have worked. After 5-10 min, it was like a snowball effect. I was delighted by basically everything all the way through the end.

SPOILERS

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.

I understand that, but none of that would have occurred to me. I just wasn't in that mode. Nor did I care about Scott Pilgrim's arc.

I think they gave us just enough content to make Baby compelling, and nothing more. That is completely fine with me. Once I understood that he might be on the spectrum, and that he is definitely dealing with post-traumatic stress, that is literally all I needed to sync with the character. Didn't even require much from the performance. And this is going to sound ridiculous, but his blankness was refreshing. Not all people are explosively emotional and generous with their thoughts and feelings. With some people, you can only get that out of them in certain moments, which is exactly what happened here. Felt just right to me.

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?

It's a way for him to get away clean in the end. Because Kevin Spacey and anyone who might come after him are dead. He is also free to live his life not always running from the law. Seems pretty tidy and fair. An unearned ending would have him riding off into the sunset with Debora as fugitives. That would feel off.

As for why he went through with the job... that made complete sense to me. Because as they say in that scene, the alternative wasn't going home, it was fleeing the country immediately. Baby wouldn't have an opportunity to flee with Debora if he's already fleeing with them.

Lily James is cute and charming and unfortunately a placeholder for where an actual character should go.

True, but I didn't care. I did not want any more exposition. We get just enough for things to make sense. I don't think this is a movie about fully-developed characters, and I'm glad it doesn't try to be something it's not.
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polkablues

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2017, 05:43:42 PM »
+3
I sympathize with mod here, because it's hard to balance that fine line of explaining why you liked but didn't love a movie without coming across like you're slamming it. I also sympathize with him because I largely agree with his take on the movie. Technically brilliant, ridiculously fun, sloppy plotting, thin characterization, boring and ugly Atlanta, Wright's third-best movie.

I would like to focus my attention on the film's most glaring issue, which is that Ansel Elgort is not nearly a good enough actor to carry this movie. Watching and reading interviews with him, you get the sense he's a bit of a dim bulb, and that really came across in his performance. He can generally read a line the way it's supposed to be read, he can sit still when the script says he sits still, he can act flirty when the script says he acts flirty, he can arrange his facial features into moderately convincing simulacrums of various human emotions, but I don't get the sense he has any deeper understanding of the character he's playing. There's no light behind the eyes. When his face isn't moving, there's no inner world on display, no gears turning inside his head. I would kill to watch a version of this movie with someone like Dane Dehaan, or Michael B. Jordan, or Nick Robinson, or fuck, if Anton Yelchin hadn't died. Someone who could make me feel this character's internal struggle even when there wasn't a flashback to tell me about it. That to me was the biggest roadblock to getting fully invested in the film, that there was this empty void parked right of the middle of the whole thing.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

pete

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2017, 02:19:58 PM »
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I didn't dislike this movie while I was watching it.

but I was also very aware that I was being pandered to; kinda like certain episodes of Community - I was very aware that the movie was more interested in pandering to me than delivering on the goods it promised; ie. a rollercoaster ride with genuine emotions, memorable characters, and a new take on a tired genre. instead of casting a good lead, it chose to reward me for being a dude who also loves playlists. i know many of wright's movies fall into the category of "what if a dude like you were an action hero", but even on that curve, this one is his thinnest by far. I don't believe he can actually project himself on Actorman Millennialface the way he does with all his other heroes, and as a result, I also don't really buy it. Also - for all their talks of technical craftsmanship, what was actually onscreen was just a'ite.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2017, 02:52:28 PM »
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I sympathize with mod here, because it's hard to balance that fine line of explaining why you liked but didn't love a movie without coming across like you're slamming it. I also sympathize with him because I largely agree with his take on the movie. Technically brilliant, ridiculously fun, sloppy plotting, thin characterization, boring and ugly Atlanta, Wright's third-best movie.

I would like to focus my attention on the film's most glaring issue, which is that Ansel Elgort is not nearly a good enough actor to carry this movie. Watching and reading interviews with him, you get the sense he's a bit of a dim bulb, and that really came across in his performance. He can generally read a line the way it's supposed to be read, he can sit still when the script says he sits still, he can act flirty when the script says he acts flirty, he can arrange his facial features into moderately convincing simulacrums of various human emotions, but I don't get the sense he has any deeper understanding of the character he's playing. There's no light behind the eyes. When his face isn't moving, there's no inner world on display, no gears turning inside his head. I would kill to watch a version of this movie with someone like Dane Dehaan, or Michael B. Jordan, or Nick Robinson, or fuck, if Anton Yelchin hadn't died. Someone who could make me feel this character's internal struggle even when there wasn't a flashback to tell me about it. That to me was the biggest roadblock to getting fully invested in the film, that there was this empty void parked right of the middle of the whole thing.

I don't think you're necessarily wrong about Ansel Elgort. But I sincerely did appreciate this as a uniquely blank performance. I read him as at least somewhat autistic. There are the obvious hints, there are also little things — I liked that he could only connect with Kevin Spacey using a Monsters Inc quote. I don't think the movie is meant to hinge on his depth, either; he's even wearing sunglasses half the time.

Maybe the performance works for me because he seems so out of place among the other criminals (which obv. was a central theme). Ansel pulls that off by being guarded and impenetrable. Maybe that's his natural state, but it works. Then, I think he really does open up and come alive with Debora. I would definitely not describe him as an empty void in those scenes.
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polkablues

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2017, 03:35:19 PM »
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But I sincerely did appreciate this as a uniquely blank performance. I read him as at least somewhat autistic.

I would go along with this argument if I thought for a second it was an intentional acting choice beyond "Edgar told me not to move my face in this scene."

Then, I think he really does open up and come alive with Debora. I would definitely not describe him as an empty void in those scenes.

This is also a problem for me. Elgort makes no viable effort to sell these as different shades of the same character. He's giving one performance in some scenes and a totally different performance in other scenes, and I'm convinced it's because he either didn't put in the work of understanding and internalizing the character, or that he's simply incapable of doing so.

Anyway, I'm just going to leave this here:

Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

pete

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2017, 04:16:19 PM »
+2
I think, for whatever reason - we're running outta young white dude stars - I just saw Free Fire and it was like 12 Actor Dudes all trying their darndest to be eccentric and characterly. meanwhile I was just on my friend's set where Lakeith Stanfield and Steve Yeun are doing a dystopian Oakland comedy with tinges of Office Space and Idiocracy - I dunno, there are certain actors you meet in real life and they're much more handsome and stylish than how they look on screen, but recently it just feels like there are all these actors I see in films and music videos where they just look like bros on your lyft line when you go to Brooklyn or LA. maybe it's like lack of good acting schools? no improv training? I dunno but c'mon this Ansel Backup Dancer Looking Guy whose last name I already forgot just isn't someone who deserves an Edgar Wright lead. Even Michael Cera barely cut it.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2017, 04:29:56 PM »
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Anyway, I'm just going to leave this here:

I think you've just proven us both wrong, because that was HOT. Ansel Elgort has more depth and soul than Michael Jackson. He should be playing young Han Solo.
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polkablues

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2017, 05:46:40 PM »
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I think, for whatever reason - we're running outta young white dude stars - I just saw Free Fire and it was like 12 Actor Dudes all trying their darndest to be eccentric and characterly. meanwhile I was just on my friend's set where Lakeith Stanfield and Steve Yeun are doing a dystopian Oakland comedy with tinges of Office Space and Idiocracy - I dunno, there are certain actors you meet in real life and they're much more handsome and stylish than how they look on screen, but recently it just feels like there are all these actors I see in films and music videos where they just look like bros on your lyft line when you go to Brooklyn or LA. maybe it's like lack of good acting schools? no improv training? I dunno but c'mon this Ansel Backup Dancer Looking Guy whose last name I already forgot just isn't someone who deserves an Edgar Wright lead. Even Michael Cera barely cut it.

Growing up rich, white, and moderately attractive in America is still a pretty lucrative combo, as it turns out. Ansel Elgort is the participation trophy of people.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

tpfkabi

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2017, 07:59:37 PM »
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I enjoyed it, but don't think I would go to 'love it' status.

If you want to go in cold with nothing SPOILED stop reading now:

I think having the actual words to the synced song to be graffiti on the wall was a bit much. Wes Anderson will probably be my favorite song/montage-r, and he never goes that on point.

I did like the audio leaving one side of the theater when Baby's earbud was taken out.

The car/foot chases were nicely done.

Some of the boy/girl dialog in the diner felted forced.

It was surprising to hear an instrumental from Pet Sounds and to have a character actually talk about Beck's Debra. I am one of the few who seems to love Mutations and Midnite Vultures.

I still have not seen Scott Pilgrim. His other films I've seen are a little too British and heavy on techno music for my tastes.
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WorldForgot

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Re: Baby Driver
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2017, 09:08:58 PM »
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It was surprising to hear an instrumental from Pet Sounds and to have a character actually talk about Beck's Debra. I am one of the few who seems to love Mutations and Midnite Vultures.

I still have not seen Scott Pilgrim. His other films I've seen are a little too British and heavy on techno music for my tastes.

Scott Pilgrim is my favorite Edgar Wright film, and it might have made Baby Driver a more focused experience for you if you had been hit by it's bass grooves already, as the Montage and Music sync there is just as blatant as the graffiti, more so even. Beck wrote the songs Scott P plays with his band. You might be interested in checking it out, but expect it to be as loud as a Sanjay Leela Bhansali musical.

edit: that said, Baby Driver might be my least favorite. The genre-tickling gets distracted by its characters, rather than WRight's usual mode, with each element confirming and amplifying the last. I usually really enjoy EdgaR'z females, while I feel Baby Driver would have been more interesting as Gangsta Darling...

 

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