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CON: A fan report from the secret screening of Drive!

Jul. 28, 2011by: Mike Sampson
100%

During the panel for DRIVE (shared with DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK), director Nicolas Winding Refn announced there would be a secret screening of the film that night at Comic-Con. None of the JoBlo.com crew was available to make it, but one of our loyal readers, Dude From the Stairs on MFC, was there and was kind enough to write a quick review. I was really excited based on what I saw at Comic-Con and it turns my excitement was legit. Check out what he has to say!

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PLOT: A Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) by day and a wheelman by night begins to have a relationship with his next door neighbor (Carey Mulligan) and her son Benicio (Kaden Leos). That is, until her husband Standard (Oscar Isaac) is released from jail.

REVIEW: Not since Michael Mann's, Heat, have I seen Los Angeles filmed so beautifully at night. All of the credit goes to the director, Nicolas Winding Refn (Winner of Best Director at this years Cannes film festival). It seems to me he is paying homage to movies of the past. This was his first "Hollywood" film and I have to say it fires on all cylinders. From the opening sequence, the tension starts to build and never lets you go until the final act. With its 80's throwback feel and synth score, I can't help but to think of movies like, To Live and Die in LA. The cast he was able to assemble is truly amazing.

Ryan Gosling, who is simply known as Driver, is a man of few words that expresses himself through his eyes and has this Steve McQueen demeanor about him and is incredibly badass. Carey Mulligan plays Irene, a single mother who lives with her son in the same apartment building as Gosling. Once we're introduced to her character we start to see a different side of Driver. The connection between the two is sweet and charming. But the tone quickly changes when she tells him her husband (Oscar Isaac) is coming home from jail. The rest of the cast is just terrific. Bryan Cranston, in another great performance, plays Shannon, who is Driver's boss and mentor. When he's not bossing him around at the shop, he's planning his next heist. That's when we're introduced to Nino (Ron Pearlman) and an old time Hollywood producer and crook, Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks). Normally we're used to seeing Brooks in comedic roles, but he is terrifyingly brilliant as the villain.

The film is very stylized and violent and the cinematography is breathtaking. The streets of Los Angeles have never looked so gritty and menacing. If you've seen his earlier films then you know what to expect. The look and feel of the movie is an action thriller straight out of the 80's. The car chases are some of the best I've seen in a long time. The way the director uses the camera in some of the most subtle scenes is fantastic. The tension the film carries throughout is heavily influenced by the wonderful soundtrack and score. The music is just as important as any character in the film. The heavy electronica soundtrack will have you racing to iTunes to purchase it.

In a year of sequels, remakes, and superhero movies, it's refreshing to see an original film be released. I truly believe Nicolas Winding Refn will have a promising career. Drive is easily my favorite film of the year. I encourage everyone to go see it opening day. Most importantly, see it on the big screen with an awesome surround sound.

Source: JoBlo.com

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3:36PM on 07/28/2011
Superb review. No spoilers, no overt descriptions of moments and scenes from the film. All just perfectly summarized by verbalizing the look, atmosphere, music and characters.
How about a job offer for this guy JoBlo?
Superb review. No spoilers, no overt descriptions of moments and scenes from the film. All just perfectly summarized by verbalizing the look, atmosphere, music and characters.
How about a job offer for this guy JoBlo?
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1:15PM on 07/28/2011

YES

I was sold after watching the trailer, and this review is everything I hoped Drive would be. Can't wait.
I was sold after watching the trailer, and this review is everything I hoped Drive would be. Can't wait.
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2:06PM on 07/28/2011

Y E S S S S !!

I cant wait to see this in theaters opening day im a huge refn fan this is easily my most anticipated film this year. ill be checkin this out more than once.
I cant wait to see this in theaters opening day im a huge refn fan this is easily my most anticipated film this year. ill be checkin this out more than once.
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+7
3:53PM on 07/28/2011
Not only can he act and be great at it, but the man is a musical genius. Check out his band Dead Man's Bones. Here's the jist, they sing love songs about zombies, werewolves, monsters and such. How fuckin' cool is that?!
Not only can he act and be great at it, but the man is a musical genius. Check out his band Dead Man's Bones. Here's the jist, they sing love songs about zombies, werewolves, monsters and such. How fuckin' cool is that?!
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+7
2:14PM on 07/28/2011
Nice. Seems Refn is moving into english language films, and Hollywood, in a smart way where he is in control and able to fully display his skills. Hope he only agrees to do bigger films if he gets to keep that control.
Mike Sampson, by the way, seems I might owe you an apology about my reaction to your Bellflower review. I still haven't seen it, but what more people say about it seems to be intriguing but obnoxious and messy. You could maybe have been a bit let harsh but so could I.
Nice. Seems Refn is moving into english language films, and Hollywood, in a smart way where he is in control and able to fully display his skills. Hope he only agrees to do bigger films if he gets to keep that control.
Mike Sampson, by the way, seems I might owe you an apology about my reaction to your Bellflower review. I still haven't seen it, but what more people say about it seems to be intriguing but obnoxious and messy. You could maybe have been a bit let harsh but so could I.
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+5
3:54PM on 07/28/2011
Ugh. I hate double posts! Sorry.
Ugh. I hate double posts! Sorry.
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12:02AM on 07/29/2011
So...where's the hot picture of co-star Christina Hendricks? Isn't every article she's even loosely involved with supposed to have one? Oh yeah, Drive looks great too!
So...where's the hot picture of co-star Christina Hendricks? Isn't every article she's even loosely involved with supposed to have one? Oh yeah, Drive looks great too!
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