Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Reach Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- JVC RS-46 Projector
- Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
At first glance Baby Driver is just your run of the mill heist movies. It focuses on a young kid (innocent at heart) who is drawn into a life of crime by some unknown mistake, and ends up falling in love with a girl. Girl brings out the best in him, he gets out, but suddenly realizes that long standing “hooks” that criminals have over their underlings and is drawn back in. Then comes the fight to survival and a way to exit the life without getting both of the young lovers killed. The end. By all accounts Baby Driver should have drifted away into a sea of similarly themed films, but, with director Edgar Wright at the wheel, Baby Driver is ANYTHING but run of the mill. Combining killer tunes with his legendary quirky sense of direction, Edgar molds and a creates a film that uses the music as an actual character that lives and breathes, adding another dimension to a seemingly cliched genre film. There’s some minor hiccups along the way, but Baby Driver still ends up being one of my favorite films of the year and for good reason.
Baby (yes, B-A-B-Y, played by Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver for a local crime lord (played by Kevin Spacey). Indebted to this man, Baby is forced to drive all the getaway heists for said crime lord until his debt is paid off, which is done withing the first 15 minutes of the film. Loving that he has gotten out of his life of crime, Baby sparks up a relationship with waitress Debora (Lily James), takes on work as a pizza driver instead of getaway driver, and takes care of his foster father, Joseph (CJ Jones). The only thing is, his debt may be paid off, but crime always has a way of keeping its hooks in you once you start. Baby’s old boss won’t take no for an answer in having Baby come back as a fully paid part of the team, and now the getaway driver’s life is back in the dumpster that he fought so hard to get out of.
There is “one last job” to be done (yeah, we’ve all see how that works out in films), and Baby is the driver for another crew combined of the unpredictable “Bats” (Jamie Foxx), “Darling” (Eliza Gonzalez) and “Buddy” (Jon Hamm). While the rest of the crew are your typical hardened criminals, Baby drives and lives by the beat of his own drum. He listens to music like most of us breathe oxygen, letting it flow through his body, revitalizing his spirit and his muscles, and fueling each and every one of his drives. However, this job is going to be like no other, as Baby is done following orders, and he has an entirely new set of objectives in his mind, and it will make for exhilarating ride that will not long be forgotten.
Everyone in the film plays their role to a T, and this little Bonnie and Clyde meets Romeo and Juliet tale of crime just revels in the fantasy nature of the film. Kevin Spacey doesn’t get as much time as you would expect, but he is devilishly fun as the crime boss that only Kevin Spacey could play. Jamie Foxx is excellent as the over the top, and slightly nuts, Bats, While Jon Hamm’s “Buddy” is a scene stealer of epic style. The world of high stakes crime and incredible stunt driving allows for a wildly kinetic ride that just grips ahold of you and doesn’t let go, while actually fleshing out and allowing us to experience the story from several different character’s points of view. No matter the criminal, no matter the hero, Wright weaves the story in such a way that you actually feel for and empathize with them all. Even if you’re rooting for one of them to win.
Rated R for violence and language throughout
• Mozart In A Go-Kart: Ansel Drives – Ride shotgun with star Ansel Elgort as he works with the talented stunt drivers to become the ultimate getaway driver.
• I Need A Killer Track: The Music – Explore how the film's phenomenal soundtrack dictated both the writing process and all aspects of production on Baby Driver.
• That's My Baby: Edgar Wright – Follow Edgar Wright's vision of Baby Driver from its inception two decades ago, to its ultimate realization on the big screen.
• Meet Your New Crew: Doc's Gang – Led by powerhouse Kevin Spacey, the cast assembled to form Doc's gang is perfectly constructed with stars like Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm as well as up and coming talent like Eiza González and Jon Bernthal. Go behind the scenes to see this talented group at work as they bring these characters to life.
• Find Something Funky On There: The Choreography – With every frame of Baby Driver set to a specific beat it took precise choreography by the cast, crew and editors to create a cinematic dance like nothing that's been done before. Hear from the choreographer and filmmakers on this groundbreaking process.
• Devil Behind The Wheel: The Car Chases – From closing down Atlanta's interstates to creating eyepopping maneuvers for a variety of vehicles, witness the amazing craftsmanship and sheer determination that made the film's incredible car chases possible.
• Animatics – Check out over 35 minutes of the numerous pre-vis animatics developed by Edgar Wright as part of his meticulous preparation.
• Ansel Elgort Audition – See firsthand the audition that proved without a doubt that Ansel Elgort was the perfect choice for Baby.
• Annotated Coffee Run Rehearsal – Day one of production involved one of the film's most elaborately choreographed sequences where every movement is carefully crafted. Check out the preliminary rehearsal and see the behind the scenes movement in concert with Ansel Elgort's on camera choreography.
• Hair, Make Up & Costume Tests – In this stylized montage, witness the transformation of the actors through costume, hair and make-up tests.
• Mint Royale – "Blue Song" Music Video – This music video directed by Edgar years ago for the band Mint Royale showcases some early inspiration for Baby Driver.
• Complete Storyboard Gallery – See the elaborate storyboards developed for the film in this gallery featuring storyboards for the entire film.
• Director Commentary
• Filmmaker Commentary (Edgar Wright and Director of Photography Bill Pope)
Edgar Wright’s new film is distinctly different than his British films such as Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead or The World’s End, and is much more toned down the over the top comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but still maintains his extremely unique flair and visual styling’s that made him famous. The film can rightly be described as style that is PART of the substance, as the groovy track and classic musical numbers make up a goodly portion of the film’s tone and textural vibe without sacrificing the story in any way. The video is an excellent representation of the theatrical experience and the audio track is just incredible material. What really surprised me was the VERY large amount of extras that are on the disc. With physical media skimping on extras like no time in DVD/Blu-ray history, it’s refreshing to find a disc that actually has lots and lots of goodies to delve into. Final recommendation? This is a must watch for 2017 and a must buy for me personally.
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by: Edgar Wright
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, Thai DD 5.1, English DD 2.0
Runtime: 113 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 10th, 2017
Recommendation: Must Watch