Baby Driver Blu-ray Review

Inventive, tight, energetic, funny, touching, stylized, musically bombastic, non-stop thrill ride – the listof positive adjectives are never-ending for Edgar Wright’s new film BABY DRIVER.  It’s no wonder that this symphonic heist getaway film has a lead character aptly described as Mozart in a go-cart. The perfectly orchestrated soundtrack is edited together to match each action throughout the entire picture.  Through an endless library of eclectic tunes, BABY DRIVER literally and figuratively hits every beat in one of the most creatively dynamic films in years.

The story is a classic tale, or even a fairy tale if you will, about a young, meek, mostly good guy getaway driver, named Baby, wanting out of the heist game.  Unfortunately, other forces are keeping him in the criminal activity.  The stakes are raised when boy meets girl. Baby’s stuck doing another ‘one last mission’ when his heart desire is to drive off with girl, car, and soundtrack on the open road and never look back.

Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx in Baby Driver

Baby has an interesting quirk though.  He has a constant ringing in his ear that he prefers to drown out by a constant rotation of just about all genres of music.  Like an arm or a leg, Baby’s earbuds are another limb extension and the music is the blood running through it.

The interesting thing about BABY DRIVER is completely how the action is told.  With a retro look and a somewhat grindhouse approach, every detail is cinematic pleasure.  The art direction and costuming are subtle but informative to who the characters are and what the film is creating.  With a masterful lead direction from Edgar Wright, the editing and sound editing are nothing short from amazing and should hopefully get some recognition come award season.  The precision to create a story so musically sound as each action lands on a different beat in a song is mind blowing.  If this specific detail, which is like nothing I’ve seen on screen, isn’t enough, the characters are interesting and lovable.  Furthermore, BABY DRIVER’s action-packed car chase sequences make the crew from FAST AND FURIOUS look like punk posers, wishing they could have an ounce of the mystery and coolness from Baby. This is all while also being one of the most unconventionally remarkable musicals ever made.

Ansel Elgort, Lily James in Baby Driver

Even when things slow down from the enthusiastic pace and riveting action, the dialogue between Baby and Deborah, played by a charming Lily James, is sweet and moving.  Character names like Doc, Buddy, Bats, Darling, and Griff only add to the surreal atmosphere that delivers heart and shock. Sometimes embracing absurdity, there’s a bit of parody to other film’s we’ve previously seen, using a touch of humor and joy that keeps a smile glued to the face and the heart pounding.

Known names like Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm rev up the action with fully loaded performance as supporting players in the heist crew. But the two revelations of the film come in its lesser known star and a director who was fired from Marvel’s ANT-MAN in 2015. Previous roles in films like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and THE DIVERGENT SERIES did not prepare audiences for what they will behold in Ansel Elgort as the title role of Baby.  He is a bonafide star, that will hopefully get a serious boost in his career.  Previously known for his great comedic films SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ, THE WORLD’S END, and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, writer and director Edgar Wright proves he is a creative force in Hollywood who can be trusted to drive any genre. Rated ‘R’ for some shoot-em-up violence and a handful of choice words, BABY DRIVER thankfully doesn’t overplay its hand when it could have easily gone overboard with the rating.

Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey in Baby Driver

Firing on all cylinders, BABY DRIVER excels in all the technical areas such as direction, editing, sound editing, art direction, costuming, scoring, acting, and pure adrenalized fun.  Delivering never-ending, operatic excitement, BABY DRIVER is a refreshing force of entertainment that tantalizes the senses through ingenious originality.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video: (MPEG-4 AVC 1080p, 2.39:1) The colors are vibrant and the characters are clear and detailed.  The clean picture perfectly captures the mood with the audio.

Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Crank up the audio.  Not because it’s hard to hear but because it’s meant to be hears loud with the music surrounding every piece of action.  Every beat is heard beautifully.

Audio Commentary: Writer/Director Edgar Wright does this commentary alone.  He gives insightful and humorous anecdotes about the inspiration of the origins.  He details the creation process through writing, production and of course the music.  He is very personal with his details and delightful to listen to through every step of the process.

Audio Commentary with Edgar Wright and Bill Pope: Writer/Director Edgar Wright returns with his Cinematographer Bill Pope to discuss the details in making the film.  This track is a bit more technical and obviously talks about some of the locations and production design within the cinematography of shooting the film. Another good commentary track.

Extended & Deleted Scenes (20:28):  Eleven total scenes – First Heist, Kitchen Dance, Questions, Laundromat, Pizza!, Bacchanalia, Gas Station, Cops & Robbers, Foot Chase, Killer Track, and Behind Bars.

Behind The Scenes (45:13): These six featureless are great. You can play all or watch them individually.  They are as follows:

  • That’s My Baby: Edgar Wright (9:18): This is the film’s origin story, how Wright came up with the idea and its development.
  • Mozart in a Go-Kart: Ansel Drives (5:52): Ansel Elgort performs some of his own driving stunts and this is piece of him working, learning and driving with the stunt drivers.
  • I Need a Killer Track: The Music (6:14): The importance of the music to the film.
  • Meet Your New Crew: Doc’s Gang (10:55): Each actor talks a little bit about their own and different characters in the film.
  • Find Something Funky on There: The Choreography (6:08): The actors and action match the music rather than the music matching the actors. The detail is quite impressive.
  • Devil Behind the Wheel: the Car Chases (6:46): The detail and complication of producing the car chase scenes.

Selected Scene Animatics (35:42): Animated pre-visualizations of eight different scenes – First Heist Original, First Heist Pre-Shoot, Killer Track Original, Killer Track Pre-Shoot, Masked Raiders, Farmer’s Market Live Action, Farmer’s Market Animated, and Foot Chase.

Rehearsals & Pre-Production (17:03): A handful of rehearsal footage clips and some auditions and screen tests – Ansel Elgort  Audition, Annotated Coffee Run Rehearsal, and Hair, Make Up & Costumes Test.

Mint Royale – “Blue Song” Music Video (4:15)

Complete Storyboard Gallery

Promos and More (21:10): Eighteen different trailers, promos, and even a music video for the film.  Their are some pretty incredible teasers and advertisements for this film and it’s worth showing one of these to get someone excited to see the film.

Previews

OVERALL 4.5
    MOVIE REVIEW
    BLU-RAY REVIEW
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