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Baby Driver - Blu-ray Review

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Baby Driver - Movie Review

5 starsNever before have the loves of speed and killer tunes come together so magically as they do in filmmaker Edgar Wright’s latest, a genre-crossing masterpiece with music on the brain and burnt rubber in its soul.

It’s called Baby Driver and it’s a mob movie. It’s also a heist movie, and even a musical... of sorts. But while there might be music and there might be choreography, it is NOT your ordinary musical. Wright combines his love of car chases and things that go fast with a passion for music to create something truly unique that defies classification and feels like nothing he’s done before.

Don’t expect Wright’s signature frenetic editing techniques, rapid-fire montages, and close-up cutaways. For the most part, he doesn’t do that here. Baby Driver is slick, well-paced, and just stylish as hell. And there’s even a fairly straightforward fairy-tale element that feels fresh and inviting, even in a world of gritty action and brutal violence.

Wright immediately grabs our attention in the opening minutes with a gravity-defying car chase sequence during which we are introduced to the titular Baby (Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars), a fresh-faced, sunglasses-wearing hellion behind the wheel who is driving the getaway car for a gang of bank robbers. They all work for Doc (Kevin Spacey), the mastermind behind the crew and the kingpin of an underworld crime ring funded by bank heists, gun running, and whatever other bad things they can get into.

Doc never uses the same crew twice, save for Baby. That’s just how good the young kid is behind the wheel. We learn that Baby suffers from tinnitus caused by a childhood accident, so he drowns out the ringing in his ears with a constant barrage of music playing through his earbuds. He’s mostly quiet, only speaking when spoken to, and often becomes the object of derision from others in the crew, including Jamie Foxx as the loose cannon Bats, and unrepentant bad guy Buddy (Jon Hamm). Baby prefers to mentally separate himself from all the bad stuff going on around him, but when behind the wheel, his stoic professionalism gives way to a heavy-footed, high-gear fury guaranteed to knock your socks off with some of the best stunt driving you’ll ever see.

The first thing we notice about Wright’s film is that every turn, every bump in the road, and every shift of the gears is perfectly choreographed to the soundtrack’s pumping beats. We're along for the ride as even the car’s windshield wipers react to the tempo of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s Bellbottoms pulsating through Baby’s iPod. Or maybe the rat-a-tat-tat of machine gun fire pulses in perfect rhythm to the throbbing of The Damned’s Neat Neat Neat. This is not your typical soundtrack of over-played classic rock mainstays. Wright manages to build a highly believable, living, breathing atmosphere around what we’re listening to. You have to see it to totally get it, but once you do, the high level of expert filmmaking on display is sure to have you in awe. It is pure poetry in motion.

There’s also a love story thread that adds tons of warmth and a beautiful sweet spot that successfully counter the near-overwhelming menace of the film’s bulk. Elgort's Baby falls for a sparkling young waitress played by Lily James (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and the two share a wonderful chemistry together. She’s in a dead-end job with no ties to her current situation in life, she loves music, and she meets Baby. Watch the magic happen.

Baby Driver is a volatile boost of MPH to thrust a much-needed spirit and a welcoming individualism into the summer movie season deprived of anything that doesn’t explode or wear tights. So plug in, hit play, and hold, on because Baby’s in control.

Baby Driver - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
113 mins
Director
: Edgar Wright
Writer:
Edgar Wright
Cast:
Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm
Genre
: Action | Crime
Tagline:
All you need is one killer track.
Memorable Movie Quote: "He’s a good kid, and a devil behind the wheel."
Theatrical Distributor:
Tristar Pictures
Official Site: https://m.facebook.com/BabyDriverMovie/?tsid=0.9115795084332592&source=typeahead
Release Date:
June 30, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 10, 2017.
Synopsis: Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a talented, young getaway driver who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), he sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), Baby must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

Baby Driver - Movie Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Sony Pictures
Available on Blu-ray - October 10, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kbps); French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc; UV digital copy; Digital copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, the AVC-encoded 1080p transfer, with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, handles the combined digital cameras and traditional 35mm film manner of director Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver with an intensity that is appreciated. Colors indeed do pop and the black levels are consistently solid, at times dominating the picture. This is where the problem of the crush begins. This is a shoot that, when not outside among buildings and roads, we are in some severe darkness. The dim rooms add no depth to the picture and, as a result, the film just doesn’t look as tight as it handles the road. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 more than makes up for the lack of a visual punch, though. Crank it and be immersed with a rather spectacular soundtrack.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Cinematographer Bill Pope and director Edgar Wright share one commentary that covers the production shoot. However, Wright cuts loose on his solo commentary and talks about the inspiration of the movie and is rather hilarious throughout.

Special Features:

Pre-viz videos dominate at the beginning of the supplemental material. They are soon overtaken in the race by looks at the cast, the crew, the deleted scenes, and how the actors got their training wheels taken off for some really big stunts. A music video and a collection of deleted scenes (nothing too important) round out the collection. An UltraViolet Digital Copy as well as a slipcover is provided with purchase of the movie.

  • Selected Scene Animatics (36 min)
  • Rehearsals & Pre-Production (17 min)
  • Meet Your New Crew: Doc's Gang (11 min)
  • That's My Baby: Edgar Wright (9 min)
  • Devil Behind the Wheel: The Car Chases (7 min)
  • Mozart In a Go-Kart: Ansel Drives (6 min)
  • I Need a Killer Track: The Music (6 min)
  • Find Something Funky on There: The Choreography (6 min)
  • Mint Royale Music Video (4 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (20 min)
  • Storyboard Galleries
  • Promotional Material

Baby Driver - Movie Review

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