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Drive (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 106
Thread Starter 
attachment.php?attachmentid=235681&d=1327870052
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

90






Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Oscar Isaac
Directed by: Nicholas Winding Refn
Music by: Cliff Martinez
Written by: Hossein Amini – based on the book by James Sallis
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 31, 2012







"Get in. Get out. Get away"



Film Synopsis:

Ryan Gosling stars as a Hollywood stunt driver for movies by day and moonlights as a wheelman for criminals by night. Though a loner by nature, “Driver” can’t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband. After a heist goes wrong, Driver finds himself driving defense for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman). Soon he realizes the gangsters are after more than the bag of cash and is forced to shift gears and go on the offense.



My Take:

“Driver” is a wheelman for hire, who by day works as a mechanic at a local garage and part time stunt driving for movie productions, by night he utilizes his slick driving skills steering getaway vehicles for armed heists. Driver operates by strict codes that keep things impersonal with few variables and narrow windows. That is until he meets Irene, an attractive young mother, and her son Benecio. Irene and Benecio stir something in Driver and he finds himself spending more and more time with them. Although contrary to the code Driver can’t help being drawn to them even after learning that Irene’s husband, Standard (Benecio’s father), is in prison. Things quickly unravel when Standard is released from prison and exposes Irene and Benecio to the dangerous underworld of his past. When Driver discovers Irene and Benecio have become the targets of mob related retaliation he must move quickly (as only he can) to protect them thereby exposing himself. Sometimes breaking the code isn’t worth it. Sometimes it’s the only option…

As a fan of Clint Eastwood’s “the man with no name” trilogy, specifically, “Fist full of dollars”, I couldn’t help but make a comparison to Drive. The similarities rest in the theme about an inherently good, extremely capable and nameless drifter/criminal that has survived by adhering to a set of rules that preclude personal involvement. When he breaks his own code by coming to the aid of a vulnerable woman he is forced not only to expose himself but will teach those responsible why you should never mess with the man with no name. Drive is dark, tense, violent and very well executed. It’s an arthouse film that eschews the typical framework associated with action/thriller narratives that have elements of romance. It’s pretty simple by design but engagingly visceral as it pushes the boundaries of propriety. The characters aren’t complex but integrate nicely within the story’s construct. The pacing is taut, the action is involving and the thrills are memorable as we are treated to muscle cars featured in slickly infused stunts that are fun to watch. Ryan Gosling handles Driver’s “man of few words…” with aplomb and gives a spot on performance. I could watch Carey Mulligan all day long and Bryan Cranston/Albert Brooks are solid of course. Drive is more than meets the eye and makes for a fresh, thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining film that I found just plain cool.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong brutal bloody violence, language and some nudity.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 90



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Drive comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 36 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.

This video presentation has a filmic quality that doesn’t always lend itself to razor sharp images however resolution is excellent as both people and objects are rendered with clear definition that at times is meticulously resolved. The color palette isn’t a diverse one and sticks mainly to sepia and de-saturated neutral tones that render a cooler appearance. Flesh tones are on the bland side but fit right in with the visual style of the video. Contrast is bold which adds dynamic emphasis to sequences containing bright elements. Blacks are dynamic, inky and slightly crushed. Scenes containing uneven and/or dim lighting reveal discernible but occasionally limited detail in shadowy backgrounds and darkened areas. Images have a pristine quality that when coupled with the video’s high resolution makes for terrific looking presentation.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix does an excellent job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has excellent intonation and clarity which allows even subtle changes in vocal pitch to be appreciable. This is a well balanced audio presentation that quite often engages the entire system. Dynamic range is excellent and the soundstage has an open expression that allows its elements to extend well into the room. Discrete rear channel activity isn’t extensive however the action based elements provide an enriching level of immersion which is generated by a seamless sound field (the opening segment sounds excellent). The chase and extended fight sequences are empowered by near field sound effects, robust dynamics and thumping techno rhythms that energize the room. The LFE channel is frequently active and reproduces the film’s music and extended lower bass frequencies with visceral impact that has excellent tactility.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) I Drive – 5 minute featurette

  • (HD) Under the hood – 11 minute featurette

  • (HD) Driver and Irene – 6 minute featurette

  • (HD) Cut to the chase – 4 minute featurette

  • (HD) Drive without a Driver: Entretien Avec Nicholas Winding Refn – 25 minute featurette

  • BD-Live enabled

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy
attachment.php?attachmentid=235682&d=1327870052

Final Thoughts:

Drive is a surprisingly simple film that works thanks to superb direction and a well crafted script based on the book by James Sallis. It’s a dark, tense, and violent arthouse film that eschews the typical framework associated with action/thriller based narratives that contain elements of romance. The pacing is taut, the action is involving and the thrills are memorable as we are treated to muscle cars featured in slickly infused stunts that are fun to watch. Star Ryan Gosling is on top of his game and gives a strong performance in the lead role. Drive makes its debut on Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring terrific audio/video quality and average but worthwhile bonus supplements. Drive is more than meets the eye and makes for a fresh, thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining film that comes highly recommended.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 106
Look like I will be picking this one up. Thanks!
post #3 of 106
I thought this was a remake of the 1978 film by Walter Hill, starring Ryan O'neal, but this one, though similar in a way as far as the lead character goes, does seem different storywise. Looks like a must own for me.
post #4 of 106
As always, thanks for the fine write up Ralph. Looks like I will be grabbing this one tomorrow.
post #5 of 106
I loved this movie so much that i saw it twice! lol

Like that Ralph said the simplicity of the plot and great overall characters plus the soundtrack made it an overall Winner. The elevator scene = wow

Have to admit that i haven't bought an actual CD in a long time and proud to admit that this CD was well worth the purchase. Soundtrack was just amazing and definitely bought me back to a somewhat nostalgic 1980's feel to it.

Highly recommend! No doubt i'll be collecting this.

Cheers
post #6 of 106
Nice review, Ralph. I will be getting this tomorrow from Amazon and now I'm looking forward to seeing it even more. Most of what I've read has been very positive and your review was no exception. I especially liked the comparison to the spaghetti westerns--I'm a big fan of all of the Clint Eastwood westerns so this will be another point of view I'll explore when I watch this.
post #7 of 106
Maybe I'll give this another shot. I didn't see any redeeming qualities in this movie the first go round but perhaps I missed its potential.
post #8 of 106
Great review. I also enjoyed this movie very much. It may seem slow at times, but once you watch it, it makes sense that the pacing was very deliberate.
post #9 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jud64209 View Post

Great review. I also enjoyed this movie very much. It may seem slow at times, but once you watch it, it makes sense that the pacing was very deliberate.

I loved the movie but I thought there was not necessarily a problem with the pacing, but starting the movie off with one of the most intense car chases EVER, only to take the intensity down a couple notches for the majority of the film's remainder.

I'm sure I'll cope with it in subsequent viewings though, since I now know what to expect (which is NOT an awesome car chase every five minutes).

Thanks for the review Ralph. Glad to hear it's a quality presentation.
post #10 of 106
I'm sure I'll cope with it in subsequent viewings though, since I now know what to expect (which is NOT an awesome car chase every five minutes).

So Michael Bay didn't direct this?
post #11 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepyourgameup View Post

I'm sure I'll cope with it in subsequent viewings though, since I now know what to expect (which is NOT an awesome car chase every five minutes).

So Michael Bay didn't direct this?

You really should fully understand what someone is saying before trying to make a quip about it.
post #12 of 106
I have been searching for the best contemporary car/driving movie, that offers excitement. People told me Fast Five was the ticket. Although it was a fun movie, it was not a driving excitment movie. I think Gone in 60 Seconds is still at the top of my list for best contemporary car chase/adrenaline movie. I have yet to see Driven, but I will. As always, thanks Ralph!!

Any thoughts or comments on your favorite contemporary car movie.
post #13 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

I have been searching for the best contemporary car/driving movie, that offers excitement. People told me Fast Five was the ticket. Although it was a fun movie, it was not a driving excitment movie. I think Gone in 60 Seconds is still at the top of my list for best contemporary car chase/adrenaline movie. I have yet to see Driven, but I will. As always, thanks Ralph!!

Any thoughts or comments on your favorite contemporary car movie.

Some of my favorite car chase scenes.

Gone in 60 Seconds
Against all odds
Ronin (raw )
Mad Max (last of the V8...Interceptor )
Fast & Furious
The Wraith
Banzai Runner (pegged )
Canonball Run
Death Race 2000
Transporter Series
Bourne Identity
Matrix Reloaded
post #14 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

I have been searching for the best contemporary car/driving movie, that offers excitement. People told me Fast Five was the ticket. Although it was a fun movie, it was not a driving excitment movie. I think Gone in 60 Seconds is still at the top of my list for best contemporary car chase/adrenaline movie. I have yet to see Driven, but I will. As always, thanks Ralph!!

Any thoughts or comments on your favorite contemporary car movie.

Drive has only two chase scenes (er... well maybe 2 1/2), but they are spectacular. But the film as a whole has more of a "slow-burning intensity" than white-knuckled thrills throughout.
post #15 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamE55 View Post

Some of my favorite car chase scenes.

Gone in 60 Seconds
Against all odds
Ronin (raw )
Mad Max (last of the V8...Interceptor )
Fast & Furious
The Wraith
Banzai Runner (pegged )
Canonball Run
Death Race 2000
Transporter Series
Bourne Identity
Matrix Reloaded

If you've never seen "Bullitt" with Steve McQueen, you'll probably end up adding that to your list
post #16 of 106
My personal favorite movie of 2011. No brainer here.
post #17 of 106
The musical score on this movie was probably one of the best scores for an action movie I have ever heard.
post #18 of 106
Happy New Year Ralph: Ordering it tomorrow from Amazon, thanks for the review. Was this movie filmed on the NYS thruway? thats a movie in itself!!
post #19 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxman48 View Post

Was this movie filmed on the NYS thruway? thats a movie in itself!!

Greetings,




Thanks for the chuckle Matt!

Regards,
post #20 of 106
I bought this on a blind buy ( should be receiving this soon) and I'm glad this got a good review.
post #21 of 106
Hands down one of the best films I've seen of all 2011, love it..Bought the sound track, pre ordered this film as soon as it became available, I just couldn't shut up about it told every one to see it...

Now I'll read Ralph's review.

Djoel
post #22 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Hands down one of the best films I've seen of all 2011, love it..Bought the sound track, pre ordered this film as soon as it became available, I just couldn't shut up about it told every one to see it...

Now I'll read Ralph's review.

Djoel

Definitely looking forward in watching it.
post #23 of 106
Oh and I love Albert Brooks acting in this, very natural and subtle, not over the top...Pretty much creepy!

But what had me pondering the most was Driver's back ground story, and some of the this he said and was said about him. Great story, acting all around, and lighting feel of the film, I can't wait for my copy.

You see I can't shut upppp!

Djoel
post #24 of 106
Drive has a strong opening scene (love the LA Clippers game), and the first half sets the table nicely. But when it gets to the motel room scene, Drive deteriorates into the familiar and predictable, basically like any Statham movie but without the fun. And heavy doses of pointless gore. This is not an art house film. It opened on three thousand screens. There's some nice visual sequences and the electronic music works very well, but it's crap!

If you like car chases, To Live and Die in LA is a must watch.
post #25 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

Maybe I'll give this another shot. I didn't see any redeeming qualities in this movie the first go round but perhaps I missed its potential.

Hey, what are you doing in the bluray forums

Thanks for the review Ralph! Pretty high marks all around it seems... now the question (since my blockbuster closed) is blind buy or vudu?
post #26 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaroldKumar View Post

Drive has a strong opening scene (love the LA Clippers game), and the first half sets the table nicely. But when it gets to the motel room scene, Drive deteriorates into the familiar and predictable, basically like any Statham movie but without the fun. And heavy doses of pointless gore. This is not an art house film. It opened on three thousand screens. There's some nice visual sequences and the electronic music works very well, but it's crap!

If you like car chases, To Live and Die in LA is a must watch.

I agree. The first half was promising but was a little dissappointed during the second half of the movie. Overall, I would say it is a good movie. The soundtrack is a must have for me.
post #27 of 106
I saw this film at the theater last year, and I was shocked and blown away by how entertaining this movie was overall! I didn't expect the type of graphic violence that was displayed on screen, but it worked well IMO. The artistic direction and hypnotic soundtrack were worth the price of admission.

I'll definitely be picking this up today! I hope all of the positive buzz that this film has recieved over the last few months doesn't ruin the viewing experience for people that haven't seen it yet. Personally, I think this film is that much better going in blind with no expectations.
post #28 of 106
I think I will have to rent or stream as opposed to buy. The violence could be too much for the wife. However, I am very excited about this one!
post #29 of 106
Thanks for the review. I really enjoyed the film when I saw it in theaters, and I plan on buying the bluray eventually
post #30 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

If you've never seen "Bullitt" with Steve McQueen, you'll probably end up adding that to your list

I know it's the best I have ever experienced. Those scenes where the car speeds downhill on those San Francisco streets came close to giving me car motion sickness.
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