Monday, September 19, 2011

30 Days of Blogging: Day 16

DRIVE. There's lots of driving.

Haven't been to a movie in a looooong time, but Drive was one of those movies that I've been interested in seeing and managed to catch the matinee. I'd heard one friend of mine saying it was terrible and dragged on way too long, but Rotten Tomatoes gave it like a 90% rating so I knew it could go either way. Like books, I take reviews with a grain of salt and prefer to make my own decision.

Now, I do agree the movie did go on a little long (in fact, it felt longer than it actually was), and it was not really like they advertised, which was that it was a non-stop action moving with lots of driving. Instead it was kind of like a character study. It had a slow, dreamy quality filled with an 80's-ish, swoony soundtrack and lots of shots of a very silent Ryan Gosling staring at people or out windows or out of a car. But Gosling was amazing to watch, the subtle acting he does with his eyes, the way his character goes from a quiet, mysterious, observing stunt driver by day to full-on, tormented barrel of rage as he face-stomps mobsters and tries to do the right thing for the woman and child he loves.

I guess I'm a bit late to the Gosling love. I've never seen The Notebook (don't like romantic movies) and though I thought he was a good actor before, his looks had never sold me. But in Drive, he's such a fine specimen of a man and an understated, underrated actor to boot. He's beautiful.

Bryan Cranston does a fine turn in the film as Gosling's friend and hapless, desperate mechanic shop owner, while Albert Brooks is strangely menacing as a mob-type person. Maybe it had something to do with his lack of eyebrows. Think about shave anyone's eyebrows and they become someone you don't want to mess with.

I'd give Drive a 7 out of 10. It's suspenseful but subtle...until it takes an extremely violent turn (face-stomping was just part of it...there were scenes where I was closing my eyes and laughing at the absolute shocking brutality). Despite the lulls throughout, it kept my attention and the open-ending was at least a little bit more hopeful than the way I thought it was going to turn out.


Miss Helen said...

We saw Drive this weekend too! I felt the same way about Gosling; never paid too much attention about him and could take him or leave him, but I was actually impressed with his acting in this movie.
If you liked Drive, go see Bellflower – an indie movie that has kinda the same feel. I kept thinking about Bellflower while watching Drive. And the guys who made Bellflower handmade the cameras they used to film it – awesome nerdcore!

AsianCajuns (Cath) said...

I never saw The Notebook so I'm in the same boat you were about Gosling. That being said, your review peaked my interest in Drive - apart from the super violent part!

Epic Fail said...

I saw an interview with Ryan yesterday. He said he met with the director to try to get him to do it and the guy didn't say anything, just sat there. Then he started to leave and the guy asked if he would give him a ride home because he doesn't drive. Ryan figured the meeting was a failure, but he gave the guy a ride. He said this guy didn't say a word and it was a silent, boring ride until a song by REO Speedwagon, Can't Fight This Feeling, came on the radio and suddenly the guy starting going bonkers and saying "this is it! This is the movie! This guy is just driving around listening to this song and remembering the past and staring at people walking by. This is the movie!!" And apparently that's what they went with. I haven't seen it yet, but that's what he said yesterday on some talk show.