The Movie: 8/10
I really enjoyed Baby Driver. First, let me tell you I was NOT looking forward to watching it. I admit that I had no real reason other than a glimpse at the cover, and that’s so unreasonable! I should know better, but on the bright side I opened up my mind as the movie started and went along for the ride, and I was happily surprised. I was smiling as the first scene is mixed with opening credits and music with a kind of artsy vibe, and I was hooked. Our hero is a guy who listens to music constantly to drown out his tinnitus, oh and he’s the escape driver for criminals and he’s REALLY good with that driving thing. So, we have a character who is kind of understated, quiet, but who has an explosive talent for something and mixed with the wrong types just to get along in this life. I know, it sounds like another “Drive” type of flick, but that draw of a subtle mysterious character never really goes out of style, as long as it’s done well. Edgar Wright wrote this guy well, and Ansel Elgort plays him with that right balance of confidence and vulnerable, but with a touch of coolness, not too cool…you get the idea.
The rest of the cast is good, well, I’ll be honest sometimes the biggest stars can almost outshine a story in which they are not the actual star of the show, but our big Hollywood hitters do a good job of fitting into their roles and not elbowing each other our budding newcomers out of the frame. That being said, I do think that Spacey is kind of non-issue for me. He’s the crime boss, supposed to be intimidating and scary and a dickhead, but in the end he just seems smarmy and not that menacing. Lily James, Eliza Gonzales, John Hamm and Jamie Foxx all do their thing just right, and yet for some reason I kind of wished they were not recognizable faces. That’s not their fault, of course, and they are top quality performers, and yet for some reason I wanted them to blend more….it’s not them, it’s me:)
The story is fun and I’m all in with our hero who just needs to get away from the crime boss. Now, keep in mind our little leading character is a criminal himself, car thief, and probably other stuff, so he’s not a saint who’s been drafted against his will to be an outlaw. He is a better person than his cohorts, not wanting people to get hurt and whatnot, but that’s the key with the Foxx character, he announces to our pretty little headphone wearer that he will get blood on his hands one day….and voila, you have the tension in the movie, the turning point. In stories our main characters need that final push to get away from whatever trap they have landed in, sometimes it’s love, sometimes its money, sometimes it’s freedom, and this time it’s a combination of all those things with a light seasoning of crisis of conscience. With all that going on I’m glad I didn’t let my first negative thoughts about this movie infect the experience. I appreciate the writing and the action and the vibe, it’s a satisfying movie watching experience and the more I think about it the more I like it.
- Two Audio Commentary Tracks
- Extended & Deleted Scenes (20 Minutes) – First Heist, kitchen Dance, Questions, Laundromat, Pizza, Bacchanalia, Gas Station, Cops & Robbers, Foot Chase, Killer Track and Behind Bars.
- Behind The Scenes A Six Part Feature (45 Minutes) – A look at various aspects of the production including Origins, Development, The Music, The Choreography and the Car Chases.
- Selected Scene Animatics (35 Minutes) – Animated Previz for several of the films scenes.
- Rehearsals & Pre Production (17 Minutes) – A collection of audition clips and rehearsal footage.
- Music Video (4 Minutes) – Blue Song by Mint Royale.
- Complete Storyboard Gallery – The entire movie in storyboard form split into four parts.
- Promos & More (21 Minutes) – Trailer and TV spots
- UV Digital Copy
Cover Art: 5/10
I really did enjoy the movie, but the cover lets it down for me. I don’t know what would be better so I have no solution for this one. I just know I wouldn’t have this as a poster in my house, but if someone made a more interesting one I would have it.
Audio & Video: 7/10
Baby Driver is a mixed bag when it comes to picture quality on Blu-ray. Close up detail is great but black levels are slightly murky and some scenes are not as crisp as they should be. There are also incidences of macroblocking in some scenes which is a no-no by 2017 standards.
Audio comes from the DTS-HD Master audio 5.1 codec with the Atmos track reserved for the 4K release. The 5.1 track is quality though with all the music in the movie coming across loud and clear and often through surround channels. My favorite sonic moment in the movie is whenever Baby removes one of his ear buds and the music shifts to one side of the room. Edgar Wright has famously said on Twitter that this movie is made to be played loud and this track does it justice.
Overall Score 8/10