Posts Tagged ‘Drive Angry’

In the past I have been vocal about my hatred of 3D, but I may have come to accept its place in cinema. The reason I have seen it working twice in recent years.Jaws 3d

When I was a kid 3D meant red and green lensed glasses with cardboard frames. My first experience of what was then branded Real D was in 2007 with the motion capture Beowulf. To the best of my memory I didn’t see another 3D movie until the end of 2009, that was James Cameron’s giant Smurfs epic Avatar, this again was a largely animated movie. From there things went downhill fast. The biggest problem comes when movies are retrofitted with 3D purely for profit. Apologists for 3D will tell you it is immersive and gives depth to the image and that it has moved a long way from the pointy gimmick of 3D horror movies. The truth the gimmicks are what worked and 3D movies have no depth, just foreground, background and a void in the middle. The low points came with movies like Alice in Wonderland (2010) where the best thing I can say about them is that I forgot they were in 3D. Or Drive Angry (2011) and the last two Resident Evil movies (2010 and 2012) that did not have a 2D option. The odd example of 3D being effective involved a hatched, bucket and a bolt flying out of the screen towards the audience.Hugo

After boycotting 3D for a year, this time last year I went to see Hugo. Fully intending to go for the 2D option I had a last minute change of heart. I’m not sure exactly what my thought process was at the time but remember thinking that if Martin Scorsese had made a movie in 3D he had earned the right for me to see it in 3D. One of very few directors who have earned the right to do whatever the fuck they like, I’m glad I went on the journey with Scorsese. Not only was Hugo my favourite film of 2011 but also demonstrated that 3D can work. Many 3D movies, especially retrofitted ones have foreground and background split by a gaping void. Hugo has real depth.Life Of Pi

Since seeing Hugo I have seen a few more 3D movies, they have renewed my prejudice towards the medium. Until now! Life of Pi is not only stunning to look at but like Hugo it has real depth in its 3D images. It is also so bright and vibrant that I never thought about 30% light loss. I have come to accept 3D but not to love it. I accept that in exception circumstances in the hands of true artists and auteurs it can work and can add to the cinema experience. It doesn’t mean I will be rushing to see the next 3D movie but I will be less likely to dismiss it as a pointless gimmick.


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2011 Films

All the films I saw at the cinema in 2011 ranked in order of preference:
  1. Hugo
  2. Drive
  3. The Guard
  4. Black Swan
  5. Senna
  6. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  7. True Grit
  8. We Need to Talk About Kevin
  9. Midnight In Paris
  10. The Skin I live in
  11. The King’s Speech
  12. Moneyball
  13. Stake Land
  14. Kill List
  15. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  16. Another Earth
  17. Melancholia
  18. Warrior
  19. 127 Hours
  20. The Way
  21. Julia’s Eyes
  22. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
  23. Troll Hunter
  24. 50/50
  25. Source Code
  26. Submarine
  27. Super 8
  28. 13 Assassins
  29. A Lonely Place To Die
  30. The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
  31. The Adjustment Bureau
  32. X-Men: First Class
  33. Thor
  34. Captain America: The First Avenger
  35. Limitless
  36. My Week With Marilyn
  37. The Inbetweeners Movie
  38. Take Shelter
  39. The Rum Diary
  40. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  41. The Ides Of March
  42. Real Steel
  43. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
  44. Fair Game
  45. Never Let Me Go
  46. Blue Valentine
  47. Tree Of Life
  48. The Lincoln Lawyer
  49. The Help
  50. In Time
  51. The Awakening
  52. Sucker Punch
  53. Fast Five
  54. Hanna
  55. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark
  56. Wuthering Heights
  57. Contagion
  58. The Fighter
  59. Paul
  60. Animal Kingdom
  61. NEDS
  62. Rabbit Hole
  63. One Day
  64. John Carpenter’s The Ward
  65. Drive Angry
  66. The Beaver
  67. Beginners
  68. Bridesmaids
  69. Red State
  70. Cowboys and Aliens
  71. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  72. The Conspirator
  73. The Art of Getting By
  74. I am Number Four
  75. Fright Night
  76. Henry’s Crime
  77. Blitz
  78. Priest
  79. Red Riding Hood
  80. Oranges and Sunshine
  81. Faster
  82. 1920 The Battle of Warsaw
  83. Win Win
  84. Colombiana
  85. Water for Elephants
  86. Immortals
  87. Battle: Los Angeles
  88. 30 Minutes or Less
  89. Hereafter
  90. Biutiful
  91. The Mechanic
  92. The Thing
  93. The Three Musketeers
  94. Anonymous
  95. Tomorrow, When The War Began
  96. The Debt
  97. Green Lantern
  98. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
  99. Footlose
  100. Justice
  101. Attack the Block
  102. Apollo 18
  103. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  104. Unkown
  105. Scream 4
  106. The Silent House
  107. The Eagle
  108. The Resident
  109. Season of the Witch
  110. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  111. The Hangover: Part II
  112. Sanctum

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I grew up in the 80’s watching classic 70’s car movies like Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and The Driver (1978) (not to be confused with Road Movies like Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) and Vanishing Point (1971)). These movie became deeply unfashionable for a time but thanks changing taste and directors like Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino they are experiencing something of a renaissance. There have been four such movies so far this year:

Fast Five

Moving away from the fun and guilty pleasures of the early movies I declared the Fast & Furious franchise dead after the terrible Fast & Furious (2009) but then out of nowhere came Fast Five. Amazingly it is actually a surprisingly good film. Returning cast members are joined by some new faces including “The Rock” (now using his real name, Dwayne Johnson) playing a tough (aren’t they all in these movies) cop on the trail of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing original, innovative or clever about the movie, it is dumb even by the standards of the series but surprisingly good fun and possibly the best of the franchise. Car highlight: 1970 Dodge Charger. Classics to see if you like this: The Italian Job (1969) – Point Break (1991)


Dwayne Johnson again, this time on the wrong side of the law in a revenge pic. Simply known as Driver, Johnson‘s character is released from prison after ten years and immediately jumps behind the wheel of a classic Chevrolet Chevelle SS and speeds of on a killing spree of revenge. Again the movie lacks originality but is well made surprisingly well acted and very watchable. Car highlight: 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. Classics to see if you like this: White Lightning (1973) – Walking Tall (1973)

Drive Angry

With its supernatural themes Drive Angry is very different to the other movies on the list. In Faster, “Driver” serves his time in prison before seeking revenge, in this movie, the improbably named John Milton (Nicolas Cage) doesn’t have time to wait, he breaks out of Hell to save his granddaughter and avenge the killing of his daughter. Given the name of the movie and the presence of some great muscle cars there is surprisingly little car action and the narrative is a mess but it gets away with it because it is such good fun, the presence of the gorgeous Amber Heard and the brilliant William Fichtner doesn’t hurt, the pointless 3D does! Car highlight: 1969 Dodge Charger. Classics to see if you like this: The Devil Rides Out (1968) – Race with the Devil (1975).


Another character known as Driver but a very different movie to Faster. The “Driver” (Ryan Gosling) of this movie is a Hollywood stunt man who moonlights getaway driver. I’m not sure how, or if I even want to classify this movie, if I did I would have to call it describe it as an art house movie pretending to be an action crime drama. Violent and brutal but perfectly cast and beautifully filmed (by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn) it is one of my favourite movies of the year. Car highlight: 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle. Classics to see if you like this: The Driver (1978) – Thief (1981).

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