How far will one last job go? One driver is stretched as far as he can across Los Angeles. Easily one of the coolest films of the past year, Drive is finally making its way onto DVD and Blu-ray.
Drive is lead by Ryan Gosling, who plays the part stoic and heroic. Gosling leads this film well. Some actors that have tried playing the cold protagonist end up falling flat (Pattinson in Twilight comes to mind). What makes Gosling stand out is that his stillness is broken by his welcoming gaze. His look feels familiar, humanistic, while at the same time completely robotic and alien. Other highlights in the cast include Albert Brooks, a gangster who’s more grounded than his more brandish and brash business partner, played by Ron Perlman.
Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel lends a welcoming hand in Drive. The still shots are quite striking. Every shot is a portrait. The action scenes are done wonderful as well. From the quick precision in the shootout scenes, to the personal feel of the interrogation scenes, each shot is handcrafted.
One of the most notable aspects of Drive is its soundtrack. Many songs emulate the synth driven new-wave sounds of the 80’s films that Drive was inspired by. I can’t stress enough how cool this soundtrack is. “A Real Hero” by College is a definite standout, playing twice through the movie.
Drive is, in the realest sense of the term, a cool movie. If you didn’t get a chance to see this film in theaters, don’t wait. It was one of my favorites of 2011, and I hope it will be yours as well!
Cancer sucks. Nothing is more synonymous with death, depression, or fear. In 50/50, Adam (Levitt) is told he has cancer, and only has a 50% chance to live. This film drives through what it’s like to be a chemotherapy patient, while it keeps from skimming over the taboo topics. Written by Will Reiser and directed by Jonathan Levine, this is one of my favorite dramatic comedies of the year.
50/50 starts off with Adam and his tragically simple life in Seattle. Living with his girlfriend, working with his best friend at a public radio station, and exercising regularly. After experiencing back pain, Adam visits the doctors, where he’s diagnosed with a spinal tumor. Looking to taking advantage of this, Kyle (Rogan) tries to pick up women with Adam while he’s being pressured by chemotherapy, his parents, his therapist, sex, and death.
This film isn’t just about using cancer as a way to get you and your friend laid. It’s not even a film centrally about death and depression, or fear, or anxiety. At it’s core, 50/50 is about taking advantage of what’s in front of you. Adam takes advantage of his supportive figures, yet others take advantage of him as a way of support. 50/50 isn’t just any dramedy.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a strong lead that starts off a bit weak. His introduction is clear, but not resonant enough to connect with. He’s too vanilla. It’s not until he’s diagnosed when he becomes more relatable. As Adam, Levitt makes chemo a personal experience. All of the things healthy people take advantage of become chores for him. Levitt’s chemistry with Seth Rogan work well, having a profound care for one another. The two bond in an inspiring scene of destruction half way through the film. Rogan’s performance is great, even considering the fact that some may consider it a bit routine.
Alongside a wonderful pacing, and a script that balances perfectly between amusement and hopelessness (leaving out the melodrama), 50/50 is a must watch. Everything just comes together, leaving the audience to appreciate what they have.