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Baby Driver

Score: 98%
Rating: R
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home
                  Entertainment

Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 112 Mins.
Genre: Action/Thriller/Caper
Audio: English, French (Doubles as
           Quebec), 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English
           - Audio Description Track,
           Spanish, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital,
           English Dolby Surround

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Cantonese,
           Chinese (Simplified), Chinese
           (Traditional), French, Korean,
           Spanish, Thai



Features:

  • Director Commentary
  • Commentary with Edgar Wright and Bill Pope
  • Extended & Deleted Scenes
  • Behind the Scenes:
    • That's My Baby: Edgar Wright
    • Mozart In a Go-Kart: Ansel Drives
    • I Need a Killer Music Track: The Music
    • Meet Your New Crew: Doc's Gang
    • Find Something Funky On There: The Choreography
    • Devil Behind the Wheel: The Car Chases
  • Selected Scene Animatics
  • Rehearsals & Pre-Production
  • Mint Royale - "Blue Song" Music Video
  • Complete Storyboard Gallery
  • Promos

Baby Driver is a fun movie that is a joy from start to finish, and a major aspect of that is the fact that the film's music isn't just a score added to enhance the movie, but a piece of the film as closely tied to the actors and action as any musical. In the case of Baby Driver, the music doesn't accompany singing and dancing, but rather driving and shooting, and okay, a little dancing.

Baby (Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars, the Divergent series) is a savant when it comes to driving, and as his boss, Doc (Kevin Spacey, American Beauty, House of Cards) puts it, he is Mozart in a go-kart. As a result, Doc, being the opportunistic crime lord that he is, uses Baby in every one of his bank heist jobs he plans and sets up. While Doc works with a different crew each time, Baby is always the kid behind the wheel, and even though Baby spends most of his time waiting for the crew to get back in the car with the stolen merchandise, his ability to drive his way out of any heated scenario and get the team back to safety and away from any pursuing cops gives the kid an equal cut of the day's earnings. Well that's what it looks like anyway.

What only Baby and Doc know is that years ago, Baby stole the wrong car, and the contents of that car that were lost meant a lot of money for Doc. Ever since that day, Doc has not only been using Baby in his jobs, but he has also been taking a massive cut out of the kid's earnings until the debt has been repaid.

Being a badass behind the wheel isn't the only thing that makes Baby unique. When he was young, he was in a car accident that killed both his parents and left him scarred, both physically and mentally. It also left him with tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. In order to drown out the ring, he constantly listens to music and, through Baby's eyes, we see the world set to the beat of his personal soundtrack.

Baby Driver follows three different jobs, the last two Baby needs in order to pay Doc off, and a third that Doc insists Baby can't say no to. The first has Baby as the wheelman for Buddy (Jon Hamm, Mad Men, The Town), Darling (Eiza Gonzalez, From Dusk Till Dawn) and Griff (Jon Bernthal, The Walking Dead, Fury, Daredevil), and for the most part, this heist goes according to plan. Unfortunately, the second job has some problems and Baby will have to stay on his toes in order to finish paying Doc off. This time, Baby teams up with Bats (Jamie Foxx, Django Unchained, Ray), Eddie No-Nose (Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers fame) and JD (Lanny Joon). The third job though, that one's a doozy.

When Baby feels he is free of Doc's influence, he relaxes and starts to pursue a girl from a local dinner that catches his eye and ear. Debora (Lily James, Cinderella, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and Baby seem to click immediately and while she doesn't know the details of Baby's recent employment, it becomes clear that the two are quickly falling for each other. Unfortunately, she becomes a lever that Doc can use to force Baby into his next heist. The other tool Doc uses is that of Baby's foster father, the deaf and crippled Joseph (CJ Jones). When Doc explains to Baby just what the young driver has to lose, Baby agrees he has to help Doc again, but he also starts to form a plan to not only get away from Doc's influence, but also, hopefully do so in a way that doesn't threaten Debora and Joseph.

This new heist has Baby reunite with Buddy, Darling and Bats as they prep to strike an unexpected location, but when Buddy and Bats' personalities start to clash, Baby finds himself in the middle of a volatile situation. Add to the mix a shootout with some of Doc's associates and Bats' overall desire to cause mayhem and it's clear from the start that any plans Doc or Baby have made won't survive for long.

While I enjoy special features, I rarely find myself appreciating a movie even more because of them, but that's the case with Baby Driver. I was already a fan of the movie in-and-of-itself, but it wasn't until going through the massive amount of featurettes that I realized just how much care, precision, and work went into making the action sync up with the music and making sure the timing was spot on. In the many featurettes on this Blu-ray disc, writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) explains that he not only had his editor on set working on the film on the fly, but it was necessary in order to make sure everyone was moving to the right time and tempo, and yet, this little tidbit is just one of the many interesting details covered in the movie's special features.

Other behind the scenes pieces talk about where the idea for the movie started and how it developed, as well as the stunt driving training that Elgort went through in order to not just let him perform many of the stunt moves seen in the film, but make him look comfortable acting out the ones he wasn't actually performing during the taping. Another focuses on the music chosen for the film and the amount of scrutiny that went into choosing how each section worked and another focuses on the members of Doc's crew, Bats, Buddy, Darling, Eddie, Griff and JD. The featurette focusing on the choreography of the movie is one of the extras that made me appreciate the film even more and then there was one about the car chases themselves, which, as you would expect, is a major element of the film.

Other extras include almost a half hour of trailers for the film and the storyboards and animatics for many of the scenes in the movie. These animatics seemed to be more important in Baby Driver than many other films I've reviewed given that this is where Wright worked to really nail down the timing of everyone's movements with respect to the music. There is also a slew of rehearsal videos and screen tests for many of Baby's outfits and a ton of deleted scenes. Rounding out the film's extras is the music video for Mint Royale's "Blue Song" that Wright directed and inspired him to make Baby Driver.

If you have any interest in action movies, heist movies, or even musicals, then Baby Driver is a film that you don't want to miss, and the bonus features that come with it just makes the whole package even better.



-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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