DRIVE 4K LIMITED EDITION BLU RAY REVIEW

In 2011, cult cinema fans had another entry to the lexicon to enjoy. That film was DRIVE, which I remember being the talk of the town at the film school I was attending. Then it was the joys of action and visual beauty, also the face of star Ryan Gosling that made those there eager. Its good for people to connect to cult or alternative films but its also nice for film when something like this becomes a popular product from the start. It is true the film, when in production, needed the interest of lead actor Gosling, to get off the ground. Selecting his choice of navigator,  Nicholas Winding Refn, whose success with the British film BRONSON (2008), led to him helming almost certainly. Gosling has an eye for good product and equally perfect talent. The film they turn out, is a visual hymn to crime, cars and the city, where night and day, are as stark as Ancient and modern eras.

A stuntman and getaway driver (Gosling), has a set of clear rules. Dont adhear to them and he will see you out of his rear view mirror. When he falls in love with Irene (Carey Mulligan), a woman that lives in her building and who is married to a criminal (Oscar Issac), his rules start to decay. Her husband is in a bind, he has to pay some guys back, who protected him. The driver decides to help him out, without thinking about the consequences.

DRIVE is a lot of things and I will avoid the actually critical analysis of the film, bar saying that on second view, it is far more impersonal and, in a way, a little less compelling than I remembered. To get to the actual film though, in the sense what we are getting anew, here goes. Second Sight Films and Director Nicolas Winding Refn, have teamed up to release this special edition, which sees a new 4K master, which is a thing to sing about. It looks stunning. Abosolutely stunning in the main. The film refreshes the night tones, night colour and day interior lights that were white but now have a slight warmer richness. Though the neons get the best of the 4K. Standing up to the original release and blowing it away. It also reveals the skill of frame use, balance and that rather lovely use of natural light that L A seems to provide in swathes. I will atest that this is the absolute best 4K release I have seen in almost 5 years.

Now the extras are another thing. No Gosling. He is no where to be seen. I have also not seen the booklet sadly, but that sounds superb. The new stuff has some good, like the audio commentary by Nicolas Winding Refn and The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw. Bradshaw occasionally misses the mark and seems to divert from points but actually it is more compelling because he draws Refn out of his fixed position. Then new video essay by Leigh Singer made me appreciate the film in a very different frame. Singer has a way of reaching in to a film and making us ask more of it. Its hit and miss and here it is smashing! The bad are the interview, which does nothing but let someone speak. A lot. The 70 minute conversation, sees a lot of people, staying to a story and then avoiding the more interesting elements. Yes, there are questions and answers that we, as a film community, want to ask but it lacks a real stimulating feel of being new or extrapolating anything that is true.

Special Features 

  • A Special Edition release presented by Second Sight Films and Director Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Includes UHD and Blu-ray both with main feature and bonus features
  • New 4K master produced by the original post production company and approved by Nicolas Winding Refn
  • UHD presented in Dolby Vision HDR graded by the film’s original colourist
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • New exclusive audio commentary by Nicolas Winding Refn and The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw
  • Drive: a 70 minutes conversation with Nicolas Winding Refn, Editor Mat Newman and Composer Cliff Martinez
  • Cutting a Getaway – a new interview with Mat Newman
  • 3 Point Turns – a new video essay by Leigh Singer
  • Optional English subtitles for the hearing impaired

Limited Edition Contents

  • Premium box set packaging with new artwork by AllCity
  • 240-page hardback book with new essays by Travis Crawford, Hannah, Strong, Alison Taylor, Matthew Thrift, Simon Ward, Thomas Joseph Watson and Emma Westwood, an exclusive interview with Drive author James Sallis by Matthew Thrift, original storyboards, stills and behind-the-scenes photos
  • The original novel with exclusive new artwork by AllCity
  • 7 collectors’ art cards

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