I was sitting in the middle of a film marketing class last year when my professor started class with his weekly catch-up: What did movies did you guys see this week? The girl sitting behind me boasted that she’d gotten an advanced screening to Drive and that it was her favorite film of the year so far. A friend of mine turned around and gushed about how desperate he was to see it. She replied that it was mandatory to see in theaters, even going as far to suggest which theaters within a ten-mile radius were the best. Her criteria for such fastidiousness was not the picture, but the sound. To be frank, I’m not an audio expert and I’ve deliberately stayed away from sound design classes because the technicalities terrify me. I took her enthusiasm to mean that she was just an enthusiast of all things auditory and found this film to be exemplary in that arena. Still, I took her words into account thinking that there were gonna be some amazing sound effects… or something.
I meant to write up my review for Drive last week when I had the film fresh on my mind, but I needed some time to mull it over and decide how I felt about it. You see, I’m a little fickle when it comes to car chase movies or movies in which automotive mastery is an integral part of the story. Films like The Fast and The Furious and its sequels don’t really do much for me, nor do films like Gone in 60 Seconds or Torque. They rely primarily on “high octane” action, which is not much more than fast, chaotic editing coupled with loud music to generate excitement. Drive, the latest film from Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher, Valhala Rising), eschews that and in turn ranks as my number two film for 2011 on Flickchart. Read the rest of this entry »