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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Drive

For some reason, I feel as if I haven't been on here for months, when really, it's only been a mere week. (A mere week?) It's just "work" and I've had a few family crises and...never mind. Anyway, between then and now, I have watched...one Oscar buzz-filled movie. (I had to take a moment to think. That's what the three dots were for.) That movie was the quasi-artistic film Drive, starring a mumbling-smoldering Ryan Gosling as an adrenaline junkie caught in a high-profile crime, with a dash of unnecessary family-oriented moments. Now, I pointed out several things, call them problems, concerning the movie. Allow me to touch them one by one. ("Touch. Don't touch." Oh, Spongebob.)

The poster looks better here
than in the first paragraph.
Quasi-artistic - For those who don't know, the prefix "quasi-" indicates when the following characteristic (in this case, artistic) is evident though unsuccessful. Clearly put, in the particular case of Drive, the movie was desperately trying to be artistic, but, through my eyes, was definitely not. While watching the movie, I noticed many familiar film-tactics, such as displaying blood as beautiful art and slow-motion-drama. These were wonderful executed by the likes of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. Nicholas Winding Refn, the director of Drive, attempted to display both of their brilliant talent into his one movie. What happened instead was a muddled and dragging mix of the two, which resulted with long openings, dragged slow-motion scenes, and overly-gory violence. Seriously, a girl's head exploded. Neither masterfully beautiful, like Scorsese, or ragingly shocking, like Tarantino. Just plain, cringe-worthy. Also, the slow-motion scenes. They're a bit played-out, wouldn't you say? Something to ponder over.

Ryan Gosling - I'd like to start out by saying how much I admire Ryan Gosling, and that I think he is a very promising actor. By this point, he has passed promising and entered superstar-status, clearly, but he has the talent to support his fame. Seriously, I really like him. Crazy, Stupid, Love. Honorable mentioning. Anyway, as for his character in Drive: honestly, nothing special. With all this awards buzz he's getting for this movie, I was expecting quite a lot, especially because he shows great talent. In Drive, he displays the same, serious countenance throughout the entire movie. Think of what one looks like when they're on a serious mission to kick some ass. (I meant to sound like a quasi-cool cliche just then. See that? I used quasi again.) Gosling proves he can remain poise in tense situations, rather well too, but that's basically all that's impressive with his performance. And frankly, the majority of good actor possess that ability, yet I don't see John Malkovich with an Oscar. (He's a prime example for such a description.) Another thing I'd like to bring to everyone's attention (and this means you, Academy): mumbling does not indicate an astounding performance. I even have a perfect example to support this statement. Another Oscar nominated performance, Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain, spoke in such a muddled manner, I literally could not make out a word he said. (Mind you, I say this only having watched a clip of the movie at the Oscar ceremony. I have never watched the movie, nor will I ever watch it.) Overall, to actors everywhere who wish to attain the public's admiration and esteem: speak clearly, please. With all this being said, it would be logical to believe that I dislike Ryan Gosling. This is not true. In fact, I quite enjoy him, as I said earlier. All I am saying is that he does not deserve the acclaimed attention he's getting. And another thing. He wears the hell out of that satin jacket.

The Driver's Emotional Commentary - When Gosling isn't out making deals with criminals or doing the stunts of actors who "do their own stunts", his character spends time with his neighbor and her child. She's not a single mother either (but she will be), as her husband is in jail for a short amount of time. (When I say short amount of time, I am referring to the long introduction.) The Driver develops feelings for his pretty neighbor, which would push him to get involved with the aforementioned crime deal. (Crazy, stupid love....) Even though Gosling shows no apparent feelings for her, through facial expression, it is evident how much he loves her. No sarcasm intended, he truly loves her. At least that's what I gathered from it. As for her son, this was a touching plot line, always appreciated in most movies. However, in the dark, sinister undertones of Drive, it proves to be an obstacle for both the Driver and the movie itself. Really, it just drags on, almost painfully slow. Again, these are simply objective critiques. If not, then I mean for them to be.

Albert Brooks - This is just an addition to my overall evaluation, and a positive one, too. In most cases, I don't generally like Albert Brooks; in movies such as Muse and The In-Laws, he played a bumbling, whiny fool and I didn't care for him at all. In Drive, however, he provides an exceptional turn into a malicious, sly criminal who executes his responsibilities with composure and swiftness. Considering the first description of his typical character, I'd say his performance here was absolutely grand. He would be the only understandable and deserving win for Drive, should it even get a nod. And it will. Bravo, Mr. Brooks.

I would, once again, like to note that I am not bashing this movie, nor is this a rotten review. I am simply pointing out certain elements of the movie that I found worth mentioning. After finding out that Drive is extremely well-received by critics and audiences (particularly Entertainment Weekly magazine), I decided that I watch it myself, to see what all the buzz is about. Truly, upon starting the movie, I really wanted to enjoy it more than I actually did. The beginning, where Gosling is a getaway driver, it seemed very promising, a great suspense-thriller. Instead, the movie ended leaving me on the brink of yawning again, and concluding that the thriller was merely decent. I'll leave you all with one question: Why the mask?

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