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Drive (Home Entertainment Review)

3 min read

Second Sight

Nicolas 's is one of those that developed a quiet reputation seemingly from the ground up. Perhaps a victim of flawed advertising, audiences went into it expecting something akin to another ‘Fast and Furious' film. And as such they were disappointed with the slow, reasoned, and delicately constructed character study they were presented with. However, its gradual ascent to cult status was a worthy one.

is at his best as Driver. A nameless and seemingly emotionless stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver. Existing in the fringes of both L.A. worlds, he's neither fully a criminal nor fully connected to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. He doesn't carry a gun, he drives.

This is, until he meets Irene (­). A single mother in his apartment block who becomes his friend mostly through chance. Her husband, Standard () is in prison, and when he gets out, Driver is pulled into a job that will hopefully free the family from the criminal underworld they are indebted to.

With supporting performances from Albert Brooks (Nemo's dad!), Ron Perlman, and , Drive is one of those subtle ensemble pieces that almost attempts to hide its greatness. Resting almost entirely on quiet performances that bely strong emotions; Gosling's face in certain moments suggest a man barely holding on to his calm. He does though, again, and again, and again. Even in moments of extreme violence, the only thing giving him away is the intensity in his eyes.

Yes, it's that good.

All this against a backdrop of Michael Mann-esque neon lights and dark streets, and an electronic soundtrack that anchors the film in “cool”. Newton Thomas Sigel's cinematography blends seamlessly with Cliff Martinez' score.

Second Sight

It's a film that has always begged for a HD presentation, and the Blu-ray is good, however with this in mind, 4k is even better. Thanks to Second Sight there is also a modest but worthy collection of extra features to take things up a gear. There's a commentary from director Winding Refn and Peter Bradshaw, if that's your thing. Alongside an interview with Editor Matt Newman, Winding Refn and Cliff Martinez. This is interesting but a little dry at times. The interview with Newman alone is more engaging by far, as he discusses the acquisition of the music and the various steps taken to get the film made in the first place. The highlight of the bonus features must be the video essay by Leigh Singer, which takes us deep into the anatomy of some of Drive's most compelling scenes. The production value on these bonus features shows a marked improvement on previous releases which is also nice to see and makes them far more accessible – we still need subtitles though please!

Drive is released in a 4k Box set from Second Sight on June 6th. Alongside standard 4k and Blu-ray editions.

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