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Movie Review: Drive

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Mike Finkelstein will give you five minutes of his time.  No more, no less.  Within those five minutes, anything you need from him is yours.  Afterwards, you’re on your own.  So within that span of time, he thinks you could sit down and read his review of “Drive”.

PLOT: A Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) doubles as a getaway wheel man at night.  When he gets involved with his beautiful neighbor (Carey Mulligan) and her son, he decides to try and help her fresh out of jail husband (Oscar Issacs) on a high-risk job that pits him against two ruthless mob bosses (Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks).

Check out the trailer:

MIKE’S REVIEW:  “I don’t sit in.  I don’t carry a gun.  I drive.”

These are the words that introduce us to the Driver in Nicolas Winding Refn’s DRIVE.  It’s that simple.  Going into the movie, I knew it’d be something different…a noir film about driving (interesting contrast to say the least), as well as Ryan Gosling’s next branch out from his usual dramas after CRAZY, STUPID LOVE.

DRIVE is so much more than just Ryan Gosling branching out.  It is, I dare say, a masterpiece of film noir.  You see the world, you take in the atmosphere, you know something is going to happen at SOME point and are looking for it…and then you get slapped in the face.

Our focus is on a nameless character only known as the Driver (Ryan Gosling).  He is a Hollywood stunt man who doubles as a getaway driver.  He gives you five minutes of his time, no more, no less (and he has a watch fastened to the steering wheel to prove his point), makes sure you’re safe, and then walks away. He is a loner.  His only outside connection is to his boss and partner-in-crime…a crippled, fatherly mechanic (Bryan Cranston) who wants him to use his skills as a stock car driver.

Suddenly, our loner meets the beautiful girl next door, Irene (Carey Mulligan), and her son.  With barely any words being said, you see the connection, but the Driver doesn’t dare make the tiniest move, because she still has a husband in jail.   Don’t get me wrong…it isn’t a fear thing.  It’s just that the Driver is as respectful as a boy scout.  But he cares about them so much, that when the husband gets out and needs to pull one final job to make sure his family isn’t harmed, he offers his help.

DRIVE is downright romantic with its slow burn.  We begin on a high with a slight, very exciting taste of the Driver’s capabilities, and then we retreat to the comfortable darkness and solitude.  Layers upon layers are slowly built with every character around him.  All of it is surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, which becomes a character in itself, painted with every bit of grittiness and seediness one could possibly squeeze out, and accompanied by a soundtrack of synthesizers and techno pop that could only be compared to something David Lynch would play.  It is nothing short of gorgeous.

And then, all hell breaks loose.  What was a slow, smooth ride with a breeze through these peoples’ lives becomes a six car pile up, and you feel Every. Single. Crash.  We get violent.  Very violent.  It’s neither over the top and ridiculous, nor fake and cheesy.  It’s real and tasteful, and gratuitous when necessary.  You have no idea what is going to happen, and if you think you have any clue, you’ll start to panic again once you realize that this isn’t your normal Hollywood flick.  Every piece of action/violence so far snuck up on you like a ghost, and anyone, including our loveable Driver, could die in an instant.

Ryan Gosling is mesmerizing as the nameless Driver.  The man has done plenty of drama, showed he could handle comedy, and now we know he could be a subtle action star.  I don’t know how he would have faired in a big budget epic where he’d have to chew the scenery, but here, he oozes Steve McQueen cool, and his quiet, reserved nature lends itself to the character, (very reminiscent of a young Sean Penn).  But that doesn’t mean the Driver can’t rev up a bit.  We keep getting glimpses of the Driver in his rear mirror, as if it’s a window to something deeper.  Turns out, we’re right.  When someone threatens the people he cares about, the Driver and his morals come completely unraveled.  I don’t know if it was anger or nervousness, but you could almost see his mind snapping in one scene by the way he was shaking.

While Gosling was gripping in the lead, he also had a hell of a supporting cast backing him up.  Carey Mulligan was beautiful and innocent (as always) as the quiet, nervous Irene.  Bryan Cranston continued his streak with excellent supporting character roles as the crippled, riddled by back luck Shannon.  Ron Perlman had some fun chewing the scenery and memorably spitting out curse after curse as the ruthless mobster, Nino.  And Christina Hendricks, while somewhat wasted in such a small part, did what she had to do as Blanche, the in-between for the final job.

But the one man that stole every scene he was in was Albert Brooks as the main baddie, Bernie Rose.  While Perlman was the over-the-top, no sympathy mobster, Brooks was the businessman.  He is rational and compassionate, but if he realizes that he has to, he will kill you in a split second, and gruesomely.  This is not the same Albert Brooks in LOST IN AMERICA and FINDING NEMO, and his simplicity and logical nature makes the role even scarier and more memorable than Perlman’s.  Amazing job.

Nicolas Winding Refn’s DRIVE is a visual masterpiece.  With it’s slow burn first half leading into chaos, the film will keep you on your toes from beginning to end.  Every actor is at the top of their game, and if you find a better, darker, more original gripping film this year, I dare you to say it.

GRADE: A

Mike’s LIKES:

1) RYAN GOSLING: I’m starting to think this man could play anything.  He’s been only in serious dramas up until this point, and within the last six months, has delivered in both one of the funniest comedies of the year, and a full on action, film noir style.  I don’t think there’s anything he can’t do.

2) ALBERT BROOKS: This man is not Albert Brooks, the comedian we all know and love.  He is ruthless.  He is violent.  And with all that, he is completely sane and knows exactly what he is doing.  He doesn’t overact or chew the scenery.  He just is.  And that makes him all the more intimidating.

3) GRITTY FILM NOIR: Nicolas Winding Refn did a beautiful job in bringing out all the dirt and seediness of Los Angeles.  Not the town I’d ever want to live in.

4) SUSPENSE/VIOLENCE: What was at first a slowly paced ride built and built, and then all at once exploded into a violent bloodbath.  It was almost like two separate films, and by the last half hour, I honestly had no idea who would live and who would die.

Mike’s DISLIKES:

1) DON’T HAVE ONE: The film is smart and original with a cast that gel perfectly together.  I was engrossed in the world of the Driver.  When a film can do that to me, and I don’t know where it’s going, it did its job perfectly.

EXTRA FACTS:

1) In preparation for the role, Ryan Gosling restored the 1973 Chevy Malibu that his character uses in the film.

2) Hugh Jackman was original supposed to star as the lead.

 

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Priest Accidentally Forgets To Turn Off Filters Before Live Streaming Mass

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The internet is having a field day with the innocent mistake of biblical proportions.

With new social distancing guidelines, many churches have closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And while that doesn’t justify all the wine you’ve been chugging during your self quarantine, it does have many people practicing their faith from their homes. One Italian priest was just trying to recite a little prayer for his followers when he accidentally left a filter feature on during the broadcast! In the clip the priest is digitally adorned with a space helmet, workout gear, a fedora and sunglasses and more.

Social media went nuts for the video, which has now gone viral. One comment reads “He just doubled his holy power.” Another reads “Father, Son and Holy Influencer.” One commenter couldn’t resist a good pun and said the video is having a “Mass effect.”

Enjoy your daily blessing and take a look at the funny video below!

 

Priest in Italy live streams mass, activates filters by mistake from r/funny

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Danny DeVito Passionately Urges New Yorkers To Stay Home…And Twitter Agrees!

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For the love of Danny DeVito, stay home!

The world is in a dark place right now and I am not sure how much more bad news we can handle. That’s why when I saw Danny DeVito’s name trending on Twitter I froze. Our great nation could very well crumble if anything bad was to happen to such an icon right now. With extreme trepidation I clicked on the social media link and was relieved to see that good ol’ Danny boy is just strumming up hype because he is passionately urging New Yorkers to stay home.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been driving New Yorkers to stay home and has taken every precaution short of shutting the state down completely to help prevent the virus from spreading. Because New Yorkers can be hard headed, it doesn’t hurt to have some famous friends reiterate your message. Big names like Lala Anthony, Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller have all made appearances on Cuomo’s social media pleading with New Yorker’s to heed the governors warning. Only one celebrity was able to make it to Twitter’s trending page however and that was none other than Danny DeVito. DeVito’s message is simple…stay home! In the two minute video, DeVito reminds fans that it’s not just up to the elderly to isolate themselves. “Young people can get it and they can transmit it to old people and the next thing you know – I’m out of there” says the actor. We must save him!

Twitter went into a frenzy with many users agreeing that we need to stay home for Danny. One user wrote “When Danny speaks, I listen.” Another passionately wrote “If you idiots kill Danny DeVito I SWEAR TO GOD.” One promoted DeVito from the icon status I previously awarded him and said “WE GOTTA PROTECT WORLD TREASURE DANNY DeVITO.” 

Take a look at the video below and for the love of the newly minted national treasure, stay home!

 

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VIDEO: Clever Family Recreates Disneyland’s ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ Ride During Quarantine

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One resourceful family has turned their quarantine into the happiest staycation on earth.

What do you do when the happiest place on earth is forced to close its doors? Bring that Disney magic home and turn your house into a theme-park ride of course. After Disneyland closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, one family had to rethink their travel plans. Twitter user, @Brooke_disney, shared how she and her family recreated the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in their own home…complete with ingenious props, costumes and pirate accents!

The family divided up the responsibilities with some acting as the ride’s animatronic robots and others playing eager park-goers. Social media went nuts for this brilliant idea with one user commenting “No lines and you saved $100 per person – well done.” Another was impressed by the attention to detail and said “I was screaming at the screen going under the FOOT.” The post has already been viewed over 800k times!

Well shiver me timbers if this isn’t the cutest way to spend a day stuck inside with your family. Take a look at the brilliantly done video below!

 

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