Thursday, July 6, 2017

You call, I'm there.

Before we were married, there were these dark days where my wife and I lived with her parents. We had our own rooms, which sucked (but was clearly the right thing to do), so any uh, alone time, was relegated to an instance where the house was guaranteed to be empty for hours. And with neither of her parents having anything resembling a regular schedule, that was just a shade below absolutely f--king never. We lived in Pennsylvania, sure, but we were miles away from Intercourse.

So our solution to this problem (honestly, I think I was the only one this bothered), was to get in the car and go somewhere. I don't know if we had an elaborate story (likely the movies), but we would basically drive to an empty development...and talk about our feelings. 

And while those steamy (literally) conversations will always be my favorite thing to do while someone else is in the car, my favorite thing to do alone?

I f--king love to sing. Like top of my lungs, bring-on-the-drum-solo, use-the-rearview-mirror-as-a-mic, answer-the-phone-breathless, doesn't-matter-the-genre sing my f--king ass off.

And if I can't sing? Then I won't drive.

Fine. Unless I have to.

While music makes me a much worse motorist (I'm almost positive of this), quite the opposite is true of the protagonist in Edgar Wright's latest, Baby Driver. Pegged as my favorite movie of the summer before I had seen it, Wright's love letter to music and cars is an absolute f--king blast, start-to-finish. Oh, you've seen this movie before, probably a bunch of times, but I don't think it ever looked and sounded so damn cool.

Baby (Ansel Elgort, forever my hero) is a getaway a driver for a bank-robbery outfit headed by the decidedly bullshit-free, Doc (Kevin Spacey, cranked to 11). Baby, as these stories go, has only a few more jobs left before he's even-steven and can move on from a life of crime. Clearly, he's a good dude, but even if he's only the wheelman, he can't seem to keep the blood off his hands.

Initially, his only real reason to get out is to please his deaf foster-dad Joseph, but after meeting a lovely waitress named Debora (the delightfully smitten Lily James), Baby's got much bigger ideas. The plan, if you can call it that, is to get in the car with his soon-to-be ladyfriend and get the Hell out of Dodge, er, Atlanta. If sounds so simple, right?

Well, it would be, if everyone involved weren't ultimately a f--king psychotic criminal. No really, these people, likable as they all may be, are the absolute worst. Even Doc, who seems like a good dude and solid surrogate father to the orphaned Baby, at the end of the day, is all business too. Sure, he let's Baby have the illusion of freedom for a hot minute, but it ain't long before the phone rings and our boy's gotta drop everything and grab the f--king wheel.

Like, if I wasn't old and pathetic already, this is how cool I'd aspire to be.
Look, the actual plot of the film is about as original as a cover-band's closing number, but here, it's more or less inconsequential. I've heard my favorite song a million times, but it's so f--king great I never press NEXT it starts. The world that Wright creates within the familiar good guy that wants out of a bad life genre is so f--king alive, so uniquely dazzling, it straight up took my breath away.

The first fifteen minutes of Baby Driver were arguably my favorite fifteen minutes of any movie ever, and there's tons of great moments in the next hour and a half. More and more, I find myself wondering when whatever bullshit I'm seeing is finally going to be over, but this time the only thing I was wondering was when can I see this again?

Speaking of bullshit and whether it will end or not, here are the Yays and Boos. Even though I absolutely adored this movie, I'm not sure it cracks my top-three Edgar Wright movies. I blame Nick Frost for this conundrum, dammit.

What is about Drivers in elevators that's so f--king cool?
  • Fine, he's way cooler than I'll ever be, but that first jam in the car? That shit was me.
  • Like an asshole, I thought that opening scene would never be topped. Then...Baby went for the coffee.
  • The mere mention of 'Egyptian reggae' (and the ensuing reaction to it) almost took my life. 
  • Man, what the f--k everybody? Even making a peanut butter and jelly looks rad as f--k? You guys know other people have to make movies too, right? Don't even get me started on the f--king laundromat (even the loads were badass)...
  • The whole 'Jonathan' bit was so sweet. Aww.
  • I don't know when I'm ever going to be able to pull this off, but somehow, in whatever years I have left on this planet, I have to (properly) describe someone as putting the Asian in 'home invasion'. I just have to.
  • Flea. Flea. Flea. Fleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea.
  • Holy f--k, the HAT tattoo (and it's brilliantly logical backstory). A slice of f--king heaven, that.
  • For about ten minutes, I thought Crew #1 was going to my all-time favorite. But then Crew #2 showed up...and checked of Baby was paying attention.
  • In the trailer or not, the Mike Myers mask routine was comedic f--king gold, Jerry.
  • Oh, and Heist #2? Amazing.
  • Okay, the entire soundtrack makes the Soundtrack H.O,F first-ballot, but we're gonna ask the Commodores to play them in, okay? Cool.
  • Baby's brief career post-getaway driver? That shit was fresh. Like, f--k 30 minutes or less, let's do this shit in 10 fresh.
  • Every movie in the history of time that features some little know-it-all punk kid dies a little inside as a result. I'm sorry, every other movie in the history of time. This f--king kid rules!
  • Doc's pregame speeches were f--king masterful. Seriously, this is Spacey at his Spacey-est and I couldn't get enough.
  • Whoa, are those privacy glasses a thing? I need those motherf--kers asap.
  • All the driving scenes are f--king astouding, sure, but it almost goes without saying at this point. But hot damn, some of the shootouts? That shit was bananas. Like, unexpected, totally on-rhythm bananas.
  • That on-foot escape was all kinds of ridiculous, but it doesn't mean I didn't love every second of it.
  • Dammit, I forget it exactly, but there was a Monsters, Inc. reference that was f--king perfect. Uh, just not so perfect that I could remember it apparently...(oh, f--k off).
  • And finally, a film like Baby Driver is why I'll always be proud to be a f--king movie geek. Happy I take notes like an asshole and write this shitty blog for a handful of lovely individuals to read. Had this film come out in a time where I could have devoted hours to watching it over and over, I swear I'd quote this f--ker ten times a day. It ain't perfect, but like anything you love, it doesn't matter. I'm just stoked that exists in the first place, you know?
Hamm might have a big dick, sure...
...but in this film? He's the biggest dick.
  • Of all the painstakingly love that went into every aspect of this film, the flashback scenes felt ripped out of a student film. 
  • What the f--k, Baby Driver? I planned on hating twenty-somethings wearing earbuds for the rest of my life. Now what am I gonna do?
  • Yo, scratch that idea of recording all the silly things people say. Seemed cool for a minute...
  • F--k your baby. Man, Bats. You's a real dickhead, ya know?
  • Actually, Bats is such a bastard - he gets another bullet point. Foxx is f--king fantastic in the role, like beyond great, but I f--king hated this guy. I couldn't relax around this prick for a second.
  • I mentioned the great soundtrack, right? Right. Too bad it's so f--king great it makes me feel like an uncultured piece of garbage.
  • Dude, that one cop was waaaay too into his job. Let that shit go, bro. Really.
  • You need to sunset that ride. Again, cool line. But I'll never have context when I drop it.
  • Doc, don't you think you could at least let your boy end his date before you crush his soul?
  • Is it me, or does Lily James kind of look like she could be Natalie Portman's younger sister? It's just me isn't it. Oh, f--k off then.
  • Who the f--k is this arms dealer guy? Does Willy Wonka know he's one short for cleanup at the chocolate river?
  • Let's to that diner, Baby. Yes, that diner. The only f--kin' diner in Georgia.
  • Darlin' is down. I repeat Darlin' is down. In what could only be described as a piss-poor attempt at survival, Buddy's lady has caught a bullet. The chance for her (carefully) showering off later seems to have also taken a hit. As has my boner.
  • Speaking of Buddy, all I want to say about him is F--K. THIS. GUY. I'm pretty sure even the folks at Cyberdine would have dialed back the hours spent on programming his Ruthless Killing function. Sweet Jesus this f--ker wouldn't stay dead. I mean, how'd he get out of the f--king diner?
  • A payphone? Really? Sure they're romantic as f--k (unless Colin Farrell is trying to sound 'American' in one) but c'mon, guys. No f--king way.
  • While we're talking about things I never thought I'd see again, who the Hell were those stoner guys? Did a Cypress Hill concert just get out?
  • And finally, as much as I obviously adored this flick, I began to lose interest by the end. Whatever cool reality that had been created for the previous hour-and-a-half seemed to be kicked square in the nuts in favor of one ridiculous last second save/appearance/whatever after another. Even the big dude (directly!) next to me sounded gassed when he said to his friend, is this f--king guy ever gonna die? I hear ya, man. I hear ya. The last ending? That I was okay with (weird as it was), but the other four? Not so much.
Recently, I got a new car, and between you and me, I f--king love it. Like, I'll drive anywhere at anytime just to be in that motherf--ker. Not only does it look nice, smell like death-inducing chemicals (still) and start every time you ask it to (something my old car was not a big fan of), it's got a sweet ass radio that syncs with my phone rather nicely. No shit, but having the album cover art show up full screen totally f--king mesmerizes me. Still. 

Oh, and my kids like it too. Even from the backseat, you know? Which is kind of perfect, them being back there, covering their ears while I butcher yet another alternative classic. But had they been in the backseat ten years ago? It wouldn't have been their ears they'd be covering. 

Sorry, kiddos. I never would have done such things in the car understand? 

Unless I had to.


  1. Ughhh car sex paragraph. How can I not think of uber limo now.

    Is that...Hamm in a leather jacket on that picture there? I am seeing this tomorrow so I am definetly packing a plastic bag in my purse to have sonething between me and the seat

    I am not big on Wright's films other than Shaun of the Dead - Scott Pilgrim is one of the worst things ever and not just in cinema - but I am looking forward to this one. Will report back with more insightful and slightly less pervy comment after I see it

    1. does it always come back to the limo? Though, that's totally the way to do this. Like, regular cars? Maybe if all parties involved are sub-five feet. Or if someone is down a limb. Something like that.

      I loved seeing Hamm on the big screen...initially. It wasn't his performance or anything, but f--k me his character ruined everything. Foxx was a dick, too...but damn Buddy. Drop it, already.

      Shaun is f--king legendary in my book, but I'd also put Hot Fuzz and The World's End right along side it. I wanted to love Scott Pilgrim, but I didn't. The more I read reviews, the more I thought I was the only asshole who didn't have a giant boner for it. Apparently...we're both bonerless a-holes. Though that makes a little more sense for you....

      I will await your report. Eagerly.

    2. All roads lead to limo.

      Eh unless he kills a dog or is as douchy towards women as in Bridesmaids - Gawd his character was the worst - I will be cool with it

      I just rewatched Tropic Thunder yesterday did u see it? I think its funnier than all of Wright's films

    3. Apparently this is the case.

      Oh, shit. I forgot about him in Bridesmaids. But...from what I can remember...he's still not as terrible as he is here.

      I haven't seen Tropic Thunder since the theaters, but I f--king loved it at the time. But funnier than Shaun, etc.? Uhhhhhh......

  2. I feel like I received wayyyyy too much information with this review but I sort of loved it.. so I'm good, I think.

    I liked Baby Driver as well. I loved the first half of the film but the romance part for me was meh. I just wasn't convinced by either of the actors in this story line. Ansel was meh. Lily was meh. It just didn't work. I would have loved it to be all about driving and maybe getting his step dad into safety etc. But that romance aspect didn't seem like a good enough of a motivator to me. Maybe I'm dead inside, that could be it.

    But I would definitely watch this one again, if not the whole thing, then at least the first half of the movie.

    1. Yeah, sorry about that. When I think of the best things to do in a car, I couldn't help but listen to music at number two. And then I had to elaborate, huh? My wife is going to kill me (good thing she never reads this shit).

      Liked? Okay. I did think the first half was a million times better than the second half, but I was having so much fun all was forgiven by the end.

      I liked Ansel and Lily! I thought they were perfectly naive and sweet. He couldn't really get into anything about his life, so basically they just talked about music all the time instead. Which, in my book, is totally romantic. But maybe I'm the one that's dead inside. Brain dead.

      Totally with you on the rewatch. I could probably watch the first 15 minutes on loop for the rest of my life.

  3. Omg your opening paragraph.

    I wasn't going to see this because Ansel Elgort's face is begging to be punched but the reviews are swaying me. I'll get to it eventually. Great review!

    1. Brittani, it was like prison. Angry mother vs. daughter tension, separate bedrooms, we both didn't have steady jobs....goodness. That time in the car kept me from throwing myself in front of one!

      I've never seen Elgort in anything else, so I didn't find his face all that punchable.

      Just go see it, dammit! I need that review (and that memorable quote!).

  4. My God u gals clutching ur pearls. What do you do when u read RFs? Hold a crucifix?

    Yeah u probably should, actually.

    1. Hahaha...'clutching your pearls'. It took me a second. Maybe I went too far? I thought I was just vague enough.

      A crucifix? I usually pop some popcorn for RF.

  5. This is definitely my favorite movie of the summer (shit! the soundtrack alone may be my favorite movie of the summer)...and my favorite Edgar Wright movie period. Sorry but it's true. Hot Fuzz is solid. Never saw The World's End. And Scott Pilgrim was only good once. I'll play this one on repeat. Like I did Shaun of the Dead for all of the year 2006.

    Great stuff here! Your description of the Foxx character vibe is spot on.

    I'm not sure if you're booing Natalie Portman or Lily James with that line, but I don't see it. Lily James is a brand of cute that Portman has never reached. By that, I mean that I'm in love with Lily James. And I thank Edgar Wright for putting her in that diner and for having her bring Beck's "Debra" back to me. Fuck! That song is the shit!

    There did seem to be at least one too many endings, but I don't care. They ultimately worked, and the actual one really did for me. Such happiness. And finally the promise of Simon & Garfunkel was delivered.

    My favorite Yay...

    Flea. Flea. Flea. Fleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea.

    1. Oh, it's definitely my favorite so far...but I thought I was LOCKED IN with this being my favorite...and after seeing it, there's a little wiggle room. Favorite Wright film? Shit...I could never lock that down. Usually it's the one I saw last, you know? (Outside of Scott Pilgrim...which was okay).

      Hahaha....that soundtrack quote is f--king great.

      Dude, Foxx was the worst/best. Love the performance, love the edge (and his pregame mantra was rad as f--k)...but I HATED THAT F--KING GUY.

      I'm booing the fact that I think people look alike all the time and no one ever agrees with me. But, uh...not just a little? She could be the cuter younger sister? Regardless, I thank Wright for all that you mentioned as well.

      You liked the final ending? Really? I wasn't so sure. I liked how our boy handled the big house, that was cool as Hell.

      Man, there is no reason Flea is here other than of course he is. Which is just about perfect!

  6. Because of Baby messing up Buddy's wife was killed. I think that years of them together are worth more than this selfish kid and the waitress who stupidly got involved with him. So if I was supposed to see Buddy as villain than Wright's movie yet again didn't work for me. All of your yays - those moments in that movie made me cringe so bad because I could see it was supposed to be clever and funny and Wright really thought it was but no, it wasn't. That HAT thing. Was that supposed to be funny? No one in the entire theater laughed. The sole laughter came with the nephew kid in the bank. I actually liked the last quarter of the movie best, everything preceding the final robbery was like watching Wright pat himself on the back because of how smart he is while delivering scenes that are so cringeworthy I genuinely would have left if I didn't paid my hard earned money for the ticket. The sole cool moment in the movie was Buddy walking behind Darling and reloading her gun for her during shootout.

  7. You just reminded me of so many great parts! Also, with the Monsters Inc line, I did catch that he used another line from the little snippets he saw on tv in another scene. the next time I watch I want to pay attention to the other clips to see if they all make an appearance. Little things like that are what's going to keep me coming back. I also want to pay more attention to all the action scenes syncing to the music. I followed it, but feel like there's probably more to pick up on every time.

    The non-stop ending with Buddy returning was Looney Tunes-esque which I loved! I really enjoyed Hamm here.

    I thought in the moment that the Baby/Debora connection was sweet... especially the bonding over music part. In retrospect Debora was really thinly drawn and could have used a bit more going on.

    Also, I liked the locals only joke - "miles away from Intercourse".

    1. Yeah, I gotta pay way closer during round two. I think I missed a ton of good shit. Totally with you, Jess.

      I was all aboard the Hamm train...initially, but I thought it...just...kept...going. Sometimes, and this may sound stupid, but sometimes I want to the movie to be over faster...just so I can talk about it with someone quicker. Is that stupid? (don't answer that)

      Debora was thinly drawn, but as a guy, it was more than enough. I'm not sure if you ladies really know how little it takes for a guy to fall for you. Like, a nice smile and a love for music? MORE THAN ENOUGH.

      You get a 100 nerd points for catching that one. Hell, 200.