Baby Driver

Crank up the volume. “Baby Driver” is Edgar Wright’s masterpiece.

Baby Driver PosterYou know that feeling when you get behind the wheel and YOUR song comes on? That song belongs to you and no one else, and it makes you feel like you can do anything, like you can tear up the road, and like you’ve never felt an emotion this strongly before. As you tap on the steering wheel and sing along to the lyrics, someone on the outside looking in might think you look pretty stupid. And you know what? You do, and you kind of know it. What crazy song is that you’re listening to anyways?

Edgar Wright knows that feeling. “Baby Driver” is that feeling. You could be listening to some ‘50s soul song that would be humiliating if anyone knew what you were jamming. Your name could be something silly like “Ansel Elgort,” and you could be wearing a cheap pair of drug store sunglasses as you strut down the road awkwardly avoiding foot and street traffic. But you are in that perfect moment. No one looks cooler. You’ve never felt more confident, inspired or uplifted. This feels awesome.

“Baby Driver” is in love with itself, with its style, its soundtrack and its energy. But Wright gets that to some degree this is just a little lame. If it was trying to be cool he would’ve filled it with Top 40 bangers and jukebox favorites. Instead he picked the deep cuts you dance to when no one is watching. “Baby Driver” is a heist and action movie with the volume turned up to 11, but Wright has selected a soundtrack so in tune with the movie he’s always wanted to make that it feels like a deeply personal statement. Continue reading “Baby Driver”

The World's End

“The World’s End” is a wacky fun throwback comedy with a real sense of nostalgia.

Earlier this year, “This is the End” served as something of a finale on the man-child comedies that have defined the last 10 years or so of Hollywood comedies. It did so in such spectacularly silly fashion that it seemed as though no movie again should try and top it.

“The World’s End” too marks a different conclusion. It’s the last in the Cornetto Trilogy, a series of Edgar Wright parody films that started with “Shaun of the Dead,” continued with “Hot Fuzz” and took a break during “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” Writers and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost along with Wright branded a completely new approach to the parody film, one that was slick, stylish and action heavy.

But like “This is the End,” the juvenile fun and spastic, hyper kinetic style seems to be behind Wright, Pegg and Frost. The characters in “The World’s End” are more mature, the consequences and emotions are more genuine, and the film seems less like an homage to apocalyptic movies and more like a heartfelt throwback.

Pegg plays Gary King, a wonderfully soliloquizing pack leader trapped in his teenage glory days. In an AA meeting, he reflects upon an epic bar crawl from his last day of high school: 12 pubs, 12 pints, but one he never finished. He now seeks to return home and finish the quest with four of his old mates, all of whom have matured and settled into comfy jobs and families while he’s kept his old car, cassette player and selective memories.

He’s completely glossed over a harrowing accident that almost killed his best friend Andy (Frost), one that’s never shown but only hinted at as the group gets drunker and more candid. Continue reading “The World's End”