Baby Driver

I listened to music through my computer and saw that “Baby Driver” was going to be playing nearby, so I put the computer into my backpack and headed for the theatre.  The director was Edgar Wright, responsible for “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” and “The World’s End.”  The star was Ansel Elgort, who looked familiar because he was in “The Fault in Our Stars.”  Some people on the Internet claimed that he had a facial resemblance with Julia Stiles.  Lily James is the love interest Debora, and she reminded me of Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kerri Russell.  The more familiar dfaces in the cast were Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx.  Elgort is Baby, a getaway driver who is paying off a debt to Spacey, who is named Doc.  This movie reminded me that I never got around to seeing “The Driver” with Ryan O’Neal and Bruce Dern years ago.  Wright deserves credit for avoiding the use of CGI for this film.  There were quite a few exciting action sequences in the movie.  It made me think of “Heat” at times.  The soundtrack is an important part of the picture, and some of the songs on it are “B-A-B-Y,” “Let’s Go Away for Awhile,” “Easy,” “Nowhere to Run,” and “Brighton Rock.”  I could debate some of the selections, just as I could for a Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  I was slightly shocked to see a person I thought was Paul Williams in one scene, although I recall once seeing him in a Hawaii Five-O episode some time ago.  I’m not sure that all the references to music really made for a good movie.  I don’t think that anyone had to talk about “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” or “Hotel California.”  I don’t know how many young girls would disagree with me, but I don’t think that Ansel Elgort is such a charismatic actor.  Simply not talking doesn’t make you mysterious and interesting.  It can just mean that you don’t have much to say, especially when you’re listening to music all the time.  I thought some of the camera movement was irritating, particularly when it went in a circle.  I could argue that it was nearly impossible for the characters to escape the situations they faced.  The Atlanta police did a terrible job of encircling the suspects, apparently.  You could say that the trial couldn’t have ended the way that it did, but then who can predict the result of any trial since O.J. Simpson?  This movie feels like an update of the Bonnie and Clyde story with too many references to other films.  I have to admit that this movie jolted me awake from the sleepiness I’ve felt watching all the other summer films I’ve been seeing recently.  It made the last Fast and Furious movie look like a bigger mess than it already was.  This picture reportedly had its beginnings more than twenty years ago.  I imagine that it benefitted from being in the oven for all that time, because it feels like it’s to the point and not wasting a lot of time.  I wouldn’t rate it as any kind of a perfect picture, but it has impressive qualities.  It’s an alternative to “Despicable Me 3” and “The House” and the stale concepts of the movies that will be out there this weekend.  It’s the first movie in a long time that made me feel something.  I also liked watching Eiza González, who had a moment that reminded me of Adrienne Barbeau in “Escape from New York.”  I imagined what the movie would have been like with Emma Stone in it.  I didn’t see it as being better.  I thought that Chloë Grace Moretz could have been good for the movie, though.  I’m not too sure that the title was so good, although it became from a Simon and Garfunkel song.  Some of the people who died on June 30 include Lillian Hellman (1984), Gale Gordon (1995), Chet Atkins (2001), Buddy Hackett (2003), Bob Hastings (2014), and Paul Mazursky (2014).  Today is a birthday for Mike Tyson (51) and David Alan Grier (61).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 30, the Jackson family announced that they were leaving Motown Records for Epic Records in 1975.  In 1979, Anita Ward had the Number One single, “Ring My Bell.”  In 1989, the Spike Lee movie “Do the Right Thing” was released.  In 1995, “Apollo 13,” directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, was released.

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