By Gavin Muirhead
I know, it’s been a while since we have done anything close to our roots, but everyone comes home sooner or later.
Last night, I decided to watch “Drive” again, this was a late-night decision that started at 12:40am exactly. Like most late night decisions, it seemed like a great idea at the time – I could go to bed, or I could stay up and become one with the movie. I chose to do the “oneness” thing.
I had never seen “Drive” until early 2013, it was released in 2011 and I wrote it off as “a puffy love movie with a car” simply because Ryan Gosling was in it and I had previously only seen him in “The Notebook.” It’s no secret that our dear friend and Co-Creater Dustin Brewer has the most massive straight guy boner for Ryan Gosling, some may argue the “straight” point there – but you catch my drift. Homie LOVES himself some Gosling. This has earned Dustin many jokes at his expense, but.. I must admit, sometimes the guy is right.
Let’s go back to early 2013…. Dustin was over at my house and the subject came up, and I said the movie was dumb – he replied with “I’ll be right back.” Sure enough, 15 minutes later he returns – beaming with a huge grin on his sweet cherub face – the “Drive” Blu-Ray tucked under his arm and a hop in his step that assured me he was pleased with himself. The words “awesome” and “promise” were thrown around, and the next thing I knew, we were on my couch watching a Ryan Golsing movie together. Not normally on my list of things to do with the guys.. but I had to at least see what the big deal was, and if it sucked – I had plenty of ammo for future ridicule.
The movie opens with a dark, and visually striking overhead shot of my beloved Los Angeles set to Nightcall by Kavinsky, a pink Miami Vice/Vice City style font gracefully notes the credits as a somber looking Gosling drives through the dimly lit metropolis on his way to a lonely apartment. I knew the feeling, I love to drive the canyons in LA or cruise around at night, thats how I mellow out and center myself and in just the opening credits, I had ditched all the preconceived notions I had formulated and mentioned above and found myself oddly relating to Ryan Gosling’s character. Shit…
Directed by a guy who’s name I can’t pronounce for the life of me, (Nicolas Winding Refn) Drive features some really genius camera angles and a few cleverly placed first-person views that I didn’t even pick up the first time around – but offer a capsule glimpse of the entire movie. Refn was able to create vivid character displays early in the movie that kept it interesting and moving forward at a good pace. “Drive” also had a surprisingly amazing cast: Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan and Bryan Cranston along side Ryan Gosling.
We watched the entire thing, and at the end Dustin says “Well?” –
“Alright, It was good” I reluctantly replied.
Skip forward in time, to this morning.
The clock on my wall says it is 12:47am (but that stupid thing is fast anyway) and Daylight-savings-time has robbed me of an hour of sleep, I have wicked allergies and may have taken a Benadryl too many… and I’m watching a movie slowly crawl from the depths of my “likes list” to be a Top 10 contender. It’s a strange thing to me, being wrong. Normally, according to me, I am never wrong – But as I Drive along with this movie in the dead of night, accompanied only by the occasional sound of a passing car on the freeway just an earshot away of my open window, I am met with the feeling that I can only assume someone gets when they take a perfectly timed picture of a lightning strike. The right place, at the right time.
Drive isn’t your run-of-the-mill action movie, and it is not your normal Romeo and Juliet either. Its a brooding mix of the two, with complex characters and some abruptly graphic displays, woven together in a beautifully brutal web of lies. Truthfully, I haven’t enjoyed watching a movie for the second time to this extent since the original Halloween (and thanks to my lovely lady, even the 10,000th time). Or Terminator 2. Or True Lies…. but you get the idea. There are movies that you see once and they are good, then, when you see them a second time it’s just like going through the motions. Every once in a while though, a keeper comes along that can be watched hundreds of times over and it will still captivate you just as much, if not more, than the first time.
I guess the moral of this story is that, well – The Notebook sucked – but “Drive” doesn’t. It’s only now, a year after watching it for the first time, that I have been able to come to terms with my #9 favorite movie of all time. That, and sometimes people surprise you. So fine, a point is awarded to Mr. Brewer too.
It’s good to be back America.