Drive: Follows a professional stunt driver (moonlighting getaway driver) as he makes a unique connection with his neighbour, and her criminal husband. This is a fascinating mix of raw drama and the most brutal violence you’ll see all year. Gosling is phenomenal; with so few lines (but when he speaks, he means it) this could have gone pear-shaped but his entire body tells so much more about the methodical, isolated driver character than any script could. The rest of the cast do well to keep up, except Ron Perlman, who is, as always, categorically pants – at least he’s consistent! What’s most apparent is that the film’s meticulously put together; tension levels are unbearable in parts (opening 15 will blow you away), music’s memorable and used effectively, general ambience is great, and it’s stylishly filmed yet maintains a painfully indie vibe – you couldn’t really ask for more in a film. Hopefully, this will have a bigger longer life in DVD players than the two-weeks it appears to be getting in most cinemas.
Mad Men (Season 1): Follows Don Draper, an advertising manager in New York circa 1960s. This is critically acclaimed beyond belief, universally loved, and is currently in its fifth season… To me however, this is less of a TV Drama and more of a banal, prolonged observation on the changes in attitudes, taboo, what was acceptable, and foolish ‘it will never take off’ hindsight comments: including but not limited to –
- Male chauvinism / alpha male
- Debunking psychology and technology
- Smoking 100 cigarettes a day, wherever you want
- The crazy mind of women – lol!!!
- Drinking at work
- Rampant adultery
- Drink driving
- Smoking / drinking while pregnant
- Smacking (other people’s) kids – and general bad parenting
The main character is Don Draper; a distant man who seems to be living the American nightmare in picturesque suburbia, which he makes up for by putting his tongue and dick in anything he can. He’s an asshole of a colleague, as sexist as they come and appears to have suicidal thoughts. I also seem to be the only person in the world that thinks Hamm can’t act… For being 13 episodes long nothing really happened; I could find more drama in walking to the shops and back than there was in 585 minutes of season 1. Every time something interesting or remotely dramatic occurred it was diffused and mellowed out within 2 minutes. It didn’t help that there was zero non-diegetic / atmospheric music. It’s technically proficient, a good insight into marketing, and the heavy focus on values is interesting to a point. Maybe married people can sympathise with Draper’s situation more? Maybe it’s got the nostalgia factor for those that grew up in the 60s/70s? But for whatever reason, I can genuinely say that Mad Men was one of the worst TV show’s I’ve watched.