I got to see a media screening for Baby Driver last night. Directed by Edgar Wright. Winner of the audience award at SXSW. I don't think I have any "spoilers" in here but you might as well wait until after you see the film before reading this, if you already know you want to see it.
It's my least favorite Edgar Wright movie, but I still liked it. And I suspect my problems with it are personal quirks: it might just boil down to having had too much coffee yesterday. And watching a severe introvert have to deal with nasty people. Harrowing! The action and violence eventually got to be a bit too much. I was expecting it to be a bit more lighthearted and funny [and it certainly has legitimate laughs sprinkled throughout the film], but maybe that was a silly assumption of mine: it's a crime thriller. Not a comedy / thriller.
Music: a truly spectacular soundtrack of legendary music from many different genres. "Expensive choices", I kept thinking, as usual stuck in "how much would it cost to get that in to Rock Band?" mode. Much of the action is synched up with it — and there is even an in-movie reason for that. If you can accept the total BS explanation for why the main character is wearing headphones all the time, it leads to this very stylish and entertaining outcome. At some point, well before the end of the movie, I just wanted the decent characters to run off and live and happy life. And yet they are constantly put in danger by some unpleasant people. As are lots of innocent bystanders. And so the stunts become less thrilling and stylish and more harrowing and cringe-inducing and violent. Isn't that the point? Well, yeah. But it's pretty clear at some point that things aren't going to end well for anybody, not unless they pull out some BS movie scriptwriting magic. Probably I'm also unusually disturbed when the protagonist is a severe introvert having to deal with unpleasant people that pose a serious threat to him and his life and the few people he cares about. That gets my adrenaline pumping almost as much as all of the car stunts, which seemed to all be done with real cars (no obvious CGI). It's not like Shawn of the Dead doesn't have violence and blood and terrible things happening to good people, with serious events being taken, at least occasionally, very seriously. But this was a straight thriller with some comedic elements, not "comedy horror". All Edgar Wright, not Wright + Pegg.
The movie is manipulative and full of tropes, and you know why? Because that technique WORKS. I was successfully manipulated into caring about the characters. And some of the acting is pretty hammy ... but that worked too. Jon Hamm does a great job. The lead does a solid job with a tough character role. The love interest (Lily James) is radiant and way too perfect, as usual in movies. Kevin Spacey is decent. There's a cameo from a height-challenged actor, it is spectacular. I couldn't figure out who it was until I saw his name in the credits: I haven't seen this guy in decades...
Oh, and again, I have to mention the top-notch soundtrack. I've read that the director picked all of the music and got the rights cleared well in advance, so the action and dialogue could make very specific references to it. Neat.
And I also read that the whole concept is based on a music video that Edgar Wright made, in 2003. He was worried that he used up all of his good ideas for this passion project on a short video. Not hardly.
tl;dr great music, excellent stunts, funny moments (but it's not a comedy)
Spoiler?I'm not a wuss with violence or even gore, normally, so why was I so on edge by this car caper? Well, there's a moment (shown in the trailer, so this really shouldn't be a spoiler) where Spacey tells Baby that he'll hurt his girlfriend if he refuses to keep acting as his getaway driver. But she's a perfect dream woman! What an awful thing to do! How pathetic that I'm that easy to manipulate. It gave the movie stakes that felt real and I was stressed out watching it happen. I suspect I have anxiety issues, and I KNOW I have issues watching women in peril.
It's Wright, not Wright + Pegg. That makes a difference! It's not a comedy (though it has plenty of legitimately funny moments and lines). Review up in the appropriate thread.
Summary: it's thrilling, I liked it, and yes it's stylishly edited with the music + car stunts the true stars of the show (in that order).1
Who do you think you are, Shakespeare?2
My first guess would have been, "the seller lied to me, the disc wasn't new after all, they resealed it!". But just a guess. I'm fully willing to believe that the parties involved just don't want to be bothered over a code from 8.5 years ago. Even though it's not supposed to expire. Understandably frustrating.2
It's not a feature of the PS4 (unlike the Xbox), and not a feature programmed into the game itself.
I wonder if the app could help with this, in a future update?1