Drive (2011)

Fridays always scream “movies” to me, and if nothing at the cinema tempts you enough to brave the talking audiences, crying babies and budget-busting concession stand, why not take a spin with Drive, which was released on Blu-ray/DVD this week (along with the horror prequel The Thing).

But be warned: Although Drive was originally marketed as an action flick, this is not a standard revenge movie, and there is not a lot of “action.” Instead of lots of squealing tires and gunplay, this is a movie filled to overflowing with quiet suspense. Long stretches (entire scenes, even) go by with silent characters watching a wristwatch or brooding, waiting for something to happen. The tension sometimes reaches near-intolerable levels in scenes that drip with an atmosphere of foreboding. But then the movie suddenly erupts into brief paroxysms of brutal, gory violence.
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SAG Snubbed Albert Brooks

The 18th Annual SAG Award nominations were released this morning, accompanied by the usual bitching and moaning over who was or wasn’t on the list. Nominations by committee are bound to come up with some head-scratchers, and there’s nothing we fans can do but complain and question the mental capacity of the voters.

However, one oversight — one travesty, really — cannot be allowed to quietly slip by: Why wasn’t Albert Brooks nominated as outstanding supporting actor in Drive, director Nicolas Winding Refn’s revisionist noir thriller. It’s unthinkable! And while that ship has sailed, allow me to make the case for Mr. Brooks deserving an Academy Award nomination. (The Golden Globe nods come out tomorrow, so it’s too late to change any minds there…)

In my opinion, Brooks turned in the best supporting performance in a motion picture since Martin Landau’s Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning take on Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s masterful Ed Wood back in 1994. And that’s saying something. Brooks was an effective bad guy by underplaying, rather than chewing the scenery.
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