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– by Nick Doll

If there were any winners at the sluggish box office this summer, they were Wonder Woman and Baby Driver. Wonder Woman may have eclipsed Baby Driver‘s gross, but Baby Driver made $225 million worldwide on a measly $34 million budget, becoming genius director Edgar Wright’s biggest hit and one of the most talked about films of the summer. When I reviewed the movie before its theatrical run in July, I gave it a solid “A” as though it was not Edgar Wright’s sharpest narrative, it is certainly his most refined and stylish film yet, overall.

RELATED: Baby Driver Review

Baby Driver cements Edgar Wright as one of the greatest writer/directors working today, delivering his fifth truly unique and entertaining movie out of five, following Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and The World’s End. Wright’s dialogue is crisp and lyrical, especially when coming from the mouths of the incredible cast, including Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Lily James and Ansel Elgort. His shots are expertly crafted, so bright with color and expertly choreographed to a “T”.

Most importantly, never before has music been so seemingly integrated into a film… or never has a film been written and cut to so closely match the soundtrack. Wright gives each song its due, rather than cutting in and out of songs at opportune moments. Nearly every song featured in the film is allowed to play for it’s complete duration, which is quite often the length of the scene, as every scene was written with the beats and duration of the song in mind. If it weren’t for some heist and action movie cliches that Baby Driver slips into, it would be Wright’s best film. As it stands, Baby Driver is certainly his most polished work and continues to show Wright’s growth as both a writer and director.

Baby Driver is an incredibly re-watchable film. I saw it four times in theaters, taking everyone I could get to agree to come with me, never growing tired of the content and always noticing new details and choices made. But do the bonus features on the home release cement Baby Driver as the complete package?

As with every Edgar Wright film, the bonus features on Baby Driver‘s home release are phenomenal. Wright’s films always include bonus features that explore filmmaking in depth, from the first inception of the idea, through the writing process, pre-production, and the shoot. In this release, Wright lets his love of music slip into every bonus feature.

On the more basic, expected side, there are over 40 minutes of featurettes including one highlighting Edgar Wright, one about casting, one about effects, yada, yada, yada. You also get about twenty minutes of deleted and extended scenes, including alternate scenes using different songs and choreography than the final cut, and scenes that are not simply “extended” or “alternate,” but “original cuts,” offering a look at Wright’s earlier version of the film.

More interesting are some more in-depth behind the scenes features you don’t normally see including animatics — both original versions and the ones later used to film — a complete storyboard gallery, and a rehearsal of one of the films most complicated scenes. All of Wright’s meticulous planning for this ambitious film is present to pour over as much as you would like. The release even finds a way to cut make up and costume tests into something worth watching.

Of course, the best part of any home release, in my opinion, is a good commentary track, and Wright is among the best in the biz; not just simply telling amusing anecdotes from set, but again getting into the nitty-gritty of storytelling. Better yet, Baby Driver has two commentary tracks, one with just Wright — who fares perfectly fine without his normal partner in commentary, Simon Pegg — and one featuring the director and Bill Pope, the director of photography. The latter gets a little more technical, while Wright flying solo focuses more on the storytelling aspects and the history of the film.

The whole package is an embarrassment of riches. The only thing missing being a gag reel, which isn’t a deal breaker, especially with the amount of other content to sift through.

Baby Driver may have become one of those movies you stubbornly decided not to see this summer, because it was one everyone told you to see, again and again, and I understand that can be a turn off in some cases. And yet, I am going to say it yet again; the Baby Driver Blu-ray is the complete package, presenting one of the best films of the year complete with all the bonus features you could ever want… and then some. Worth every penny.

BONUS MATERIAL

Blu-ray & Digital:

  • Extended/Deleted Scenes – 20 minutes of extended scenes and a few moments that were dropped from the final cut.
  • Mozart In A Go-Kart: Ansel Drives – Ride shotgun with star Ansel Elgort as he works with the talented stunt drivers to become the ultimate getaway driver.
  • I Need A Killer Track: The Music – Explore how the film’s phenomenal soundtrack dictated both the writing process and all aspects of production on Baby Driver.
  • That’s My Baby: Edgar Wright – Follow Edgar Wright’s vision of Baby Driver from its inception two decades ago, to its ultimate realization on the big screen.
  • Meet Your Crew: Doc’s Gang – Led by powerhouse Kevin Spacey, the cast assembled to form Doc’s gang is perfectly constructed with stars like Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm as well as up and coming talent like Eiza Gonzalez and Jon Bernthal. Go behind the scenes to see this talented group at work as they bring these characters
    to life.
  • Find Something Funky On There: The Choreography – With every frame of Baby Driver set to a specific beat it took precise choreography by the cast, crew and editors to create a cinematic dance like nothing that’s been done before. Hear from the choreographer and filmmakers on this groundbreaking process.
  • Devil Behind The Wheel: The Car Chases – From closing down Atlanta’s interstates to creating eyepopping maneuvers for a variety of vehicles, witness the amazing craftsmanship and sheer determination that made the film’s incredible car chases.
  • Animatics – Check out over 35 minutes of the numerous pre-vis animatics developed by Edgar Wright as part of his meticulous preparation.
  • Ansel Elgort Audition – See firsthand the audition that proved without a doubt that Ansel Elgort was the perfect choice for Baby.
  • Annotated Coffee Run Rehearsal – Day one of production involved one of the film’s most elaborately choreographed sequences where every movement is carefully crafted. Check out the preliminary rehearsal and see the behind the scenes movement in concert with Ansel Elgort’s on camera choreography.
  • Hair, Make Up. & Costume Tests – In this stylized montage, witness the transformation of the actors through costume, hair, and make-up tests.
  • Mint Royale – “Blue Song” Music Video – This music video directed by Edgar Wright years ago for the band Mint Royale showcases some early inspiration for Baby Driver.
  • Complete Storyboard Gallery – See the elaborate storyboards developed for the film in this gallery featuring storyboards for the entire film.
  • Director Commentary
  • Filmmaker Commentary (Edgar Wright and Director of Photography Bill Pope)

DVD:

  • I Need A Killer Track: The Music
  • That’s My Baby: Edgar Wright
  • Meet Your New Crew: Doc’s Gang
  • Devil Behind The Wheel: The Car Chases
  • Mint Royale – “Blue Song” Music Video
  •  Director Commentary
  • Filmmaker Commentary (Edgar Wright and Director of Photography Bill Pope)

SPECIFICATIONS (applies to film content only):

Feature Run Time: Approximately 113 minutes

Rating: R

Will you be picking up Baby Driver today? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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  • TheOct8pus

    Giveaway??