I got an early look at the next Twilight Time release, The Driver. It's such a great 70s movie, the kind that made that decade so great, when filmmakers just made films - most of them weren't about brands and sequels and films from the Syd Field and Robert McKee school of screenwriting. Some were hits, some weren't, but so many films from that decade are just interesting in one way or another. Duds, certainly, every decade has 'em. But more often than not, the films are worth watching. As is The Driver. Minimalist, definitely in the Jean-Pierre Melville mold, but just a quirky, strange movie that is compulsively watchable. Ryan O'Neal speaks very little but has the gravitas to carry the film. Bruce Dern speaks a lot and his cop character is one of his many great loathsome characters. Isabelle Adjani is stunningly beautiful. Great shots of downtown LA circa 1978, one great sequence inside one of the poker casinos on the outskirts of LA (i'm sure it's The Bicycle Club - I used to play there quite often), and all shot on real locations, with interior scenes shot in low light with pushed film, which gives those scenes their texture and style. The score by Michael Small is a major plus (and I'm happy to say we've released it with two other Small scores, Black Widow and The Star Chamber - it's still available). I think this transfer is going to garner a lot of the usual chatter. There is a lot of crawling grain in the low-light pushed sequences, just as their should be. Once you're in sunlight or bright light, then blacks are deep and contrast is as it should be. But I think a lot of the wags are going to think they're seeing "noise" - they're not, but they'll think they are. I saw the film several times when it was released, and this is pretty much what it looked like. It's a brand new transfer done this year and I thought it looked great, just like a 1978 film should look shot under these conditions and on this budget. The color is fantastic, the sound excellent mono. Just for fun, I then put on the DVD and all I can say is wow. No texture, no detail, no grain, just DNR and edge enhancement that is so strong even I could see it. That, BTW, is not what The Driver should look like and boy am I glad they did this fresh transfer. I don't know that the film is for everyone, but if you like quirky, great 70s movies it's worth a try if you haven't seen it. Of course, it has the Tarantino stamp of cool - he wishes he was this cool. I saw the remake, which I have absolutely no memory of other than loathing every minute of it. THIS is The Driver.