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HTF EARLY REVIEW: "Driven" - The next demo disc!


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#1 of 137 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 29 2001 - 11:33 AM

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DRIVEN



V-R-O-O-O-M!

Who would have thought that I would have
enjoyed the last 117 minutes in front of
my Home Theater System with a popcorn movie
like this?

DRIVEN was supposed to be the big
return of Sylvester Stallone to the big screen
in a movie he not only stars in, but wrote
the screenplay for as well.

While not much can be said for the screenplay
of this film, it is the action sequences that
puts this DVD at the top of my favorite mindless
action flick list of DVD releases this Summer.

DRIVEN is a movie essentially about
high-impact race car driving with a sub-storyline
that is easily forgettable. But, just to amuse
you, I'll tell you a bit about the story. We
open the film with a rookie contender Jimmie
Bly (Kip Pardue) who is becoming very unfocused
in his races against veteran champ Beau Brandenburg
(Til Schweiger). Manager Carl Henry (Burt Reynolds)
calls talented veteran Joe Tanto (Sylvester Stallone)
out of retirement to mentor Jimmie Bly.

There's a little romance, a little girl-friend
stealing, and a little backstabbing along the
way -- but all's fair when it comes to car racing
ethics, eh?

But who cares about the story?

Fortunately most of this film takes place on
the track -- many tracks in fact -- from Miami to
Mexico to Tokyo and Germany. It is here that the film
exceeds in bringing you some of the most intensely
heart-pounding racing sequences that I have ever
witnessed. There is even a racing sequence through
the streets of Chicago that had me on the edge
of my seat.

What surprised me most after watching this film
and looking in the supplemental area, is how
much CGI there is in this film, yet, you are not
always aware that what you are watching isn't
entirely real.

I almost hate myself for liking this movie as
much as I did, but this is one of the best demo
quality discs I have played on my system. The
sound in this movie will leave you breathless.
Whether it be cars racing from front to back,
or the roar of the crowd enveloping the entire
soundfield or the pulsating music soundtrack
that produces thunderous booms from your subwoofer,
I have yet to hear a disc that sounds THIS GOOD.

I am also again amazed (as I was with Warner's
EXIT WOUNDS) at the drop-dead gorgeous transfer
of this disc. I never thought there was so much
vibrant color on the racetrack, but the transfer
brings out the deep colors of the cars, the flags
and the driver helmets. Even night shots, such
as those on the streets of Tokyo look crisp and
vibrant.

The disc has a few supplemental features added
on, including deleted scenes with Audio Commentary
by Stallone; Feature commentary by Director
Renny Harlin; Making of Documentaries on both the
film and visual effects; Theatrical trailer.

Take my word for it -- go into this movie
not expecting anything from the story, and let
yourself be blown away by intense racing sequences,
lots of over-the-top car crashes, and a sound
mix that will keep you pushing the volume level
of your receiver higher and higher.

Most websites are selling this for under $19.
Sounds like a purchase just for the demo quality.

Release Date: September 18th


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Ronald Epstein (pronounced like the English "Ronald Epstein")
Circa 2000
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#2 of 137 OFFLINE   Frank_S

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Posted August 29 2001 - 12:08 PM

Sounds great Ron, some of my favorite movies are "mindless action flicks". Posted Image

#3 of 137 OFFLINE   David Watters

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Posted August 29 2001 - 01:56 PM


This movie is the worst racing movie ever made.
I worked with Tasman Motorsports and went to see this with
some other people from the team because we knew people in
it, passionately love CART, and thought that there was no
way it could be worse than "Days of Thunder."

It was worse. FAR worse. This movie is completely
offensive to anyone that knows anything about racing (maybe
even to those that don't). This DVD could come with every
extra known to man and it would still reek.

Some day I will have to list all the the reasons this movie
is totally retarded. For now I will limit it to a horribly
inaccurate screenplay, bad acting, horrific SFX (by a low-
budget, lightwave using, wannabe CGI house), and lame
sound.

Now I know how fans of arm wrestling, mountain climbing,
and boxing feel after Stallone got done with their favorite
sport.


#4 of 137 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted August 29 2001 - 01:59 PM

Stalone+Estella Warren swimming scene+ no story=CRAP!

This movie made me shiver with fear

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#5 of 137 OFFLINE   George Cifrancis

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Posted August 29 2001 - 02:28 PM

There's an Estella Warren swimming scene? Hmmm....

:-)

George C.



[Edited last by George Cifrancis on August 29, 2001 at 09:29 PM]
George C.
 

 


#6 of 137 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted August 29 2001 - 02:39 PM

George,
yeah, she does some syncronized swimming stunt. dips head first, legs in the air. can't remember exactly, since I only saw it once when it first came out.

Nothing too flatering tho-

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[Edited last by JohnS on August 29, 2001 at 09:40 PM]

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#7 of 137 OFFLINE   Derek Baker

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Posted August 29 2001 - 03:16 PM

As Ronald said - don't expect a riveting storyline here or even fantastic performances...

BUT...as also mentioned by Ron...there are some AMAZING racing sequences in this movie - and the car chase through Chicago is FANTASTIC !!!

This movie has one of the most agressive surround soundtracks i've heard in a long time - and i'll be buying just for this reason alone.

#8 of 137 OFFLINE   CraigMc

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Posted August 29 2001 - 10:35 PM

While I'm sure the sound and video quality of the dvd are superb... the movie absolutely stinks.

As a huge Indycar fan, I had high hopes for this movie, and I remember sitting in the theatre 15 minutes in thinking damn, this is horrible. It didn't improve, actually, it only got worse.

As somebody else pointed out, it's an insult to racing, the racing community and any fan of the sport.

The CGI is reasonably good in parts and disgustingly horrible in others, so much so, that I thought they must have literally run out of money to complete sequences and were forced to put them in the completed movie.

The track racing scenes were in general, poorly edited and dramatised, as one review here pointed out, why not just put the viewer in the drivers seat of the car rather than going for the stylised feel?? I felt like I never got a long enough feel for being in the car, or how the race evolved. There was no build up. Just car's going round a track and really, really fast editing.

It would have been so easy to let the cars, drivers and racing do the talking, but instead they decided to go the hyper-real route.

Finally, the depiction of racing strategy was appaling. Nobody racing driver swerves around the back of a leading car on a oval track and then when he suddenly decides he can pull the pass, **every time** Driven just showed them dropping a gear and "dropping the hammer". A closer depiction into the art of oval racing would have been fantastic, instead we were subjected to this clap trap.

The only redeeming feature of the movie was the street race through the city, it was worth the price of admission by itself. However, one awesome scene doesn not a movie make.

Very disappointing. I can't imagine how disappointed the real-life drivers and teams who participated in the movie must feel with the finished product.

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Craig McDonald
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#9 of 137 OFFLINE   Patrick Mirza

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Posted August 29 2001 - 11:13 PM

Wait a dang minute! Did they change the cover for the DVD or somthing?!?

I thought this was the cover

Posted Image

Man, that was an ugly cover...thank goodness if they did change it!

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webmaster davisdvd.com
International Exclusives


[Edited last by Patrick Mirza on August 30, 2001 at 06:14 AM]

#10 of 137 OFFLINE   DanR

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Posted August 30 2001 - 03:48 AM

I would STRONGLY recommend a rental. This movie is unwatchable. I'm sure Ron is correct that the sound is incredible, but they ruined it IMHO with laying silly techno rock and rap music over the racing sequences.

This movie is meant to be totally serious, yet it plays like a comedy. In the theater where I saw this, people we're laughing non-stop, and my stomach/mid-section was killing me when I left the theater from the laughs.

I can suspend my disbelief, but this movie went to far in that area as well.

Regards,
Dan

#11 of 137 OFFLINE   Aaron Croft

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Posted August 30 2001 - 04:10 AM

Great... so it's totally un-realistic car racing?? Perfect.

Real auto racing is incredibly boring to me. No offense to racing fans, but especially oval track racing is like watching paint dry.

BUT.. I really can't watch movies that have THAT bad of a storyline.. is this one of those movies that tries to take itself SO seriously that it becomes a comedy?? Gone in 60 seconds was like that for me. In GI60 it was like they were trying to depict the dramatic/tough/ yet somehow heroic life of car thieves.. that movie was the WORST ever..

So besides the auto-racing fans.. is this movie REALLY that bad???

Aaron Croft
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Aaron

#12 of 137 OFFLINE   Chris Rein

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Posted August 30 2001 - 04:24 AM

Yeah, this movie blew a$$. The CGI was so bad, and the stuff they did with those cars were SO unrealistic. How long can one car hang in the air? There were so many quiet dramatic scenes where you were suppose to go "Damn!" but instead I was laughing my ass off. Gena Gershon on the other hand is just a hottie, but if I want to watch another bad flick, I might as well put in Showgirls because she at least gets naked there. Posted Image Anyway, not to point out bad scenes (because there are a ton of them) one of the worst parts was when Stallone "jumped" his car over one of the lips on the tracks, and broke the axle on his front end. It just looked terrible. Painful to watch. I could go on, but why waste more of my time on this boring flick.

And just to be fair, the race through Chicago was cool. But blowing sewer caps up, hehe, I don't think so.

Chris

#13 of 137 OFFLINE   chris rick

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Posted August 30 2001 - 04:36 AM

You couldn't even give me a copy of this garbage. Stallone= sucks...the last half decent flick he did was Copland.
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#14 of 137 OFFLINE   David-alexander

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Posted August 30 2001 - 04:38 AM

frankly, DAYS OF THUNDER, how "topgunist" it can be is still way better, and so is SUPERSPEEDWAY.

had really high hopes for DRIVEN but they even couldn't do the CGI and stunts right. incredible.

I'll pass on it.

#15 of 137 OFFLINE   Mike R.

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Posted August 30 2001 - 05:08 AM

Quote:
And just to be fair, the race through Chicago was cool. But blowing sewer caps up, hehe, I don't think so.

Actually, that is one of the few things in this movie that is accurate. At all of the street courses CART runs at, they have to weld the sewer covers to the street, or that very thing will happen. At high speed, the cars create a vacuum between the road and the underside of the car.

Anyways, I didn't think the movie was THAT bad, but it wasn't that good either. If it's cheap enough I'll probably pick it up from Best Buy for the nice picture and sound. If nothing else, it'll go in the "what the hell was I thinking" section of my rack Posted Image.

#16 of 137 OFFLINE   Andres Munoz

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Posted August 30 2001 - 05:58 AM

Yeah, the soundtrack is very agressive. The movie theater I saw the movie in had the volume way too loud (I never thought I'd say that) and it was getting really painful towards the end.

But not even a good soundtrack and pretty good racing scenes can save this movie. I don't think it will be easy to get over the bad acting and boring plot. It was THAT BAD!

Please do yourself a favor and rent this movie first.

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[Edited last by Andres Munoz on August 30, 2001 at 01:00 PM]
Andres


#17 of 137 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted August 30 2001 - 07:18 AM

Estella Warren, Estella Warren, Estella Warren!!!! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

It's a no brainer, i'm all over her, er um, I mean IT!

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#18 of 137 OFFLINE   Robert George

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Posted August 30 2001 - 08:48 AM

Do any of you know the definition of the word "fun"? Is it possible for any of you to associate the words "movies" and "fun" in any context? Does the term "entertainment" mean anything to you?

So, we have decided this is not a documentary on racing. I watched the DVD last night and, as far as it goes, it was a viceral experience in a capable home theater. I was entertained for the entire movie. From a technical perspective, this is but the latest in a string of near-perfect DVD presentations from Warner. For the handful of people that can enjoy a film like this, this is a reference DVD.

#19 of 137 OFFLINE   Scott Weinberg

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Posted August 30 2001 - 08:59 AM

I'm fairly certain that this thread was intended to point out what's good about this DVD.

Driven flopped and yes it's an awful movie, one that will easily make my bottom 10 of the year.

But if Ron's gonna praise the DVD this highly, maybe there's something worth seeing here. Thanks for the early scoop, Ron.

Now, back to the Stallone-bashing.


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#20 of 137 OFFLINE   David-alexander

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Posted August 30 2001 - 09:44 AM

Robert

The only thing that can save this movie is the new super cool cover art. But better try to buy the poster than the dvd maybe Posted Image

I'm a big fan of Renny Harlin and I was hoping a lot for this movie. Major disappointment.

I praise Ron's reviews a lot but even a great soundtrack and video transfer which I'm sure it has won't save this major failure. But ok, it's not as bad as Battlefield Earth Posted Image

exqueeze us if we don't buy it. I repeat, based on high expectations, it's a major disappointment. a rental a best.




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