Guillermo del Toro Baby Driver

If you ever hear Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, Hellboy) speak, you instantly know that the guy knows a lot about movies. He’s one of the most outspoken cinephile filmmakers working in Hollywood today, and his Twitter feed is a mixture of articles about film, behind-the-scenes photos, and stories from his own sets. Yesterday afternoon, the director took to Twitter to share his thoughts about Edgar Wright’s new car chase film Baby Driver, and if you somehow still needed to be convinced to see the new movie, this should do the trick. Read the 13-part Guillermo del Toro Baby Driver comments below.
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Baby Driver BTS - Jamie Foxx, Lanny Joon, Ansel Elgort, Edgar Wright

The junket scene was not built for Edgar Wright. How do you have a proper conversation with the director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and The World’s End in just a few minutes? You can’t. He’s too much of a raconteur, has too much to say, and you only get a few questions before the publicist pops his head in and tells you that time is up.

I sat down to talk to Wright about Baby Driver, but I ended up mostly listening to Wright talk about Baby Driver. But that’s okay! It may even be the best case scenario. Our almost entirely one-sided conversation was full of great information about how he made his spectacular, music-driven car chase movie, the film’s earliest origins, and his favorite cinematic “needle drops.”

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Baby Driver Review

(This review originally ran following Baby Driver‘s world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film opens in theaters today.)

Edgar Wright makes movies for movie fans, first and foremost. Is there a wide audience for a zombie comedy that upends the genre while also delivering one of the most affecting horror tales of the 21st century? Maybe not at first, but Shaun of the Dead exists and it is spectacular. It took too many people too long to fall in love with a stylized rom-com martial arts adventure that appropriates video game language to provide commentary on how relationships evolve, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has rightfully become recognized as a one-of-a-kind pop masterpiece.

And speaking of pop masterpieces, Wright’s latest film, Baby Driver held its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival over the weekend and it’s remarkable for two reasons. First, Wright’s unique voice remains intact, even as he plunges into a genre that is new to him and a story that takes away some of his more familiar crutches. Second, he’s made a movie that feels like it has the capacity to win over the average moviegoer as quickly as it wins the hearts of his fellow cinephiles.

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Baby Driver Music Featurette

In 2005, I watched a new horror comedy titled Shaun of the Dead. I had not heard of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, or anyone involved with this quirky little piece of entertainment. And something struck me big time about this movie: the incredible editing and music choices. And since Shaun‘s release, Wright has proven that he is a master at mixing cinema with the energy of a music video, all the while not losing his grip on the story.

In Wright’s latest movie, Baby Driver, music plays a key role within both the story and structure of the movie. And if you know Wright’s filmography, you know that he has been honing his music video talents for years to create a film like this. So in celebration of Baby Driver‘s release, let’s take a look at the greatest music-driven sequences in Wright’s movies.

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The 13-ish Best Edgar Wright Movie Characters

The 13-ish Best Edgar Wright Characters

Edgar Wright‘s latest feature film hits theaters this week, and by all accounts Baby Driver is another winner blending action, laughs, and Wright’s own unique sensibilities. (Don’t take my assumption for it though, check out Jacob Hall’s review out of SXSW.) Wright has yet to deliver anything less than a very good time at the movies, and while a lot of factors go into an acclaimed film, one of his many strengths as a filmmaker is in the variety of fun and fun-loving characters he packs into his work.

The scripts are obviously key to the films’ highly quotable nature, but pairing the words on the page with particular performers is what ultimately results in such memorable characters. That combination has resulted in a bounty of fun, funny, and fascinating characters in Wright’s films, and while some are leads, others only manage a few minutes of screen time. It’s an issue of quality trumping quantity, and it’s why someone with two scenes in a movie can be far more memorable than someone who’s in nearly the entire thing. What I’m saying is Shaun of the Dead‘s Ed is an obnoxious twat whose “funny” behavior upsets the film’s delicate tonal balance and ultimately keeps it removed from absolute greatness. Look, I don’t like saying it anymore than you like hearing it, but there it is.

It’s also why the list below is heavy on the male members and light on the ladies. Wright’s films feature plenty of women, but you have to look all the way back to his UK television series, Spaced, to find an example of one with meat on her character’s bones. But that’s a think-piece for a different time. For now let’s keep things moving with a look at the best characters in Edgar Wright’s feature films.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

A Fistful of Fingers

This week brings Baby Driver to the big screen, the latest film from director Edgar Wright. Leading up to the release of the mesmerizing, meticulously crafted foot-tapping masterpiece of musical action, we wanted to take a look back at the director’s very first film. No, we’re not talking about Shaun of the Dead, because before that, a 20-year old Edgar Wright got behind the camera for a $15,000 movie that was actually a remake of a movie he originally shot on VHS.

A Fistful of Fingers is a spaghetti western spoof that takes all the signature western style of director Sergio Leone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and mixes it with the silliness of Monty Python and Mel Brooks. Edgar Wright shot the film on 16mm and it debuted back in 1995. It was first screened in the United States in 2015 at Cinefamily in Los Angeles, but just earlier this month, the wonderful Music Box Theatre in Chicago was treated to the second ever domestic screening. I was personally on-hand to finally check this film off my list, and I could not have been more pleased with the silliness on display in this parody that has the hints of greatness we would get from Edgar Wright in the years to come. Read More »

Baby Driver BTS - Edgar Wright and Ansel Elgort

Few filmmakers have a track record like Edgar Wright. His “Cornetto Trilogy” of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End are easily some of the most rewatchable and expertly crafted comedies of all time. Spaced is a near-perfect TV show. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has rightfully become a beloved movie in the years since its theatrical release. His work is clearly influenced by masters of their respective genres, yet each film stands completely on its own, the result of a movie geek who understands visual storytelling on a level that few others ever will.

If you think that sounds a little hyperbolic, you’re wrong. There are too few directors working right now that actually know how to make a genuinely funny and satisfying comedy without letting their actors riff on each other for hours while the camera stands still.

Wright’s long-gestating Baby Driver hits this week, so we decided to take a look back at his career and explore some trivia about his work and career that you might not know.

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Edgar Wright project

Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) is currently making the press rounds promoting his new music-driven action thriller Baby Driver, which comes out next week. But earlier this month, he dropped a tantalizing hint in an interview about a “crazy” new project he has coming up. What could this mystery Edgar Wright project be?
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Han Solo Director Replacement

Yesterday brought the shocking news that directing duo Phil Lord & Chris Miller had been let go from the Star Wars spin-off focusing on a young Han Solo played by Alden Ehrenreich.

At first, only creative differences were cited, but since then we’ve heard more specific details about why the acclaimed and respecting directing team were removed from the project with three weeks of principal photography left on the schedule. The reasoning for a parting of the ways is said to be a clash in filmmaking style. The fast and loose, improvisational approach that Lord & Miller have compared to the more calculated and structured style that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and screenwriter/executive producer Lawrence Kasdan never really met in the middle, and disagreements finally came to a head.

Now Lucasfilm has to find a new director quickly as the studio hopes to be back in production by July 10 (or so we’ve heard), and while Ron Howard is said to be the frontrunner, with names like Joe Johnston and Lawrence Kasdan himself also in consideration, we have a list of filmmakers that we’d like to see finish the Han Solo movie instead.

Check out our own Han Solo director replacement candidates after the jump. Read More »

Baby Driver Trailer Remix

Blockbuster summer has been a fairly disappointing season thus far. For my money, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has been the only movie that has truly delivered what a summer blockbuster is. Thankfully, the season is only half over, and we’ve got plenty of great movies coming down the pipeline, one of which will be arriving in just a couple weeks and just might have a soundtrack that rivals the aforementioned Marvel Studios sequel.

Baby Driver is the latest film from Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs the World director Edgar Wright, and along with the crisp action, editing and camera work that comes with all of the director’s films, there’s a thumping soundtrack that keeps the movie alive in a mesmerizing way. In the spirit of the adrenaline-fueled action flick, DJ Mike Relm created a Baby Driver trailer remix using sound effects, dialogue and more to create an interesting track that wouldn’t feel out of place in the movie itself. Watch it below! Read More »