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Movie Review: ‘Baby Driver’ Is a Masterpiece of Music, Action & Speed

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Baby Driver Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

[dropcap]E[/dropcap]dgar Wright is a director where you can feel the blood pumping through all his movies. As Baby Driver opens with a getaway driver awaiting his partners in crime to emerge from a bank, he entertains himself with music on his iPod. But music isn’t just something to passively listen to while sitting in a car. Not for the driver known as Baby. He lip-syncs along, mimics the drums and activates the windshield wipers to the speed of the song.

Baby Driver Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Ansel Elgort in ‘Baby Driver.’

When the robbers finally return to the car, the ear buds stay in, the car goes vroom and a fantastic chase is underway. Music isn’t just entertainment for Baby; it’s the force that can drive him to do everything with grace and intensity, from escaping the cops to ordering coffee. Think Drive meets La La Land, swirled together with a sweet mix tape.

Ansel Elgort plays the titular Baby with a remarkable range for a character with tinnitus that spends most of the movie quietly being lost in thought as he listens to his MP3 player. When he’s not working with his no-nonsense heist organizer Doc (Kevin Spacey), he finds himself talkative and enthused with diner waitress Debora (Lily James), a woman that he instantly falls for upon first hearing her sing a little diddy. He needs to have her in his life just as much as he needs to know that song she was singing when they first met. And he really wants that song. So obsessed Baby is with music that he’ll find it in the most unlikely of places, recording conversations of his criminal cohorts and remixing them into amazing melodies. It sounds silly, but I dare you to listen to his track “Was He Slow” and not be convinced it’s a catchy song worthy of the end credits.

Baby Driver Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Lily James plays the love interest.

Baby is such an articulate and intelligent guy that it’s unfortunate he’s involved with the world of crime, despite the amazingly charismatic bad guys. Doc looks fondly on Baby and will go to bat for him, but only from a business perspective. The criminal couple of Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eiza González) admire him, but still look down on him like a child, openly talking about murder and betrayal in front of him as though they were having an adult conversation that Baby’s ears couldn’t hear.

But the chaotic Bats, played with the right amount of grit and crazy by Jamie Foxx, doesn’t trust him at all. Too pompous to be insulted by others and too stupid to ask before shooting, Bats becomes the unhinged gangster that lights a fire under Baby, forcing him to put that musically calculative mind to better use.

Baby Driver Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Jamie Foxx stirs up trouble.

The character of Baby is a familiar one, what with his quietness, troubled past and a strong desire to run away with his girl. He thankfully comes off more original than derivative, more of a unique amalgamation if anything, thanks to a script that paints him as a man of many passions and quirks. The little aspects of his record collecting, voice remixing and a plethora of different MP3 players really make him a character you want to root for, hoping he’ll take the next exit from bank robbery before crashing into the inevitable wall of the law. He’ll turn, but only if he can make it look cool with a style all his own. Anything less would be a disservice to Baby’s way of life.

Read more to watch the Baby Driver trailer:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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