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Andy Butler wins February's Find-DVD review competition with his review of Drive directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

09 March 2012

Drive received a considerable number of award nominations in the various 2012 Award ceremonies including a BAFTA nomination for Best Film and one for Best Director (for Nicolas Winding Refn). It is an extremely tense action thriller based on the 2005 novel by James Sallis and stars Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling (as the Driver).

The story concerns a Hollywood stunt driver who becomes deeply embroiled in the highly dangerous world of some of LA's most violent criminals when he takes the occasional job as getaway driver to supplement his income. The exciting fast-paced action-packed storyline coupled with the haunting retro-electronic soundtrack provided mainly by Cliff Martinez has made this one of 2011's most impressive, most memorable films.

Congratulations to Andy Butler who has won last month's review competition for his review of the Blu-ray version of Drive. Andy's review can be read in full below. Thank you to all of you who took the time to submit reviews - we received a lot of really good reviews in February and it was difficult to pick an out and out winner. Andy Butler wins our very generous prize; £100 in Amazon vouchers and this prize is on its way to him already.
If you would like the chance to win our fabulous prize this month – get writing – the competition is very easy to enter. We have already started receiving entries for March and another £100 worth of Amazon vouchers is waiting to be picked up by the lucky winner – it could be you!
Some of last month's excellent review competition entries worth a mention include:
Kashif Ahmed – Red State – "a gripping, darkly satirical piece by an auteur that's definitely back on track"
Ross McIndoe – Rango – "There's nothing else quite like it: it's gorgeous to look at, smartly written and just great fun to watch: just don't expect it to make any more sense when you've finished watching it"
M.D. King – The Artist – "The Artist pairs a touching love story with masterful filmmaking techniques and is one of the best films of 2011. Don't miss it"
Kevin Stanley – Sleeping Beauty – "Sleeping Beauty will certainly provoke debate amongst viewers and film scholars alike. Opinions will, as always, be divided" "This is a visceral and gritty film and it's certainly not going to be palatable to everyone"
Calvin McKinnon – Hugo – "Lovingly crafted from the rare substance that cinema was soaked in long ago when film was and indeed felt new, Hugo is a wondrous movie experience that will surely stand the test of time for generations to come"
Robert Lucas – Hugo – "Scorsese saves cinema" "the message of this film is "Films is art""
Dave Wallace – Spider Man – "a flawed and imperfect movie which is more satisfying and dense than the first film, but which doesn't quite achieve the perfect mix of action, character development, humour and spectacle that made the second film such a perfect superhero movie"

Here is February's winning review of Drive written by Andy Butler
In a word: amazing. Yes, it's a genre film with a simple plot, but based on the sparse novel by James Sallis and filtered through the European sensibilities of Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Valhalla Rising) it becomes so much more. Splattered with the blood of other genres the fairy tale nature of the story - a damsel in distress rescued from an evil king and his warriors by a brave knight in shining armour - takes on a style that places the movie somewhere between the cool blue LA of Michael Mann and the otherworldliness of Leone's spaghetti westerns.

From the neon-pink credits, retro soundtrack to the minimal dialogue, this is a film that proudly wears its influences on its satin-covered sleeve. Hacks steal but geniuses copy, and Refn has made Drive so much more than the sum of its parts. Characters feel like archetypes until the faultless cast give them life that strains at their moulds. Locations seem unrelated - an apartment, a garage, a pizza parlour - until they are tied together by the thin strip of asphalt under Driver's wheels. The plot may be familiar but the love story is so natural, played out in looks and gestures, with the weight of emotion so heavy in what's left unsaid, that it's achingly - hauntingly - beautiful.

It's the beauty that makes the violence all the more shocking. Like a Grimm brothers' fairy tale this is a story that's not afraid to spill blood. Driver lives in a world of physicality and violence - of things that can be smashed apart and put back together. When he's pushed into the criminal world he's tried so hard to stay on the edge of, Driver shows that he's more than capable of pushing back much harder. This isn't needless violence; it's simply the tool he uses to get things done.

This is not film full of car chases, nor is it a movie about a heist gone wrong. Aside from its literal meaning, 'drive' suggests determination, grit and courage in the face of adversity. Drive is about love, and what someone will do to protect it.
Some of the DVDs reviewed in February's Find-DVD review competition
Drive [Blu-ray]
Drive [Blu-ray]

Released: 30/01/2012
From: £3.99
Hugo (Blu-ray 3D)
Hugo (Blu-ray 3D)

Released: 02/04/2012
From: £6.49
The Artist [Blu-ray]
The Artist [Blu-ray]

Released: 28/05/2012
From: £4.5
Rango
Rango

Released: 25/07/2011
From: £3
Elite Squad : The Enemy Within [Blu-ray]
Elite Squad : The Enemy Within [Blu-ray] ...

Released: 26/12/2011
From: £17.3
Warrior
Warrior

Released: 20/02/2012
From: £4.49
Red State [Blu-ray]
Red State [Blu-ray]

Released: 23/01/2012
From: £5.59
Sherlock - Series 2 [Blu-ray]
Sherlock - Series 2 [Blu-ray]

Released: 23/01/2012
From: £8.99
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

Released: 27/03/2000
From: £3.13
Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3

Released: 17/08/2009
From: £2.69
Diamonds Were Forever - Celebrating Glasgow Steam
Diamonds Were Forever - Celebrating Glasgow ...

Released: 25/10/2004
From: £100000
E.R. - Series 1-15 - Complete
E.R. - Series 1-15 - Complete

Released: 26/10/2009
From: £55.86
 
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