4K UHD Review: ‘Drive’ (2011)

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Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Distributor: Second Sight Films

“I drive.”

The latest release from Second Sight Films sees a super-charged Limited Edition box set celebrating the ferocious quality of the 2011 cult classic: Drive. Released in both 4K UHD and Blu-ray formats, Drive has finally received the servicing it so fully deserves. 

From the stylish writer-director Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive presents the story of Ryan Gosling living a dual life of sorts as both a Hollywood stuntman and a getaway driver. His activities are dangerous, but he always gets out alive. He has his rules. He always succeeds by them. For a man with little to say, his actions do the talking. However, his world turns to the unpredictable and slightly out of his control once, in an ironic way, Gosling’s introverted and quiet demeanor manages to acquire the attention of his apartment building neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan). A smile can clearly go a long way! That is until Irene’s criminal husband, played by Oscar Isaac, returns home and needs help to resolve his own issues that endanger the whole family. Who can help? The Driver.

The film that remains as the highpoint in the careers of both Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive has grown to the status of cult classic in the last decade of its existence, though it had a popularity from the get go. Far from just a stylish action-crime showpiece, this is a film that really belongs in the 70s. Boasting an ambiance and aesthetic of New Hollywood, its spectacle of excellent car chases and stunts, compound an excellent array of old and new. Drive has the ability to present itself as either a big budget film or an arthouse picture – it succeeds in both.  

Upgraded to a 4K master, the stylish nature of Drive is elevated to another level. The execution of the drive sequences and generally most external sequences look incredible – the LA sunset makes the flight time worthwhile. Ultimately, this is by far Second Sight’s best 4K master. In teaming up with Refn, this was not only a masterstroke from Second Sight, but the completely correct procedure in getting Drive to be an experience at the highest of capabilities in its new release format. The Limited Edition release, however, doesn’t stop at a state-of-the-art performance in UHD… 

Essential to every collector’s top shelf, the Limited Edition Drive box set first entails new artwork by AllCity – yes, the famous scorpion logo! An essay-ridden 240-page book, the original novel and source material form which Drive is based upon, and 7 collectors’ art cards. All very fancy. On the disc, this is the true goldmine:

  • A Special Edition release presented by Second Sight Films and Director Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Includes UHD and Blu-ray both with main feature and bonus features
  • New 4K master produced by the original post production company and approved by Nicolas Winding Refn
  • UHD presented in Dolby Vision HDR graded by the film’s original colourist
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • New exclusive audio commentary by Nicolas Winding Refn and The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw
  • Drive: a 70 minutes conversation with Nicolas Winding Refn, Editor Mat Newman and Composer Cliff Martinez
  • Cutting a Getaway – a new interview with Mat Newman
  • 3 Point Turns – a new video essay by Leigh Singer
  • Optional English subtitles for the hearing impaired

Drive is out now on Limited Edition and Standard Edition 4K UHD, and Blu-ray. Many thanks to both Aim Publicity and Second Sight Films for the pleasure of this film.

4 Stars


For John.

This article’s featured image: By Source, Second Sight Films, Fair Use

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