(1930/First National/Warner Archive DVD)
B+/C Sound: B+/C Extras: B/D Films: B/C+
DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
up are two films from two different time periods that represent the
idea of being slick, cars included...
Edgar Wright adds to his impressive resume of films (which include
of the Dead,
Pilgrim vs The World)
with the action-packed Baby
(2017). This creative and kinetic film was a crowd pleaser both
critically and commercially when it premiered in cinemas last summer
and is now finding its way onto home video, including this Blu-ray,
thanks to Sony. The disc not only looks and sounds great but is also
packed with some great extras that make this release a must grab.
cast of Baby
includes Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Kevin Spacey, R.
Marcos Taylor, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm, a mix of newcomers and
(Elgort) is the fastest getaway driver around who lives and breathes
music and for whom is on speed dial with the sinister Doc (Spacey)
who employs him for a series of bank robberies. After a few
successful runs, Baby decides that he's getting out of the business
in an attempt to live a someone normal life and to help take care of
his deaf stepfather, for whom he lives with. However, Doc isn't so
anxious to lose his best driver and forces Baby into a corner with
his biggest job yet. Just as he meets the girl of his dreams and
life seems to be perfect, he gets mixed up with a bad bunch of crooks
(Foxx, Hamm) and gets in a whole heap of trouble. Using his
expansive playlist with his earbuds in his ears and sunglasses over
his eyes, Baby can accomplish anything on the road but its when he's
on foot that he finds himself in hot water.
film was shot by Bill Pope (The
who is no stranger to the world of car chases and expansive action
sequences under his lens and fully delivers here. Aided by its
impressive soundtrack and perfect editing, this film is one of the
more impressive and original takes on a familiar genre that I've seen
in a while.
on Blu-ray in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of
2:40.1 and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the film is
sharp and loud and sure to give your home entertainment system a
workout. While we sadly aren't covering the reportedly superior 4K
Ultra HD 2160p Blu-ray release at this time, this Blu-ray is up to
standards for the format, what is visually intended and is solid.
The film is bright and stylized with nice character detail and sound
digital UV copy is also included.
- 20 minutes of extended scenes and a few moments that were dropped
from the final cut.
In A Go-Kart: Ansel Drives
- Ride shotgun with star Ansel Elgort as he works with the talented
stunt drivers to become the ultimate getaway driver.
Need A Killer Track: The Music
- Explore how the film's phenomenal soundtrack dictated both the
writing process and all aspects of production on Baby
My Baby: Edgar Wright
- Follow Edgar Wright's vision of Baby
from its inception two decades ago, to its ultimate realization on
the big screen.
Your New Crew: Doc's Gang
- Led by powerhouse Kevin Spacey, the cast assembled to form Doc's
gang is perfectly constructed, with stars like Jamie Foxx and Jon
Hamm as well as up and coming talent like Eiza Gonzalez and Jon
Something Funky On There: The Choreography
- With every frame of Baby
set to a specific beat it took precise choreography by the cast, crew
and editors to create a cinematic dance like nothing that's been done
before. Hear from the choreographer and filmmakers on this
Behind The Wheel: The Car Chases
- From closing down Atlanta's interstates to creating eye-popping
maneuvers for a variety of vehicles, witness the amazing
craftsmanship and sheer determination that made the film's incredible
car chases possible.
- Check out over 35 minutes of the numerous pre-vis animatics
developed by Edgar Wright as part of his meticulous preparation.
- See firsthand the audition that proved without a doubt that Ansel
Elgort was the perfect choice for Baby.
Coffee Run Rehearsal
- Day one of production involved one of the film's most elaborately
choreographed sequences where every movement is carefully crafted.
See the preliminary rehearsal and see the behind the scenes movement
in concert with Ansel Elgort's on camera choreography.
Make Up & Costume Tests
- In this stylized montage, witness the transformation of the actors
through costume, hair and make-up tests.
Royale "Blue Song" Music Video
- This music video directed by Edgar years ago for the band Mint
Royale showcases some early inspiration for Baby
Storyboard Gallery - See the elaborate storyboards developed for the
film in this gallery featuring storyboards for the entire film.
Audio Commentary Track
separate Filmmaker Commentary (Edgar Wright and Director of
Photography Bill Pope)
you're a fan of films with great car-chases, high stake bank
robberies, and unpredictable and well developed characters, then Baby
should be on your list.
love affair with cars and its extended love through cinema goes back
to the silent period when films began with car racing and watching
rich people trying the newfangled 'horseless carriages' made more
interesting by the combination of new technology hardly anyone had
seen before and before the advent of paved roads. By the time sound
arrived, cars were as much a hit as the movies and they still meant a
certain status. You'd see them with the rich, in comedies (the
(reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) has the tipsy leads
wrecks and become ghosts. They were also used in more than a few
dramas and Mervin LeRoy's Playing
(1930) uses an equally desirable, fancy auto (then and now) as part
of its tale.
first, this would seem like a comedy with the beautiful Alice White
(being promoted as a new big lead star actress, she definitely had
the camera liking her) as a talented stenographer in a joyless
marriage, bored when she just wants to have fun. Her beau works for
her father in his popular cigar shop and it is all at least safe, but
a shaky, charming con artist (an solid early role for Chester Morris,
who would play other baddies, as well as the great
anti-hero/detective in some of the Boston Blackie films and radio
dramas) pretending to be a man of means (fancy car included) when he
is really a two-bit thief.
(White) falls for all this, but the slickster tries to rob her
father's place, not knowing they are related and things take a turn
for the worse, then this becomes more of a crime drama. I will stop
as not to spoil this, but this was about decade before LeRoy got the
big credit on Gone
With The Wind
(despite many others working on both) gaining his own big screen
immortality. This runs only 66 minutes, but it is tight, smart and
shows he was a better journeyman director than just on those big
productions. This one actually starts with a musical number
(backstage at an entertainment club) instantly setting a tone of fun,
joy and a little mischief, which it sustains until later. The cast
is also good, making one wonder why White was not a bigger star.
way, this is a top-notch production for its time, a good script and
could actually show a thing or two to too many of the big budget
zombified, tired, big screen 'blockbusters' that have forgotten the
also like the way this film was shot and even like some of the early
use of sound, but the 1.33 X 1 black and white image and lossy
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono are on the weak side showing the films age.
However, this one really ought to be restored for Blu-ray, 4K and the
like because it has some fine moments and serious films fans should
go out of their way to catch it.
order the Playing
Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for them and many more great
web-exclusive releases at:
James Lockhart & Nicholas Sheffo