Techniques Deployed by Baby Driver: Baby Driver Movie Review

By Tremaine Fuller

Editor’s Note: Views expressed in this article are

solely the author's opinions and beliefs.

We kick off the first scene of Baby Driver with the slow roll-in of the wheel of a 2006 Subaru Impreza WRXs. The opening of the famous song “Bellbottoms” from the group The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, which contains a quick strum of an electric guitar, cuts to a main character. Timing scenes with music is a major part of this film, which is what makes it one of my favorite Edgar Wright films. 

In the second part of this opening scene, the camera focuses on the main character Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, who was previously featured in West Side Story, Tokyo Vice, and Divergent. In the background, we witness an intense bank robbery. The camera does not stay focused on the bank robbery, but instead on Baby, staying true to the film’s premise, a getaway driver seeking freedom from a life of crime with his girlfriend Debora. 

After the robbers get back in the car, we get to witness an actual masterpiece of an opening scene that couldn’t be more perfect for this film. With all the fast cuts of the car drifting around corners to evade the police, a perfectly timed fast-paced rhythm is created. Baby’s driving skills and the in-scene music help the crew escape the police after a long chase through the city of Atlanta. Afterward, we cut to a building with an amusingly clever placement of a double yellow line with two solid white lines on the side to signify a road. We then see the title, “Baby Driver”, an Edgar Wright film that is one of the highest-rated films from the director.

Baby Driver is an amazing film by Edgar Wright whose entire direction of the movie was to time everything with music. I genuinely was not aware that so many actions in the film could match a rhythm. Through bullets, car doors, sirens, and dialogue, the music of the soundtrack is quite literally the heartbeat of this film, making it a worthwhile watch. Not only that, there are various little details in the film that viewers may not notice the first time they watch it. For instance, there is a scene of Baby walking to a coffee shop while the background consists of lyrics to the soundtrack plastered in graffiti. In this scenario, Baby’s love interest for Debora is first shown when the graffiti patterns and colors change to match his inner thoughts of her as she walks by.

Even though Baby Driver is technically a musical, all the music is sourced within the film. Moreover, the characters are aware of the music playing during the scene, but they never sing or dance along with it unless it's a part of the plot. An example of this would be a scene where Baby and Debora are in the laundromat listening to a song that Baby recommended. 

The movie also has an excellent “twist” antagonist (a character that fits the antagonist role but is not usually predicted to be). Overall, because there is so much packed within the film, it's nearly guaranteed that viewers will have a unique experience each time they watch it.

In my opinion, I think you should give Baby Driver a watch, especially if you're a fan of the director’s previous films, Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, or Hot Fuzz. Not only that, if you’re a fan of music or action-romances in general, this film should be on your watchlist. It's something nice that you can just sit back to watch. The film is definitely one of my all-time favorites with its amazing action scenes as well as its good taste in music. It is truly a one-of-a-kind “action-thriller-joyride”.

A Story of Greek Mythology From Story to Show : Percy Jackson & the Olympians (2023) Show Review

By Wesley Che

Editor’s Note: Views expressed in this article are

solely the author's opinions and beliefs.

The Percy Jackson franchise began with the 2010 young-adult novel, The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan. The entire novel has been adapted into the first season of 2023’s Disney+ series Percy Jackson & the Olympians, created by Riordan himself alongside producer Jonathan E. Steinberg. The show comprises eight episodes, following its eponymous protagonist on a quest involving Greek mythological creatures.

Percy Jackson is a troubled child who frequently gets kicked out of numerous boarding schools throughout his life. He goes to a museum on a school trip, where his algebra teacher transforms into a Fury and attacks him. He is given a sword in the form of a pen by his Latin teacher, Mr. Brunner, and uses the sword to strike down the Fury. However, it seems as though everyone else has forgotten about the existence of his algebra teacher, and Percy is expelled from school. His mother, Sally, reveals that Greek Gods and monsters are real, and that Percy himself is a half-blood (half-mortal, half-God).

Percy’s best friend, Grover, is revealed to be a satyr, and tells Percy to move to a place called Camp Half-Blood, where half-bloods like Percy train to become warriors. On the way, the three are attacked by a minotaur, who seemingly kills Sally, causing Percy to kill it in anger. Percy makes it to Camp Half-Blood, where it is revealed that Mr. Brunner is a centaur, Chiron. 

Percy learns that he is the son of the Greek water god, Poseidon, and has to undergo a quest alongside Grover and Annabeth, the daughter of the goddess of wisdom Athena, to retrieve Zeus’ master bolt and return it before the summer solstice. Along the way, the trio encounter a variety of mythical monsters; such as Medusa, the Chimera, and the three-headed Cerberus, whom they must fight.

For the most part, the series takes on a whimsical tone. Many of the fights are done extremely well and are notably attention-grabbing. There are definitely dramatic scenes that emotionally gripped me. One scene depicts Percy and Annabeth attempting to acquire a shield by having one of them sit on a throne that turns the person seated into gold for eternity, leaving me wondering how they will both manage to escape. 

This series is very well-adapted to its source material, but I would not say that it is 100% faithful. For example, in the novel, the main characters enter Medusa’s lair not knowing that they are in danger, but in the show, they are very well-aware that they are entering Medusa’s domain. I can tolerate these types of changes if their purpose is to make the show more entertaining, but those expecting a full one-to-one remake of the book may be taken aback.

When I first heard that there was going to be a TV series adaptation of the Percy Jackson books exclusive on Disney+, I was optimistic. There have already been two movie adaptations that cover the first two books of the franchise, but those movies were plagued with poor writing, poor visuals, and poor deviations from their source material. Going into the Disney+ show, I did not want a repeat of what the movies did. Thankfully, I can say with confidence that this show succeeds in being well-adapted to the books, and showcases the fun that is the world of Percy Jackson. It is definitely a worthwhile watch for any seasoned Percy Jackson fan, and a wonderful introduction into the franchise for new fans.