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DRIVEN: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Joe Tanto (Sylvester Stallone) is a washed up open-wheel cart driver recalled by team manager Carl Henry (Burt Reynolds) to mentor hot-shot rookie driver Jimmy Bly (Kip Pardue), who is buckling under pressure despite his awesome potential. There's his main rival, world champ Beau Brandenberg (Til Schweiger), and Beau's bombshell girlfriend Sophia (Estella Warren), who Jimmy takes a shine to after Beau dumps her. Can the race veteran recover from his past and show Jimmy how to win the race in his head before the one on the track?

Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
Has a more cartoonish feature film hit the big screen since, well, Sylvester Stallone's last movie? Film critics have smelt burning rubber all over Driven. "A movie by, for and about the Attention Deficit Disordered," says Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times). "A music video shot by a Cops camera crew on crystal meth" says Michael O'Sullivan (Washington Post). "This homoerotic car-racing actioner delivers something between Speed Racer and gay porn," says Andrew O'Hehir (Salon.com). How could I top that? Well, let me just say I had a lot of fun watching Driven. Not merely for His Slyness's ham-fisted mumbling beefcake, but for the clichés which I agree "were found in the deep discount bin at Cliches'R'Us," according to Todd Anthony (South Florida Sun-Sentinel). Driven is a shameless testosterone-charged boys'n'beers movie that simply spins its wheels all over the screen.

In fact, the DVD may well become a collector's item in the "stupid movies" stakes, for in the deleted scenes Stallone himself reveals his utter belief he was making a great movie (which he also wrote and produced). Listen to director Renny Harlin's feature length audio commentary, however, and he'll tell you how Stallone's script was 220 pages long - double the average length. He'll tell you how he scrapped sub-plots and character development, and changed Sly's champion car racer into a bruised and battered wash-out who mentors a young hotshot. "It's Rocky on wheels 25 years later," Sly told director Harlin, who must now wonder why he ever teamed up with his Cliffhanger pal. It was meant to be the film about car racing Harlin always wanted to make - about the late Formula 1 champ Ayton Senna - but why their plans changed remains unanswered.

The DVD also contains the standard making-of advertorial and a computer-wizardry section with the highlight of how one CGI whiz pulled a 36-hour shift to get a scene done. Terrific. Driven on DVD should sit on your shelf for one thing; the odd reminder of how surreal Hollywood movies became in 2001.

Published January 10, 2002

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REVIEWS

DRIVEN (PG)
(USA)

CAST: Sylvester Stallone, Kip Pardue, Burt Reynolds, Til Schweiger, Gina Gershon, Estella Warren

DIRECTOR: Renny Harlin

RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Director Renny Harlin's Commentary; Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary with Sylvester Stallone; Conquering speed through special effects; The Making of Driven; Theatrical trailer
Biographies; DTS 5.1; Dolby Digital 5.1; Widescreen 2.35:1; 16:9 enhanced

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

DVD RELEASE: January 9, 2002







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