GO! (1999) - directed by the same guy that directed Swingers. I hadn't seen it in years. It was in a stack of dvds I picked up from the local video store's going out of business sale 2 or 3 years ago. At the core is a group of kids who work at a grocery store and a drug (ecstasy) deal gone awry which gives rise to different storylines. There is the obligatory road trip to Vegas, but unlike Swingers, things get all too crazy. Jay Mohr and Scott Wolf play homosexual actors in trouble with the police. As their relationship with one of the detectives grows, things get weird. It kind of reminds me of an early Danny Boyle or Guy Ritchie film, but set in LA. If you haven't seen it, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by who's in it.
Drive (2011) - Stylised 80's-type soundtrack and magenta script credits make me think of a John Hughes film from hell. This is dark and plodding, but interesting nonetheless. It moves slow at times with long camera fixations on characters doing nothing. Lots of silent but tense moments. Don't get me wrong. It held my attention because it builds and holds onto tense moments without any action - put two people who should really avoid each other in a room together and things can get tense without one word spoken. It has some very violent scenes that explode from the quiet tension. I can see a young Brando or James Dean transported to modern times playing the role of the driver. The role requires body language and facial expressions moreso than delivery of lines. Did Gosling pull it off? I'd say yes. The film isn't perfect, but it is one of those films that might reach "cult" status several years from now. People might look back and say it was his best performance. Was the scorpion jacket an homage to Nicolas Cage's character in Wild at Heart? Remember the snake skin jacket? Hmmm... Nick Cage might have played the driver in his early days. Now, I think I'll look back and see what you guys had to say it about it in earlier threads.
I totally agree with your assessment of "Drive". I thought it was a marvelous film. You're right about the techno 80's soundtrack and titles. You hit the nail on the head. I didn't think of the film as a crime drama as much as a modern retelling of the story in "Shane". The only thing missing was the female leads son running after The Driver's car yelling "Driver! Don't go Driver". Still I thought it was a great film.