Drive My Car appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a positive presentation.
For the most part, sharpness worked fine. A little softness crept into wider shots at times, but most of the movie looked accurate and well-defined.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects emerged, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws remained absent.
Drive opted for a light teal palette that leaned toward the blue side of that coin, though some amber/orange showed up at times too. While not an exciting choice, the Blu-ray replicated the colors as intended.
Blacks felt deep and dark, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. All in all, the image satisfied.
Given the film’s status as an introspective character drama, one wouldn’t expect sonic fireworks from its DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Indeed, the mix remained largely restrained.
Most of the time, side and surround usage connected to vehicles or weather. Nothing showy occurred, but those components managed to form a nice sense of place and setting.
Audio quality worked fine, with dialogue that appeared natural and concise. Music offered a gentle presence but came across as full and lush.
As noted, effects lacked a lot to do, but they also felt well-rendered and accurate. Though never a memorable mix, the audio suited the story.
A few extras appear here, and a Cannes Press Conference fills 43 minutes, 39 seconds. It offers a panel with director Ryusuke Hamaguchi, producer Teruhisa Yamamoto and actors Sonia Yuan, Toko Miura and Reika Kirishima.
They discuss the source story and its adaptation, story and characters, staging scenes in the car, cast and performances, shooting during COVID, and connected topics.
Since panels like this largely exist to promote films, one shouldn’t expect a ton of insights here. Nonetheless, the press conference seems more substantial than most and comes with some good notes.
Next comes an Interview with Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi. This spans 25 minutes, five seconds.
Hamaguchi covers what got him into filmmaking, his approach to cinematic storytelling and his view of the camera’s purpose, how he found the source story and brought it to the screen, cast and performances, research and influences, and some production notes.
Here we find a nice overview of different production issues. It comes as a disappointment that Hamaguchi didn’t do an audio commentary, as he presents a nice set of insights.
Behind the Scenes spans 35 minutes, 21 seconds and presents shots from sets. We also get some comments from Kirishima, Yuan, Miura, and actors Hidetoshi Nishijima, Jin Dae-yeon, Ahn Hwitae, Park Yu-rim, and Masaki Okada.
As we see glimpses of the production, we get notes about cast and characters, Hamaguchi’s work as director, and thoughts about the film. The interviews add less than one would hope, but the candid material from the shoot adds value.
In addition to the film’s trailer, the set concludes with a booklet that includes art, credits and an essay from critic Bryan Washington. It finishes the package on a positive note.
With a slow pace and a deliberate plot, Drive My Car will not work for everyone – and that includes me. At three hours, the film taxes patience and fails to deliver enough payoff to warrant that extended running time. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture, appropriate audio and a mix of bonus materials. For what it attempts, Drive seems professional but the end result leaves me cold.