Drive (1997) (88 Films) 4K Blu-ray Review + Packaging Shots

88 Films debuts their first 4K blu-ray release with one of the best martial arts action films to come out of the 90's, Drive.

Studio: 88 Films
Release Date: August 11th, 1998 (video premiere)
Run Time: 1 hour 57 minutes 50 seconds (director's cut) / 1 hour 39 minutes 40 seconds (original cut)
Region Code: FREE
Picture: 2160p (2.35:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: English Dolby Atmos, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Slipcover: Yes (slipbox)
Digital Copy: Yes
Starring: Mark Dacascos, Kadeem Hardison, John Pyper-Ferguson, Brittany Murphy, Tracey Walter, James Shigeta
Written by Scott Phillips
Directed by Steve Wang
Rating: Not Rated (martial arts violence and language)




What's It About?

When special agent Toby Wong (Dacascos)is fitted with an advanced bio device giving him superhuman powers he fears that he and the new technology will be exploited for ill gain when the Chinese government takes back control of Hong Kong. Fleeing to San Francisco he plans to sell the device to a company in Los Angeles but when he teams up with down on his luck singer Malik (Hardison) he finds himself being pursued by ruthless assassin Madison and his band of mercenaries. 


Sourced from a brand new 4K scan of the original camera negative and presented in the film's original aspect of 2.35:1, this transfer is awesome. Film grain is well-managed and constant throughout the runtime. Detail can be high in the closeups. Colors are much more vibrant and accurate with the HDR doing a wonderful job with them. The film has never been a looker, but this transfer helps the film look the best it ever has.

On the audio side, we get a brand new Dolby Atmos track. This is great news for those who can play it properly, but I can not, so I can't review the track. 88 Films also included 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks which sound great.


Commentary by director Steve Wang, fight choreographer Kochi Sakamoto and stars Mark Dacascos and Kadeem Hardison
Drive: Original Cut (1h 39m, HD, 2.35:1)
Drive: The Force Behind the Storm Documentary (47m 43s, SD, 1.33:1
Highway to Nowhere: Jason Tobin and Drive (20m 1s, HD, 1.78:1)
Deleted Scenes (8m 1s, SD, 2.35:1, 4x3) 6 scenes 
Interview Gallery (24m 41s, SD, 1.33:1) Interviews with Mark Dacascos, Steve Wang, Wyatt Weed, Kochi Sakamoto, and Kadeem Hardison
Original Trailer (1m 42s, SD, 1.33:1)

This is a nice selection of special features. The commentary is a must and is a very fun listen. The making of is also fun with the stories and behind-the-scenes footage. It is very clear that everyone was having fun making this film. The only thing that I didn't like about the interview was the fact that its sound isn't mixed right as it is way too loud during the interviews. I am sure that the makers loved the music they added, but I want to hear the interviews, not the music. The interviews are ok. The big thing in the special features is the original cut. This version of the film is the very same version that was first released on VHS in the States in 1998. I am not that familiar with the film to tell you what the differences are but the director's cut is about 18 minutes longer.

The packaging is pretty nice as well. The front of the side loading slip box features brand new artwork from artist Sam Gilbey, who did the artwork for Sony's The Karate Kid Trilogy 4K blu-ray set as well as Arrow's True Romance steelbook. The artwork is lovely and helps sell the film well. Inside the slip box, we get a 15mm black 4K blu-ray case with some more new artwork on one side of the reversible cover, while the other side is the film's original poster. This artwork is also nice, but I wish that 88 Films had used the VHS cover art that MVD used for their Rewind Collection blu-ray release. That was the artwork that was used here in the States and I would have liked it a lot more than the artwork we got. There is also a folded poster inside the case that features the same artwork as the slip box.

The disc is REGION FREE


DRIVE is one of the best action films to come out of the 90s. While it never hits the heights on films like STONE COLD, HARD TARGET, or DRUNKEN MASTER II, it does some many things right that we can overlook it's flaws. The cast is great without a single wrong casting choice. The filmmaking is very good especially for a straight-to-video film (it wasn't made for the video market, but has all the trappings of one). The fight scenes are some of the best to come out of an American film. Mark Dascascos moves like a fighting angel and Kadeem Hardison gets to participate in some of the fight scenes. This is a must see for martial arts fans or those who are looking for something a bit differet.

The 4K blu-ray from 88 Films is truly wonderful. Beautiful picture and sound and great special features. The only complaint is that there is a only one new interview. I wish that they had gotten Dacascos, Hardison, or Steve Wang, but what we have here is still worth watching. This is 88 Films first 4K blu-ray release and it is a real winner. I can say that if the 4K blu-rays they release in the future, then the future looks very bright. 



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