In praise of the short BMW Films (bmwfilms.com)

(I hope this hasn’t already been recently covered, but I did a search and came up with nothing.)

I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of these short films (seen at http://www.bmwfilms.com ) but with an abysmally slow internet 33.6 K connection, I never bothered to see them.

Then I got Comcast! Woo hoo! I downloaded the 60 - 100 MB Quicktime files (they do have smaller file sizes available too) and started to get hooked. The “enhanced” versions of these films are very good indeed, and the “movies” themselves are fun to watch. Each directed by a different (and well-respected) director and featuring notable guest stars. The somewhat enigmatic Driver (Clive Owen, who you might remember as the orphaned valet from “Gosford Park”) is in each film, and ties them all together with his presence.

I have enjoyed the films immensely. They almost always feature amazing car chases (showing off BMW vehicles being the motivation behind the films in the first place) but they are artfully done. It’s interesting to compare the directing styles of each director, which can be radically different. Download them if you haven’t already!

They just came out with their latest release, “Beat the Devil”, which I admit, isn’t my favorite (but is growing on me). James Brown plays himself and Gary Oldman plays the devil. There is a surprise celebrity cameo appearance at the end, which I confess made me laugh out loud. This film was directed by Tony Scott, and while I liked it well enough, it was too rough and frantic for me. (And I can hardly understand what James Brown says!)

My favorite film is “Star” with Madonna. (It’s from Season One.) Directed by her husband (can’t remember his name) it has her taken on a Wild Ride all around Philidelphia. Very funny.

Also, “The Follow” (starring Mickey Roarke and Forrest Whitaker) is excellent, though it is no longer available for download at bmwfilms.com. (I found another place which had it, thanks to google.com.)

So, anyone else seen these films? Which is your favorite? Huh? Huh?

Ah yes, the BMW films.

My two favorites are “Ambush”, the one directed by John Frankenheimer; and “Star”, directed by Guy Ritchie (Mr. Madonna). Haven’t seen the new ones yet.

I’d actually pay for a DVD compilation, at higher resolution than what’s available on-line.

There actually is a DVD compilation (though it lacks the Wong Kar-Wai film due to licensing issues). BMW gave it out for free when I leased the new 745i :slight_smile:

Ooh! I’ll have to start looking for the DVD version. I am sure it can be found somewhere. And the Wong Kar-Wai version is still available for download on a non-BMW site (I found an ftp site via Google that had it. It was about 60+ MB of QuickTime file, though…)

I hope they keep this series of films going. I am really enjoying them. BMW has found an excellent way to promote their cars! (Not that I am going to buy one anytime soon, of course!)

Actually, last night I went to the bmwfilms.com site to download the new movies, and a blurb there mentions that a DVD will be available to the public in spring 2003.

Good, because nice as it might be, I really don’t need a leased 745i…

Oh wow El Kabong, that’s good news. I was looking around eBay for these DVDs, but the ones they have available are too high priced (at least I think so) and I don’t think they’ll have Season II films. I can wait until 2003!

Actually my highest praise is to Clive Owen who is as sexy as pure butter caramel.

J

Love those films, and the picture on them is fantastic. I’ve got them all burned off on to CD (except for the one they pulled off the BMW site) and have them here at work so I can watch them when I need a quick 10 minute break from the day.

I am also a BMWfilms addict.

I like them all, but my two favs are “Ticker” and “Powderkeg”.

yosemitebabe- What keywords did you use to find “The Follow”? I need it to complete my collection.

jarbaby: yes, Clive Owen is an excellent choice as The Driver. I hadn’t previously seen him in anything (that I recall) and I think he’s just perfect. I hope to see him in many more film projects in the future. (He’s not too pretty, not smarmy or smug, just…perfect for that part.)

Spit: Regarding the download of “The Follow”: I must not have been trying hard enough because I didn’t find it this time on Google. However, I think anyone who puts in the director’s name, name of the film and keywords “bmwfilms” or “bmwfilms.com” should find it eventually. That’s what I did before—it didn’t take a great deal of searching.

However, I have emailed you and Max with a little tidbit of info, so check your mailboxes!

Which means you can get it on eBay.

Sweet!

I got “The Follow” plus all of the sub-plot films. Thanks Yosemitebabe!

I watched all of the subplots, and one of them had a website on a piece of paper the “investigator” picked up. I went to the site, and it’s all of this cryptic stuff about (I assume) the driver. Cool time waster.
On another note; in the film “Powderkeg”, is the photographer blind? His dog tags are in brail, he never looks at anything for very long, he is constantly feeling around with his hands, when he takes pictures they are all shot from the hip, and in his newspaper picture, he appears to have his eyes sort of rolled off. Not to mention his statement about how “His mother taught him to see”.

My roomie and I have pondered it for weeks now, and I thought I would see what you guys had to say about it.

I’m glad you got the movies, Spit!

I confess, I haven’t checked out all the “subplots” yet. I will have to look at them now!

And regarding “Powderkeg”: I hadn’t thought about the concept of the photographer being blind. I am not sure if he is, but his eyes did have a glassy look to them, (but that could have been because he was injured). And the line about his “mother taught him to see”. Yes, that is interesting… Hmmmm… I’ll have to look at “Powderkeg” again.

Wow! I found a DVD of the first season of “The Hire”. I even got a copy with the since removed “The Follow” on it. VERY cool.

It has “extended” Director’s versions of “Chosen” and “Powder Keg” too, as well as other extras and goodies… I am so glad I got this.

Congrats on the DVD.

DirecTV has had a channel devoted to the season two films for the past week, so I can assure you that seeing them on TV w/ surround sound is much better than on the PC.

Watching “Beat the Devil” with the volume all the way up kicks ass! :smiley:

So why have the removed “The Follow” from the site?

I love these short films, too.

Highly entertaining with great production values.

Whenever I see the Star film I always want to drive my 5 speed Civic coupe like Clive Owen drives his 5M series.