Wednesday, February 11, 2009

BMW Short Films: The Hire

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BMW Short Films: The Hire stars Clive Owen as the magnificent Driver

BMW Short Films: The Hire is a 2001 - 2002 mini series starring Clive Owen in 8 different episodes. Each episodes is about 9-10 minutes. The first season consisted of 5 episodes and 3 more episodes were on the second season. Each BMW cars are different from every episode; as it begins with the BMW 7 series on 1st episode and on the 8th and final episode is the BMW Z4. Not only that, the director are also different on each episode casting a spellbinding element on the series itself.

The Hire is a short film about a driver getting his passenger to the exact destination without getting hurt and on time. Much like The Transporter films. But just that The Driver (Clive Owen) doesn't do guns, he otherwise makes use much of his brains, hands and feet. Hands on the steering and gear, feet on the accelerator, brakes and clutches, and most of brains to outwit the baddies!

Most of the episodes can be considered as my favorites. But my top 3 favorites are WKW's The Follow, Guy Ritchie's Star and Tony Scott's Beat The Devil. These 3 has great video angles being taken especially from WKW's tailing scene from afar.

Season 1

Episode 1 - Ambush:

The van blows up after ramming into one of the tractors

The Driver escorts an elderly man (Tomas Milian) to an unnamed location in New York at end scene, where he is confronted by a black van full of armed men with masks and warned The Driver that the old man has U$ 2 million stolen uncut diamonds. At first the old man said, " The deal was no questions ask". In desperate moments, the old man claims to have swallowed the diamonds and that the men will likely cut him open to retrieve the diamonds. The Driver decides at the last minute to help him, participating in a car chase and shootout with the van. The Driver eventually evades his pursuers and watches their destruction. He then delivers the old man to a town nearby and asks the merchant if he did indeed swallowed the diamonds. The client merely chuckles and walks away. The Driver smiles and leaves.
Episode 2 - Chosen:

The Driver avoiding all 4 cars from getting shot and to protect the holy child behind

The Driver protects a holy Asian child (Mason Lee) that was brought to America by boat. Based on the holy child dressings - he's probably from Tibet. The child then gives The Driver a gift but says that he is not supposed to open it yet. After being pursued by many armed assassins, and being grazed in the ear, he delivers the boy to another holy man. However the boy signals silently to The Driver indicating the man is not a real monk (who is wearing a pair of cowboy boots). The Driver defeats the impostor and rescues the boy. Before The Driver leaves, he opens the gift which is revealed to be a Hulk bandage for his bleeding ear. So to said that Ang Lee brings Hulk in as a cameo.


Episode 3 - The Follow:

The Driver (BMW 3 series) tails the actor's wife (BMW Z3 roadster) to prevent her from leaving the country

The Driver is hired by a nervous movie manager (Forest Whitaker) to spy on a paranoid actor's wife. During his tailing of the wife (Adriana Lima), the Driver describes the right way to tail someone. As he follows her he begins to fear what he might learn of her apparently tragic life, which ends with him giving the manager's money back. The wife was evidently trying to leave the country to find her mother but was beaten at one point, most likely by her husband (Mickey Rourke).
Episode 4 - Star:

The Driver drives and drifts away from Madonna's bodyguard

The Driver is chosen by a spoiled and shallow celebrity (Madonna) to drive her to a venue. Unbeknownst to her, her manager has actually hired the Driver to teach the celebrity a lesson. Pretending to escape her pursuing bodyguards, the Driver recklessly drives through the city, tossing the hapless celebrity all around the backseat. They arrive at the venue, where she is thrown out of the car and photographed by paparazzi in an embarrassing end on the red carpet.
Episode 5 - Powder Keg:

The Driver gets across to the other border safely but the photographer did not make it

The Driver is drafted by the United Nations to rescue a wounded war photographer named Harvey Jacobs (Stellan Skarsgard) from out of hostile territory. While they are leaving Jacobs tells the Driver about the horrors he saw as a photographer, but he regrets his inability to help war victims. He gives the Driver the film needed for a New York Times story and also his dog tags to give to his mother. When they reach the border, they are confronted by a guard who begins to draw arms as Jacobs begins taking pictures, trying to get himself killed. The Driver drives through a hail of gunfire to the border, but finds Jacobs killed by a bullet through the seat. The Driver arrives in America to give the dog tags to Jacobs' blind mother (Lois Smith).
Season 2

Episode 1 - Hostage:

The Driver being troubled by police cars allegedly being called as a car theft

The Driver is hired by the FBI to help defuse a hostage situation. A disgruntled employee has kidnapped a CEO and has hidden her, demanding $5,088,042. The Driver delivers the money, writing the sum on his hand as instructed by the hostage taker. After he is told that he holds the life of a person in his hand, he is ordered to burn the money. As he complies, the federal agents break in and attempt to subdue the man, who shoots himself in the head before he reveals where the woman is hidden. The Driver then tries to find the hostage before she drowns in the trunk of a sinking car. As a twist, the kidnapped woman is revealed to be the hostage taker's lover. She coldly taunts the dying man in the hospital.
Episode 2 - Ticker:

A wounded diplomat with The Driver rushes against time to deliver the mysterious briefcase

The Driver drives a wounded diplomat (Don Cheadle), who carries a mysterious briefcase, while under helicopter attack. The Driver manages to destroy his pursuers, but refuses to proceed without knowing the contents of the damaged briefcase. It is revealed that the diplomat guards a human heart for a peacekeeper, whose life is needed for the continued freedom of the people. The case is delivered, and the tyrant is forced to give up his attempt to take the country by force. The Driver leaves for another mission.


Episode 3 - Beat The Devil:

James Brown in a car with The Driver upon visiting the Devil in Las Vegas

In November 1954, James Brown (as himself) traded sunrise for sunset to be rich and famous. This time he's all old and he can't do anymore splits; and he tried to make another deal with the Devil (Gary Oldman) by trading for another soul for another 50 years. The bet is on the drag race between The Driver and the Devil's driver (Danny Trejo).

It has never been screened in Asia nor other places as far as I'm concern except for commercial use to promote BMW's driving efficiency. I just knew about this miniseries just recently when i went to my cousin's house and he (Miguel Takahashi - not his real name) shown it to me. But one could now download from torrent sites! If one could ever try to find and download. It comes along with The Making too. The Star episode has a good example and lesson: Please Put On Your Seatbelts!

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