Yup. I actually paid good money to watch what are essentially commercials for BMW. But, since the commercials are in the form of short films by eight top directors, I figure it was worth it.
What makes buying this worthwhile is Tony Scott's Beat the Devil, starring James Brown. A long time ago, at the crossroads, James Brown sold his soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune. Now, he wants to renegoiate for everlasting youth. The devil (Gary Oldman - who else could it be?) makes a bet, that if Brown's driver (Clive Owen, the driver in all eight shorts) wins, Brown can get what he wants. In addition to Oldman, another of my favorite character actors, Danny Trejo, is present, as the driver of Satan's flaming Pontiac Firebird.
Another good one is from Alejandro González Iñárritu, starring Stellan Skarsgaard as a war photographer who has just taken pictures of some atrocities in a Latin American country. The tone is like Apocalypse Now, when Willard was talking about only feeling at home when he was at war. The guy tells the driver he regrets not spending enough time with his children. "How many do you have?" he asks. "None," is the answer from the many bleeding to death the in the back seat.
Guy Ritchie deconstructs Madonna in the Star, getting Owen to give her the ride of her life to the tune of Blur's Song No 2. Woo hoo! She is humiliated.
Joe Carnahan (Narc) turns in a nice one with Ticker, featuring Don Cheadle as a man who is carrying a mysterious case and is being chased by some guys in the helicopter gunship.
Other films are from John Frankheimer, John Woo, Wong Kar Wai and Ang Lee.
Just as the stars are deconstructed, so are the cars. The BMWs are put through all kinds of torture, getting dirty, dented and bloodied while being driven at top speeds. If anything, the "commercials" demonstrate that the rear end of the cars make pretty good battering rams. "BMW recommends you wear your seat belt" is the only admonition.