Aging screenwriter Felix Bonhoeffer has lived his life in two states of existence: in reality and his own interior world. While working on a murder mystery script, and unaware that his brain is on the verge of implosion, Felix is baffled when his characters start to appear in his life, and vice versa.
Al Shaw's life revolves around motor racing and his back country junkyard, the "Smash Palace". His French wife, Jacqui, doesn't appreciate the lack of attention due to Al's obsession with ... See full summary »
Anna Maria Monticelli,
Convicted gun runner, Las Vegas visionary, crusading newspaper publisher, target of the Watergate burglars, hero of Israels War of Independence...these are only some the highlights of Hank ... See full summary »
Chekov's Uncle Vanya, transposed to turn-of-the-century North Wales, where the peace and tranquility of a country house is disturbed by the arrival of the estate's tyrannical owner and his ... See full summary »
Recluse Smith (Sam Neill) is drawn into a revolutionary struggle between guerillas and right-wingers in New Zealand. Implicated in a murder and framed as a revolutionary conspirator, Smith ... See full summary »
For 25 years in Invercargill at the south end of New Zealand, Burt Munro (1899-1978) has been working on increasing the speed of his motorcycle, a 1920 Indian. He dreams of taking it to the Bonneville Salt Flats to see how fast it will go. By the early 1960s, heart disease threatens his life, so he mortgages his house and takes a boat to Los Angeles, buys an old car, builds a makeshift trailer, gets the Indian through customs, and heads for Utah. Along the way, people he meets are charmed by his open, direct friendliness. If he makes it to Bonneville, will they let an old guy on the flats with makeshift tires, no brakes, and no chute? And will the Indian actually respond? Written by
The set of Burt Munro's garage/shack was formerly the site of a gang headquarters in Invercargill, New Zealand. See more »
When Burt's motorcycle and trailer break loose from his car at high speed, the trailer upsets on the gravel covering the shoulder of the road, settling on the left side of the motorcycle. Yet when the bike and trailer are righted there is no "road rash" or damage of any kind on the left side of the cycle's fairing. See more »
[rolling a distance gauge]
93... 94... 95... 96... 97...
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I saw this film on a plane - I know, I know, the worst place to see any kind of film - and thought I would just fall asleep as I didn't expect it to catch my interest enough to put up with the bad audio and small screens. In any case I dislike feel-good movies, and all the Kiwi-innovator stuff makes me cringe, Kiwis don't have the monopoly on being resourceful. And I'd never heard of Burt Munro. So I was surprised to find within a few minutes I was entranced.
Anthony Hopkins has made a brilliant job of the role, his accent wasn't too bad, and I loved the way he said "Invercarrrrrrgill". Hopkins' talent really shone - without him saying a word or changing his expression, you just knew how Burt felt when confronted by an apparently insurmountable obstacle (I won't spoil it) and his placid acceptance of the inevitable falls, tumbles and injuries told you that for Burt these were a fact of life. The other cast were also flawless, for me there wasn't a weak point in any of the acting. The humour was delivered in the main by Hopkins and with the lightest possible touch. The cinematography was beautiful and conveyed the journey from long quiet light of Munro's idealism in Invercargill, murky 'orribleness of the necessary evil of passing through LA and laying your dream on the line in the harsh open glare of Utah.
Hopkins has done a few of these slightly-disreputable, love-em-when-you-get-to-know-em characters but this is the best. And I'm not a motorcycle fan, and no Kiwi-made-good fan, but I will confess to a tear (almost) at the end when the text came up about Burt's unbeaten record.
If you watch this film at home you won't want to be disturbed by other people talking - you'll want to catch every word, every nuance.
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