The World’s Fastest Indian (DVD), Life Goes On : Season 1 (DVD), The Dirty Dozen : SE (DVD)

Anthony Hopkins wears the Kiwi accent to play New Zealander Burt Munro, a chap who spent years putting together a 1920 Indian motorcycle, ultimately entering it – despite the scolding that he shouldn’t – in the great landspeed race at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967. An enjoyable film, with another solid performance by the always-dependable Hopkins, but the script could’ve easily delve deeper into what makes Munro tick so that we could’ve got a better understanding of the man. Extras on the DVD include a featurette on Burt’s hometown, the making-of, a commentary with writer/director Roger Donaldson, and several deleted scene


A fusion of other new DVD release reviews.


“Life Goes On : Season 1”
Director: Various
Starring: Bill Smitrovich, Patti LuPone, Chris Burke, Kellie Martin, Monique Lanier, Tracey Needham, Ray Buktenica

Never caught much of this when it initially aired on TV, so this was my first meeting with the amiable Thacher family. First up, this show isn’t just engaging – it’s rather groundbreaking. For the first time (as far as I can remember) in the history of a TV series, they’ve got a chap (Chris Burke) with Down Syndrome playing one of the main characters. It’s an audacious, but welcome, move – and I tell ya, the kid can act just as good, if not better, than his more fortunate co-stars.
Interestingly enough, the show isn’t really about him, or his condition – though it does remain a constant – but more so just the day-to-day trials and tribulations of his family. It’s a little like “The Waltons”, a little “Wonder Years”, but generally, it is it’s own beast….and it’s got teeth.
Guessing the show didn’t come across quite as cheesy in the 80s –those big glasses on Kellie Martin are pretty scary! – but there are a few moments in this that are dipped in the orange-coloured glop. Still, what 80s series wasn’t a little bit on the cheddar side?
Extras on the disc include a gag reel and an audio commentary from the abovementioned Chris Burke, who speaks over the pilot episode.

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Reviewer : Clint Morris

“The Dirty Dozen”
Director: Robert Aldrich
Starring: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Richard Jaeckel, George Kennedy, Trini López, Ralph Meeker

With the looming remake fast approaching (hell hath no fury like a film aficionado scored), it’s time to get a refresher course on one of the finest action films Hollywood ever produced. “The Dirty Dozen” was/is the ultimate guy’s movie. It has a pretty standard plot – a varied group of men pulled from a military prison are hired to conduct a raid behind German lines – but the ensemble – Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, Richard Jaeckel, George Kennedy, Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, Clint Walker and John Cassavetes – give life to such memorable gun-toting characters, that it plays all the more better than your typical standard shoot ‘em up. On top of that, it also pulls a few brave punches – near the end of the film, especially, where it has some of the so-called ‘good guys’ doing some rather horrendous things – nudging the film closer to reality. Seems no action hero is as squeaky-clean as we’re led to believe. Makes it all the more real, too.
The newly reissued DVD is a two-disc’er containing the comprehensive featurette “Armed and Deadly: The Making of ‘The Dirty Dozen”, a 30-minute recruitment documentary, a vintage featurette (rather cheesy) and, most notably, a bonus movie (!) 1985’s “The Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission”. Not much of a movie that one, though.

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Reviewer : Clint Morris

“The World’s Fastest Indian”
Director: Roger Donaldson
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Diane Ladd, Paul Rodriguez, Aaron Murphy, Christopher Lawford, Bruce Greenwood

Anthony Hopkins wears the Kiwi accent to play New Zealander Burt Munro, a chap who spent years putting together a 1920 Indian motorcycle, ultimately entering it – despite the scolding that he shouldn’t – in the great landspeed race at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967. An enjoyable film, with another solid performance by the always-dependable Hopkins, but the script could’ve easily delve deeper into what makes Munro tick so that we could’ve got a better understanding of the man. Extras on the DVD include a featurette on Burt’s hometown, the making-of, a commentary with writer/director Roger Donaldson, and several deleted scenes.

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Extras:
Reviewer : Clint Morris