The Movie: A lot of movie trivia junkies will likely best know 1983’s BMX Bandits as being the big screen debut of a one Nicole Kidman, but chances are they’ve never actually seen the film. If they live in the United States, that is. In its native Australia, BMX Bandits is a kids matinee movie that an entire generation grew up loving. Elsewhere in the world it may not have that nostalgic, “I watched that a hundred times as a kid!” cache, but it has garnered quite the cult following over the last decade.
By today’s standards, it may seem overly goofy, almost like a Disney channel movie, but that only makes this story of kids vs. robbers all the more delightful.
The Features: An eye-opening Blu-ray transfer that will no doubt wow anyone who has worn out a VHS copy of BMX Bandits; an audio commentary from the very enjoyable Brian Trenchard-Smith, a 40-minute look back at the movie with its cast and crew; a vintage clip of Nicole Kidman on an Australian talent show; the original trailer.
Buy It If You Like: Fun kids movies from the ‘80s.
The Movie: The Fighter may be a straightforward boxing movie about an underdog who wants a shot at the title despite the host of family troubles that threaten to get in his way, but that’s forgivable considering all involved do their best to make you think about everything but the overly familiar formula. The acting is of course the film’s biggest and most talked about asset (Christian Bale’s last lines in the movie are some of the most sincere emotions I’ve seen on screen in years), but a ton of credit must be thrown to its screenplay, which is consistently filled with subtle character quirks and designs that really elevate the material beyond normal “struggling boxer” fare.
The Features: A solo audio commentary track from David. O. Russell; seventeen combined minutes of deleted scenes, about 70% of which also features commentary from Russell; a nine minute look at the Ecklund family; a thirty-minute mini-documentary about the making of the movie.
Buy It If You Like: Boxing movies, obviously, but even if you don’t care for the sport, you may find that you care for these increasingly real characters.
All the Rest
Battle of the Warriors (Vivendi, $15.99)
Blood (2009) (Well Go USA, $16.99)
Sharktopus (Starz/Anchor Bay, $18.99)
There is absolutely no reason this movie needs to be on Blu-ray– and that’s coming from someone who likes the Syfy channel.
Yi Yi (Criterion, $27.99)