Monday, April 4, 2011
BMX BANDITS (1983)
Awe, childhood memories are the best. Growing up in the 80's one of the coolest things was cable television and HBO. If you had HBO in the greatest decade for movies it was the best film school money could buy! I might start a ongoing series about “hidden treasures” that I discovered on Home Box Office! Truthfully I don't think I'll be able to remember them all? But let's talk about one of my favorite understated movies from the 80's called BMX BANDITS.
BMX BANDITS is a kid's movie from Crocodile Dundee's homeland. This had to have been my first foreign film experience, when you're a kid it's easy to think all movies are made in Hollywood. The movie was released in 1983 to mediocre response in Australia and became a hard sell to USA distributors despite the popularity of BMX bikes in America. The cult classic success of BMX BANDITS didn't happen until around 1985 – 1987 thanks to cable channels The USA Network, The Disney Channel, Showtime, and of course HBO.
I remember waiting on Saturday mornings well after cartoons were over switching to channel 7 (HBO) determined BMX BANDITS was playing. This was the only way to see it because at the time my local video store didn't carry the film. This made the experience much more special plus the fact that not a lot of people knew of the film. On the playground BMX BANDITS would be brought up and sometimes sleepovers would be planned around watching the movie thanks to wonderful VHS recording.
The most popular thing about BMX BANDITS is that it has been logged in history as Nicole Kidman's first movie. Thankfully the film delivers more than that, I'm proud to say it's really really good and holds up well. The story is about a couple BMX'ers and their friend stumble upon a stash of bank robbers police transmitters/walkie talkies and sell them off to buy new bikes. The two crooks responsible for loosing the walkie talkies soon track the teenagers down and the rest of the film is a chase after chase throughout Sydney, Australia.
The acting is very good. The kids are very natural and believable which is rare in child and teen actors. The criminals are the comedic relief of the film and bring a nice Abbott and Costello touch to the characters. What keeps the movie timeless in my opinion is the direction and the stunning camera work. The rigs on the bikes and cars keeps you in the action and it's awesome.
I was so excited to find out that BMX BANDITS was going to be released on Blu-Ray! The disc is gorgeous by the way, the use of colors and the breathtaking scenery are a sight to behold!
Give it a watch if you can, I don't think you'll be disappointed.