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Reel Reviews – Chopper

Chopper DVD

Reel Review #22: “I never killed anyone that didn’t deserve it.” This 2000 Australian film put Eric Bana on the map. Australia has been putting out some great films recently and Chopper is one that is at the top of the list. It is the story of Australia’s most famous criminal as well as one of its best selling authors: Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read. Eric Bana is electrifying on the screen as Chopper. As Chopper always said, “never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn.” Check it out.

Direct download of the podcast: Reel Reviews – Chopper (14:03min 9.8MB)
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13 Responses to “Reel Reviews – Chopper”


  1. Gravatar Icon 1 JR Jan 17th, 2005 at 5:40 am

    What an awesome movie ‘Chopper’ is. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen it. Every time it is broadcast here on cable, I drop everything to watch it again. Practically filmed in my backyard and I was even emailing back and forth with the REAL Chopper a couple of years ago to set up an interview for a site I was working on at the time. We had arranged to meet at a pub for a chat but unfortunately it fell through. A truly larger than life anti-hero to say the very least.

    Easily one of my fave movies (alongside ‘Glengarry Glenn Ross’).

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Michael Jan 17th, 2005 at 9:30 am

    JR, thanks for the feedback. I was curious to see what those of you who live in Australia would have to say. I was emailing with Cameron Reilly who does the G’day World podcast and he had said he used to live around the corner from Chopper and would occasionally see him in the local cafe. I had no idea so many in our audience had had brushes with Chopper. ;)

    As for Glenngarry Glen Ross – an all time favorite. We’ll certainly get to that one. If you like Mamet films, one that recently flew right under the radar is Spartan with Val Kilmer. Certainly worth a watch. I dug up Ebert’s review.

  3. Gravatar Icon 3 Cameron Reilly Jan 18th, 2005 at 2:42 am

    Dude, GREAT review of Chopper! I cracked up this morning when I put your show on, without knowing in advance what it was about, and discovered you’d done it on my mate, the Chop! If you listen to our latest ‘cast, which we recorded over a week ago, you’ll hear me saying I want two statues built in Melbourne – one of Ned Kelly and one of Chopper! And you used my line about Eric Bana being a joke without attribution! tsk tsk. Anyways… yeah Eric had been on a crap sketch Comedy TV show out here for a few years and then even had his own TV show, which only lasted a couple of weeks, and then got shelved. So I never had much time for him. But THEN… the film came out and he just blew it away! Holy Crap. As you said, he CAPTURED Chopper. And Aussie KNOW Chopper, he’s been on the TV a lot over the years, always self-mocking, half-serious, half-scary, hal-joking. When his first book came out twelve-odd years ago, I told a mate of mine I’d like to make a film of the story and he laughed at me! Grrrr. And yeah, I used to see Chop up at my local caf?

  4. Gravatar Icon 4 Peter Jan 18th, 2005 at 8:25 am

    Hey Mate, enjoyed your cast about good old Chopper. Brought back memories of watching it all those years ago and you have actually made me go to the local video shop and rent it out again. I am liking the films that are coming out of Australia (and to extent New Zealand its smaller cousin). I recently saw a movie called “Rabbit Proof Fence” a film about the native population of Australia and how the native children were forced to be raised by white families. It was a film that really moved me. New Zealand films such as Once Were Warriors (a film that almost took my breath away) and the recent film Whale Rider have conjured up similar emotions. Then there is other lighter films such as Chopper, The Dish (with Sam Neil [Jurassic Park] who I have a soft spot for even though he is always so dead pan) and Dirty Deeds (with John Goodman, but not a film I really recommend to people).

    A lot of my friends shun films that are not made in the USA, sometimes they will watch a British film but generally if it is from Europe it is too difficult for them to understand and if it is from another nation they dismiss it because they cant understand the accent and/or culture or cant be bothered reading the subtitles (unless it is a Kung Foo flick). It is a shame, but I have referred your review of Chopper to my friend to help convince him to watch it. Many, many thanks!

  5. Gravatar Icon 5 Michael Jan 18th, 2005 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks Peter for your comments. I have always been a big fan of Once Were Warriors. Jake the Mus! I’ll have to look for some of the others you mentioned.

    Also Cameron is right. He deserves the credit for pointing out that Eric Bana was kind of a joke before Chopper. I think I referred to him as “someone”. :) Speaking of Cameron, I am excited that we are setting up a day for me to appear on his show, G’day World, to talk about film. I’ll post it when it happens.

  6. Gravatar Icon 6 Ray Smith Jan 24th, 2005 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Michael,

    This was the first review I have listened to. A few other podcasters have mentioned how good your reviews are … and I have to agree!
    I will without doubt be a regular listener!
    I watched “Apocalypse Now” over the xmas break and can’t wait to hear your review.
    Note: I’m the guy that suggested Lisa and Greg (from vivapodcast) watch Chopper (small world!)

    Ray Smith

  7. Gravatar Icon 7 Greg & Lisa Jan 29th, 2005 at 12:58 pm

    Well, we finally saw Chopper this week. Definately worth watching, as you say. Keep up the good work, Michael…we continue to enjoy the podcast!

    Greg & Lisa

  8. Gravatar Icon 8 Michael Jan 30th, 2005 at 1:10 pm

    Greg & Lisa, glad you guys liked it. Staying in the Southern Hemisphere you might try a film from New Zealand – Once Were Warriors.

  9. Gravatar Icon 9 Logovo Feb 10th, 2005 at 10:39 am

    That was great fun to listen to, I’m renting this movie as soon as I can.

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