Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bike Movie Reviews

Ya gotta love Netflix...When you plumb the depths, you can find some rather obscure stuff. But not everything lying in the rough is a diamond. Read on for some quick reviews of a few recent bike-related films we've watched from Netflix...

The Flying Scotsman
The Flying Scotsman is a fun little film that will keep the cyclist in the house cheering Graeme Obree in his record-breaking rides. The struggles between Graeme and the UCI were explained well enough that I didn't need to pause the movie and fill in the details for my wife. While it's no "Rocky," it certainly ranks amongst the ten best feature-length bike films, although I'm not sure if there are 10 feature-length bike films out there...For bike geeks, the most satisfying scene of the film has got to be Graeme ripping apart his wife's washing machine for the bearings. It's worth Three and a Half Sprockets out of Four.

On the other extreme, we've got...

2 Secondes
2 Secondes could've been a great film, but like the lead character, a female downhill mountain bike racer who returns to her native Montreal, it falters at the gate and doesn't deliver. I don't speak French, but given that the English dialogue was rather stilted and poorly-delivered, I probably didn't miss anything. The bike scenes are decently photographed, but nothing special. At best, this film is a piece of soft-core bike porn: if you're like me, you'll be fast-forwarding through the dialogue to get to the good bits. I give it One Sprocket out of Four.

Then there's...


Now when a film wins at Cannes, you know it's got to be good. However cycling is only a peripheral subject in this revealing portrait of contemporary Vietnam through the eyes of a pedicab driver who turns to the local mob when his bike is stolen. While the movie draws upon the classic Italian film, "The Bicycle Thief," the emphasis in "Cyclo" is on the thief, not the bicycle. Or rather, a den of thieves. Be forewarned- this film is not for the faint of heart- there are some rather bloody scenes. Still worth Four Sprockets out of Four, though.

For an even longer list of bike-related films, check out

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