Review: Chopper – Limited Edition Blu-ray
Blu-ray: Chopper (2000)
First time director Andrew Dominik, (who later went on to direct The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), tells some of the Mark “Chopper” Read story. Dipping in an out of his life, including some bits, and ignoring others, we get a sort of ‘encapsulated’ version of this most singular man.
The real Chopper was obviously mentally unstable/disabled, he had a truly horrific childhood and was a product of it. However, Dominik’s film is filled with the most jaw dropping violence, but at the same time it’s told with dark humour and dare I say…emotion? (Chopper’s face at being stabbed by his best mate is a one of sheer disbelief and instant forgiveness and understanding).
Of course this was the role of a lifetime for Eric Bana who plays Chopper as a mad, humorous, thick, untrustworthy, murdering, terrifying criminal. Beefing up for the role, none of his good looks are on show, and he’s nothing short of magnetic in this role, as are the rest of cast.
I first watched this on it’s release 20+ years ago on video, and have seen it maybe once since then. On seeing it again it’s interesting that the film not only hasn’t aged at all, but is actually BETTER on this repeat viewing, and you appreciate Bana’s performance even more in retrospect, especially in this new Second Sight Films restoration from a 2K graded scan.
The special features are fantastic, including THREE commentary tracks, one of which is by Mark ‘Chopper’ Read himself…essential listening.
A real classic of Oz cinema.
- New Second Sight Films restoration from a 2K graded scan
- New audio commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas & Josh Nelson
- Audio commentary with Director Andrew Dominik
- Audio commentary with Mark ‘Chopper’ Read
- Stand-up Comedy and Violence: a new interview with Director Andrew Dominik
- Not Your Typical Film Composer: a new interview with Composer Mick Harvey
- A Tale of Two Halves: a new interview with Editor Ken Sallows
- Weekend With Chopper
- Chopper: Behind the Scenes
- Deleted Scenes with optional Director’s commentary
Limited Edition Contents
- Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Nick Charge
- 70-page book with new essays by Thomas Caldwell, Sally Christie, Cerise Howard and Joanna McIntyre
- 6 collectors’ art cards
Released 30th October 2023 and available to pre-order.
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by Second Sight Films via Aim Publicity.