Sunday, February 26, 2006

The World's Fastest Indian/Matador

With the Oscars coming up and all the buzz about the current fad movies about Trans "this and that" and Brokeback companions, I'm going to go out on a limb here and make my recommendations. Two recent "feel good" movies that we have actually gone to the theater to see are "Matador" and "The World's Fastest Indian".

They have many similarities and mainly, for me, they have a over-riding theme ie. "Integrity" Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinear are just perfect as they play off each other in "Matador". We're used to seeing Pierce as "Bond" and finally he has freed himself up from that formulaic architype and played someone who is very believeable. ie. a "retiring contract hit man". It is funny and poignant at the same time. Greg plays his opposite as the up and coming corporate lackey who, as it turns out, will do anything to get ahead. I've known a few like that. It had a surprise twist at the end so I won't ruin it for you. At least rent it on Netflix. The "Matador" stays true to himself and maintains his "integrity" as he faces "retirement" or "literal termination". I feel like I have "been there" recently. When you begin to question your "supervisor's/corporate's" integrity and motivation you know it is time to move on. It just can't continue to be the money and financial security.

I'll go and see anything that Anthoy Hopkins portrays. His latest is "Burt Munro from Down Under". This is a gem of a story because it is based on the real person who set the land/speed record on a motorcycle back in the late 60's. It is a charming and endearing, straight forward telling of his successful attempt to come to the Bonnieville Salt Flats from New Zealand and all the genuinely "good" people he met and how they helped him. Through it all he kept his "integrity" and continued to return to the timed trials 9 times. I am not a "racing enthusiast" by any means, nor have I ever hung out with "bikers or the mechanic types" but this story is so much more than that. It does remind me of my part-time jobs in my first two years of college with Tidewater and Standard Oil. Yes, I was an attendant at a gas station back when they still had them. I sold many an "air filter" to car owners who had just come over the Tioga Pass in Yosemite and "didn't really need them". I knew how to lube and oil a car up on the rack and change the tires etc. I didn't consider myself a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination but I did make enough money to get me through those early years and still have time to study...late at night when few people came in to get gas. I maintained my "integrity" as a "salesman" playing that role many a time to get us by. Anthony, as Burt, does the same thing. He is the real thing and very determined to do what he set out to do ie. "set the record" He just didn't have all that many people along the way who believed in him and his abilities. I've been there too, recently. The film kept you on the edge most of the time because he did it all with "angina" - a hear condition - He would pop one of his "nitro pills" and even, at the end, "pop" one in the gas tank of his "Beloved Indian" for that extra zest of speed it needed. Poppin' pills can make you do some strange things sometimes, even as a "retiree" he should've been. He was not afraid of "injury" or anyone including some very "interesting" characters ie. a transvestite, a desert hermit recluse, and many different versions of "bikers". I also learned a "new way" to fertilize my lemon tree. Two great movies that spoke to me and my current concerns. Bob


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