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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » American Flyers
American Flyers
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Review by Marc Girdler | posted January 18, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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In every sport, there is an event which is considered the pinnacle of their year or season. For football, it's the Super Bowl, in racing the Indianapolis 500, and in baseball the World Series. In American Flyers, the equivelant is shown for bicycle racing, The Hell of the West, a race through the Rocky Mountains, which is no piece of cake. The movie follows two brothers, Marcus and David (Kevin Costner and David Grant), as they enter the race, and we see their relationship develop and change along the way. As the race gets more exhausting, the brothers see the strength within each other, something they had forgotten was even there. The possibility also rises that David may have the disease that took their father's life, which adds a twist to the race as well. Everything, including David's illness, must be left behind, however, as the race demands their full attention.

American Flyers is a good movie, with some good acting, and early Costner. The idea of watching a bicycle race may not seem like the most exciting movie, but it works quite well. I had my doubts about this film as well, but I am glad I gave it a chance. The movie is however, very dated. Much like other 80's movies, as soon as the disc starts spinning, you know which decade it was made in. I know this detracts from some people's enjoyment, but I didn't find it distracting in the least. But, if you get thrown off by the whole 80's feel, you'll want to skip this one. As far as a recommendation goes, fans of the movie will be very happy, and those looking for a decent drama should give this a rental.

American Flyers makes it's widescreen debut on this disc, in a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer, and Warner was kind enough to inlcude the full frame version as well. The overall image quality is solid, with very little print wear visible. The colors can be a mixed bag with this disc, sometimes bright and vivid, others muted and dull. But, the outdoor scenes look tremendous, and those are the scenes which really make you tale notice. Black levels are excellent, with high detail level, and little overbrightness, save only a few brief instances. In all aspects, a solid transfer for a catalog title, but it could have been much better.

Audio is very limited in range, with the music being the most active segment, as far as surround use goes. But that being said, this is not exactly the type of movie you watch for the audio, so it doesn't detract much from the enjoyment of the film. Dialogue is important, and it sounds great. Always audible and never interfered with, couldn't be better. Although I have read a few reviews for this movie that list the trailer, I was unable to locate it. The main menu lists options for scene access, languages, and start the movie, no mention of extras at all. Likewise, the case makes no such claim either. If someone knows something I don't, please email me or this site, I'd love to locate that trailer!

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