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4.3 out of 5 stars99
4.3 out of 5 stars
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This is a well-made biopic of Mark 'Chopper' Read, an extremely violent Australian criminal who has gone on to become a successful writer. The story, although based on 'Choppers' own books has been spiced up for the film, so some of the events depicted may never have happened. That said its an adrenalin filled film which never lets up in its intensity, which is mostly down to a superb performance by Eric Bana. His portrayal captures the schzoid nature of 'Chopper' who after shooting you, was just as likely to take you to a hospital.

With its relentless nature and short running time of only 90 minutes you'll find that the film is over very quickly. I felt the film could have continued a little longer (very unusual for me) so for me the ending was a bit of dissappointment. However I have few other criticisms and so long as you don't mind violence and drug use portrayed realistically in films you'll enjoy this. Its no masterpiece, but its as good, and in many cases better, than a lot of equivalent Hollywood films.
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on 11 March 2001
An extraordinary movie about an extraordinary man, Chopper is the boldest and grittiest Australian film in decades.
It is brimming with dangerous excitement and stunning innovation, the sensational debut of rock director Andrew Dominik is an exhilarating film revealing the no-holds-barred story of the notorious Oz criminal Mark 'Chopper' Read.
This extreme biography charts the brutal carnage and wicked sense of humour of a man who supposedly committed nineteen vicious murders and got away with it.
Chopper is funny, fascinating and frightening and features a fantastic performance from Eric Bana who i think is one of Australia's top stand-up comedians.
The extras on the disc are not too much to write home about being the usual commentries and deleted scenes but they are better than nothing.
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on 3 July 2009
Mark Brandon Read or Chopper to his mates is potrayed here in an awesome performance from Eric Bana (Hulk). beginning in prison where chopper knives a fellow inmate in the face you quickly realise that he is a bit of a nutter. as the film progresses with encounters with his best mate in prison "if you keep stabbing me you're gonna kill me", putting on a show for a Mafia Hitman's girlfriend in crowded resturant. shooting a drug dealer and then driving him to hospital by this time you would most likely be cheering him on as he dishes out his own demented justice to as he calls them "human filth" Anchored with a brilliant main performance from Bana and some fantasticly delivered lines (check out the part when he is talking to the police near the end) Choppers is a tale you won't forget in a hurry.
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on 1 August 2006
Chopper tells the story of mark brandon chopper read who wrote a book recalling his life and this is the film adaption of that book and what a film this makes,as the adventures of chopper have to be seen to be believed.

Basically he is an australina criminal who claims to have killed 19 drug dealers but has only been convicted of 2 of those murders,he says he isnt bad as he kills only the slime in society,The film is violent and relies on a very dry humour but its very enjoyable and it is strange to warm to chopper who is brilliantly portrayed by fellow australian eric bana.

There is plenty to discuss about the movie but why spoil it for you,but if you aint seen this,you should and when you do you will have found a cult classic in the making.
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on 19 May 2003
This is the most enjoyable film I have seen in years. Eric Bana is absolutely brilliant, everything about this movie I just loved and I don't generally like films with gratuitous violence, but this is so much more.
On some reviews people have said there aren't many extras. Not so, you get two audio commentaries (one with the director, one with the man himself, Mark Chopper Read) and they are, unlike most AC's, excellent viewing in themselves. You also get a filmed interview with Mark Read and deleted scenes.
Anyway, about the film I won't say too much other than what a breath of fresh air it is compared to all the Hollywood rubbish or goofy English films they make.
Buy it - you won't regret it!
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on 9 February 2003
I just chose to rent this film on a whim and once I watched it the first time I watched it again straight away. Don't make any comparisons to Tarantino please. This film has more watchability in five minutes than in his entire collection. This is funny, strange and compelling all at the same time. It really is a one off and for that reason alone you should get it.
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on 16 July 2003
Really can't recommend this movie enough. Words just do not do it justice. We are talking about quite possibly the finest black comedy ever brought to the screen. Eric Bana of 'Black Hawk Down' and now Marvel's 'Hulk' fame, is just flawless as the infamous modern day Oz outlaw Mark Brandon 'Chopper' Reid. Dominik, a music video veteran, shows touches of class within a purely dialogue/character piece with some nifty camera work and editing (check out the cocaine scene in Nev's house, great use of shutterspeed!). This is one you'll drag your mates around to see and spend hours down the pub quoting afterwards, particularly the scene in Jimmy's flat. A cult classic for the boyz.
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on 11 September 2009
Since the fairly recent release of "Bronson," a bio-pic.,chronicling the life of one of Britain 's most notorious criminals. It would be easy to have forgotten that it was a mere nine years ago at the turn of the century that the similarly themed "Chopper" hit cinema screens. A character study of one of Australia's most notorious and consequently, revered thugs. The dubious legend that is, Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read. The film helm-ed and penned by native Australian film director Andrew Dominik. It also had the distinction of being the cinematic work that initially brought actor Eric Bana to a wider world wide consciousness inevitably bringing him to Hollywood. And with his jaw dropping magnetic, metamorphic performance in "Chopper" It's not hard to see why. Opening with a grim, cold exterior view of Pentridge prison to the strains of Frankie Lane's melancholy rendering of "Don't Fence me in", presenting immediately an indication of Dominik's, subversive technique which is partially utilised within the film. It's from there on that the writer/director is pretty expedient in establishing the complex walking contradiction that the man is. An unpredictably, violent, reprehensible show boat. As well as openly conveying a bemusing remorse or apologetic nature for his actions.

It's with this in mind that with brief shots of newspaper articles as well as the recognition that the man receives. As well as the eventual testament of his notoriety and fandom, through "fan" mail that the unlikely celebrity, inwardly validates his flagrant self promotion. Having, no other motive, for his mind-less, actions other than to make a name for him self. As well as a shallow, pathetic need for adulation or love. Which is hinted at upon the release of the older although arguably not so much wiser Read, which affords us to view his prickly relationship with his, at time's verbally acidic, morally reprehensible father(Kenny Graham). A man with which Read seems to have a pseudo loving, relationship with, mirroring slightly the unconventional affiliations and relationships he has with the supporting antagonists/protagonists. His prostitute girlfriend Tanya (Kate Beahan) with whom the Aussie crook has a more, prickly and verbally abusive co-existence with. Small time drug baron, Neville Bartos (Vince Colisimo) and his cronies as well as two members of the local constabulary, (Bill Young, Peter Hardy) who Read is covertly recruited and employed by as an informant. While not forgetting the roguish sociopaths visit to former prison cell-mate and "recruit" turned turncoat and now junkie Jimmy Loughnan (Simon Lyndon). Now married to the heavily pregnant and obnoxious, loud mouth spouse Mandy (Skye Wansey). All characters and actors effortlessly bounce of Bana/Read, their reactions to the man reflecting the audience's bemusement.

But how much is fact and how much is fiction is something to some extent isn't of too great importance. As Read quite knowing points out early on. "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story". And it's something that Dominik most likely adheres to. Conceding that with the man,(who himself wrote several auto-biographies)you never quite knew how much truth behind the myth there was, which lends a nice, ambiguous touch and contrast to the man. The duplicity which is the man that is Mark Brandon Read, and his dubiously, legendary personae. With the inevitable conclusion that Reads unpredictable nature eventually makes him public enemy number one (look out for a wickedly sublime moment where "Chopper" attempts to extort money from Bartos in his luxury home). It also cement's the bizarreness of Reads contradictory personality in a sublime moment of eccentricity, the rouge aids in spiriting the drug baron to seek medical attention at hospital. True or false it is part and parcel of the folkloric image behind the villain.

Shot in mainly dark, dim lighting which beautifully evokes the mood of the movie as well as the murky morality of the man as is the media attention he receives. And It's to some extent that the movie in It's self is not above scrutiny. After all, although not necessarily attempting to glorify Read there is something questionable about basing a movie around a person who is for the most part without any real ethics or moral code other than to bathe in the light of his permissible celebrity. Not to mention that several light hearted moments, namely a scene where a subversive moment where in the events of a shooting are retold. Recited as a black nursery rhyme by three cast members, to the strains of "Old Lang Sine". It's professionally orchestrated and yet with some of the black laced humour of the movie. It is in danger of being misinterpreted as flippantly playing down the severity of Reads actions. An error which it can be argued can be easily made in other cult movies which chronicle the actions of protagonists with questionable scruples. I.e. "Trainspotting", "The Krays".

The end result is a film that is both at turns a fascinating insight, all be it a flawed one in to the mythological as well factual account of one man. One who arguably should be exempt from any attention or interest he may receive. But in a world where the media and the skewered perception of certain people hold's sway. Sinners can quite easily be turned in to saints and vice versa. In this respect Dominks film is quite apt and in some small way as in Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killer's". Is something that he might be something that the writer/director is striving to highlight.
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on 1 July 2004
Chopper is a great film. It is truly one of the most underated films ever made. For me it has to go into my top 10 films ever. It is funny, violent, sad & scary, everything you want in films all rolled into one. Eric bana has the look and voice of Mark Chopper Read down to a tee. He is brilliant in it, and i think that if the film had been a big budget one, then he would have definatley been up for the big awards. This film is brilliantly acted and directed. This is a MUST for everyone.
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on 17 January 2012
Undoubtedly Eric Banna's best performance so far, 'Chopper' is at once grusome and funny, with Banna utterly convincing in the titular role. The film is stylishly shot and there's a host of great supporting characters - Neville Bartos, "that bloody sook", being my favourite. This film withstands repeated viewing and never loses any of it's charm or shock value. Along with 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' it is, indeed, one of the finest films to come out of Australia. Thoroughly compelling viewing.
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