i saw two, very different, great movies this past weekend — both in the comfort of my own home. first was the world’s fastest indian. i’d seen the video in the video store for a while, and almost rented it many times. but the other night, jeannie was out of town and the kids were in bed, and i felt like watching a movie, and found it on pay-per-view. it stars anthony hopkins in the true story of an old new zealander with a passion for motorcycles and going fast. he’s got a classic indian bike (that’s a brand), and has tweaked it for speed. his life dream is to go to speed week at the salt flats in utah, in the u.s. the movie chronicles his journey to america, his attempt to get into speed week (with a bike that can’t pass inspection, a lack of pre-registration, and several other giant hurdles). but the people there, as well as several assorted and colorful characters along the way, find something hopeful and pure about him, and help him out. it’s a great story of reaching for a dream, a great story of the power of innocence, and a great story about not letting barriers get in your way. i wouldn’t be able to show it to my kids, unfortunately, without fast-forwarding through a couple scenes, as there are a couple sex scenes (rather innocent and non-hollywood-sexy, though — he IS an old dude, after all).
i rented the second movie on DVD the next night, on the recommendation of a few friends: lucky number slevin. what a cast! sir ben kingsly, josh hartnett, morgan freeman, bruce willis, stanley tucci, and lucy liu. man, any movie with that assortment of actors pretty much has to be worth a shot. i thought josh hartnett so completely sucked in pearl harbor, but he was fantastic in this movie, as the title character. i can’t give too many details without giving anything away — but the movie is a semi-violent caper (not a caper as in “ha-ha” slapstick, however), with rival crime bosses (freeman and kingsly), a mysterious hitman (willis), a crusty cop (tucci) and a smart-aleck, in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time center of attention (hartnett). oh, and lucy liu plays the girl next door with a load of energy that’s a riot to watch. it keeps you guessing most of the way through, and has some great surprises. not for the faint of heart (who can’t handle a bit o’ the ol’ shoot-’em-up).