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American Flyers (Widescreen/Full Screen)

Kevin Costner , David Marshall Grant , John Badham    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 42.72
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American Flyers could roughly be referred to as a cross between Breaking Away and Brian's Song. Sports physician Marcus (Costner, sporting a ludicrously big mustache) coaxes his flaky brother David (Grant) into doing something with his life and training for a grueling bike race in the Colorado Rockies. The scenario is complicated, though, by family frictions and the fact that the brothers' dad died of a cerebral aneurysm that has been handed down to one of the brothers. The two train rigorously for the big event (part of their routine involves outrunning an angry pit bull every day), then pack the van and head West. Marcus' girlfriend is also the ex-wife of his main rival in the race circuit, providing a bit more intrigue. Veteran action director Badham (Saturday Night Fever, War Games) excels during the bike-race segments, capturing the breathtaking scenery and the demanding nature of the event nicely. The film is somewhat hobbled, though, by the screenplay and character development; the film plays a bit too much to the sports-movie cliché and the dysfunctional-family story seems like a lengthy prologue to the race. Also, try not to be too bothered by the annoyingly dated soundtrack, and this should be a fairly entertaining, unpretentious little film. --Jerry Renshaw

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific June 23 2014
By Sandy B
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Terrific movie, terrific cast.....watch some of these movies folks......forget all the negative Waterworld hype and watch a Kevin Costner movie. By the way, I found some things to like in Waterworld. Kevin was just way ahead of his time on that one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cycling Action June 25 2009
Perfect film for the fan and quassi cycling fan. Kevin Costner plays a might-have been star, who gets his brother to tag along to ride in Hell Of The West (Coors Classic). There's great cyling footage out in the Rockies, along with lots of humorous moments on and off the bike. There's a plot, so it's not all bikes and no story. Perfect movie in the off season, or one to get you back out on your bike. The bikes are top of the line of the day, so it's something of a retro ride.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT movie Dec 31 2003
By James
This movie will inspire those who have competed with and against their brother. The fights and the competition between the brothers brings back good memories of how competitive my brother and I were. The dedication and effort put forth by the competitors also brings back memories of a better time and place. The scenery great -- how can Colorado not have great scenery ?
Don't look for this movie to have great meaning or fantastic acting - look for it to be just what it was meant to be, an inspirational movie.
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1.0 out of 5 stars real trash even for a cyclist Dec 13 2003
By A Customer
How can people like this piece of trash?What a stinker!I think the dad died from boredom after listening to his two idiot sons.And all that endless talk about "the Institute" which looked like it was setup in someone's garage.I can understand why some bikers would find this flick motivational.It motivated me to turn off the t.v. and go for a ride.I really believe this movie was produced by Satan.
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American Flyers was originally released in the Theaters on August 16, 1985. Before or after no film has ever as realistically and effectively captured bike racing in such a manner as this film. It depicts the "Hell of the West" a fictitious bike race modeled after the Coors Classic held annually in Colorado. It even features a cameo by the legendary Eddie Merckx who is considered by many to be the greatest cyclist of all time. In addition to the cycling aspect, this film should appeal to every one since the story is of a long standing rivalry between two Brothers and a family history of Brain aneurisms which may now threaten the life of one of the Brothers. The brothers are played by Kevin Costner and David Grant. They decide to compete in the Hell of the West and in the process of training for the race as well as competing in the race itself forge a renewed bond that is very touching and heart warming. For Kevin Costner fans this is one of his best performances and surprisingly I have never heard him mention the film in any of his published interviews. John Badham skillfully directs the film and viewers will find themselves thinking about the film long afterwards. It is a truly wonderful film and will leave you very satisfied. For any true movie fan this is a must for your collection, and your friends will thank you when you lend it to them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "American Flyers" is for cyclists May 30 2003
By A Customer
If you enjoy cycling in any way, recreational or competitive, and enjoyed Hoosiers, then American Flyers is just what the doctor ordered. While the acting isn't Oscar quality, and the music is dated, this is still a feel good movie that will make you smile, and maybe even cry. The story is somewhat predictable, but that does not get in the way of the effectiveness of the movie or the emotion that it evokes. The bottom line: if you like to see fast-paced cycling action and great Colorado scenery, then buy this movie.
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By A Customer
I've seen this movie so many times, I know this film word for word. As a movie, I would rate this film as average, or 3 stars. As a bicycle movie, I rate this film at 4 stars.
The story and the acting are not so great. It appears that in a lot of scenes that the actors were doing a screen test instead of making a movie. The typical screenwriting cliches are all there, and are what holds the movie together. A lot of the movie's logic doesn't hold up either. Why would Marcus, the doctor in the family test his younger brother David on an extremely strenuous treadmill marathon, knowing full well that he might die, and THEN run a CAT scan on him?
What is best about this movie is the music, and the beautiful Colorado scenery, before Colorado became one giant sprawl of a suburb. If you can enjoy this, then you can enjoy this movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Diotima's Ladder Dec 11 2002
By Brandon
Format:VHS Tape
Well the great thing about this movie is that is succeeds on so many levels:
Level 1: With books like "Fast Food Nation" and "Diet for a New America," among many others, blazing the trail for liberal post-consumer society revolutionaries to create all-organic farms and end corporate rule, etc., it becomes hard to appreciate, and quite easy to hate, some truly American traditions. Like McDONALDS. Now I know that if we look at what McD's does for our current society, it's quite easy to say that we would be better off without Brazilian "meat," fatty french fries, obesity, and everything else McDonalds brings to life. Gandalf: "Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgement." There are so many ambiguities about McDonalds, and everything, that we are not at all qualified to judge it. Perhaps the person that is going to lead a great cultural renaissance and create a harmonic utopia on earth will grow up in a Ronald McDonald house, no one knows. The point is that McDonald's is partially good, and this movies makes you remember that.
Level 2: The Hell of the West aka Coors Classic. Inspirational for any cyclist or racer. Those who have ridden the Morgul, Colorado National Monument, or Evans know, and those who see the movie will understand. When it's been 20 degrees and snowy for 2 straight weeks and I have trouble seeing the big races in July while slogging out hours on the trainer in the garage, I pop AF in, and am soon sprinting against Muzzen, Belov, and Sommers. Simply amazing
Level 3: Humor. You can't help but laugh with, and at, this movie, Especially when you visit the Jackie Robinson Sports Institute. "You're not dead yet, so die or do something."
Level 4: Randalph. I am quite frankly disappointed that none of my other fellow reviews (that I noticed) talked about the true gem of the movie. Randalph will NEVER cease to amaze. Randalph. see for yourself. Randalph.
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