The World's Fastest Indian (Icon) (2005)

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Released 3-Nov-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 121:47
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (61:37) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Roger Donaldson
Icon Entertainment
Starring Anthony Hopkins
Craig Hall
Iain Rea
Tessa Mitchell
Aaron Murphy
Tim Shadbolt
Annie Whittle
Greg Johnson
Antony Starr
Kate Sullivan
Jim Bowman
Case ?
RPI $32.95 Music J. Peter Robinson

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    You may or may not be aware that the Dendy films back catalogue has moved distributor in Australia from Magna Pacific to Icon. As part of this move many films are being re-released on DVD by Icon. Some of these titles are being released on Blu-ray for the first time. Some of the standard definition releases are exactly the same as their Magna Pacific forebears and others have some changes. In this case, The World's Fastest Indian, the film was originally released by Magna Pacific in 2006 and reviewed by us here . Unlike Oyster Farmer , this disc is very different to the previous release by Magna. Whether it is better or worse is a matter for some discussion and will probably depend upon personal priorities. In terms of what I look for in a DVD, this one is a step forward.

    The following table lays out the main differences between this release and the previous Magna Pacific Release:


  Original Magna Pacific Collector's Edition New Icon Release
Video 1.78:1 not OAR although director approved. High Quality transfer 2.35:1 OAR. High Quality Transfer
Audio Choice of 5.1 or 2.0 Dolby Digital 5.1 only
Subtitles None English subtitles available
Extras Excellent Selection of Quality Extras None


    The previous review by Darren Walters gives a good rundown of the film's plot which does not need to be repeated here.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this film and found it to have a warm and inspirational quality only found in a few films. The film was directed by Roger Donaldson and like his more recent film The Bank Job (which I also enjoyed) this one takes a slightly old-fashioned approach to film making. I mean this in a positive way, not as a criticism. This film's subject area is obviously of interest to him as he started his directorial career with a documentary about Burt Munro in 1971 and then followed it up many years later with this feature film. The main character is wonderfully played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, capturing a wonderful charming naiveté in this eccentric character from the far south of New Zealand. Another really strong component of this production is the cinematography by David Gribble. He captures both the speed trials and the beautiful scenery wonderfully well.

    In my opinion, this re-release is worthwhile due to it being the first time the original aspect ratio has been available on DVD in Region 4. The addition of subtitles is also a good move. Personally, I am not too worried about missing out on the extras. Your view will depend upon your priorities.


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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced widescreen.I have read (in comments on our previous review linked above) that the director shot the film with a DVD ratio of 1.78:1 in mind, however, personally I would much rather see the film as it was shown theatrically.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, one of the best transfers I have seen for a while from this perspective. Shadow detail was excellent.

    The colour was also excellent, vibrant and well rendered throughout.

    I noticed some minor aliasing at 0:35 and a little edge enhancement.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. They are clear and easy to read.

    The layer change was somewhat noticeable and occurs at 61:37.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio is very good.

    This DVD contains one audio track, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448Kb/s. I noticed that this soundtrack was generally quieter than most but once the volume was turned up it performed quite well.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand.

    The music by J. Peter Robinson is effective adding greatly to the film's atmosphere.

    The surround speakers were used for sounds of motorbikes and other racing plus significant atmospherics.

    The subwoofer was used for the engine sounds plus the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This will be a personal choice. This version offers what seems to be the only current way to get OAR on SD and adds subtitles to the previous Region 4 version. There was previously a Region 2 UK edition which was in OAR but the only one I can find listed now in the UK is advertised as 1.78:1. However, if you want extras then you need to go for another region. Most Blu-ray editions also seem to be 1.78:1.


    A wonderfully warm and entertaining story about Burt Munro, a pensioner from New Zealand who broke the world speed record on a motorbike nearly as old as he was..

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio is very good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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