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Mainstream - Easy Rider Blu-ray 40th Anniversary

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Easy Rider Blu-ray 40th Anniversary Edition
Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper
Directed by Dennis Hopper
Columbia 1969
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2009
95 minutes

The importance of Easy Rider when it came out is a bit hard to grasp some forty years later. A hint of that is in one of the special features on the Easy Rider Blu-ray 40th Anniversary Edition that mentions this modern western was released at a time where American teenagers were Frankie Avalon and Annete Funicello and a mother was Doris Day. In many ways, this movie is an experience more than a story based film.

Easy Rider is a motorcycle trip across America by two free spirits. Dennis Hopper plays Billy and Peter Fonda plays Wyatt aka Captain America. It is no coincidence these are nods to Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp. One of the opening scenes, where Wyatt fixes a flat while a horse is being fitted for a new shoe.

Wyatt and Billy have just made a lucrative drug deal and are planning on riding from L.A. to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. The cross the U.S. and its majestic vistas, encounter some good people and some not so good people.

They meet another fellow passenger who seems to know his way around. They also meet a bunch of hippies in a commune with mimes. They also crash a parade and meet a jailed lawyer, Hanson, played by Jack Nicholson.

The soundtrack to Easy Rider is a greatest hits of late sixties rock with tunes like Born to Be Wild and The Pusher by Steppenwolf, The Weight by The Band, If 6 Was 9 by the Jimi Hendrix Experience

I am not convinced this movie is still as relevant as it might once have been.

Special features on Easy Rider Blu-ray 40th Anniversary are audio commentary by Dennis Hopper which rises above the usual banal stuff and Easy Rider Shaking the Cage, a documentary about the movie. If your Blu-ray player is connected to the net there is also real time in-movie information via BD Live.

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