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October Sky
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Jake Gyllenhael, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Chris Owen, William Lee Scott, Chad Lindberg
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Universal Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Sure, but some of it may bore really young ones..
Date Movie: She'll laugh, she'll cry, and she might hold your hand.
Gratuitous Sex: None.
Gratuitous Violence: A little, but nothing horrible.
Action: A little.
Laughs: Some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: When the scene shifts to multiple failures of rocket launches by the rocket boys.
Memorable Quote: None that really stick out.
Directed By: Joe Johnston
Produced By: Charles Gordon, Larry Franco

October Sky
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG

It's 1:48 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
There were many times as I was watching "October Sky" that I thought back and wondered if I made the right decision that day I quit graduate school. Basically, it was every time that the four boys launched a rocket, whether that rocket exploded or that rocket launched into the air. For some reason, with every launch, a chill ran up and down my spine as if saying "That was you, and could've been you." For about an hour and 40 minutes I kept wondering that as I watched four geeks in high school keep trying to decide if they should follow their dream or pack them up and be miners like their fathers. But then, at the end, I felt a little bit more reassured about quitting graduate school and doing the things I'm doing now.

"October Sky" tells the story of the rocket boys, for high schoolers with a few of dreams. One dream, not to be miners like their fathers, another dream, to get out of the small town and go to college, and I suppose maybe the biggest dream of all, not to quit. The Russians just launched Sputnik, and young Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal) seemed unfazed, at least until he saw it passing through the night sky. From that moment on he had a dream, to build a rocket that could fly, to get out of the small little town, to go to college, and work at Cape Canaveral. He began by enlisting the help of the outcast geek, and the rest of his friends followed. Through mishaps, family squabbles, lack of money, and just plain growing up, the boys begin their quest to take their science fair project to the national championships.

The story also tells how life can be in any town, and although this town was relatively small, the problems and challenges the four kids faced can be in any city, anywhere. There's the seeming disappointment in a father with his son, how a father wants his son to be like him, or if not, to make his way out by being an athlete. The movie also showed that there are certain clicks in high school, and how sometimes those clicks can actually get together and support each other. But mostly, it showed, at least for me, that it's okay to pursue a dream, but not to second-guess a decision that you made. "But Dude, you quit graduate school. Didn't you quit pursuing your dream," you may now be asking yourself? Well, at the end of the movie they listed what happened to the four rocket boys. Homer continued his pursuit of the rocket dream, ending up working for NASA. And the other three guys, well, they all went to college, but all of them went different directions in their future careers, just like me! I'm just hoping that they were as happy with the decisions they took as I am now with mine.

"October Sky" is a happy movie, though there are couple of times that might make you cry, I know I became a little weepy. Rated PG, it's a movie the entire family could see, although I think the real youngin's might not follow the story line that well, but they might find it cool when the rockets are exploding. It's a movie that might just inspire you, it's a movie that will probably make you reflect back on your life and the decisions you made, and, all in all, it was just a really good movie.

Acting wise this movie was top-notch. Laura Dern was great as the caring high school teacher, trying to inspire her students to face challenges and aspire to get out of the mining town. The four boys, Quentin (Chris Owen), Roy Lee (William Lee Scott), and O'Dell (Chad Lindberg), really gave the feelings of what it was like growing up in a small mining town, with the pressures of following in their fathers footsteps, and Chris Cooper, as John, Homer's father, really portrayed well how he wanted his son to be a miner foreman like he was, yet, somehow, you could catch a glimpse that he knew it wasn't going to happen. And finally, Elsie (Natalie Canerday), as Homer's Mom, showed how important a mother was in keeping a family unit together.

Yeah, yeah, I can write a generic statement like "October Sky" is the "feel good movie of the year," or "it was a great film," or "it's a must see," because I suppose it is all of those. But I will say it's a very good movie although, at times, it did drag a little bit, but I guess to make total sense, all parts of the story needed to be told. In all honesty, it seemed like the movie was about two hours long rather than the hour and forty-five minutes that it was, but maybe, for me, that was because I was so preoccupied with every rocket launch wondering if I made the right choice.

"October Sky," for me, I give it 4 ½ stars out of 5. Go see it, bring the kids, bring your girlfriend, and just enjoy it.

That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right! L8R!!


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