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Secondhand Lions [Import]

Haley Joel Osment , Michael Caine , Tim McCanlies    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)

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Amazon.ca

If you can get past its thick layer of syrup and molasses, Secondhand Lions reveals itself as a thoroughly decent family film that anyone can enjoy. It gets a little sappy sometimes, but there's something to be said for a movie in which Michael Caine and Robert Duvall play eccentric old brothers who take the easy approach to fishing: instead of a peaceful rod and reel, they use 12-gauge shotguns. When 14-year-old Walter (Haley Joel Osment, teetering on puberty) spends an eventful summer with his great-uncles on their vast Texas farmland (he's been dumped there by his delinquent mom, played by Kyra Sedgwick), he soon discovers they've lived lives full of adventure, excitement, passion, and mystery. Either that or they're old-time bank robbers with a long criminal record, and writer-director Tim McCanlies (who invested similar warmth into The Iron Giant) does a nice job of concealing the truth until the very end. Full of enriching lessons and homespun humor, Secondhand Lions has more substance than most family films. If you enjoyed Holes, you'll probably enjoy this movie, too. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN? July 17 2004
It was sad for me to see adults pushing their kids in the long-winded queues for Spiderman2 and Pokemon at the local theatre, while this touching entertainer was tossed aside (relatively) to the sidelines.
There is no doubt that Secondhand Lions is a semi-manipulative film, it has its fair share of smarmy feel-good contrivances that betray its zeal to tug at our heart strings. But the quirky mirth of all its characters, the idiosynchratic plotline, and a healthy dose of moving, meaningful moments makes this a very wholesome experience.
Duvall and Caine, as two reclusive millionaire uncles drunk on guns and eccentricity, pitch in very well. Caine warms up to his part in the film first, but the screen is really owned by a very fit Duvall, who soon becomes the pivotal character in the film as the uncle that the kid (Hailey Osment) turns to for advice. Osment does remarkably well to hold his own against these two big tykes. A barnful of cute animals and a truckful of drooling relatives round up the doozy cast.
Some fantastic (literally) flashbacks form an interesting trope for the movie's core message: that in our lives having conviction in things we may doubt to be untrue is ultimately a critical virtue. This leads to a somewhat corny twist at the end but it's an interesting one to make the point. There's plenty of action and some amusing gags that even evoked loud guffaws in the theatre.
All in all, whether you have kids or not, but especially if you do, this deserves a recommendation of the highest order.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They really lived Oct. 7 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Walter (Haley Joe Osment) an introverted kid gets to stay with his two eccentric great-uncles, Garth (Michael Caine) and Hub (Robert Duvall.) While there He is told of their robust adventures and how they came to be there and rich. However everyone else tells a different story. He comes to understand them and some of life through several events. One of those events is befriending an over the hill lion which just may represent a couple of uncles.

It is not so much the bonding formula of the story as the way the tail of exotic places and heroic acts is intertwined with everyday life. I think of stories my own parents and grand parent told of such things as encounters with Poncho Via in Mexico where they sold him horses and were invited to leave.

It is not so much the stories as the goodness of man that was being portrayed, moving back and forth in time, with a few adjustments to history, made you feel that they were your great-uncles who could believe such tales. And yet...

If you find that this movie moved you then it is time to try two others that are similar. "Dust" (2001) with Joseph Fiennes and David Wenham. "Little Buddha" (1993) with Keanu Reeves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Family-Friendly Movie Jan. 20 2011
I loved this movie. It was hilarious and yet deeply moving at the same time--a great family story about a boy finding a place where he belongs and two old men finding something meaningful in their retirement. The uncle's story is provided in small chunks, as one uncle tells his nephew about their past. Parts of the video were hilarious and all of it was clean and very family-friendly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They really lived Aug. 28 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
Walter (Haley Joe Osment) an introverted kid gets to stay with his two eccentric great-uncles, Garth (Michael Caine) and Hub (Robert Duvall.) While there He is told of their robust adventures and how they came to be there and rich. However everyone else tells a different story. He comes to understand them and some of life through several events. One of those events is befriending an over the hill lion which just may represent a couple of uncles.

It is not so much the bonding formula of the story as the way the tail of exotic places and heroic acts is intertwined with everyday life. I think of stories my own parents and grand parent told of such things as encounters with Poncho Via in Mexico where they sold him horses and were invited to leave.

It is not so much the stories as the goodness of man that was being portrayed, moving back and forth in time, with a few adjustments to history, made you feel that they were your great-uncles who could believe such tales. And yet...

If you find that this movie moved you then it is time to try two others that are similar. "Dust" (2001) with Joseph Fiennes and David Wenham. "Little Buddha" (1993) with Keanu Reeves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They really lived Sept. 11 2005
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:UMD for PSP
Walter (Haley Joe Osment) an introverted kid gets to stay with his two eccentric great-uncles, Garth (Michael Caine) and Hub (Robert Duvall.) While there He is told of their robust adventures and how they came to be there and rich. However everyone else tells a different story. He comes to understand them and some of life through several events. One of those events is befriending an over the hill lion which just may represent a couple of uncles.

It is not so much the bonding formula of the story as the way the tail of exotic places and heroic acts is intertwined with everyday life. I think of stories my own parents and grand parent told of such things as encounters with Poncho Via in Mexico where they sold him horses and were invited to leave.

It is not so much the stories as the goodness of man that was being portrayed, moving back and forth in time, with a few adjustments to history, made you feel that they were your great-uncles who could believe such tales. And yet...

If you find that this movie moved you then it is time to try two others that are similar. "Dust" (2001) with Joseph Fiennes and David Wenham. "Little Buddha" (1993) with Keanu Reeves.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... pairing of all 3 of these people is the perfect movie for young...
The pairing of all 3 of these people is the perfect movie for young and old. No matter how many times I watch this movie, it is still a hit with me. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Audrey H. Humphrey
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Love this movie. Its an adventure story for anyone. One of my absolute favorites.
Published 1 month ago by linda G
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of our favourite movies !
Published 1 month ago by linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This is a great family night movie...you will not be disappointed. It is an oldie but a goodie... enjoy it
Published 4 months ago by Geri Moeser
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth owning!
This well written and well cast movie simply makes for a wonderful evening at home. It has lots of laughs and suspense and the story is based on two old guys and a young boy and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by HJG
5.0 out of 5 stars Great family movie!
Have loved this movie for a long time & am excited to now own it. I love the story & the characters. I especially love the message of the movie. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amanda Wiebe
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous...
What a wonderful story... Fabulous actors humanize the story of daring youth abilities to autumn years, allowing a few kinks from others conjuring greed. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lynda
5.0 out of 5 stars very entertaining!
I've seen this movie several times, never get tired of it! And it's family friendly, which is a bonus.
Well cast, good story.
Published 11 months ago by ginette chartrand
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLANT SHOW!!
It had every element to make a great show,; acting (who does not love Caine & Duval), humour, drama, good story line!! Read more
Published 19 months ago by Lynne
4.0 out of 5 stars Second Hand Lion
Excellent family movie ,lots of laughs but some serious parts too. I would definitly suggest watching it, great for a Sunday afternoon
Published 21 months ago by Graeme Kent
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