OCTOBER SKY (Bilingual)
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Coalwood, West Virginia, 1957. Working in the coal mines is an inescapable way of life in this small town. When high schooler Homer Hickam, Jr. (Jake Gyllenhaal) sees the Sputnik satellite in the night sky, he dares to break free of the mines and reach for the stars. With the support of his teacher (Laura Dern) and three friends, Homer sets out on an inspiring quest to build his own rocket. Overcoming a poor education, a tough father (Chris Cooper) and a series of misfires, Homer turns his dreams into reality in this incredible true story of hope, determination and triumph. "You'll laugh with it, cry with it, and go away absolutely loving it," says Robert Butler (Knight Ridder News Service) of the critically acclaimed October Sky.
Based on the memoir Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam Jr., October Sky emerged as one of the most delightful sleepers of 1999--a small miracle of good ol' fashioned movie-making in the cynical, often numbingly trendy Hollywood of the late 20th century. Hickam's true story begins in 1957 with Russia's historic launch of the Sputnik satellite, and while Homer (played with smart idealism by Jake Gyllenhaal) sees Sputnik as his cue to pursue a fascination with rocketry, his father (Chris Cooper) epitomizes the admirable yet sternly stubborn working-man's ethic of the West Virginia coal miner, casting fear and disdain on Homer's pursuit of science while urging his "errant" son to carry on the family business--a spirit-killing profession that Homer has no intention of joining.
As directed by Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer), this wonderful movie is occasionally guilty of overstating its case and sacrificing subtlety for predictable melodrama. But more often the film's tone is just right, and the spirit of adventure and invention is infectiously conveyed through Gyllenhaal and his well-cast fellow rocketeers, whose many failures gradually lead to triumph on their makeshift backwoods launching pad. Capturing time and place with impeccable detail and superbly developed characters (including Laura Dern as an inspiring schoolteacher), October Sky is a family film for the ages, encouraging the highest potential of the human spirit while giving viewers a clear view of a bygone era when "the final frontier" beckoned to the explorer in all of us. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
We recently showed it to a group of 35 Grade 6-12 students and they enjoyed it a lot.
Great movie with a lesson to it that is not boring and slow.
At this time is when a kid (Homer) decides to build a Rocket. The movie is the quest to build a working rocket and get the hell out of the little coal mining community he is stuck in. He has dreams to get to college and work for NASA.
Will he accomplish his dreams??? Hells yea! After he makes it through two science fairs and his father. This is one of those rare movies that will make you a better person for having seen it. Do yourself the favor and get this movie.
Does Homer Hickum get a scolarship with his rocket? Watch and see.
No one could ask for a more inspiring story, especially for the youths of the world. Four kids up against authority to achieve higher learning and actually succeed despite the setbacks they face.
Jake Gyllenhaal was perfectly cast as the smart, earnest young Homer Hickam who has to fight his own father and high school principal to follow his dreams of working for NASA. He and his friends know they have the odds stacked against them, yet they work their butts off overcoming many obstacles along the way simply to avhieve a common goal - getting a better education and getting out of dead-end Coalwood.
Dad John Hickam, portrayed by the always awesome Chris Cooper, is unfortunately underutilized, as he always seems to be. Make no doubt, he plays his part well, but after reading the book Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam, Jr, you know that there is much more to the relationship between father and son that is not even touched upon in the movie. John Hickam was not the seemingly cold man he was portrayed to be, but I guess that's what makes for good drama.
Laura Dern is also underutilized but is a character that helps to bouy everybody's spirits with the absolute faith she holds in the boys and their goal.
The rest of the cast provides above-adequate support, especially the friends of Homer with their humor and even the in-group squabbling that is inevitable in a group of boys of that age.
Joe Johnston does a good job capturing the conflict Homer has of whether to follow his heart or his father's wishes for him. The astmosphere of the dreary coal mining town was also captured perfectly by the art director and set decorator.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
About a group of boys from a coal mining town who aspire to better themselves. They get involved in rocketry. Inspiring.Published 8 days ago by ellison