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.See all Product Description
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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.
But if your have read "Rocket Boys" prior to seeing the movie, you might notice something missing. The book is far more mordant. Read carefully. Just below the surface you will find a Dantesque world view. First, there is the community of Coalwood itself -- with its petty squabbles and tribulations. Beneath Coalwood is a netherworld, symbolized by a coal mine with the curious name Olga. In this inferno men toil for hours without being able to stand upright for a single moment. Above Coalwood is the celestial realm. Ironically it is symbolized by sputnik - a satellite launched by the USSR. But regardless who launched it, it symbolizes that man is not excluded from the celestial realm.
Both Homer/Sonny and his mother look skyward for a better life. The mother does so by painting flying seagulls over a balmy beach. Her dream is to relocate to Myrtle Beach.
Homer's dream is to escape via rocket - not literally of course, but by mastering rocketry, and then getting a job with Werner von Braun.
Homer's father holds their dreams in contempt. He is fully convinced that their future -- and the future of America -- is tied to keeping the mine productive and strong. He loves the mine. If he recognized its hellish side, he excuses it as necessary evil.Read more ›
Does Homer Hickum get a scolarship with his rocket? Watch and see.
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 1 month ago by ellison