A Prodigious Blastoff
October Sky
Review by Ross Anthony

Across a starry October sky in 1957 a single object shined like a shooting star in slow motion over the little town of Coalwood, West Virginia. This spark, the Soviet satellite Sputnik, ignited the wick-like gaze of one miner's son, Homer (Gyllenhaal); lighting in him a burning desire to become a rocket scientist. The rest of the mining community had spent much too much time underground, "Maybe it's a missile," one older gentleman figur's. The reply, "Naw, droppin' one on this place, just be a waste of a bomb." The younger generation was no more open-minded, "Let 'em have outer space -- we got rock and roll!"

No passion for coal mining digging inside him, and a push over on the football field, Homer had finally found something to shoot for, "I'mma build rockets." Unfortunately, Homer's "John Wayne" father (Cooper) had no idea how to respect a son who couldn't mine or stop a running back. This is the major conflict. Will the adolescent son be strong enough to sell his lofty dreams to a father who only dreams of coal?

The plot follows the usual formula, so that were it a rocket, one could predict within a matter of feet where it would land. But don't let that stop you from coming' out to view "October Sky". The acting is strong, the direction tight, the music and cinematography dramatic. It's a solid engaging film.

Starring Jake GyllenHaal and Chris Cooper.
Directed by Joe Johnston.
Produced by: Charles Gordon and Larry Franco at Universal/Charles Gordon
Rated PG.


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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:01:30 PDT