August 28, 2016 5 min to read

October Sky (1999) Review – Inspirational Movie Monday

Category : Uncategorized

Wow, we’re already at about 271 views at the time of writing this review. That is absolutely insane to me, thank you so much for your support! It’s been a fun ride already and its super nice to know that people are enjoying what I have to say on one of my favourite subjects: films.

Just a heads up, I have entered a couple of contests to win advanced screening passes to see Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks new film Sully, Mark Whalberg’s new film Deepwater Horizon and Joseph Gordon Levitt and Oliver Stone’s new film Snowden. So hopefully i’m lucky and I win those so I can review them for you! Also, on August 29th – ill be going to see a movie called “Hell Or High Water” starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges, which I will definitely review either the night of the 29th or early morning or afternoon on the 30th. STAY TUNED!

As a new addition to the blog, I’m gonna flash back to some older films that I feel people have never watched for one reason or another, maybe something came up or maybe you didn’t quite know what they were about. These films will be marked with their dates in the title so that you can tell the difference between the newer films I review and these new Inspirational/Indie Sunday films. Many of them smaller, independent films. Some of them, directed by people who went on to do much larger scale films. All with a message that rings true even today, those inspirational, feel-good, look for to better yourself type of films. I have a whole pile of movies I go to no matter what emotion I’m feeling, but theres some that even after watching 25 or 30 times, I still love because of the feeling and passion I get out of watching them. So that is what I’d like to discuss today and review, so that maybe other people can find solace in these films as I do.

Today I’m going back to 1999 with this review, with Joe Johnston’s film October Sky. October Sky is a Biography, Drama, Family film based on a true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner’s son who was inspired by the first sputnik launch to take up rocketry with the help of his friends and against his father’s wishes. I have not read the book that was the inspiration for October Sky, called The Rocket Boys, but after growing up with this movie, I definitely want too. October Sky is a movie all about finding your own way, following your dreams, not giving up, and really hope.

Joe Johnston is a name I think some people are familiar with, as his director filmography includes such titles as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), The Pagemaster (1994), Jumanji (1995), Jurassic Park III(2001), and Captain America: The First Avenger(2011). His way of film making its just outstanding, I think I have enjoyed all of his films, but nothing for me compares to October Sky. He’s a brilliant filmmaker, better yet story teller. He has a really brilliant eye for detail, and is able to evoke emotion even through just his way of camera movement. He shows you exactly what you need to see, and you’re engrossed for the hour and forty minute run time.

A lot of big named actors are in this movie too. Jake Gyllenhaal known for many roles including Bubble Boy(2001), Donnie Darko(2001), The Day After Tomorrow(2004), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Zodiac (2007), End of Watch(2012), Prisoners (2013…the best movie of that year), Enemy(2013), Nightcrawler (2014) and Southpaw (2015). So its safe to say that his films are definitely of many different genres. He really does an amazing job in this movie, especially for being one of his earlier films. You’re rooting for him the entire time, and you feel what he feels. I think that its a brilliant combination of his acting and Joe Johnston’s direction that the audience is able to feel the same emotion that Homer Hickam feels. The film also stars Chris Cooper, whose other films include American Beauty(1999), The Bourne Identity(2002), Capote(2005), The Town(2010), and Demolition(2015). I think Chris Cooper is much like Dennis Quaid and he always likes to play the fatherly character in his roles. Cooper in October Sky is a jerk, but he is trying to keep Homer down to earth in his actions instead of up in the stars. Lastly, Laura Dern of Jurassic Park(1993), I Am Sam(2001), andWild(2014). She plays the lovely Miss Riley, who helped Homer to stay inspired in his dreams. She played the role very well, and she was instantly likeable.

I think a character in the movie is the outstanding score. Its hauntingly beautiful, its very atmospheric and there have honestly been times where I would start humming the music, and then decide on that reason alone to watch it. Its just a beautiful soundtrack that stays with you.

I don’t really want to ruin the movie for you, so I won’t go into specific details other than the plot but you need to check this movie out. For fans of films based on true stories, or for those who are looking for good clean family drama. This movie begs for you to check out.

I was 8 when I first saw this movie, and now than I’m almost 25… jeez time has flown. I was shown this movie when I was at my uncles place in Moncton when my older cousin was watching it. Not knowing anything about the film, I was immediately mesmerized by what I was watching and ended up loving the movie! I think throughout my childhood to adulthood, I consistently have watched this movie once a year, in my 20’s, and especially when attending university, this was a film I definitely found myself watching more and more. This movie provides me with a lot of inspiration and aspires me to follow my dreams and to not let anyone stop me from achieving them, no matter how far fetched they may be, this movie taught me that no dream is too small in your pursuit to achieve them. When the credits roll, I’m left feeling empowered and that I can do pretty much anything. Maybe thats why I watch it so often and its one of my favourites.

Please check it out, and if you feel the same way I do, or maybe you feel something else let me know!

I give October Sky a 4.5/5, theres not really a dull moment, its a film that I think anyone can enjoy, unless your heartless (just kidding). But definitely check it out!

-Andrew

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