October Sky

9 out of 10


Reach for the Sky, Anything is Possible

As I went to see this film, I thought at first, "Great, another cheesy Hollywood adaptation of a love story". Shortly into it, I started to realize that it was going to be a better film than I first thought.

It takes place in a small town in West Virginia, Coalwood. As the name suggests, it is a mining town. The year is 1957, and the month is October, the historic day the film starts on is the 7th. For those not familiar with history, that was the day the Russians launched their first, as well as the world's first satellite, "Sputnik". The town comes out to see it orbit in the night sky, and one particular towns person, Homer Hickem, is inspired by this sight, and that night declares his dream - to build a rocket. Throughout the movie, Homer has to live in his brother`s shadow, a star football player, and compete with him for his father`s pride. His father runs the coal mine, and wants Homer to work there. Every kid in the town grows up knowing that they too will eventually work in the mine. His friends build rockets with him, and some of the men at the mine help with the metalworking. His cohorts include Quinn, the school "nerd", whom he turns to for the complex mathematics and the knowledge of simple rocket design, and of course, his teacher, who never stops believing in him.

The script is very simple, and so too is the plot. At one point, he gets off track and works in the mine after the Police charge him for causing a fire due to his rocket launches. There are also some comedic parts, such as when they are launching their test rockets, several of which blow up in some funny ways.

The beauty of this movie is the way it uses the common cliché, "Never give up on your dreams", and intertwines it into a wonderfully simple, uplifting and inspiring film. Additionally, the music goes very well with the scenes. I am a great fan of Rock & Roll, and the movie is filled with many great hits that bring out the emotion in many of the scenes.

Rockets to the top of my "Must See" List

Film Critic: Jamie Belair