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October Sky Special Edition [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Chris Owen, Laura Dern, Chad Lindberg
  • Directors: Joe Johnston
  • Producers: Larry J. Franco, Charles Gordon
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 4 April 2011
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E5KPHO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,414 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

West Virginia, 1957. In the tiny mining community of Coalwood, high school student Homer Hickam Jr (Jake Gyllenhaal) is inspired by the Soviet Sputnik satellite, and dreams of building a rocket of his own. He is hampered by his father's (Chris Cooper) resistance, but with the help of his teacher, Frieda Riley (Laura Dern), he aims to fulfil his stellar vision.

From Amazon.co.uk

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) epitomises 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

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By paul.emmerson@themail.co.uk on 11 July 2000
Format: DVD
After reading 'Rocket Boys' by Homer H Hickam, I was over the moon to discover that a film of this masterpiece had already been made. The book was a real inspiration and although excited by the prospect of the film, I knew that there was no way it could compete.
I was wrong, this film is absolutely wonderful. I laughed, cried and even though I knew the story, got generally excited. When I finally stepped away from my television as the end credits rolled, I could see where my whole life had gone wrong.
October Sky is a true story of a group of four boys who live in the small mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia and after seeing the worlds first satellite 'Sputnik' fly over their town in 1957, they decide to build their rocket to compete with the Russians.
It becomes an obsession, and against all the odds with help from certain members of the Coalwood community they strive and then strive a little bit more to achieve their dream.
Homer H Hickam the author of the book, is what you could call the leading member of these four boys and the driving force behind the whole project. He is without doubt an amazing human being and a person to set your standards against.
This is a beautiful film which you should watch it at least once, it may change your life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Triggs on 31 May 2007
Format: DVD
This was a warm, meaningful and spirited film with a very strong message about building a life outside that which is expected of you and the supportive arm from people who can make the difference by offering you a helping hand.

It shows the journey of a bright intellignet boy and his motley crew (3 friends) in the coal mining area of Virginia. The group are resigned to the fact that they will all becomes miners or dead beats with no understanding of what life can offer.

Then one day the main character, Homer, decides he wants to do more with his life going against his father's wishes and dreams for the boy. His love of rockets and the knowledge base of his friends and teacher offer Homer the chance to explore his dream and see what is possible.

The plot shows the group aiming for success in a National Science competition, getting over the barrier of "can we really do this" leaving them with the chance thereafter to receive scholarships.

This is a journey and the hurdles life throws to overcome all and achieve beyond their wildest dreams.

It also shows a father - son bond or a possible bond with the finding of common ground and respect for each other.

The film is well thought, likeable and leaves a lot of questions - the main one being "what if"

Go buy it - it will leave you feeling warm and good about the world.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Oliver on 3 Mar 2003
Format: DVD
October sky is fast becoming one of my favorite movies of all time, every time I watch it, it brings home a little of what Homer and the rocket boys experienced back in 1957. It is such a beautiful movie, with such an amazing story, and everything you could hope for in a good, honest drama. And what makes it even better is that it is all true. The story runs through 17 year old Homer Hickams aspirations and journey to the stars. Being inspired by Sputnik, he and three of his friends decide to take a chance at rockets, as a way to get out of the same life that everyone in their small town has, of working down in the mines. The movie documents their faliures and triumphs, whilst looking at the relationships between family members and friends, and gives you a truly memorable viewing experience. Watch this movie!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Andrew R. Hardy on 29 April 2004
Format: DVD
October sky would probably be a film that I would never have watched hadit not been for a 5.30am wake up call by my 18 month old son. On gettingup, I switched on to Sky Movies to watch anything that was on. Settlingdown on the settee, rocking my son to sleep, I proceeded to watch thisfilm.
Based upon an inspirational and true story of a boy whose dreams andaspirations for rocket science break him free from the mould of Coalwood'straditional "when you leave school you can work down the mine", the filmfollows the trials of teenage life for Homer Hickham and his group ofdedicated and loyal friends.
The film avoids the trademark American movie industry flaw of overdoingthe sentiment, but the soundtrack, memoir based stroyline and the sheerinspiration of believing in your dreams, is a powerful recipe and veryeffective and can be watched over and over again.
On a more personal level, October Sky has parallels with my own upbringingin Barnsley, part of the former South Yorkshire coalfield. Although norocket scientist, I was aware during my formative years that many peoplewere resigned to working in the coalmines if they didn't getqualifications, rather than following their dreams or aspirations. Now thelocal coalmines have closed for ever (as in October Sky), many communitieshave fallen apart.
Probably the best film I've seen - so good in fact that I bought the bookthe film is based on (Rocket Boys - Homer H Hickham)from Amazon, and hadthe DVD bought for Christmas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Maloney on 23 Mar 2009
Format: DVD
Once in a while I come across a real gem that I know, even while watching , will stay in my memory forever, this is one of those movies.

A truly inspiring tale in less than inspiring circumstances to say the least. There are so many little threads to the true life tale that the movie is a completely immersive experience. Chris Cooper, an actor that again lives up to his perennial billing as tough and grainy through his characters in movies plays Homer's father. Homer, played by a young Jake Gylenhal nails the role while his motley crue of buddies that become the rocket boys are all played reasonably well.

Whether its the awkward father son relationship, Homers evolving love interest, his relationship with his brother etc theres just so much richness in the story that almost every character or story arc counts.

As a working class based tale based in a coal mining town you would think rocket science could not possibly be a hobby for a typical kid but for Homer, after watching the Sputnik and befriending the only geek in the school, it becomes his one true inspiration and path out of almost pre-ordained horrible fate as coal miner. The cards are stacked against him: his father, friends, police and even school principal all at one point or another try to break him down.

Before watching the final frames I didn't think such a story, brilliant as it was could possibly be real but when reading the captions about the eventual fate of the rocket boys the inspirational real life quality of the story blew me away.

I highly recommend anyone watching this. This movie will go down well with 90% of people. The tale of a boy and his dream never gets old for me. If you've seen movies like 'The man with no face' or 'The Shawshank Redemption' youll probably love this. 10/10
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