Sky on DVD
You Don't have to
be a Rocket Scientist
At least that's what
young Homer Hickam's dad thought when his son came home with stars in
his eyes and visions of Sputnik dancing in his head.
Homer (Jake Gyllenhaal)
was growing up in Coalwood, West Virginia, when the first satellite came
into his life in 1957. It was a serendipitous discovery that amazed him
and gave him hope at the same time.
That's because Homer
hated the thought of following his father's footsteps down into the coal
mine that was his home town's reason for being - but in Coalwood there
wasn't anything else to do unless you got a college scholarship and managed
Suddenly, Homer realized
that the science of rocketry could be an alternative to sports scholarships
as his and his friends' ticket out of Coalwood.
Naturally, they run
into difficulties, mostly caused by the conflict between people who see
the coal miner's life as an end and those like Homer who look upon it
as THE end.
October Sky looks
and sounds great, though there isn't a lot of surround sound on this Dolby
Digital 5.1 release. The DVD is in 2.35:1 widescreen and full frame -
you choose which format you want to watch from a menu at the beginning
of the movie.
is a great way to compare the benefits of widescreen with the limitations
of "full screen" (no prejudice shown in that sentence, was there?)
- though it can also lead to family arguments if one of you likes one
version and the other doesn't.
Other extras include
a feature commentary, an "on location" documentary on the film
(including some words of wisdom from the real Homer Hickam- who went on
to work at (surprise!) NASA. There are also production notes, bios and
the theatrical trailer. Web links are also included but, as usual, this
isn't a big deal.
October Sky is an
uplifting movie about the pursuit of one's dreams. It's suitable as family
fare - and a wonderful film to show young kids to help inspire them to
reach for whatever particular stars they dream of visiting.
October Sky, from
Universal Home Video
widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital
starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Chris Owen and Laura Dern
Screenplay by Lewis Colick, Produced by Charles Gordon and Larry Franco
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