October Sky

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * * )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )

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October Sky is one of those movies that has a plot that is completely dwarfed by the sheer depth of the characters. While it does an excellent job of building the story and letting it develop over two hours, the true art of this movie is how deep and full the characters are. Obviously it is easy to pick out the father of our hero in this movie as we attempt to categorize him as the mentally abusive monster only to have that smashed by a piece of tearful sensitivity. Many other characters are just as deep but only with our own thoughts can we build the character up. The nerd friend ODell is a perfect example of this as well for we are given very little about his character except for once scene where we only get a glimpse, but it allows us to see the rest of the picture. In fact all the friends (who look like they were pulled right out of Stand By Me) except one are really well built. Frankly some of the more prominent characters including our hero, Homer (DOH!), who is a perfect young Nicholas Cage, are painfully shy of this depth, though this is probably a harsh comparison when staked against such great ones. The movie is frankly excellent save for the almost unnoticeable aroma of cheese near the end (for great fun, write in with the moment you started to sniff it and see if it was at the same point! If it is the same, Ill give you a free DVD!). Other than that small whiff of something not quite fresh, the movie was top notch and frankly the perfect date movie. The DVD has a good 2.35 to 1 16x9 enhanced picture that was just a little too dark for my LCD projector, and a very full Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Unfortunately there were no real extras to speak of. Overall a truly excellent movie that shows just how a good story and good characters can make a great movie.