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Another English feel good movie that doesn't disappoint. While Hollywood are going for bigger is better with sequels galore and movie costing 100's of millions, "Son Of Rambo" proves that all you need is a good script, direction and a topic that people can relate to to have a successful movie. Like Stand By Me in the past the friendships formed as children are like that of no other. This film touches people as they can feel empathy or sympathy with all the characters. It is also very funny which makes the sad moments even more powerful. Life is not complicated when you watch these types of films and with all the bad things happening right now, it is a breathe of fresh air. "Happy Go Lucky" is another film in this genre that I am looking forward to seeing!!
Some movies were born with greatness. They are such a classic that will
make you stunned just by watching them. But sometime all you can do is
to admire, because your heart is simply somewhere else. Son of Rambow
wasn't born with greatness, nor it aim for something like that. It's
just personal film that happened to be close to our heart. The most
important of all, it also has got an ability to rejuvenate your
fondness of cinema.
Nostalgia factor is everything in this film stand for. But it's not screaming to your ears that they are one (**For Thai people: Any Thai movies that start their sentence with "Do you remember when " should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting the genre**). What made it fascinating is they won't tell you anything, and let you experience along with their protagonists first handed. I think the subtlety won't work if the film didn't actually have anything to talk about, but this film uses it effectively. The way they transition through scenes where characters act outside frame more than inside. And when we catch up with them, it's such a privilege just to be there and knowing.
But let me tell you something, there's something much more important than me reminiscing back to that era. It's also touching and coming-of-age story about friendship. I heard that it's almost an autobiography of directors (more about them later), and I think their world was such a nice place to be (just perfect in quirky kind of way). The atmosphere is so rich that you couldn't possibly leave any details that they shot behind. Like that exchange French kid, I think he's the most memorable supporting character all around (not to mention hilarious as hell).
The kids who played Will Prundfoot and Lee Carter are just perfect for the role, I especially like the latter. His first few scenes are extremely unpleasant, because he is a bully that you just don't want to be around. But the more I saw him, the more I understood him. And when it came to the end, he's the best character in this film. And I think we will have to agree that he's the most fulfilled character. Also, Will's mom played by Jessica Hynes (from ultra cool series Spaced which I totally recommend for everyone) is fine. She embodied her emotional constraints and grieves particularly well.
Garth Jennings and Nick Goldsmith (aka Hammer & Tongs) are veteran MV directors (Fatboy Slim's Right here, Right now, R.E.M.'s Imitation of Life, Beck's Lost Cause and etc.). I liked their attempt to bring Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to life, but I found that everything in that film seemed rush and half-baked (and I don't think they will have an opportunity to do a sequel). But Son of Rambow is another story. As I said before, it's almost an autobiography of their childhood, and no one is going to tell their own story better than themselves. Just like Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous, it's just so easy to let your imagination run wild when you feel attached to the material.
The last part of this film is the best part of all (probably the best ending for quite sometimes). Well, let's just say they were right every step of the way to draw the conclusion. Oh boy, for a long time since I have got teary eyed. I'm just can't help but to stand up and cheer with joy when I saw Will finished his project, and do something like that to his best friend.
If Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind is a tribute film for movie lovers all over the world, then Son of Rambow is the love song for movie lovers all over the world. I admire the way Michel Gondry put together his imagination and his usual quirkiness to projectile his idea for the world of cinema. But I love the way Hammer & Tongs pour their body of work into the film. Son of Rambo is an adolescence film that will definitely win your heart, unexpectedly.
Set in the U.K. but based on Sly Stallone's Rambo character of the
U.S., SON OF RAMBOW (yes, that's with a "w") is a heartwarming tale of
friendship surrounding two characters' love of film and film making.
These two are Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) and Lee Carter (Will Poulter), two preteens with significantly different backgrounds. Bill has a rigid religious family that doesn't allow him to watch the tele. While Will is a roughshod kid who has to take care of his family and family's business while trying to be a kid. Will is carefree and rebellious while Bill is reserved. But once the two meet, changes rapidly ensue. Bill has the chance to see his first action film (RAMBO) and this sets him on a path more toward Will. But Will sees in Bill the carefulness that he lacks ...and an actor for his film. Changes to the film are forced onto Will as Bill's infatuation with anything Rambo come full-on. New actors and actresses from their school sign on (including a French foreign exchange student that the girls are all in lust with) and this drives a wedge between Bill's desire to see an authentic kids film and Will's need to keep the production hush-hush due to family problems.
Surrounding the film's production are the religious connotations that are forced onto Bill by his mother and a man courting his mother who sees Bill's rebelliousness as a sign of weakness and ungodliness. Will's family business (an elder care home) comes into play in funny and poignant ways: using the elderly in hilarious skits for the film, and trying to maintain the place through Will's mother's absence and his brother's neglect.
The school the two attend also plays a vital part in the story. It is where Will and Bill meet, discovering that each has very little in common but eventually learning to share their differences and come together as friends. Schoolmates who learn about the film build bigger and brighter sets, even going so far as to find a beat-up old vehicle to drive in one of the hysterically funny chase scenes.
The script is sheer genius, with plenty to think about and tickle your funny bone. The two relative unknowns in the title performances are excellent young actors and will make you stand up and cheer for them in the end. Director/writer Garth Jennings is probably better known for his directing of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (2005) but, believe me, this one will outlast it in terms of memorability.
It's the kind of movie that reminds me that the words "cute," "sweet" and "quirky" ought not to be criticisms in and of themselves. The film is about two pre-teens, a troublemaker (Will Poulter) and a sheltered kid from a strict religious sect (Bill Milner), who decide to make a sequel to First Blood. Poulter fancies himself a filmmaker, and hopes to win a BBC contest with the movie. First Blood is Milner's first movie ever (the movie begins with him and his family holding a vigil over the lost souls who are in a theater watching it), and it fires up his already vivid imagination. The plot is generally predictable, but the themes of friendship and the love of creating art are well done and very touching. Most surprising is the frequently exciting direction by Garth Jennings, whose first film was the mediocre-at-best adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I would never have expected him to produce an original screenplay of such wit, pacing and attention to detail. It's an absolutely satisfying film, and one of the few I've seen so far in 2008 that I genuinely loved.
Every so often you have to watch a film like this just to remind yourself how good it was to be young. This is a truly lovely film that has some truly laugh out loud moments and some heart wrenching moments also. The 2 main actors are great and it is their relationship that makes this story the feel good film that it is. It reminded me slightly of "Stand By Me" and was one of those films that left you feeling good at the end of it and a smile creeping onto your mouth. This is a story of a religious boy who meets with the local rebel and form a firm friendship. Together they set out to make a film to be entered into a competition run by a TV station and that film is based on "First Blood". Although the version they are making is a reflection of one boys search for his dead father and a way of reuniting them together. It is touching that once the young boy starts to make the film he becomes a different character. Where he starts off as a shy, scared boy he becomes extrovert and energetic. The rebel is an obvious loner who just needs someone to be friends with him as his older brother doesn't know he exists and treats him like a servant rather than a brother. Throughout the adventure they share they go through good and bad times and some of the things they do for the film will make you laugh out loud. Some of the action scenes for the film are exaggerated for comic effect and to represent the boys imagination but this makes it the more adorable when you watch it. All in all this is a wonderful film that can't fail to touch the stoniest of hearts.
I wanted to see this film at the theater, but I missed it. I wish I
paid to see it at the movie theater because it's worth it. For me, this
is the type of film that makes the experience of seeing a film so
special and reminds me of just how much I love the movies. If you
appreciate Michel Gondry's work and happened to enjoy the film October
Sky - chances are that you will like this film.
It's a touching story about a boy that triumphs through his creativity. The storytelling was layered with recurring themes that filtered into the lives of several characters. I like how the viewer was given the opportunity to see a different perspective of a character after getting to know them through the eyes of one group of people. Aside from a great script the casting, acting, photography, animation and music all came together in a great package.
Congrats to the filmmakers.
Two cast-off children get together to form a rare friendship as they
try to make a movie they would submit to a competition. Many challenges
await them, amongst them the lure of celebrity and false friends. In
the end, of course, they emerge victorious.
It's one of those films that your inner child can only enjoy, if you let it out. It was well made and the child actors did very well. The songs and general atmosphere is of the 80's, with video tapes and soundtrack including The Cure and Siouxsie & The Banshees.
Bottom line: if you feel like getting melancholic about the childhood days, when true friends were scarce and your imagination was your only entertainment, watch this, you'll love it.
I know some people will have their problem with the movie. Especially
parents or any other adults who might think this might set a bad
example for the(ir) children. And if you really think about it, some
things in the movie seem easily imitable. But that would be shallow
thinking, because kids have seen quite a lot of things nowadays. So try
to be open minded.
And if you are, you will enjoy a comedy, set in the 80s, with many little funny things from that era (clothing, music, food etc.) that either will make you feel nostalgic (because you've lived through that time) or smile/laugh, because of the craziness of some things back then. However nothing takes anything away from the charm and the charisma of the two young leading actors.
It great to see lots of these quirky films being made nowadays. Amelie
and its massive international success basically kicked the whole genre
off. Since then Juno has picked up the baton and taken it to new
There are some great, possibly classic, scenes in Son of Rambo. The foreign exchange students arriving, the sixth form common room, the birth of Son of Rambo are all great scenes. I could really relate to these boys. I was almost exactly the same age as these kids when Rambo came out and I remember myself being obsessed by it.
Ultimately though I just found that the whole thing lacked structure and coherence. A friend once told me that all great films/plays have three acts: introduction, problem, resolution. All the elements are there in Son of Rambo but I just felt that they weren't put together clearly enough to tell a compelling story. The resolution was them making their home movie and yet this started almost at the start of the film. They should have left it until the final act.
Having said all this, I did really enjoy it and I'd recommend it to everyone.
I must admit that my first viewing of Son Of Rambow, left me a bit
uncertain. I really LOVED the ending and the overall plot line of the
movie. What I DID know, is that I definitely wanted to see it a second
time before forming an opinion. I am VERY glad that I did see it again
and went on to see it several more times. I have purchased the DVD as
People who may not be familiar with certain aspects of British culture and slang, Plymouth Brethren religion and 1980's influence, may feel a bit lost in some of the aspects of the movie. I think that caused a bit of my original "uncertainty".
This is an adult film about our lives and childhood friendships and THAT is what matters here. This is a film about boys being boys, and limitless childhood imagination. Kids from different backgrounds finding common ground. This deals with "broken" homes and kids finding their own way and finding strength in friendship despite their backgrounds. This is an exaggerated comedic look at goofy and sometimes dangerous things we things we did as kids and probably the last thing we would want to see our own kids doing. It's about 2 young boys trying to make a homemade movie after seeing Rambo First Blood. Their effort ends up serving a higher purpose, as a testament of their friendship, at a time when it is needed most.
The two lead roles played by Bill Milner and Will Poulter are EXCELLENT particularly from two boys who have no prior acting experience. I think that fact that the two of them are "genuine" makes their performance genuine as well. What is especially nice here is that a movie about childhood friends and adventures, ended up bringing these boys together and forming a lasting friendship of their own while having the "adventure" of making their first film together. The movie serves its purpose well in this case and the friendship makes the on screen performance even more genuine and meaningful.
This movie has been compared to the 1980's film, "Stand By Me". It is a different time and culture and story but the basic theme and idea is very much the same. I think the two films compliment each other very well.
The movie soundtrack is also excellent, with popular 80's songs as well as a superb musical score by Joby Talbot. I also own the soundtrack CD, which also contains the Joby Talbot score as well. It's a great CD.
Give this movie a chance. Be sure to watch the extra bonus features on the DVD. It gives a lot of insight into the writer/director and his own childhood dreams and experiences and how they influenced this film. It added a lot to my overall appreciation of the movie, the director and the cast.
A "Starduster" Review
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