"Son of Rambow"
Directed by Garth Jennings.
Written by Garth Jennings.
Starring Bill Milner and Will Poulter.
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 5/8/08
It is really interesting to follow a film's
progress; "Son of Rambow" premiered at the
Film Festival last January, and I tried to see it then but it
was sold out for all five or six of its showings. The buzz
even then, a whopping 16 months ago, was impressive, so I'm
surprised that this film is just now being released wide to the
masses, because after finally seeing it last night, the praise is
Rewind" was actually done after "Son of Rambow", "Son of Rambow"
will feel familiar because it's got the same energy behind it,
thanks to old-school filmmaking with the film's two main stars.
It's roughly 198X, and we've got Will (Bill Milner), a goody two
shoes who lives with his mom, sister and one-thousand-year-old
grandmother somewhere in England. One day, while sitting
outside of his classroom skipping a documentary--he's not allowed to
watch TV or movies even at school, thanks to his rule-driven
household--he meets Lee (Will Poulter), a troublemaker
extraordinaire who is a big movie fan, a fan of maybe nothing more
than Sylvester Stallone's "First Blood." When Lee makes a copy
of the film and Will watches the gory action flick one day, he comes
up with a new life goal: he will co-write and star in "Son of Rambow",
a little film that will star Will as Rambo and Lee as Colonel
Trautman, Rambo's only friend in the world. It is this
twosome's friendship both in front of and behind the camera that
makes "Son of Rambow" such a joy to watch--sure, it's about making
the in-movie flick, but it's also about camaraderie, blood brothers,
and visiting French exchange students named Didier.
Garth Jennings's last film was "The
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", which didn't do so well at the
box office or critically but it gave Jennings the chance to express
his artistic side. "Son of Rambow" is based partly on
Jennings's childhood experience making short films; paired with two
fantastic performances by Milner and Poulter--the latter of whom has
GOT to be fielding offers for good scripts right now--"Son of Rambow"
is great, never overwhelming so, just great, with no really strong
flaws against it. Right up until the end, where you get to see
the boys' finished film in full, I was very happy sitting through
this movie, and there are some great belly laughs built into this
movie throughout its running time.
"Son of Rambow" also got my juices flowing
again to finally finish making "Gratuitous 2: Ridiculous", and even
though I know that it won't happen, it's just damn fun to go out
there and be silly for the camera. What the hell am I doing in
Rating: $9.50 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard