Son Of Rambow

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
I like this cover and menu. It must be in the air these days, some kind of happy bug. I am enjoying covers and menus more and more. This cover is a bit more fanciful than the movie, but it does represent the essence of the story, so I’m good with that. It’s a fun image. The poster would be a good addition to our theater room.

The menu has some kid drawings, which is appropriate for the movie since our leading man/kid has a penchant for doodling. Other movies use this attempted coolness when it’s not really part of the film, so I’m glad to see the two come together in a good package this time around.

Features: 6/10

  • Commentary By The Director, Producer & Cast – I like this director because he seems to thoroughly enjoy making movies. The boys are funny to listen to, like little grown ups in boy actor bodies.
  • “Aron” – Garth Jenning’s Original Short That Inspired Son Of Rambow – This s great fun to watch when you think about how motivated some people are their whole lives. I was not that inspired as a kid. Jennings made a full fledged action movie with an old video camera and his friends complete with stunts, fire, and get away cars.
  • The Making Of Son Of Rambow – The director, producer and the two stars of the film sit and discuss how they got it all put together. There are clips from behind the scenes, but mostly it’s them discussing how they got their parts, how certain scenes were made, and a tour of the production company. Their production company happens to be on 2 barges floating on the river…sweet.
  • And More – Trailers? That’s not MORE, not even extras!

The Movie: 9/10
I had no idea what to expect from this “little” movie. I was very happily surprised! Surprised and pleased and entertained, all the way through. As we meet the leading young men, two 11-12 year olds we understand that one is from a restrictive religious family and the other, well, he’s the trouble maker.

They quickly become a band of two, making a film for the BBC young filmmaker’s competition. The trouble maker, Lee Carter, had a whole other film concept in mind, until Will, after a lifetime of not watching TV and movies, accidently watches First Blood. You have to watch it to find out how a boy can accidentally watch a movie:)

From that moment on Will Proudfoot decides he wants to be Son of Rambow and so the movie takes a new direction. Scenes from the movie are played out between the two of them while the 80’s gem of a video camera sits on a tripod a few feet away.

As with all budding friendships in movies, there has to be conflict. In this story we come across a French exchange student who wants to star in their movie. He comes with an entourage of uniformed students who want to be close to and serve who they think is the coolest guy in school. The movie making changes as does the budding friendship between Will and Lee Carter. It’s a challenge for the two to remain close, Will’s religious nutbag community want to force him to stay close to their clan. Lee Carter and his teenage brother are on their own while their wealthy parents are out of the country, so they have their own personal challenges. Everything seems to want to keep these two apart.

I can talk about the story as much as I want, but the true heart of this movie is in the performances of the two boys and the other students in the school who get tangled up in this film making process. There is no way to describe how enjoyable it is to watch the interaction between Will and Lee Carter. They are genuinely and totally into their roles and they are hysterical. Their timing and reactions and they are truly two boys having fun. Sometimes¬† young kids in movies are too controlled and affected by the whole acting career and probably stage parents and bully directors/producers. These two seem like they are just having a great time. That adds so much to the vibe of the movie. That’s not to say that when the serious scenes come along they don’t deliver, they are tremendous (a nod to my mother who uses that word probably more than is necessary in life).

This is one of those movies I will want to see again and again. It’s a good one to recommend to almost anyone. That doesn’t mean it’s generic, oh no. It means it will appeal to so many people. There’s the 80’s time frame, coming of age, kids coping with adversity, human drama, and it’s well put together with the right music, no fancy camera trickery, just a solid entertaining movie. I can’t say enough good things about it, honestly. If I had to criticize, I couldn’t. It’s a stand out for me this Summer for DVD’s.

This is another one of those new fangled genre movies I can’t describe very accurately. It’s funny, dramatic, serious, and silly. It’s not fanciful with a couple of exceptions. There are a couple of dream sequences that make it even more true to the youthful leading young men, and that’s one more element that takes it away from a traditionally labeled film. Let’s start a new tradition, lose the labels people. Just make movies like Son of Rambow, movies with their own personality, their own style, their own uniqueness and leave the labels to food and cars.

Value: 5/10
You can only purchase this DVD in Best Buy, which is crap! You can order it online from their site, but again, how annoying to limit such a good movie’s DVD release. I am afraid that people will miss out just because of some deal that was done with the big store chain. You can rent it from any outlet rental place, which is fine. I just don’t see the point in not sending it out to any and all stores. The price for the DVD (There is no Blu-Ray version) is 20 bucks. That’s almost fair. I would like to see it for around $12. Especially since they are forcing us to go to a certain store just to buy it…people do you realize some town do not have a Best Buy? Ugh.

I say this movie is worth having on your shelf. How do I feel about being sent to a specific store, NOT HAPPY, but if the movie is worth it there has to be an exception to my rules no matter how painful it might be.

Overall Score 8/10