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Still shot from the movie: October Sky.

October Sky

It's 1957 in Coalwood, West Virginia, and all roads point to the local coal mine. But when the first spacecraft, the Russian Sputnik, flies over the dusty town, high-school student Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal) catches a glimpse of the bigger world and can no longer accept his presumed career. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A-
Violence: B
Sexual Content: B
Language: C
Drugs/Alcohol: B+
Run Time: 108
Theater Release: 19 Feb 1999
Video Release: 25 Jan 2001
MPAA Rating: PG
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Home Video Extra Features

October Sky Special Edition DVD; released January 25, 2005.

I can’t help but feel inspired each time I watch October Sky. Celebrating the advantages of getting an education and pursuing your dreams, this true story just gets better with the release of the 2005 Special Edition. Featuring a short documentary titled, Aiming High: The Story of the Rocket Boys, fans have a chance to meet the real Homer Hickman and some of the other Rocket Boys as they reminisce about their life and the movie. Also included is an interview with the principal who wasn’t always supportive of the young men’s efforts. I was really impressed by the respect the grown Homer shows for the aging administrator - proving all things can be forgiven when put in their proper perspective.

Another bonus is Homer’s running commentary of the movie. As he describes each scene, he explains which elements are true and which are just story telling. I was amazed at how many of the dramatic elements really did happen. As he humbly explains his gratitude for his family, friends, and small town heritage, I developed an even deeper appreciation for this man’s accomplishments.

Spot Light on Location, Production Notes, and a Theatrical Trailer, round out the offerings of this DVD that provides English, French and Spanish audio in 5.1 Dolby Surround, as well as Spanish and French subtitles and English captions.

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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