October Sky (1999)

credit: jake-weird.blogspot.comThis blog post is about the 1999 biographical film based on the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner’s son who defied the odds to become a rocket scientist. If you’re looking for the Canadian alternative rock band with the same name, please click here.


Confession: I actually have wanted to do this movie for months, but I felt obligated to wait until October because — you know. And as long as we’re on the subject, you might as well just give up on seeing August Rush anytime soon.

So there’s actually a bit more profanity in this movie than I remembered, but I’m willing to cut it some slack due to the setting of the movie and the fact that the good far outweighs the bad. And not that I’m a fan of our current rating system, but for what it’s worth, this movie is only PG.

I really like Chris Cooper, who plays Jake Gyllenhaal’s father. I think he’s a really good actor. He’s also really good at playing the grumpy father since he has one of those faces that looks angry even when it’s completely relaxed.

credit: www.listal.comAnd now your useless fact of the day: If you rearrange the letters in “October Sky” you get the title of the book it’s based on: “Rocket Boys.” To be honest, I don’t think I would have gone with the original title either, since it sounds like a prequel to “RocketMan” — a slightly less scholarly movie that came out a couple year earlier…but one I love equally as much.

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: October Sky’s first album was called “Hell Isn’t My Home.”

I really like what Miss Riley says to Homer: “As long as you are alive on this planet, you have a choice.”

This movie is  a great reminder that we are all free to act for ourselves. We have a God-given right to choose our path in life, and a good education exponentially multiplies our choices.

We cannot make wise decisions on anything in life without a broader perspective brought about by the knowledge we gain little by little, and the faith that we can accomplish whatever we choose if we are willing to work for it.

 “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” – D&C 88:118

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