Sunday, July 06, 2008

Movie: Rocket Science

Rocket Science is a small indie movie about a teenage boy with a speech impediment who decides to dabble in the kill-or-be-killed world of high school debate competitions. One would wonder why he would choose to, but as is the case with many teenage boys and decisions that make no rational sense, the reason behind his decision was a girl.

I wasn't familiar with anything about this movie and I can't recall what caused me to put it on my online movie queue. It was a pleasant surprise, but doesn't really live up to other movies in its genre (more Napoleon Dynamite than Superbad).

Reece Thompson, who plays the lead Hal Hefner, was likable as the bumbling debate newbie. The only person I recognized at all was Nicholas D'Agostino (West from Heroes, and I like him a lot more here) as the fast-talking debate veteran. Other amusing characters were the less-than-stellar speech therapist Mr. Lewinsky (Maury Ginsburg) and the bully of an older brother Earl (Vincent Piazza). There is something about a movie that isn't well known, with a cast of people you have literally never heard of, that still can be this enjoyable to watch. That is how I felt about Starter for Ten (of course, who doesn't know James McAvoy by now?).

All in all, it was good, entertaining, but I wouldn't say it is the best of its genre. Give it a viewing if you are bored and want some laughs.


Stella Louise said...

I really liked this movie. Much, much, much, much better than Napoleon Dynamite. No, it didn't have the gut busting laughs of Superbad, but it was far more authentic. I loved how even though they pushed the envelope with some of the eccentric characters, it never ceased to feel genuine to me.

I loved how when Hal was miserably soaking in the bathtub and his brother as usual was going to torment him but, noticing his misery, instead tells him:

There's pineapple cake in the fridge. If you're late, I'll eat the whole cake, so don't be late.

Also, in addition to Nicholas D'Agosto, you might have recognized Aaron Yoo of Disturbia and 21 as the enigmatic Heston. Actually, maybe you didn't--he looked very different in this film than he usually does.

Eternal Future said...

I've just watched it yesterday and compared to the other teen movie, this one is way much better. The cast is great, well acted, but somehow I feel there are loose ends here. I mean, in the end, what's this all about? The contest? Heart break? Or to sum it all, a miserable chapter of a teenager?

Linz McC said...

Now that you point him out, I do recognize Heston from Disturbia, but I haven't seen 21 yet. It is on my list to watch.

I think that part with Hal's brother in the bathroom was my favorite part of the movie. That and when Hal was trying to throw the cello through the second story window, and after it went through the first story window instead, the family drove up and he said "There's a cello in your house now."

Future, I think that was my problem. It wasn't as completely stupid as Napoleon Dynamite or quite as strange as a movie like Rushmore, so I expected it to have a more meaningful ending. Maybe I just didn't quite get it (I hate admitting that with movies...).

Stella Louise said...

Ah--but the ending was fabulous! He was finally able to get a p-p-p-piece of p-p-p-pizza! Very low-key finale, but a sense that this kid is going to be OK. He's completely pushed himself beyond his comfort zone--as opposed to others, symbolized by his Dad who can't find his way back to the freeway...

"It's not rocket science, Dad!" And neither is life...we all just have to muddle through!

Maybe it's because you're still too close to it.