February 1, 2004

Second Hand Lions

In 1960s Texas, timid teenager Walter (Haley Joel Osment) is forced to spend the summer with his rich and eccentric great-uncles (Michael Caine and Robert Duvall) on their farm. Over time, he learns about their mysterious and dangerous pasts. Emmanuelle Vaugier plays an Arabian sultan’s daughter with whom Duvall’s character fell in love years ago. Kyra Sedgwick and Nicky Katt co-star.

Starring: Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, More
Director: Tim McCanlies
Category: Drama
Format: Widescreen, More
Language: English
Subtitles: English, More

My Review
There’s a good chance you saw this one in the theater last year. If you didn’t, rent it now! If you did see it and missed the powerful message, you should see it again! First off, the cast is terrific. A message this movie has to offer is about the importance of believing in something. A belief that has nothing to do with anything called truth! In other words, it is unimportant whether or not anyone else believes what you believe. It is the belief itself that serves as the necessary foundation for becoming something. Anything! In this story, that theme is clearly set in a speech by Hub McCann (Duval) to Walter about what every boy needs to know in order to become a man. By the time speech is finely delivered to an adamant young Walter, beside the lake under a midnight moon behind their ramshackle farm house, Walter has heard countless tales of mythical proportion about his uncle’s exploits in Africa and other exotic places. For the first time he gets glimpses of things like honor, courage, true love and the idea of placing someone else’s needs ahead of their own. Meanwhile the rest of the adults in his world are telling him another story altogether. A less heroic one to be certain! Walter having been raised by an untrustworthy single mother (Kyra Sedgwick) has been let down by adults, and for the first time these stories he’s hearing offer him a reference point that he wants, no, needs, to believe in. The flashback scenes when the stories are being told to Walter, are campy and heroic which makes the movie a lot of fun to watch while throwing in that element of myth that really sets up the point of the entire movie. If you don’t already want to see this film, here’s one more try at changing your mind. Watch, if only to hear our aging hero, Duval, deliver this line prior to a brawl with four young thugs. “I’m Hub McCann, I fought 2 world wars and countless smaller ones on three continents. I’ve led thousands of men into battle with nothing but Horse and swords, to artillery, and TANKS! …I’ve seen the headwaters of the Nile, tribes and natives no white man had ever seen before, I’ve won and lost a dozen fortunes, …KILLED many men…and loved only one woman. With a PASSION a flea like you couldn’t begin to understand. That’s who I am.”

I will say no more! Don’t forget the popcorn.
Mark Firehammer

You Are How You Watch
Good movies are good for different reasons. The one thing that all the movies I’ll review here have in common, is that they all illustrate a concept or insight that is especially useful to those on a conscious path of personal growth. I give careful consideration to what I allow any of my senses to take in because of the net affect that any input has on my inner dialogue. There is a computer saying that for me has even more meaning with regards to the human mind.
Garbage in, garbage out!
Mark Firehammer

About the Author Mark

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