Son of Rambow Review
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Though itís been making the rounds at film festivals for over a year, delighting festival audiences from Sundance to Glasgow, Son of Rambow is just now getting a much-deservedóbut limitedórelease in theaters around the country.

But before you click away, thinking, Action movies arenít my thing, hold on for just a second and keep readingóbecause Son of Rambow isnít what you might think. Itís not the sequel to Sly Stalloneís Ramboóthough Rambo would be lucky to get a follow-up thatís this much fun.

Son of Rambow is the story of two kids who form an unlikely friendship in the school hallway in the early Ď80s. Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) is a timid boy from a strict religious background. He isnít allowed to watch TV, so whenever his teacher shows a movie in class, Will has to sit out in the hall until itís over. And thatís where he meets Lee Carter (Will Poulter), the school bully (and a capable kleptomaniac), whoís sent out into the hall for completely different reasons.

  
 
After Lee takes the fall for a hallway mishap, he cons Will into being the stuntman in Leeís new movie, which he plans to submit to an amateur film competition. Good-natured Will plays alongóbut after catching a glimpse of Leeís bootlegged copy of First Blood, his vivid imagination kicks into high gear, and he comes up with a brilliant new story for their movie. But the production gets completely out of hand when new wave French exchange student Didier (Jules Sitruk) decides to get involved.

Son of Rambow is a downright delightful film. At times, itís wildly imaginativeóincorporating Willís dreams or drawings into the story. At other times, itís outrageously, side-splittingly hilarious. Itís offbeat and eccentricóespecially where the Flock of Seagulls-coifed Didier and his young followers are involved. But itís also surprisingly heartwarming; it tells a touching story about family and friendship. And while this mix of imagination and humor and quirk and tenderness may sometimes feel a bit random and uneven, it will leave you with a smile on your face and warmth in your heart. Because, from start to finish, itís good-natured, child-like fun.

Although the story itself is a whole lot of fun, the filmís young stars make it all the more magical. Milner (who looks like he could be Freddie Highmoreís little brother) is adorable as the obedient and easy-going Will, whoís just happy to have a friendóeven if it means hiding that friendship from his mother. But while Milner is technically the lead, Poulter steals the show as sly, unruly, and attention-starved Lee Carter. Together, the two young actors bring the clever script to life, making Son of Rambow an imaginative (and loveable) adventure thatís worth embarking on.


DVD Review:
The Son of Rambow DVD may not be packed with special features, but it does contain some of the most entertaining extras Iíve watched in ages. Both the commentary and the making-of feature include director Garth Jennings, producer Nick Goldsmith, and the two young stars, Bill Milner and Will Poulter. And as you watch (and/or listen to) the quartet, youíll realize just how much fun they had while making the movie.

The making-of feature, entitled Boys Will Be Boys, offers plenty of behind-the-scenes footage and interesting little tidbits about the movie. Throughout the feature, Jennings tells stories from his childhood while Milner and Poulter share their favorite memories from their summer vacation on set. On the commentary, they continue to chat away like old friends, reminiscing and joking and, occasionally, playing silly background music. Also included on the DVD are Aron, a short film that Jennings made when he was a kid, and a short film that won a contest hosted by the movieís Web site.

The extras on the Son of Rambow DVD fit perfectly with the movieís fun-loving toneóand they only add to the experience. So when you pick up your copy of this imaginative adventure, donít skip the special features.

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