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Plot: "Secondhand Lions" follows the comedic adventures of an introverted boy left on the doorstep of a pair of reluctant, eccentric great-uncles, whose exotic remembrances stir the boy's spirit and re-ignite the men's lives. Runtime: 111 mins Release Date: 18 Sep 2003
I cannot see how anyone would dis this movie unless they especially disliked a particular actor. I thought the casting was great, right down to the secondhand lion and the pig. The flashbacks were hilarious because as we age, the things we did before become more dramatic and are further enhanced. No one thinks about their past in terms of mediocrity, and this was brought out in the flashback scenes. Osment was a superb cast in this movie because of his unchanging facial expression. He has been burnt out with lies and his mother's constant searching for a husband only to find another <more>
loser.His comment to his mother said it all. Here was a kid who had met a lot of "uncles", so here were two more uncles that he was being pawned off on.Robert Duvall and Michael Caine are the only two actors that come to mind who could pull this off. I plan to add this to my collection and would highly recommend it to anyone who has a ever daydreamed about far off places or dares to dream about what might have been.Hollywood has gone off the deep end in trying to project a certain political ideology and this has hurt the overall film industry. It is no wonder that when a good movie like this comes out, it is not given a second look and is soon forgotten. It's sad.
"Secondhand Lions" is a movie which has achieved excellence. The story line is fast-moving and packed with nuance. Various elements of the plot overlap and blend for a harmonious whole. It is not a series of action scenes played primarily for visual impact, but a compelling story which demands attentive viewing.Flashback scenes are intentionally cartoonish, so that the audience, like the character of the boy Walter, is left wondering whether the fantastic tales of the old uncles' adventurous youth are really to be believed. Uncle Garth tells the stories, which we see through <more>
Walter's imagination. We see in the flashbacks what Walter envisions as he hears the stories, and Walter doesn't have the age and experience to see anything other than the caricatures which appear in the flashback scenes. It's not a photo-accurate rendition, it's what a youngster imagines while listening to oral storytelling. For instance, a twelve-year-old Texan in the 1950s wouldn't have been likely to know what a really angry Sheik would have looked like in the 1920s. These flashbacks, and the ways in which they are depicted, are central to the plot of the movie. Through his storytelling, without realizing it, Uncle Garth nurtures a creative potential in Walter who will grow up to become a cartoonist .Christian Kane is a magnificent casting choice as young Uncle Hub the younger incarnation of Duvall's character , displaying just the right kind of spark for the daring adventurer. Kyra Sedgwick is eerily believable as Walter's shallow and self-absorbed mother. The family of hick relatives is superbly annoying.Haley Joel Osment delivers a solid portrayal of Walter. Sometimes his voice sounds like that of a boy, sometimes like that of a young man, as would be expected in a male of Walter's age. Sometimes Walter cries like a child, sometimes he displays stoic maturity, as would be expected from a boy who is in the transition of becoming a man. We see Walter unsure of himself in the beginning, but later finding his footing. Not too sugary, not too hard-edged, Haley Joel Osment is ideal for the role. He may be overshadowed by Caine and Duvall, but actually holds his own reasonably well, working between these two living legends.Michael Caine's accent as Uncle Garth is a perfect portrayal of a Texan who has lived outside Texas for much of his life. Garth is no bumpkin hick, but a man who has traveled the world, and in light of his experiences it would not have been credible to give this character a strong country drawl. Even though, as the plot progresses, we don't know how much of Garth's fantastic storytelling we should believe, there is never a question of whether Garth has ventured outside the Texas borders. Education and travel tend to have the effect of diminishing regional accents. I have lived in Texas for twenty years, and have known many older native Texans whose diction is much like Garth's. Michael Caine gives Uncle Garth just the right combination of toughness and tenderness, and treads the fine line of allowing us to see Garth as a trustworthy character regardless of his adventurous stories.The uncles are very realistic characterizations, and Texas holds many characters like them. The aging uncles had, as young men, gone away to find adventure, and lived on the edge for much of their lives. Then they returned home to retire in a rural Texas setting which they were finding to be just a little too tame, no longer remembering much about Texas country life except for acquiring the obligatory too many dogs. The uncles don't say much to each other because there is no need to say much, they understand each other perfectly. Confronted with age, they seek out reckless behavior, unwilling to sit still and get older, unable to overtly give up on life. Walter's presence suddenly requires them to adapt to new purpose, and to take care of themselves, too, as they are faced with the issue of providing appropriate male role models so that their young nephew might one day become an appropriate man.Despite the studio's description, this is not a "heartwarming" movie with a happy, fluffy resolution for all concerned. The characters must make choices, and not always easy ones. The valiant tales of adventure don't always conclude with happily-ever-after fairytale endings. It is not purely a comedy, but instead probes the depths of emotion. The adult audience will probably appreciate this movie the most, but it is an appropriate movie for pre-teens as well.
A classic. This is one of those male bonding movies one tends to cringe at nowadays, but there's no cringing here. Due to the wonderful script, direction and acting by all the principals, this one unfolds like a rose in bloom. Before you know it the movie has you in its grasp and the characters become 3-dimensional and their battles become yours as well. The plot is simple...a teenager is dumped on his great-uncles by his scheming mother who wants the kid to find where the uncles have hidden their fortune. The uncles, played by Michael Caine, sans British accent, and Robert Duvall, work <more>
well together as brothers slow to warm to the boy, played by Haley Joel Osment. Eventually the layers peel away and the boy learns about the earlier thrilling adventures of the uncles and begins to see them as role models. But then, are the stories true? Should the boy return to his mother? Should the uncles fight to keep him around? The ending had me in tears. Tears of happiness. A perfect film for the entire family.
And Now For Something Completely Different... (by Gavno)
For a VERY long time I've been disgusted with most of the stuff coming out of Hollywood... too many movies with huge budgets and absolutely NO imagination or talent involved. Lately tho, the Hollywood system has slipped a bit, and a few films by SMART people working with nonformula scripts have been falling through the cracks. And they're a refreshing breeze for those of us that don't bother with "One Weekend Wonders" that generate monster box office receipts for two or three weeks, that involve the latest orgasm generator "stars" and a ton of explosives and <more>
guns... just to sink into oblivion afterwards, like TITANIC or PEARL HARBOR.The LAST intelligent movie I saw was A MIGHTY WIND. Right on it's heels, we get SECONDHAND LIONS.I've been a Robert Duval fan for a LONG time... there's more than a little bit of Sonny from THE APOSTLE, and a taste of Colonel "Bull" Meecham from THE GREAT SANTINI thrown into the character of Hub. He's done a Tour De Force job with the performance. WONDERFUL!!!The biggest surprise in all of this tho was Michael Caine's take on playing a Texas redneck! It's hard to imagine that the impeccably English Spitfire squadron commander from BATTLE OF BRITAIN could pull off a crusty, aging Texan, but he DOES it beautifully. He even gets the accent down quite well!This is a film that's a TON of fun from beginning to end. IMHO it's destined to become a classic, very much like Jean Sheppard's A CHRISTMAS STORY.It's worth the trip. Pick it up, and you won't be sorry. Gavno
I have been told by many people this was a great movie and one I needed to watch. Well finally I watched it today and it didn't disappoint me. It has so many great elements to it. I laughed in some parts and cried my eyes out in others. I loved the line "...died with his or her boots on." It's a great statement about living your life to the fullest and believing in the things that really matter like love and honor. The actors were fabulous. I think young Haley Joel Osment has a lot to offer films and I hope we see much more of him in the future. Michael Caine never <more>
disappoints me and I love his Texas accent in the film. Overall, this is truly one movie fit for all ages. A true heartwarming film with a great message for anyone who will hear it.
Laughed Till It Hurt! Some mild spoilers (by LAV25USMC)
A couple of mild spoilers I so enjoyed this movie. I loved the characters, especially the bigger than life but quite sure if it's true nature of Hub and Garth. Duvall and Caine did some of their best work. They were absolute rascals but absolutely lovable in doing so. Osment continues to grow as a young actor and should become a very successful adult actor which not all child stars do . They touched my heart many times, like when Jasmine comes to the aid of "her cub". I found myself with tears welling up one minute and then laughing till it hurt the next Hub hitting sleazy <more>
Stan with the butt of his shotgun while laying there . Even the times when you knew what was coming Duvall kicking the stuffings out of the 4 thugs in the general store , the performances were so good it was fun watching it all happen. This was a 9 out of 10 for me. Highly recommend it for anyone.
Straight to the point: yeah right the plot is predictable, but so what? We can also predict Finding Nemo! Who cares whether the ending is surprising when this is supposingly a family film? Ahem...undoubtedly, Michael Caine and Robert Duvall are brilliant...hm...interesting, very interesting...Michael Caine with a Yankie accent...anyways, they together make the film shine. Not saying that Haley Joel Osment is not good, actually he's quite brilliant as well, but I have to say that I was a bit disappointed at his contribution to the movie...not saying his acting is bad, just that his role <more>
didn't give him much room to develop, and that his character is actually NOT the most important character in the movie...a bit restricted, so overall he's doing good but not good enough. Hopefully in the near future he'll receive some powerful roles like those in Sixth Sense and A.I.. But...to be frank, it's really very nice to see him in a happy film once rather than always seeing him in somekind of heavy, dark, gloomy or sad film...though the later might make him shine like a diamond... It's always the heavy films that creates great actors, not light-hearted ones, so I don't blame Osment if he didn't seem to outshine Caine and Duvall in this film.Caine and Duvall, everyone knows their powerful acting, but Osment's big time is yet to be seen. I definitely see talent in him, he's a rare gem, that is to be sure, but whether he'll turn out to be the biggest star in this generation ie. those who were born in the 80s , the next Peter O'Toole or Paul Newman or Tom Hanks, is remained to be seen. Personally I think he'll get there quite easily if he keeps on his work and talent and personality and not being worn out by fame and fortune. So keep up the work n let 'em see your colours, Osment!
Wonderful Entertainment- Meaningful Story (by juliewriter)
Secondhand Lions has lasting entertainment appeal. It's a good movie the entire family can repeatedly enjoy watching. Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osmint are a magnetic acting trio, carrying the simple coming of age story, about an insecure young man, to heroic heights. Delightfully acted, the movie's appeal is enhanced by the wonderful cast of animals, especially the loving "secondhand lion". This charming story deserves 8 stars because it provides delightful entertainment in a timeless story about love, male bonding and the importance of role modeling. <more>
Unlike the characters played by Caine and Duvall, who fight against their inevitable aging, this movie will live beyond the careers of all the three leads.
This movie is a good one I like the action, drama and comedy that it carries. Micheal Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osment are great together.I have to say that I would really hate to be in Walter's Osment position.I mean having a LIAR for a MOTHER.It's like she does not even care about her son. His life pretty much blows, big time. Yet, all that changes when he goes to see his great-uncles. I have to say it's pretty weird how they live, and plus they secretly have millions of dollars hidden away. Rumor has it saying that they robbed all that from banks 30 years ago, and <more>
shot and killed lots of people. But all that is not true. During that time they first traveled to Europe for a little trip from home. And later they end in Africa. Fighting a war, battling and evil shiek and one of them becoming lucky to find love for a Princess! Anyway I don't want to spoil it you but, this really is a good film. I recommend it. There's alittle bit of language but it's not bad. Mostly it's just damn and hell. Nothing else really.