Son of Rambow
PG-13
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -2

Neil Dudgeon, Jessica Stevenson, Jules Sitruk. Comedy. Written & directed by Garth Jennings.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The story takes place in 1980s Britain, where young Will Proudfoot is raised in isolation among The Brethren, a puritanical religious sect in which music and TV are forbidden. Accidentally, he sees a bootlegged copy of Rambo: First Blood and it blows his imagination wide open. Now, Will sets out to join forces with the seemingly diabolical school bully, Lee Carter, to make their own action epic, devising wildly creative, on-the-fly stunts, all the while hiding out from The Brethren.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Both sensitive and amusing, the film is about friendship and the willingness to put others first. Though it takes a shot at the piousness of some religious folk who put the law before Christs love, the film is not antagonistic toward biblical matters. It just states that spiritual devotion is most effective when practiced by caring for others. At least that was my interpretation. I may be honoring the filmmaker more than he deserves.

Alas, the film is peppered with objectionable language, including a disrespectful use of Christs name, and mostly by a kid.

Though it is a tenderhearted movie, the misuse of our Saviors name is just too abundant to be overlooked.

You may wish to try the following DVD alternatives to get the same message:

To Kill a Mockingbird. Horton Foote's winning screenplay of the Harper Lee novel about rural life, justice, honor and bigotry as seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old girl.

Or:

The Sandlot. The new boy in town struggles to become a member of the neighborhood baseball team. PG (a few mild expletives, one graphic scene where the kids get sick after chewing tobacco).

Or:

One Foot In Heaven. A devout minister (Fredric March) and family deal with the community and church life during changing early 1900s America. Fun scene has the good Reverend attending his first movie.

I would like to suggest Millions from 2005 since it is fairly new and that seems to be a prerequisite for some movie viewers. Alas, I cant. Starting anew after the death of their mother, 9-year-old Anthony is ever practical, while his 7-year-old brother Damian uses imagination, fantasy, and faith to make sense of his confusing world. When a suitcase full of money falls out of the sky at Damians feet as he plays near the railroad tracks, it sets the boys on the adventure of a lifetime that leads them to realize that true wealth has nothing to do with money. The little boy believes so strongly in saints that he envisions them and has conversations concerning the directions he should take in life. I see this engaging PG film as morality play but for one scene. In it, Damian visualizes Saint Peter. During their discussion, the ever earthy Peter blasts out with an irreverent use of Christs name. So unexpected, it demanded a reaction from the startled audience, one that expressed itself through laughter. The actor portraying Peter continues by applying a humanistic explanation for the feeding of the 5,000. Turns out the miracle was not done by Jesus, but by the giving spirit of the people. Its a subtle deflection from the godliness of Jesus. The filmmaker got his laugh, but he lost me.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Paramount Vantage

Summary
Crude Language: Some obnoxious behavior from the bully, but we ultimately get to see why he mistreats others mainly for attention, as he doesnt get much from his family.
Obscene Language: The roughneck kid uses a great deal of objectionable language throughout, including the use of Christs name as a mere expletive.
Profanity: A dozen or so misuses of Christs name.
Violence: There are a couple of fights and an accident nearly claims the life of a boy. Blood: A little blood when the kid is injured.
Sexual Intercourse: Girls line up to be kissed by the new exchange student at their school.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: A couple of the newly teenaged kids smoke
Other: Though the film presents The Brethren as people who live in a different century, living a simple life without regard for worldly entertainment, it does not ridicule them.
Running Time: 96 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

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