Review: The December Boys [2007]

december_boysWriter: Michael Noonan (novel)
Directed by: Rod Hardy
Screenplay: Marc Rosenberg
Released: October 5, 2007
Runtime: 105 min
Language: English

Plot (flixter):
Based on the classic Michael Noonan novel, “December Boys” is a story of four orphan teenagers growing up behind the closed doors of a catholic convent in outback Australia during the 1960s. As the boys watch younger kids get adopted by loving families, they begin to realize that as they get older, their turn may never come. When the convent sends the boys to visit the seaside one summer, they finally have something to look forward to. While at the seaside, the boys meet a young couple unable to have children, who would make the perfect parents. The eldest of the boys, Maps, finds himself drawn to Lucy, a beautiful girl from down the coast. Competing to be the most adoptable, the rest of the boys, Sparks, Misty and Spit, severely test their friendships as long gestating feelings of rejection explode to the surface. The bonds of friendship eventually overcome the rivalries, sealing forever the strong ties that bind the December boys as they learn the real meaning behind friendship, family and love.

Cast: (in credits order)

Daniel RadcliffeMaps

Teresa PalmerLucy
Christian ByersSpark
Lee CormieMisty
James FraserSpit
Jack ThompsonBandy McAnsh
Kris McQuadeMrs. ‘Skipper’ McAnsh
Suzie WilksProspective parent

Victoria HillTeresa
Sullivan StapletonFearless
Ralph CotterillShellback, the Fisherman
Frank GallacherFather Scully

I Say…

I’m sure it will bring about curiosity as to why the movie was called December Boys. The reason’s quite simple, and will be the first thing explained during the first few scenes.

14december-600Not a complicated movie, the plot was simple yet unique in its own way. It can’t be helped to follow the lives of the 4 orphan boys searching something and finding what has always been there. I thought there will be anger or despise amongst them that will create stir or cause them to break up or something, as the movie caption suggests… but there was none. Since all the other actors were unfamiliar for me it can’t be helped to notice Dan Radcliffe alone. This being a movie out of the Harry Potter series, he did quite a great job playing a more mature role. I guess I can say I’ve never seen him act as good as he did playing the role of Maps on this one. May this be a great opportunity for him to prove that he can be a character other than Harry Potter.

The ending was satisfactory enough as well, and it can touch every emotional heart be it shallow or deep. I think it would be nice to hear that it’s not much of a tearjerker, but instead a compelling drama about friendship ties and the power of love acting in the most critical circumstance.

Advertisements

Review: Harry Potter & the Order of Phoenix (2007)

-Order-of-the-Phoenix-Directed by: David Yates
Released:
July 11, 2007
DVD Released:
November 11, 2007
Runtime:
138 min

Cast:

Daniel Radcliffe … Harry Potter
Emma Watson … Hermione Granger
Rupert Grint … Ron Weasley

Plot (flixter):
The Rebellion Begins…
After returning to Hogwarts to begin his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter discovers that much of the wizarding world, including the Ministry of Magic, is in denial about Lord Voldemort’s return. The Order of the Phoenix, a group sworn against Voldemort, is using its vast array of wizards and witches magical abilities to combat Voldemort. Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, suspects that Dumbledore is using these claims of The Dark Lord’s return as a means to over-throw Fudge as Minister. In retaliation, a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher is appointed by the Ministry in order to keep an eye on Hogwarts. This new teacher, Professor Umbridge, implies strict new teachings and rules, forcing a group of students, under the tutelage of Harry, to form a club, by the name of Dumbledore’s Army…

I say…

As I’ve known from reading the book, I was not that much satisfied watching the previous installment of the Harry Potter series. I think that majority of its important parts were not even included in the movie, most especially the real emotion during the parting of Harry & Sirius. Harry Potter readers must know by heart what really happened and why it was so painful for Harry when Sirius died. I was also looking forward to the confrontation between him and Dumbledore in the end, but it was brief and very mild.
But effects-wise, it’ll have to be a thumbs up sign. It made me feel I had quite normal imagination when I saw Grimmauld’s Place and the Ministry of Magic, because they appeared pretty much the same as I have imagined them when I read the Order of Phoenix not so long ago. The floo networks were amazing. The green flames are so alive and real!
Notwithstanding the mentioned disappointing observations, I guess the main emotion suggested by the Order of Phoenix was achieved quite well. It didn’t come in its exact package yet I felt it somehow. I guess it strengthened the emotions too, even for non readers. It simply affirms that there’s more to come and more to look forward to.