10,000 BC

Rocket Science (2007)
Looking for answers to life's big questions, a stuttering boy joins his high school debate team.
Reece Thompson Hal Hefner
Dionne Audain Abraham Lincoln
Anna Kendrick Ginny Ryerson
Nicholas D'Agosto Ben Wekselbaum
Vincent Piazza Earl Hefner
Margo Martindale Coach Lumbly
Aaron Yoo Heston
Josh Kay Lewis Garrles
Steve Park Judge Pete
Maury Ginsberg Lewinsky
Utkarsh Ambudkar Ram
Denis O'Hare Doyle Hefner
Lisbeth Bartlett Juliet Hefner
Candace Scholz Townsend Prep Debater (as Candace Burr Scholz)
Virginia Frank English Teacher
Marilyn Yoblick Plainsboro Lunch Lady
Emily Ginnona Honoria
Dan DeLuca Stephen Douglas
Michael Kusnir Flemming
John Patrick Barry Gym Teacher - Coach Cho
Jane Beard Fern Garrles
Herb Merrick Lewis’s Dad
Jonah Hill Junior Philosopher - Lionel
Betsy Hogg Crystal Hamish-Steinberg
Brandon Thane Wilson Phillip
Zack Arrington Plainsboro Debate Team
Katrina Hargrave Plainsboro Debate Team
Erin Loube Plainsboro Debate Team
Natasha Sattler Plainsboro Debate Team
Will Shaw Plainsboro Debate Team
Jeffrey Wei Plainsboro Debate Team
David DeBoy Frank Ryerson
Andrew Collie Hazlet Timer
Huong D. Nguyen Lewinsky’s Girlfriend
Katherine Ross Wolfe Glen Rock Debater
Susan Duvall Hazlet Lunch Lady
Elisabeth Noone Hazlet Coach
Noah Mazaika Trophy Presenter #1
Will Parquette Trophy Presenter #2
Tara Richter-Smith Babysitter
Judy Jean Berns Townsend Prep Receptionist
Jeanette Brox Townsend Prep Bad Girl
Roland Gomez Luis (as Roland Branford Gomez)
Lee R. Sellars New Jersey Debate Official
Joel Garland Pizza Server (as Joel Marsh Garland)
Dan Cashman Narrator
Carol Florence Connie Ryerson (as Carol A. Florence)
Justin Mather Morristown Debater
Producer: Effie Brown,Sean Welch
Writer: Jeffrey Blitz
Best film so far of 2007
For some, the joys of being a teenager include excelling at sports, having a girlfriend or boyfriend, being part of a close circle of friends, or just having fun. For others, there is only the constant feeling of being an outsider looking in. For some, even the thought of getting out of bed in the morning to go to school is filled with dread. Case in point - Hal Hefner, a fifteen year old attending Plainsboro High School in New Jersey, who is trying to make sense of growing up but is burdened by a stutter so debilitating that he cannot even tell the cafeteria worker at school that he wants pizza instead of fish. Rocket Science, the second feature by Jeffrey Blitz (Spellbound), who overcame his own stuttering disability, is a teen comedy that poignantly captures the painful loneliness of adolescence.

While on paper Rocket Science sounds like other coming of age films such as Election and Rushmore, it manages to capture something unique and very special about being a teenager without having to rely on grossness, stereotypes, or implausible situations. Brilliantly played by Vancouver actor Reece Thompson, Hal's sweetness and innocence is totally captivating and we identify with his pain and root for him to succeed. His family support, however, is virtually nonexistent. His brother Earl (Vincent Piazza) is a compulsive thief and bully who calls him by girls' names, his father has moved out of the house and his mother (Lizbeth Bartlett) has a Korean boyfriend, a Small Claims judge, (Steve Park) who laughs inappropriately and whose son Heston (Aaron Yu), a bisexual, shows an unusual amount of interest in him.

Hal has a speech therapist, Mr. Lewinsky (Maury Ginsberg), but he is so incompetent that he tells him that he wishes Hal was hyperactive so he would know how to treat him. Under these circumstances, the last place he would want to be is on the high school debating team, a collection of driven, super-confident word magicians who can speak with authority at breakneck speed on both sides of an issue. Surprisingly however, Hal is recruited by top debater Ginny Ryerson (Anna Kendrick) to be her debate partner after her former partner Ben Wekselbaum (Nicholas D'Agosto) went blank at last year's championship match.

Ginny, a charming but overly aggressive super student, tells Hal that "deformed people" make good competitors because they have so much anger to express. Hal's first inclination is to say no but he is so taken with Ginny and flattered that someone could see some possibility in him that he accepts. Giving it the old high school try, he stumbles badly both in pursuing his romance and in debating the subject of sexual abstinence in high school, so badly in fact that he often has to hide in the janitor's closet from embarrassment.

Mr. Lewinsky advises Hal to try singing the words of the debate to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic, or speaking with a foreign accent and he does both with hilarious effect. Partly out of revenge and partly out of desperation, he turns to failed debater Ben Wekselbaum, now working in Trenton in a cleaners, to be his new partner after Ginny transfers to a different school. The ending is ripe for the big debate in which all the pieces fit neatly together but Blitz does not go there. Instead he relies on the inner strength of the characters to see them through, not on a contrived narrative.

While there are some predictably oddball characters like Philosophy major Lionel (Jonah Hill), pint-sized Josh (Lewis Garrles) who spies on Ginny for him (and models her bra that he has stolen), and an older couple who practice the Kama Sutra and play Violent Femmes "Blister In The Sun" duets on the cello and piano, Rocket Science has few false notes. It is wise, honest, funny, touching, and painfully sad with Oscar-caliber performances. It's not rocket science to figure out why it is the best film so far of 2007.

Nr of disks/tapes:1
Storage device:Divx 5
Imdb rating: 6.8
Running time: 101 min
Subtitles: Svenska
Audio tracks: Stereo [English]
Everything else:
Last modified: 2008-02-17 06:36:29