Hi there and welcome to the first ToiBox movie review. Today I am reviewing the film, Stand By Me. This review will consist of me asking myself 10 questions and answering them to the best of my ability. So here I go…
1. What is this film about?
In my own words, this film is about four friends learning just how harsh reality is when people aren’t trying to sugarcoat things. Gordie, Chris, Teddy, and Vern head out to find a missing boy’s body in hopes that they’ll become local celebrities, but along the way they learn about the frailty of human life, the unavoidable truth of death, and power of true friendship.
2. What did I think of the title, poster, and or trailer?
I saw this movie a long time ago and don’t remember the trailer, though I’m sure I could look it up. I remember as a kid not understanding why the movie was called Stand By Me, since no one actually says these words in the film. Thinking of the title and looking at the poster makes me think this will be a sad movie, but now I know it’s so much more than that.
3. What did I think of the main character(s) and how the actors performed them?
I like these characters and also the cast. Watching child actors is always a bit unnerving because you want them to be good in their role, but there’s always the chance that they’re just not ready for the part. The only character I had a bit of a problem with in this film was that of the junkyard owner. Still to this day, I don’t know why he was so mean and obsessive with the boys, constantly yelling at them “Come back here.” There aren’t many happy characters in this film even though the overall message seems to be one of encouragement.
River Phoenix does an outstanding job as Chris Chambers and is a talent that left the world too early. Who knows what he would have accomplished in his field. Unfortunately, for Cory Feldman, all of his best work happened in his youth. Perhaps he lost his passion for the craft of acting somewhere along the way.
Will Wheaton and Jerry O’connell also played their parts well, but I don’t think their roles were as challenging for some reason, but I do feel that Wheaton was the perfect choice to play Gordie.
4. What did I think of the direction and cinematography?
I always seem to enjoy films that take place in Castlerock, Oregon especially since it’s not a real place. This film is directed by Rob Reiner and is an example of his classic masterpiece. There are no special effects or high-tech lighting and filtering done in this film. It tells a simple story and shot to reflect that. I like the Reiner is able to capture of sense of “vastness” throughout the film with wide angles and shots of the sky. In the film, we follow four boys on a journey of discovery within their small community and their own isolated worlds, but as a viewer, you never lose sight of the fact that all of this is relative to these specific characters. Nothing that happens in this story is going to affect the world, but it will affect the lives of those involved.
5. What did I think of the soundtrack and score?
I thought the soundtrack was fun. It consisted of a lot of mainstream classic rock’n’roll hits to reflect the times in which the story takes place. The score, on the other hand, is quite different. Whenever there was music present that wasn’t something people were listening to on the radio, it was sad and serious music. There are times in this film when you’ll just laugh out loud, but the score would always come along shortly to remind you of the seriousness of the film. Even the character Gordie points in out in one scene when he says that finding a boys boy shouldn’t be a party.
The title song Stand by Me, performed by Ben E. King is so fitting for this film. There’s nothing more I can say about that.
6. What did I like about the story as a whole?
Overall, I adore this story. It’s a wonderful coming of age tale that’s not too sappy, but does pack an emotional punch. Also, the film is full of comical moments that stick with you long after you’ve watched. I still chuckle a bit each time of think “What the hell is Goofy?”
7. What did I not like about the story?
The main thing I didn’t like about this story was the whole train dodge scene. I’m not talking about the one with the character, Teddy, acting like a child because he is, but the one where they all have to run for their lives over tracks laid over a bridge.
Seriously, I don’t care if I knew without that the rail system had been completely dismantled, I would have never taken my time and strolled across that bridge. I would have crossed it as quickly as possible from the start. As far as friendship goes, it Vern didn’t care enough not to get both, him and Gordie, killed with his hysterics and slowness, Gordie should have stepped over him and went on.
Sorry for the rant; it will happen from time to time.
8. Would I recommend this movie to others?
Yes, I would definitely recommend this movie to others.
9. If so, who? What would I rate this movie?
I would actually say that this is a good family film for pre-teens and up. There is an issue with language and some of the themes, but it could be good to get families talking about things they normally would just ignore. On a scale of 1 to 5 movie reels, I give this film 5 reels.
10. Was there anything in this movie that could be related to my work or anything I have written?
I like the fact that Gordie wants to be a writer. I wish I knew at his age that this is what I wanted to do.
Some of the themes in this film didn’t seem so profound to me as a kid, but now they are truly thought-provoking. Crappy parents, more specifically fathers, is always an interesting topic and one that I write about in my story, It’s Like the Full Moon, soon to be published.
Then there’s the issue of gun safety and gun control. I know this film is a reflection of the time, but kids playing with guns is no laughing matter. I haven’t written about this topic but have touched on ideas of destruction by youth, in my story Legend of the Boy.
Not that is has anything to do with what I’ve written, but I love the fact that this movie is based on a novella by Stephen King, called “The Body”.
Well, that’s all for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed this ToiBox movie review of Stand By Me, and hope that you’ll join me again for more reviews down the road.
Watch, rent, or buy this movie here.
Mock Squid Soup Film Society
MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to introduce Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society. Each month, on the second Friday, we shall host a bloghop devoted to a particular movie. We invite others to watch the same film and post their own reviews…Don’t be shy; come join the fun! 😀
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords