FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: For the first Friday of October, most of my family and I watched “Little Boy” which stars Jakob Salvati (Escape from Tomorrow, Red Widow [TV series]), Emily Watson (Corpse Bride, War Horse), David Henrie (Wizards of Waverley Place [TV series], Walt Before Mickey), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Pearl Harbor, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale), Michael Rapaport (The 6th Day, Hitch), Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins, Michael Clayton), Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line, Cinderella ), and Kevin James (The King of Queens [TV series], Paul Blart: Mall Cop). It is directed by Alejandro Monteverde (Bella, Waiting for Trains [Short]) who also co-wrote it with Pepe Portillo (Bocho [Short], El Mago [Short]). Pepper Flynt Busbee (Salvati) is a boy who lives in a small town during WWII where his height is constantly the joke that revolves around him. His only way of happiness is found in his strong bond with his father, James (Rapaport). They are inseparable, constantly doing things together. But when Pepper’s brother, London (Henrie), is denied being drafted into the war, their father has to take up the role. With his father gone and probably dead with all the talk that goes around, Pepper must rely on faith to get him home, for the faith of a mustard seed can move mountains.
I’ve had an eye on this film since I first saw the trailer a couple of months ago, mainly because it looked like an interesting venture and David Henrie is in it (it’s always cool to see an actor/actress you know that doesn’t get a lot of work in show business). After sitting through this movie, I can safely say that it was a good choice. This small movie has a lot to offer, especially with its underlying theme of faith. In terms of the plot as a whole, it was very enjoyable and emotional. No, I didn’t cry, but it was sad, that being a good thing. It basically means that the characters have you so invested in their lives and with the great acting that backed them up, there were very solid figures to study. Mainly the relationships between the characters. The bond between Pepper and his dad feels genuine and it made me want Pepper to find a way to get him back. Once it got to the middle of the film, he started forming an odd relationship with an outcast Japanese man named Hashimoto (Tagawa) that, thankfully, takes time to build up to the end results instead of just having them bond quickly. There were characters I didn’t like, but I was supposed to, and there were ones that I cared for, and that is all that matters in this movie, besides the theme. I am a religious person, so the theme of faith really hit it home for me and the story arcs that built around it made the plot fun-loving and intriguing. Sadly, with movies revolving around faith and God, you can only find them on the Hallmark channel or any other network that accepts religious entries, usually with the plotlines being clichéd to the max. It’s worse if they are big budget for big corporations don’t seem to connect with the audience well or provide true history (see my reviews for “Noah” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings” ). But this isn’t a story about God, but more about what he will do for you if you give yourself to him through faith and faith alone. The movie can have heart-warming moments that I enjoy and it was definitely something nice to sit through for once. Another aspect that helps this flick is the cinematography and setting. I definitely got the forties vibe from the cars and clothing. I am always interested in movies that travel back in time. There are quite a bit of good shots, like when Pepper tried to move a mountain, that really caught my attention. Something that was different in this is the filter they use for the video. They give it a bright and soft glow that can be annoying at times because of the blurriness, but after a while, I caught on that it basically symbolizes an old-timey texture that the forties represent now. You can really tell it when there is an outside shot with a lot of sunlight. Away from the pros, the cons I have for this movie are rather little (no pun intended). My main one would have to be that it can be slow-paced. Not much action goes on, except for some parts, and the head-on collision with the conflict takes a while to get to. The rest is up to dialogue and life of the forties, which can have its moments. Besides that, however, I don’t really have any worrying issues. You may see the score say otherwise, seeing as how I stated one con, but you have to see that no matter if you can’t find an issue with a movie, it could still not be perfect. This film isn’t perfect, but it sure is good! Overall this was an entertaining, heart-warming movie that provides a great, deep theme that pays off and I am sure glad I saw it. I recommend anyone to try out this nice piece of cinematography! FINAL SCORE: 91%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: