Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dancer Texas Pop 81|
Actors: Breckin Meyer, Peter Facinelli, Eddie Mills, Ethan Embry, Ashley Johnson
Director: Tim McCanlies
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family
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Member Movie Reviews
Julie D. (juliehdavis) from HULL, GA
Reviewed on 3/20/2009...
This movie always gives me a warm feeling in my heart when I watch it. It is a movie about small town life, growing up & learning responsibility, but most of all about friendship. In one scene one of the boys asks the others if they thought they would have been friends if they lived in any other (larger) town. The answer is probably no, and that is really sad because their differences are what makes them all better. I highly recommend this movie!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sweet and low-key; welcome to the real Texas
Jeffrey Ellis | Richardson, Texas United States | 10/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dancer, Texas covers two days in the life of four members of the graduating class of Dancer, Texas's high school class. (There's five members in total). Dancer is one of those small, forgotten town in West Texas -- the type of town that's watched its fortunes fall along with the oil industry and where everyone, at some point, plans to leave but most never do. The four friends have all sworn to leave after graduation and during this day, they discover the beauty of their past and the hope of their uncertain futures. Its an amazingly low-key film, the type that sneaks up on you and, in its low-key way, is amazingly compelling. You truly get to know Dancer and its 81 inhabitants and understand how they can both love their town and dream of leaving at the same time. With a beautifully written, authentic script, this is one of the most warmly humorous, insightful films about growing up and pursuing your dreams that I've ever had the pleasure to see. The four main characters are played by some very talented young actors and all are wonderful in their own individual ways. Ethan Embry is hilarious as the most eccentric of the quartet while Breckin Meyer gives a star-making performance as the group's leader who is also the most determined to escape. The film's soul is embodied by Peter Facinelli, who reveals a talent that he hasn't been allowed to display since. As the son of the town's leading family, Facinelli manages to perfectly embody the strange middle ground between innocence and wisdom and his scenes with his father are the film's highlight. Shot in West Texas on a low budget, Dancer also features some truly beautiful scenery. Never has West Texas, barren plains and all, looked more like paradise. Perhaps my favorite scene features the four friends watching in awe as a group of wild horses make their way across the plains. Its a beautiful image and the viewer can't help but feel the same awe as the characters on screen.Finally, a film about Texas that doesn't center on a bunch of pot-bellied rednecks, JFK, football players with overdone accents, or chainsaw-wielding maniacs (and in all fairness, the amount of chainsaw-related fatalities had been on a steady decline for the past couple of years...) I'm a lifelong Texas so I naturally appreciated a chance to see a film where my home wasn't portrayed as the sixth ring of Hell. However, even if you hate the Dallas Cowboys and cringe at just the thought of George W. Bush's drawl, you'll enjoy this sweet, low-key film. Its a movie about decent people that doesn't leave you feeling like you've just sat through a six-hour sermon. Dancer, Texas is one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen."
Touches your heart, family safe
Shelley Gammon | Kaufman, Texas USA | 07/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Four boys who are friends since childhood ponder their lifelong promise to leave the remote, tiny town for Los Angeles when they graduate from high school. One is orphaned and living with his grandfather, another is the child of a life-long alcoholic, another the son of a rich oil man and finally one that is the son of a rancher who intends to pass the business off to his son.Different boys who become men, all with different families, commitments and hopes that they must deal with. Going from a town of 81 people to a town of 13 million seems exciting and overwhelming at the same time and the four must face the fact that some may stay behind because they want to and some might leave because they have to. It's nothing what any of them had foreseen and it puts their friendship to the test.The characters are real and if you've ever had friends that came from a small town, these guys will remind you of their most endearing qualities. The film doesn't put a stereotypical slant on these guys... they are educated and plan on going to college. They've heard of the Internet and actually know how to use a computer... they're not just riding broncos all day, chewin' tobacco and leaning on fence posts... but they do have a different perspective on life. They're less obsessed with "things" and more interested in getting out of the small town to meet other people and see how other folks live... and their friendship is the most important thing they have, in or out of Dancer, TX.For those from big cities who might read this review, I lived in Dallas for 30 years before moving to Denton, a town of 80,000... don't be misled that only folks from tiny little towns will be able to appreciate this film.My only negative comment would be that the DVD is without any extras. No interviews, cast bios or behind the scenes footage. How about interviews of some of the folks that actually live in the town this was filmed in? Word of mouth will continue to make this film popular in the video market and not having extras on the DVD makes it almost silly to have it on DVD to begin with.No nudity or foul language, car explosions or light-sabre duels... this is a realistic portrayal of real guys in a small town facing their families, their friendships and their future. If you're into action-only films, this will not satisfy, but rest assured this is not a coma-inducing film. It is cerebral and touching and I highly recommend it."
A great little movie
Matthew Horner | USA | 03/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those of us who did not grown up in or around a small town certainly know people who did. I, for example, have a cousin from Wartburg, Tennessee. I'm not sure exactly sure where it is, and I certainly can't figure out who gave it that name or why. Even before television turned the world into a fake global village, the majority of small town adolescents seem to have dreamed of moving to a big city. This yearning is the subject of the story in "Dancer, Texas Pop. 81". Its makers have an interesting point of view on a matter which movies have covered numerous times in the past. The film opens on the morning of Graduation Day at the local school. Four boys, who are members of the graduating senior class of five, are sitting in lawn chairs in the middle of the two-land road that goes past the town. At first, this seems to be both silly and dangerous. Then we learn that these lads are best friends who, years earlier, made a sacred vow to move to Los Angeles together the Monday after they finished high school. They even bought their bus tickets at the end of their sophomore year. The scene becomes a metaphor for the highway of life. The movie takes place over a three day period. There is not much of a plot. The only central question is which, if any, of the four will actually get on the bus come Monday. Writer and director Tim McCanlies presents us with vignettes which create four exceptionally strong character studies. In fact, all of the town's residents are shown to be unique individuals. You rarely see so many interesting people in one movie. Breckin Meyer, Peter Facinelli, Ethan Embry and Eddie Mills, all relative newcomers, show great promise in portraying their characters. These are, respectively, Keller, Terrell Lee, Squirrel and John. Occasionally, Peter Facinelli slips out of character. When he does, it's a little too obvious he's a city boy playing at being one from the middle of nowhere. After all, Jeff Davis County, Texas, where the picture was made, is bigger than Rhode Island and has a lot more cows than people living on it. Is a place like Dancer really the middle of nowhere? That's the fundamental question McCanlies examines so thoroughly here. With brilliant assistance from cameraman Andrew Dintenfass, the country around the town is spectacularly photographed. There has to be more than scenery to make people live their whole lives in a place, but the visuals in the film help us to see that being nowhere is often a state of mind. "Dancer, Texas Pop. 81" is as much a comedy as it is a drama. The humor is rarely aimed at people who live in isolated places, Much of it derives from the characters' keen observations on the hazards of living in huge cities, as well as from eccentricities which could exist in people living anywhere. The philosophy of the movie is probably best summed up in a scene where the four boys are sitting around a campfire. One of them wonders out loud how much they have missed by growing up in a place like Dancer, Texas. Another boy agrees that it's a good question, but then counters by asking what others might have missed by not growing up in such a place. McCanlies is happily neutral on the issue, allowing the film's viewers to decide such questions for themselves."