Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Project Greenlight's Stolen Summer Movie|
Actors: Amara Balthrop-Lewis, Kevin Pollak, Aidan Quinn, Bonnie Hunt, Eddie Kaye Thomas
Director: Pete Jones
Genres: Drama, Television
Here's the big screen motion picture that fan's of HBO's hit series PROJECT GREENLIGHT eagerly waited to see! From producers Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Chris Moore, STOLEN SUMMER is the touching story of a young Catholic... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Charlene C. (mccoffield) from SOUTHLAKE, TX
Reviewed on 1/20/2012...
This is a great movie. (I really have no idea what the other DVD Swap reviewer is talking about.) Very entertaining - both moving and humanely funny at the same time.
Set in the 1960's, it's the story of a little Cathlic boy's "quest" to help a little Jewish boy get to heaven. The "quest" is, of course, from the child's point of view and serves only as the central premise of this story about hope, friendship and tollerance. What is really enlightening is how the quest effects both his working class Christian family and the other little boy's more educated Jewish famiy.
Fabulous character developement. Pete O'Malley, the little Catholic boy, learns that perhaps you don't have to worship Jesus in order to get to heaven. Pete's father learns how to deal with his pride and prejudices. Pete's mother learns when it's important to hold her ground in support of her children. The Jacobsens learn how to deal with tragedy and loss. And even the Catholic priest learns that sometimes the best thing to do is to bend the rules.
The movie, produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore, is apparently based on the HBO hit series Project Grenlight.
Jeff V. (burielofmel) from HARRIMAN, TN
Reviewed on 8/18/2008...
If you have an interest in the way movies are made, get the Season 1 set for Project Greenlight in which this movie was made. The show is great. Very intertaining. The movie they made, this movie, is a piece of crap. Can't figure out why they picked this one. Of course, that first year, ALL of the finalist scripts were crap so it was a loosing endeaver from the beginning. Why anyone would get just this movie without the box set is beyond me.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
That rare film that deals with religion in America
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 02/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"American films deal with all aspects of every day life: work, school, marriage, family, divorce, adolescence, sexuality, crime, alcoholism, drugs, disease, death - the range of subjects is virtually endless. Yet if you were to look to films to get some sense of what defines American culture, you would never know that religion played any kind of role at all in the lives of the common, ordinary citizen. Spirituality seems to be the one aspect of life that never gets acknowledged even by the most incisive of filmmakers. Of course, we do occasionally run across the serial killer who claims to be doing "the Lord's work" as he's butchering his victims, or the diabolical Catholic Church hierarchy plotting the deaths of hundreds to maintain its nefarious hold on its riches and power, or the sleazy evangelist who is out there bilking millions out of their life savings in exchange for a phony one way ticket to eternal glory. But we almost never see just plain garden-variety folks who go to church, value their faith and try to make their religion an intricate part of their workaday lives. Why is that? Well, "Stolen Summer" is that rare American film which actually acknowledges that religion plays a key role in many people's lives. It's Chicago, 1976, and 8-year old Pete O'Malley, fearful of going to hell, is on a quest to assure his place in heaven by converting neighborhood Jews to the Christian faith. As part of his effort, he enlists the aid of a local rabbi who, admiring Pete's honesty and willingness to seek for Truth, agrees to let the boy set up a lemonade-cum-salvation stand outside his temple. The film deals with a wide array of characters, including members of Pete's family as well as the rabbi's, who have varying reactions to both Pete's stated goal and the burgeoning friendship between Pete and the rabbi's own son."Stolen Summer" is not afraid to confront the sectarian nature of religion that is often used as a means of dividing people of faith rather than bringing them together. Moreover, by viewing the world through the unfiltered eyes of these two innocent young boys, writer/director Pete Jones points up the empty ritualism that often defines how we adults choose to practice our faith. Pete and Danny, by cutting through the layers of nonsense and getting to the simple heart of the matter, force many of the grownups in the film to re-evaluate their own beliefs and practices.It's also nice to see a family in a film that, although it has problems, is not thoroughly angst-ridden and dysfunctional. The O'Malley's are an intact Irish Catholic family whose eight children are a clear testament to the couple's adherence to papal decrees on birth control. In an excellent, multi-layered performance, Aidan Quinn plays Pete's father, Joe, a hard-working fireman who is proud of his ethnic roots and who feels that the most important role for a man in this world is to take care of his family. Yet, Joe has problems of his own. For one thing, he has an excessive sense of pride that prevents him from wanting his children to have a better life than the one he has made for them. He believes that his college-aged son should be content to work as a dutiful civil servant rather than pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. Moreover, Joe obviously fears what he doesn't know or understand and this comes out in subtle flashes of anti-Semitism, which put him in direct conflict with the rabbi and even his own son at times. Joe is, in many ways, the most interesting character in the film mainly because Jones is careful not to peg him as either a total hero or total villain. Bonnie Hunt and Kevin Pollack offer strong support as Joe's levelheaded wife and the open-minded rabbi, respectively. And young Adiel Stein scores big time as the centerpiece of the film, little Pete O'Malley. Stein conveys an upbeat childlike innocence that is infectious without becoming cutesy or cloying. He is utterly believable as a young boy coming-of-age in a suburban home in the 1970's."Stolen Summer," because it deals gently with its people and its subject matter, may strike some as a bit too mild in tone, a bit too lacking in grit to be worth very much. And, in a sense, they may be right. The film does sometimes come off a bit like one of those "good for you" After School Specials designed to deliver an upbeat, heartwarming message about the goodness of mankind without unduly upsetting anyone in the audience. And the movie does feel a bit contrived at times, more concerned with wringing tears or teaching a lesson than it is in capturing life in its rawest form for all of us to see. But no matter. It's still a pleasure to see a film at least attempting to acknowledge both that people do think about religion and God from time to time in this world and that we all don't come from families torn asunder by personal trauma. Yes, one could perhaps wish for a bit more edginess at times - still, "Stolen Summer" merits praise for bringing religion back into the mainstream of American movies."
A Wonderful Movie Filled with Heart (4.5 stars)
Michael Crane | Orland Park, IL USA | 09/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was the script that won the "Project Greenlight" contest. First-time writer/director Pete Jones was given the opportunity to give us a tale about family and faith. And it all takes place in Chicago. I admit, I was a little worried at first, and was even a little doubtful of the movie being any good. There were a lot of things that went wrong for Pete and the crew during the filming of this movie. I guess they only showed us what went wrong because there must've been a lot of things that went right that we didn't get to see. Because "Stolen Summer" is a wonderful film that's filled with humor and heart.The movie is about Pete O'Malley, a young boy in an Irish-Catholic family. He's worried that he isn't going to Heaven and wants to find a way to assure God that he's worthy. He gets the idea of converting the Jewish so they can go to Heaven. He meets Rabbi Jacobson, who finds Pete's Quest to be creative and caring, despite his religious beliefs. That is when Pete meets and befriends Rabbi Jacobson's son, Danny. Pete wants to convert Danny in hopes that they will both make it to heaven. It is a very emotional and sincere movie that plays on all of your emotions.I'm not a very religious person, I admit, but I found the movie to be very creative and entertaining. The script does take risks, but the overall product is presented to us in a way that we can't help but smile and even laugh at times. As the movie progresses, we learn it isn't just about religious differences, it's about the friendship of two boys trying to make sense of the world around them.The acting was really superb, especially from the two boys. They did a really great job in the film. The cast also includes Aidan Quinn, Bonnie Hunt, Kevin Pollak, Eddie Kaye Thomas, and Brian Dennehy. Aidan does an awesome job playing Pete's father, who can be quite humorous in his ignorance at times. He can be forceful, but caring at the same time. Bonnie Hunt also fills the film with light as the mother. Kevin Pollak is great as the Rabbi, who can show us his humorous and serious side. Everybody did their roles justice.Pete Jones does a really great job, being that this is his first film. Remember, this is a man who has never had any prior experience in film, or at least none that I have heard of. Sure, there were some mistakes, but then again, what film DOESN'T have mistakes?I really enjoyed listening to the commentary, which was done by the director, co-producer and producer Chris Moore. It was funny and informative. They even point out some of the mistakes that happen during the film. (If they had kept their mouths shut, I probably would've never noticed any of them!) I usually don't listen to commentary, but after seeing the "Project Greenlight" series, it was almost like I had to listen to it. I'm glad I did.Overall, "Stolen Summer" is a terrific film. Pete Jones and the rest of the crew should be proud of themselves. You don't have to be very religious to enjoy this movie, so don't let make you think you will not like it. DO NOT BUY THE MOVIE ITSELF IF YOU PLAN TO GET THE SERIES! The series already includes the full length movie with all of the special features that are included on this DVD. One of the better movies to come out of 2002, if you ask me. It may not be perfect, but it's still a heart-warming gem. A great film for the whole family."
GENTLE, WELL-MEANING TALE WITH A LAID BACK PACE.
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 05/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I chanced upon this movie on cable, but Stolen Summer isn't the kind of film that gets made too often nowadays -- light and cute, but balanced with a touching serious side that carries universal messages about religion, God, love, family, growing up. The director's style is of the point-and-shoot variety, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as over-the-top visual flourishes likely would've taken our attention away from the ample dialogue. The script contains a good amount of surprises, and the character development is quite caringly done. A word for the acting. Though the characters get gritty on occasion, the film is paced very well. Some protagonists are young (kids) but their work is impressively natural. Bonnie Hunt in particular should have merited more screen time, she works a taut but tender magic as a straight-talking mother. If you care for meaningful cinema, I think this would make for a very worthwhile rental."