"This movie is about a hopeless group of high school kids whocan't seem to do anything right until a new teacher comes to theschool and wants them to be in the science fair. They get an idea to build a solar-powered car to race in the big solar-powered car race which is in Hawaii, where they live. And when they win this race, they go on to the championship race in Austraila where they compete in a six-day car race with other top solar-powered cars around the world and they find out that they can accomplish their dreams. Oh yeah, and Casey's character (Daniel) becomes captain of the team because he designed the car. (Daniel's a terrific artist). It's a fun movie to watch and to see all the troubles that the kids face in this movie. And of course, every movie has to have comedy and romance....and this movie has a lot of both! I'm a teenager (16), by the way and I recommend this movie to anybody. It's a really great and mad funny film! END"
We watched this for science class...and wow!
Sugarplumeferry | Pittsburgh | 10/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, we just watched this today in science and I was amazed. This movie is really entertaining, with a cast of some major actors to back it up (Jim Belushi, Halle Berry and Casey Affleck who is Ben Affleck's younger brother). The story is really inspirational. Based on a true story, it follows a group of high school students who come together in detention class. Things happen in the beginning, giving these kids the motivation to build a solar car and race in the world championships. After overcoming many obstacles, the team eventually makes it into the big games.
Here's where things get interesting, as we look into each character's personality. For instance, we have the stereotypical fat guy whom no one would expect to fit into a car, let alone race. Then there's the troubled girl with the alcohol problem, who gets disqualified from the races. Next comes the nerdy girl, who finds love in interestig places.
Jim Belushi and Halle Berry once again prove how good they truly are in this wonderful movie (based on a true story). I hope everybody watches this because it is really exceptional."
Race the Sun
William Mackay | Australia | 10/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A feel-good film about a bunch of disadvantaged kids from a school in Hawaii who miraculously secure a spot in the annual Darwin to Adelaide international solar car race. Reminiscient of the old Andy Hardy movies, the kids overcome all the odds to borrow, beg and steal the materials for their car. The usual array of Hollywood good guys and bad guys don't detract from the convincing performances of James Belushi and Halle Berry to make a good flick the whole family can enjoy. Also suitable for science & technology high school classes studying solar energy."
A sunny smile
C. CRADDOCK | 10/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While this film is typical of its mighty ducks type genre, it was still a pleasurable view. The plot was nothing special, but it was a feel good movie. As usual, Dion Basco is in fine form in his nearly patented portrayal of the loveable slacker. The rest of the case is enjoyable as well, and this film is great for younger viewers, with "you can do whatever you can dream" and "never quit" messages sprinkled liberally throughtout. Even older viewers should enjoy it, if they don't expect any deep revelation from it."
E Ola Mau Ka 'Olelo Hawai'i!
C. CRADDOCK | Bakersfield | 06/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Race the Sun (1996) is the story of a racing team from Konawaena High School in Hawaii that built a solar powered car and raced it in the World Solar Challenge in Australia. The course covers 2000 miles of Australia's worst road conditions - the Stuart Highway, from Darwin to Adelaide. The surface of the asphalt called bitumen, a mix of rougher and larger stones to resist road wear and increase traction during flash floods, is very rough on the tires. Extreme road temperatures are also common (150 degrees Fahrenheit). Several off-asphalt detours provide especially trying conditions for the experimental vehicles. Other hazards include three trailer road trains that are nearly fifty meters long and travel at better than 70 mph along the highway, creating severe wind vortices.
In 1990, the race was entered by the Hawaiin High School team. After several days, it became obvious that the high school race would be close, and, in the final two days, media focused on the unofficial battle of the high schools. Konawaena continued to pass other entrants and, on the last day, passed Dripstone High School from Australia to lead the pack. Konawaena maintained that lead and was the first high school team ever to finish the World Solar Challenge. The team finished 18th overall out of 38 entrants, beating many corporate and university teams in the process.
The movie is loosely based on that race, but instead of a rivalry with another High School team from Australia, there is a pompous European, Hans Kooiman (Steve Zahn) as well as their corporate sponsor, trying to bribe them to throw the race, and when they run out of enemies, they can always fight amongst themselves, or at the very least, they can fight their own low self esteem.
It's kind of predictable, but surprisingly entertaining. You can easily get caught up in the drama and competition. The race covers the whole continent of Australia, from top to bottom, and it is stunning terrain indeed.
The cast features (Hit 'N Run) Halle Berry, as the science teacher who inspires the low achieving kids to step up to the competition. This is long before her biggest triumph, winning the Oscar for Monster's Ball, and also long before some of her flops, like Catwoman, or Storm, in X-Men (I know X-Men did OK at the box office and spawned several sequels, but Miss Berry was nominated for a Razzie award for bad acting, for X-men and Catwoman both. She is one of three woman to win both awards, the other two being Faye Dunnaway and Liza Minnelli).
Jim Belushi plays the shop teacher who is initially skeptical that the students will finish the project, let alone the race, but once they get underway, he throws his weight into it. Not a fan of Jim's, but he did OK here, and was well cast.
Casey Affleck also knows how it is to be overshadowed by a talented brother, but here he does an adequate job in one of his very first roles. He is an inarticulate kid who likes to express himself only through drawing, and the job of designing a solar powered car seems tailor made for him. His name is Daniel Webster, but the name was chosen for irony, because he has a limited vocabulary and is a terrible speller. He is an outcast among outcasts, as being White he is a minority. Bad boy Eduardo keeps calling him howly, but at least he doesn't call him a mahu.
Eliza Dushku plays Cindy Johnson, Daniel Webster's step sister. She was Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She continues with her usual "edgy" characterizations. Anthony Ruivivar plays Eduardo Braz, the obligatory "bad boy."
Dion Basco stands out as the class clown, Marco Kito. Ditto for J. Moki Cho, as Gilbert Tutu. He is a gentle giant, who is kind of goofy but has hidden talent as a computer whiz. Nadja Pionilla is Oni Nagano, Adriane Napualani Uganiza is Luana Kanahele, and Sara Tanaka plays Uni Kakamura. She was cute and flirtatious, and I think her name was another little joke. Uni is the word for Sea Urchin, used in sushi.
Steve Zahn was the pompous Hans Kooiman. I loved hating him, and I loved rooting for him to lose the race. He was the apotheosis of hubris. Steve usually plays the sidekick and is more of a quirky character actor. He had a small part in Reality Bites. He makes a great villain.
Jungle Fever (1991) Berry really got into her role, as Vivian, the crack addict, and didn't bath for 6 days prior to shooting.
The Flintstones (Collector's Edition) (1994) Halle Berry is Rosetta Stone, although some sources report that her character is called Sharon Stone. D'ya think they might parody Basic Instinct? But why in tarnation was Rosie O. cast as Betty Rubble?
Reality Bites (1994) Steve Zahn is Sammy Gray in this movie with friend Ethan Hawke, Winona Ryder, and Ben Stiller. I am going to review this movie next, and often refer to it as an example of people who overuse the word irony without knowing its definition.
X-Men (Widescreen Edition) (2000) Berry plays Ororo Munroe / Storm, a mutant who has the power to change the weather. Two sequels would follow.
Monster's Ball (2001) Halle proved she could really act playing Leticia Musgrove. Biggest challenge? Billy Bob Thornton. But it paid off when she won the Oscar, and Denzel Washington also won, along with a life time achievement award for Sidney Poitier. Her tearful speech was very touching, and it was a very special moment and an historic milestone.
Ocean's Eleven (Widescreen Edition) (2001) Casey Affleck plays Virgil Malloy, in this and in the two sequels so far. As everyone knows, this series is based on Frank Sinatra's rat pack movie and in the original and remake is just an excuse to get a bunch of actors to Las Vegas to hang out.
The Pianist (2003) Adrien Brody used his Oscar moment to kiss presenter Halle Berry. Way to go, Adrien, but if you had read Halle's bio you'd know that the one thing a guy should never do if you are trying to make points with Halle is kiss her on the first date.
Catwoman (2004) Halle Berry plays Patience Phillips / Catwoman. Terrible acting, or so I hear, but still tempting to see her in the cat costume. Meeee-OWWWW!
Gone Baby Gone (2007) Casey was very good as cop Patrick Kenzie in this, and it was directed by big brother Ben, who also did a good job.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) Casey played Robert Ford, apart from Jesse James, just about the biggest role in the whole darn movie.