Secondhand Lions (New Line Platinum Series)

Secondhand Lions (New Line Platinum Series)

This comedic and touching family film follows the adventures of a shy young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who is sent to spend the summer with his eccentric uncles (Michael Caine, Robert Duvall). At first shocked by his uncles’ unconventional behavior that includes ordering African lions through the mail, the boy soon becomes enthralled with unraveling the mystery that has followed the uncles for years. Hearing tales of their exotic adventures involving kidnapped princesses, Arabian sheiks and lost treasure, not only brings him closer to his uncles but also teaches him what it means to believe in something… whether it’s true or not.
If you can get past its thick layer of syrup and molasses, Secondhand Lions reveals itself as a thoroughly decent family film that anyone can enjoy. It gets a little sappy sometimes, but there’s something to be said for a movie in which Michael Caine and Robert Duvall play eccentric old brothers who take the easy approach to fishing: instead of a peaceful

Rating: (out of 477 reviews)

List Price: $ 12.98

Price: $ 3.12

3 thoughts on “Secondhand Lions (New Line Platinum Series)

  1. Review by !Edwin C. Pauzer for Secondhand Lions (New Line Platinum Series)
    Trying to please a date, I allowed myself to be dragged to this movie. It turned out to be one of those occasions that you’re glad you went along. Since I am estrogen intolerant (chick flicks) and many women are testosterone intolerant (manly flicks), this movie strikes a balance.

    It begins with two old men performing acrobatics in a biplane over a Texas twilight sky. But on the horizon is a self-centered and irresponsible mother who drops her son with the two great uncles he’s never seen before. The disinterested great uncles agree to take him for the summer. The boy notices a trunk his first night in the house and begins to look at the pictures and past of both of these eccentric men. He is intrigued and discovers more about their past with each event he experiences that summer. The more he learns, the closer he gets to his great uncles, and they with him.

    When the mother returns to pick up her son, the climax begins, but that would be telling you the end of the story. I recommend you see it instead.

    There is humor and action without violence. Language or skin are not a problem either. This movie is highly recommended for all audiences. It’s a keeper.

    I don’t see that woman anymore, but I have shown this to several new dates since! They loved it.

  2. Review by Zinta Aistars for Secondhand Lions (New Line Platinum Series)
    It occurs to me as I sit here pondering my review of “Secondhand Lions” that I must somehow cloak the first words that come to mind. Words, phrases, such as “a feel-good movie” or “good family fun” or “heart-warming.” As if it were, well, “uncool” to label a movie such things these days, almost like a movie kiss of death. Isn’t this a time of Hollywood special effects? Of hot babes and pyrotechnics? Of gratuitous violence and sensationalism? So it is. And so this movie is not. And oh, we are a glad audience for it!Haley Joel Osment, to whom many of us in the movie audience were introduced in “Sixth Sense,” plays Walter, a young boy whose mother (Kyra Sedgewick) pursues everything in life but motherhood. He finds himself dumped like excess baggage on the well weathered front stoop of his two uncles’ country house. The uncles, played with wonderful eccentricity by Michael Caine and Robert Duvall, resist but later embrace their young nephew. How the three bond into a true family is a tale that does indeed warm the heart, lighten the spirit, and perhaps even restore a faded belief in today’s cynical world that goodness, yes, goodness, still has a place on the silver screen. Osment is absolutely first rate in this movie, and the two vintage stars, Caine and Duvall, still shine as brightly as ever, if not more so.It may be that the popularity of movies such as this could send Hollywood a message. Good is still good on the movie screen.

  3. Review by Tucker Andersen for Secondhand Lions (New Line Platinum Series)
    As this film opens, a sullen fourteen year old Walter (Haley Joel Osment) is about to be deposited with his two gruff and irascible old uncles against his will by his mother Mae (Kyra Sedgwick) while she supposedly pursues her education and a career. Hub and Garth McCann, played respectively by Robert Duvall and Michael Caine, are no more enamored of the arrangement than is Walter, but an uneasy truce occurs between them as Walter comes to understand their eccentricities and in fact serves as somewhat of an outlet for Garth’s desire to settle down somewhat in his final years. One of the elements twhich makes the film a true delight is the extreme nature of the antics of these “old men”, whether it is shooting at traveling salesmen for fun or alienating their relatives to maintain their solitude. The backdrop to the story is that Hub and Garth are rumored to be quite wealthy; and in fact Walter’s mother instructs him to attempt to locate the source and location of their supposed wealth. (Perhaps the mafia, or bank robberies, or the foreign legion?)As Walter settles in with them and their numerous dogs (and a pig who thinks he’s a dog), the “plot suddenly thickens” as Hub acts strangely and Walter discovers mysterious evidence of a beautiful young woman somewhere in their history. Garth tells Walter a fantastic tale of foreign adventure and intrigue involving Hub and the enchanting princess Jasmine, and the story is actually incorporated into the movie in the form of the adventure epics of fifty years ago with Emanuelle Vaugier playing the role of Hub’s lost love. Meanwhile, some “used” circus animals arrive, including a tired and sick old lion who Walter nurses back to health as he enjoys the “jungle” habitat provided by the corn field that has emerged from their failed attempt to grow a vegetable garden. The movie reaches a wonderful climax as the forces of good confront the forces of evil (true comic book style) and Walter is forced to confront the fact that life is full of surprises, not all of which include happy endings, and that we have to be strong enough to accept unpleasant truths and move on.But, of course, any description of the plot doesn’t convey the appeal of this film; the storyline is simply the backdrop for the life which is infused into this movie by the superb performances of the stars, the excellent directing, and the way in which the story unfolds. It is fun yet touching, with enough elements of the unexpected interspersed with truly laugh out loud humorous incidents to make the almost two hours fly by. It’s hard to know who is more appealing, those old second hand lions Robert Duvall and Michael Caine (who put their superb talents to use in a film they have stated that they really enjoyed making) or Jasmine, the circus lion who late in life was destined for her moment of glory. And the story has a marvelous symmetry, both in the juxtaposition of the opening and closing scenes and in the brief appearance of Josh Lucas as the adult Walter. Finally, the climatic moment is followed by a gradual conclusion to the story which incorporates a truly wonderful finale.In some aspects this is a far from perfect film; in some respects it would be easy to write a critical review detailing the fact that the plot was pure fantasy and that no attempt was made to seriously address many of the issues which the movie raises. But such criticisms would not be consistent with the mood which the movie evoked for me and the remainder of the audience. This movie is about life, about its surprises and its enjoyment, and as corny as it is it is also great fun. I enjoyed it so much that I have chosen to ignore one of my personal reviewing rules; I decided to round up my rating to five stars in spite of the fact that I haven’t decided if it is good enough so that I will want to own the DVD. I know that I’ll enjoy watching it several more times and decided that was good enough. So, go see this lighthearted film when you want to smile and laugh and feel good about life and it will confirm that whether you’re old or a teenager it’s still possible to learn and grow and have a good time. Tucker Andersen

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