The Rocket Reviews

  • Mar 06, 2016

    After a tragic death in the family, a young boy's grandma finally has the excuse to blame him for everything. It's a struggle to defeat his own doubts as everyone else's.

    After a tragic death in the family, a young boy's grandma finally has the excuse to blame him for everything. It's a struggle to defeat his own doubts as everyone else's.

  • Oct 24, 2015

    A bit contrived but well done. Told a good story in a short time.

    A bit contrived but well done. Told a good story in a short time.

  • Sep 14, 2015

    "Feel-good" is not really the way I would describe this dramatic film of impoverished people in the far-off Eastern country of Laos. It's a film filled with hardships, loss and the desperation of simply wanting to belong. Yes, it was a very good film but the only real 'feel-good' moment comes from its finale. Overall, a solid film but far too heavy for what I would consider feel-good.

    "Feel-good" is not really the way I would describe this dramatic film of impoverished people in the far-off Eastern country of Laos. It's a film filled with hardships, loss and the desperation of simply wanting to belong. Yes, it was a very good film but the only real 'feel-good' moment comes from its finale. Overall, a solid film but far too heavy for what I would consider feel-good.

  • Aug 19, 2015

    An Australian co-production that deserves to be seen by a lot more than would've currently experienced it, The Rocket is one of those feel good films that is impossible not to fall for despite it not quite going on with the early promise of the possibility of a new classic. Director Kim Mordaunt clearly has a spot in his heart for the people of Laos (where this film is set), no doubt stemming from his time filming his scary and touching documentary on the amount of unexploded bombs left over in the country in the 2007 doco Bomb Harvest. Weaving his knowledge of this true life aspect of the country Mordaunt tailors a touching story around it that features some stand out child actors and a particularly groovy uncle in the form of the James Brown loving Uncle Purple played very well by Suthep Po-ngam, but in the end it is the aforementioned child actors that steal the film and make it what it is. As determined and supposedly cursed young boy Ahlo young actor Sitthiphon Disamoe does a supreme job of portraying a boy that unfortunately bares the stigma of being born a twin into a village that believes twins carry a curse. Ahlo's journey that he takes with family is fraught with both sadness and joy and it's here that the film struggles to lay hold onto what it's setting out to achieve with moments of emotion not played out to full effect and comedic elements feeling misplaced amongst them. Mordaunt must of found it hard to place all these varying emotions into the right place and the films last 20 - 30 minutes really shows this. Mordaunt however excels at capturing the beautiful and at times scary images of the country and his direction of Disamoe and also young actress Loungnam Kaosainam as Ahlo's friend Kia is exemplary, a fine achievement for an Australian director in what is an area that often trips up other compatriots. Submitted as Australia's entry into this year's Academy Awards foreign film category and playing well to festivals the world over its clear many feel an affection for this unique and often heart-warming tale. Australia should be proud of what Mordaunt has achieved here and even prouder of his efforts to highlight the horror of what Laos still has to deal with today thanks to a war that is now sadly largely forgotten. 3 and a half unwashed purple suits out of 5 For more movie reviews and opinions check out - www.jordanandeddie.wordpress.com

    An Australian co-production that deserves to be seen by a lot more than would've currently experienced it, The Rocket is one of those feel good films that is impossible not to fall for despite it not quite going on with the early promise of the possibility of a new classic. Director Kim Mordaunt clearly has a spot in his heart for the people of Laos (where this film is set), no doubt stemming from his time filming his scary and touching documentary on the amount of unexploded bombs left over in the country in the 2007 doco Bomb Harvest. Weaving his knowledge of this true life aspect of the country Mordaunt tailors a touching story around it that features some stand out child actors and a particularly groovy uncle in the form of the James Brown loving Uncle Purple played very well by Suthep Po-ngam, but in the end it is the aforementioned child actors that steal the film and make it what it is. As determined and supposedly cursed young boy Ahlo young actor Sitthiphon Disamoe does a supreme job of portraying a boy that unfortunately bares the stigma of being born a twin into a village that believes twins carry a curse. Ahlo's journey that he takes with family is fraught with both sadness and joy and it's here that the film struggles to lay hold onto what it's setting out to achieve with moments of emotion not played out to full effect and comedic elements feeling misplaced amongst them. Mordaunt must of found it hard to place all these varying emotions into the right place and the films last 20 - 30 minutes really shows this. Mordaunt however excels at capturing the beautiful and at times scary images of the country and his direction of Disamoe and also young actress Loungnam Kaosainam as Ahlo's friend Kia is exemplary, a fine achievement for an Australian director in what is an area that often trips up other compatriots. Submitted as Australia's entry into this year's Academy Awards foreign film category and playing well to festivals the world over its clear many feel an affection for this unique and often heart-warming tale. Australia should be proud of what Mordaunt has achieved here and even prouder of his efforts to highlight the horror of what Laos still has to deal with today thanks to a war that is now sadly largely forgotten. 3 and a half unwashed purple suits out of 5 For more movie reviews and opinions check out - www.jordanandeddie.wordpress.com

  • Jul 25, 2015

    I found this to be fascinating and heartwarming look into the life of a small tribal farming family in rural Laos who are uprooted by the Communist government and sent to live in a slum surrounded by bombs and landmines left by the Americans during the Vietnam War. They find the only hope of having a farm again is to win the prize money of a rocket building contest. . This movie has one of the best unintentionally funny lines ever when the grandmother says "if you can build a bong you can build a rocket." Do not be put off by the "foreign language" tag because the dialog is simple and easy to follow.

    I found this to be fascinating and heartwarming look into the life of a small tribal farming family in rural Laos who are uprooted by the Communist government and sent to live in a slum surrounded by bombs and landmines left by the Americans during the Vietnam War. They find the only hope of having a farm again is to win the prize money of a rocket building contest. . This movie has one of the best unintentionally funny lines ever when the grandmother says "if you can build a bong you can build a rocket." Do not be put off by the "foreign language" tag because the dialog is simple and easy to follow.

  • Jun 06, 2015

    Decent. It's not charming or riveting enough to be noteworthy. Good ending.

    Decent. It's not charming or riveting enough to be noteworthy. Good ending.

  • Jan 28, 2015

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  • Jan 02, 2015

    This Laos set effort balances crowdpleasing fantasy with a rich sense of place, and mostly pulls that tricky balancing act off. Australian director Kim Mordaunt was a former documentarian who spent a lot of time in Laos, and the film significantly benefits from someone so intimate with the country - the setting is one of tradition, natural beauty, superstition, corruption, class conflict (ironic for a Communist state) and dangerous unexploded bombs left over from 20th century wars. It has an affection for its characters, but features a bittersweet realism lacking in a couple of other comparable efforts (Slumdog Millionaire, say). The tale itself - the journey of a young boy trying to shake off his grandmother's claim that he's cursed - does have a fantastical feelgood vibe, but it's more justified given the complex and at times quite provocative film that surround it. A happy ending feels more 'earned' when the preceding narrative is one haunted by death and complex social contexts. It does come across as quite unevenly paced at times, and there's not a whole lot to any of the characters (performances are strong). Or indeed the main story: you've seen it before - most recently, it's reminiscent of Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Selfish Giant (that particularly packs a greater punch). But above all it's refreshing to see generally unexplored cultures and settings portrayed so vividly on the big screen, and with a documentarian's eye ensuring it isn't bogged down by the often troubling shortcuts many Western filmmakers take when dealing with 'exotic' locales.

    This Laos set effort balances crowdpleasing fantasy with a rich sense of place, and mostly pulls that tricky balancing act off. Australian director Kim Mordaunt was a former documentarian who spent a lot of time in Laos, and the film significantly benefits from someone so intimate with the country - the setting is one of tradition, natural beauty, superstition, corruption, class conflict (ironic for a Communist state) and dangerous unexploded bombs left over from 20th century wars. It has an affection for its characters, but features a bittersweet realism lacking in a couple of other comparable efforts (Slumdog Millionaire, say). The tale itself - the journey of a young boy trying to shake off his grandmother's claim that he's cursed - does have a fantastical feelgood vibe, but it's more justified given the complex and at times quite provocative film that surround it. A happy ending feels more 'earned' when the preceding narrative is one haunted by death and complex social contexts. It does come across as quite unevenly paced at times, and there's not a whole lot to any of the characters (performances are strong). Or indeed the main story: you've seen it before - most recently, it's reminiscent of Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Selfish Giant (that particularly packs a greater punch). But above all it's refreshing to see generally unexplored cultures and settings portrayed so vividly on the big screen, and with a documentarian's eye ensuring it isn't bogged down by the often troubling shortcuts many Western filmmakers take when dealing with 'exotic' locales.

  • Dec 28, 2014

    While it runs into problems of being predictable at times, and suffers from having a story that is told quite often, The Rocket captives us with the strong character of it's protagonist, Ahlo and appeals to our sense of justice. It's a beautiful story of overcoming the parts of us that deep down we all dislike, but always seems to stay with us.

    While it runs into problems of being predictable at times, and suffers from having a story that is told quite often, The Rocket captives us with the strong character of it's protagonist, Ahlo and appeals to our sense of justice. It's a beautiful story of overcoming the parts of us that deep down we all dislike, but always seems to stay with us.

  • Dec 16, 2014

    what a nice, intelligent movie

    what a nice, intelligent movie