SECONDHAND LIONS Add To My Top 10

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Language        
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Release Date: September 19, 2003

Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, and Kyra Sedgwick

Genre: Comedy

Audience: All ages REVIEWER: Dr. Tom
Snyder SECONDHAND LIONS is a
magical family movie for older
children, teenagers and adults
of all ages. It’s a
whimsical character study full
of adventures, comedy, and
spirited fun. The story of
SECONDHAND LIONS opens with
two men in an old-fashioned
biplane buzzing a sleepy
highway patrolman sitting in
his car under a freeway
overpass. Flash back to the
1950s where an introverted
young boy named Walter and his
wandering mother, Mae, are
riding a rural Texas road. Mae
drops Walter off to spend the
summer with his two irascible
great uncles, Garth and Hub,
on their remote ranch in
Texas. Mae tells Walter that
Garth and Hub disappeared for
years and were placed in a
mental hospital, but have lots
of money stashed away
somewhere on their ranch due
to a successful lawsuit
against the hospital. Despite
the news about the money,
Walter is still noticeably
upset. He clearly does not
know what to make of the two
cranky old men, who frighten
salesmen off with powerful
retorts from their menacing
shotguns. Left to their own
devices, the mismatched
threesome begin to form an
unlikely bond. Walter finds a
mysterious trunk upstairs with
an old photo of a beautiful
woman. When he discovers Hub
walking in his sleep and
fighting with imaginary foes,
he asks Garth to tell him
their story. Garth begins to
weave an exciting tale of
adventure about being
dragooned by the French
Foreign Legion during World
War I and about a beautiful
princess in North Africa,
Jasmine, who falls in love
with Hub. In between
flashbacks from Garth’s
stories, Walter, Hub, and
Garth share a series of
comical adventures of their
own, adventures with salesmen,
an elderly lioness, and
several juvenile delinquents
who challenge Hub to a
fight. Haley Joel Osment stars
in SECONDHAND LIONS as Walter,
the young boy who finds a new
family. Michael Caine and
Robert Duvall star as Garth
and Hub, respectively. Garth
is the more introverted of the
two uncles, like an elderly
version of Walter, while Hub
is the true adventurer, who
battles German soldiers, slave
traders, dangerous Arab
sheiks, and young juvenile
delinquents at the drop of a
hat. Watching these three
actors interact and being
transported back in time to
Garth and Hub’s adventures
in North Africa is pure
delight. There are plenty of
light obscenities in
SECONDHAND LIONS, however,
mostly from the two
cantankerous great-uncles.
Also, during an inspiring
speech by Hub about duty,
honor, true love, and trust,
Hub says you also have to
believe that people are
basically good. He says you
have to believe all of these
things even when you have
little or no reason to think
that they are true. Acting on
such values will help you
endure and overcome trials in
your life, Hub suggests. The
idea that people are basically
good is a Rousseauian
Romantic, liberal notion that
contradicts biblical truth and
reality. Parents, educators,
philosophers, and theologians
need to remind people,
especially children and
teenagers, that, as the Bible
teaches and history shows,
human beings are inherently
sinful. To quote Genesis 8:21,
“The intention of man’s
heart is evil from his
youth.” If this were not so,
then the terrible death of
Jesus Christ on the Cross for
our sins would have been
unnecessary, and the command
of Jesus in Mark 1:15 to
repent, or turn away from our
sins, would not make any sense
whatsoever. SECONDHAND LIONS
may have other light Romantic
elements in that, in the
story, it becomes clear that
Garth and especially Hub stay
young by always seeking
adventure and excitement. Hub
is a soldier of fortune who
has led men into battle during
several wars. Garth is the
more sensible of the two men
in that he tries to get Hub to
settle down, mostly by forcing
him to work in the garden,
like a sensible, retired old
gentleman. The really good
news about SECONDHAND LIONS is
that writer and director Tim
McCanlies, who adapted the
script for IRON GIANT and made
DANCER, TEXAS POP. 81, has
crafted a charming, exciting,
humorous, and ultimately
uplifting tale for older
children, teenagers, and
adults. The dominant worldview
in his movie is morally
positive, with a light
redemptive touch. In a
poignant, important scene late
in the movie, Walter
admonishes Hub and Garth not
to do anything really
dangerous, because he needs
them to be there for him while
he’s growing up. The
adventures that Walter shares
with Hub and Garth, and the
adventures he learns about
from Garth, inspire Walter’s
love, but the honor,
compassion, goodness, and
exuberant love for life which
Garth and Hub display also
inspire Walter. On the whole,
SECONDHAND LIONS will lighten
and enrich the hearts and
minds of all who see it. Its
spirit leans in the right
direction, even though it is
not everything it could be if
it had been made with a strong
and explicit Christian, and/or
biblical, worldview. Please
address your comments
to: Robert Shaye & Michael
Lynne Co-Chairman/Co-CEO New
Line Cinema 116 North
Robertson Blvd. Suite 200 Los
Angeles, CA 90048 Phone: (310)
854-5811 Fax: (310)
659-3568 Website:
www.newline.com

Rating: PG

Runtime: 107 minutes

Distributor: New Line Cinema

Director: Tim McCanlies

Executive Producer:

Producer: David Kirschner, Scott Ross, and Corey Sienega

Writer: Tim McCanlies

Address Comments To:

Content:

(BB, C, Ro, LLL, V, A, D, M) Solid moral worldview with light redemptive elements as well as Rousseauian Romantic sentiment expressed about believing that people are basically good, a belief which can be proven false and which contradicts Scripture; 25 light profanities (one a--, rest d--- and h---) and two light exclamatory profanities; light action violence such as men fire shotguns over salesmen heads, sword fighting, explosions and gunfire during light battle scenes, older man fights off several juvenile delinquents, and mean man punches boy in stomach; light alcohol use; smoking; and, mother abandons son.

GENRE: Comedy

BB

C

Ro

LLL

V

A

D

M

Summary:

SECONDHAND LIONS, set mostly in the 1950s, stars Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine, and Robert Duvall in a story about a young boy left in the care of his two irascible, cantankerous great-uncles. With help from his talented cast, writer and director Tim McCanlies has crafted a heartwarming, exciting, humorous, and ultimately uplifting tale for older children, teenagers, and adults, but the movie contains many light obscenities and a Romantic element.

Review:

SECONDHAND LIONS is a magical family movie for older children, teenagers and adults of all ages. It’s a whimsical character study full of adventures, comedy, and spirited fun.

The story of SECONDHAND LIONS opens with two men in an old-fashioned biplane buzzing a sleepy highway patrolman sitting in his car under a freeway overpass. Flash back to the 1950s where an introverted young boy named Walter and his wandering mother, Mae, are riding a rural Texas road. Mae drops Walter off to spend the summer with his two irascible great uncles, Garth and Hub, on their remote ranch in Texas. Mae tells Walter that Garth and Hub disappeared for years and were placed in a mental hospital, but have lots of money stashed away somewhere on their ranch due to a successful lawsuit against the hospital. Despite the news about the money, Walter is still noticeably upset. He clearly does not know what to make of the two cranky old men, who frighten salesmen off with powerful retorts from their menacing shotguns.

Left to their own devices, the mismatched threesome begin to form an unlikely bond. Walter finds a mysterious trunk upstairs with an old photo of a beautiful woman. When he discovers Hub walking in his sleep and fighting with imaginary foes, he asks Garth to tell him their story. Garth begins to weave an exciting tale of adventure about being dragooned by the French Foreign Legion during World War I and about a beautiful princess in North Africa, Jasmine, who falls in love with Hub. In between flashbacks from Garth’s stories, Walter, Hub, and Garth share a series of comical adventures of their own, adventures with salesmen, an elderly lioness, and several juvenile delinquents who challenge Hub to a fight.

Haley Joel Osment stars in SECONDHAND LIONS as Walter, the young boy who finds a new family. Michael Caine and Robert Duvall star as Garth and Hub, respectively. Garth is the more introverted of the two uncles, like an elderly version of Walter, while Hub is the true adventurer, who battles German soldiers, slave traders, dangerous Arab sheiks, and young juvenile delinquents at the drop of a hat. Watching these three actors interact and being transported back in time to Garth and Hub’s adventures in North Africa is pure delight.

There are plenty of light obscenities in SECONDHAND LIONS, however, mostly from the two cantankerous great-uncles. Also, during an inspiring speech by Hub about duty, honor, true love, and trust, Hub says you also have to believe that people are basically good. He says you have to believe all of these things even when you have little or no reason to think that they are true. Acting on such values will help you endure and overcome trials in your life, Hub suggests.

The idea that people are basically good is a Rousseauian Romantic, liberal notion that contradicts biblical truth and reality. Parents, educators, philosophers, and theologians need to remind people, especially children and teenagers, that, as the Bible teaches and history shows, human beings are inherently sinful. To quote Genesis 8:21, “The intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” If this were not so, then the terrible death of Jesus Christ on the Cross for our sins would have been unnecessary, and the command of Jesus in Mark 1:15 to repent, or turn away from our sins, would not make any sense whatsoever.

SECONDHAND LIONS may have other light Romantic elements in that, in the story, it becomes clear that Garth and especially Hub stay young by always seeking adventure and excitement. Hub is a soldier of fortune who has led men into battle during several wars. Garth is the more sensible of the two men in that he tries to get Hub to settle down, mostly by forcing him to work in the garden, like a sensible, retired old gentleman.

The really good news about SECONDHAND LIONS is that writer and director Tim McCanlies, who adapted the script for IRON GIANT and made DANCER, TEXAS POP. 81, has crafted a charming, exciting, humorous, and ultimately uplifting tale for older children, teenagers, and adults. The dominant worldview in his movie is morally positive, with a light redemptive touch. In a poignant, important scene late in the movie, Walter admonishes Hub and Garth not to do anything really dangerous, because he needs them to be there for him while he’s growing up. The adventures that Walter shares with Hub and Garth, and the adventures he learns about from Garth, inspire Walter’s love, but the honor, compassion, goodness, and exuberant love for life which Garth and Hub display also inspire Walter.

On the whole, SECONDHAND LIONS will lighten and enrich the hearts and minds of all who see it. Its spirit leans in the right direction, even though it is not everything it could be if it had been made with a strong and explicit Christian, and/or biblical, worldview.

Please address your comments to:

Robert Shaye & Michael Lynne

Co-Chairman/Co-CEO

New Line Cinema

116 North Robertson Blvd.

Suite 200

Los Angeles, CA 90048

Phone: (310) 854-5811

Fax: (310) 659-3568

Website: www.newline.com

SUMMARY: SECONDHAND LIONS, set mostly in the 1950s, stars Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine, and Robert Duvall in a story about a young boy left in the care of his two irascible, cantankerous great-uncles. With help from his talented cast, writer and director Tim McCanlies has crafted a heartwarming, exciting, humorous, and ultimately uplifting tale for older children, teenagers, and adults, but the movie contains many light obscenities and a Romantic element.

In Brief: