WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

October Sky

Reviewed In Issue 34 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, William Lee Scott, Chris Owen, Chad Lindberg, Natalie Canerday, Elya Baskin, Chris Ellis, Laura Dern

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3.5
Sound Rating: 4.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Universal Studios Home Video
(Catalog Number): LD83750-WS
(MPAA Rating): PG
(Retail Price): $29.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 108
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1999
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Joe Johnston
(Screenplay/Written By): Lewis Colick
(Story): NA
(Music): Mark Isham
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Barry Robison
(Visual Effects): Industrial Light & Magic
(Costume Designer): Betsy Cox
(Editor): Robert Dalva
(Supervising Sound Editors): Howell Gibbens
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Marc Sternberg & Peter Cramer
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Charles Gordon & Larry Franco

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Panavision
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.40:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.32:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Digital Surround
(Theatrical Sound): DTS, SDDS & Dolby Digital
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Based on the book “Rocket Boys,” the true story of NASA engineer Homer H. Hickham, Jr.; October Sky begins when high school student Homer (Gyllenhaal) sees the Soviet satellite Sputnik streak overhead. Inspired by this wonderous sight, Homer decides to build his own rocket. With the aid of a caring teacher (Dern) and three buddies, Homer experiences many setbacks and obstacles including a disapproving coal mining father and poor education. A movie that both parents and kids will enjoy.

LaserDisc Picture:
The 2.32:1 LaserDisc picture is stylized with bluish hues, but otherwise exhibits beautiful color balance. Images are sharp and detailed, though sometimes exhibiting digital edge enhancement. Noise sometimes distracts. Though sometimes overly contrasted, shadow delineation is naturally rendered with a natural delineation between darkness and picture black. Overall, this is an enjoyable visual experience.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The discrete 5.1 Dolby® Digital soundtrack is wonderfully dimensional, with an aggressive split surround soundfield presence. The sound supports a solid foundation of deep bass enhanced with effective moments of aggressive .1 LFE. Bass is extended to below 25Hz, and at times very effective in the surrounds. The music score is expansive with a soundstage that images wide and deep. The music is wonderful and provides a touching complement. The matrix PCM soundtrack is nicely produced as well, but is not as spatially delineated as the discrete version.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): Yes
(Aggressive System Surround): Yes
(Intense 25Hz Bass): Yes
(Deep Bass Challenging): Yes
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): Yes
(Aggressive Split Surround): Yes
(Center Back Surround Imaging): Yes
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: