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DVD Reviews

The release of SECONDHAND LIONS on DVD and VHS, replete with a whole host of wonderful extra features such as deleted scenes, an excellent commentary by writer and director, Tim McCanlies , and thoughtfully-made bonus featurettes , is seeing Secondhand Lions garnering a slew of new, enthusiastic reviews.

It certainly appears that many are taking a second look at this incredibly under-rated film and giving it the critical acclaim that it deserves .



I was overwhelmed and lost in the pure goodness of the "Secondhand Lions" DVD. By lost I mean the kind of lost where you just don't want to come back....

If ever there was a DVD made from simple and honest love... this has to be it.

- FAIR , kidactors message board


Giving the DVD release of Secondhand Lions an astonishing rating of 8.8 out of 10, Jeremy Slater of has this to say of Secondhand Lions :

Haley Joel Osment received a critical drubbing for his role here, but again I strongly disagree. Many reviewers mocked Osment for his awkward, self-conscious performance, completely missing the point that his character is meant to be awkward and self-conscious.....Walter is a timid and uncoordinated kid on the verge of puberty, frightened and badly out of his element. His transformation into a confident and assertive young man is handled remarkably well, and while he can’t always hold his own against Caine and Duvall, it’s not for lack of trying. Let’s face it…Osment is easily the best child actor in recent memory, and his work here is perfectly suited to the material.

Secondhand Lions isn’t the best film ever made…far from it. And it’s not even the best film of last year. But it *is* a great film, full of heart, imagination and wonder. After my first viewing I liked it quite a bit. Now, after seeing the film three times, I think I love it. It’s one of the best surprises of 2003.

Full review here


Ed Peters in his review for echoes similar thoughts :

Released theatrically last year by New Line Cinema and just now available on DVD, Tim McCanlies’ "Secondhand Lions" is that rarest of rarities: a family film that targets the parents as much as the kids. Rather than rely on CGI or hip of-the-moment cultural humor, as in the Pixar movies or "Shrek" (that’s not a bash to those movies, honest), "Secondhand Lions" draws on the power of sterling acting and a truly heartfelt story.

"Secondhand Lions" really deserves a look. Maybe it didn’t set the box office on fire, but it should have. Any movie told with this much heart and so much goodwill toward its characters and audience demands our attention.

Full review here



Lynda Dale McClean from writes:

The magnificent Haley Joel Osment is quite an exceptional young actor who I'm sure will make it huge in Hollywood. He not only has the gift, but a goodness that sets him apart from being just an actor, to a great performer.

Secondhand Lions is full of comedy, adventure, spirit and, most of all, believing in what makes happiness surround you and the trust that it rests on. It is a wonderful family movie and should amply be seen and acknowledged for its kind and giving message of family bonding and appreciation of life in all its glory-filled joy and excitement.

Full review here


In a wonderfully detailed review of the Secondhand Lions DVD , Brian Calhoun from writes :

Much of the appeal of Secondhand Lions can be attributed to the fantastic performances from the three leads. Unsurprisingly, both Caine and Duvall exude an innate knowledge of their craft, yet it has been a while since I have seen either of them deliver such honest, heartfelt performances. It would have been easy for less experienced actors to overemphasize the personalities of Hub and Garth so much as to reduce them to unpleasant codgers. However, these seasoned veterans demonstrate tremendous erudition and restraint in creating simultaneously credible yet affable personalities. It would be quite intimidating for any actor, much less a child, to interact with such accomplished performers, but Haley Joel Osment blends right in, bringing an equal level of talent to his role. Appearing all grown up and void of his child-star persona, Osment proves that his tour-de-force performances in The Sixth Sense and A.I. were no flukes. I expect to see a long and prosperous career from this gifted talent.

The crowning achievement of this production is Tim McCanlies' screenplay. It is rare that the Hollywood system does not obliterate the integrity of such an earnest piece of work, yet, McCanlies fought tooth and nail with major studios to keep his vision intact. Through McCanlies' struggle to preserve his artistic intentions, the genuine, heartfelt qualities of the screenplay remain wholly evident in the finished product. Also directing the film, McCanlies shrewdly blends humor and drama into an emotional tale of empathy. While overall a bit sappy, Secondhand Lions is a rare family film that will actually appeal to the entire family rather than one narrow age group.

Full review here

More reviews to come when we receive them !


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