Reviews for Radio Flyer ( ) 1080p

IMDB: 7 / 10

Only worthy for the excellent performances of Wood and Mazzello...

I remember the first time I watched Radio Flyer was in 1992-93 (pretty much around the time it first came out); I was 14 years old and had somehow been through the same situation the two brothers (wonderfully played by then-child actors Elijah Wood and Joseph Mazzello), so I found myself having some heavily mixed feelings about the film's content; today, I see it in a more "objective" light, but its plot and message remains as conflicting as the first time.

The story itself is kind of biter-sweet and quite dark for what is supposed to be a family film (the scenes involving abuse, although mostly off-screen, are nonetheless upsetting), but then it goes on and becomes a monstrous wreck by the third act. No wonder so many people have speculated about the true nature of what happened towards the end, and gave "their own theories".

The real deal, though, are the two young brothers. Elijah Wood and Joseph Mazzello (about 9 and 7 years old, respectively, when they did the film) each give a powerfully dramatic, breakthrough performance that just could not be parallelled by any other child star in a while -until, of course, Haley Joel Osment got an Oscar nomination for THE SIXTH SENSE, a mere 7 years later-. They both manage to be believable, incredibly adorable and painfully devastating, alternatively, without ever recurring to the cliché of "smart-aleckiness". Interestingly enough, they both went their respective ways to establish what was a somewhat solid career for a while as child performers: Mazzello got his big break with Jurassic Park, while Elijah Wood played opposite Macaulay Culkin in The Good Son (while Culkin was able to bring his own career down with said film), both released in 1993.

Anyways, without veering away from the topic. The rest of the cast are mere adult presences (except for the other kids playing the bullies) who only pave the way for our two youngsters to shine the way they did. Particularly Adam Baldwin, it was a very good idea to barely show his face at all, because he was truly loathsome in his role as the source of the kids' sorrow.

In all, despite all the fantastic elements inherently present in the storyline, had they handled the core of the plot with a little more "maturity", perhaps the outcome would have been a lot different. That's why, sadly, the film remains a below-average experience, only redeemable by the terrific turns of Mazzello and Wood (both now all grown up and not as noticeable as back then). If the film is to be seen, it should be only for them two. Which is also why I give the film 5 out of 10.

Rather poignant

'Radio Flyer' is really not the sort of film to watch if you are depressed or have had a violent childhood but the storyline makes for a rather bittersweet film. The film revolves around eight-year old Mike and six-year-old Bobby who move to a small town with their mother and new step-father not long after their biological father abandons them. Instead of heralding a fresh start for the boys, their new life turns to terror and misery when their step-father, who likes to be called the King, physically abuses little Bobby. Mike, desperate to protect his little brother, then plans to turn his Radio Flyer trailer into a plane so they can fly away to safety.

Lorraine Bracco, who plays the boys' mother, was quite good in showing the vulnerability, shame and protectiveness of a mother who realises her children are being harmed by her husband and Stephen Baldwin was very effective in portraying the King's vicious, cruel nature even though we never see his face. However, it is a young Elijah Wood and Joseph Mazzello, who play Mike and Bobby respectively, who carry the film and both rise to the occasion brilliantly. Elijah Wood's Mike was portrayed as a very sympathetic character who you truly felt was loyal and loving to his mother and brother despite his tender age while Joseph Mazzello was very sweet and engaging as Bobby, a little boy who just couldn't comprehend why an adult who was meant to care for him was instead hurting him.

As I said before, this film is definitely not for the very young or those who are very sensitive to issues of child abuse because Bobby doesn't just get a smack or two in the film, he is brutalised to the point where you just want to reach through to the screen and give the King a taste of his own medicine. It is quite disturbing to actually see on-screen the treatment this six-year-old endures. That said, 'Radio Flyer' is an endearing film about how even the youngest of children can be brave, loyal and have wills of steel. And with the ending being rather ambiguous, viewers can interpret for themselves what fate met Bobby.

Rather poignant

'Radio Flyer' is really not the sort of film to watch if you are depressed or have had a violent childhood but the storyline makes for a rather bittersweet film. The film revolves around eight-year old Mike and six-year-old Bobby who move to a small town with their mother and new step-father not long after their biological father abandons them. Instead of heralding a fresh start for the boys, their new life turns to terror and misery when their step-father, who likes to be called the King, physically abuses little Bobby. Mike, desperate to protect his little brother, then plans to turn his Radio Flyer trailer into a plane so they can fly away to safety.

Lorraine Bracco, who plays the boys' mother, was quite good in showing the vulnerability, shame and protectiveness of a mother who realises her children are being harmed by her husband and Stephen Baldwin was very effective in portraying the King's vicious, cruel nature even though we never see his face. However, it is a young Elijah Wood and Joseph Mazzello, who play Mike and Bobby respectively, who carry the film and both rise to the occasion brilliantly. Elijah Wood's Mike was portrayed as a very sympathetic character who you truly felt was loyal and loving to his mother and brother despite his tender age while Joseph Mazzello was very sweet and engaging as Bobby, a little boy who just couldn't comprehend why an adult who was meant to care for him was instead hurting him.

As I said before, this film is definitely not for the very young or those who are very sensitive to issues of child abuse because Bobby doesn't just get a smack or two in the film, he is brutalised to the point where you just want to reach through to the screen and give the King a taste of his own medicine. It is quite disturbing to actually see on-screen the treatment this six-year-old endures. That said, 'Radio Flyer' is an endearing film about how even the youngest of children can be brave, loyal and have wills of steel. And with the ending being rather ambiguous, viewers can interpret for themselves what fate met Bobby.

Seriously interesting slice of bittersweet magic realism

This bittersweet slice of magic realism had a checkered production history (director/writer replaced) and tanked at the box office, but it's a helluva film.

Elijah Wood and Joseph Mazzello are pre-teen brothers whose flaky mom (Lorraine Bracco) shacks up with a mean-spirited alcoholic (Adam Baldwin). During his drinking bouts, Baldwin physically abuses Mazzello and manipulates him into remaining silent about his situation. But when Wood cottons on to what's happening, the boys put their heads together and hatch a fantastique solution to Mazzello's devastating dilemma.

I love films that mix fantasy and dark reality. They are rarely successful financially ("Lawn Dogs" is a similar example), but they are usually original and intriguing.

The drunk Baldwin is shot from a low, child's perspective and his head is deliberately lopped off below the top of frame. This device allows us to judge him purely by his actions and as a totally physicalized beast. Both Wood and Mazzello are excellent, and they pull us effortlessly into their dark, frightening world.

The "radio flyer" of the title is a small red wagon kids transport their belongings in. Here it transports a dream.

Seriously interesting stuff.

What? someone liked this?

This movie was horrible. If it had never been made the world would be a better place. Come on, a flying wagon? What were they thinking? This was a sub-par movie with a horrible hook, and I would like a written apology from the studio that produced this, along with some cookies to help repay me for the time I wasted on this crap fest that I can never get back. If you payed to see this movie, I am truly sorry because I watched it on TV on a Sunday afternoon when I had nothing better to do and it pretty much ruined my whole week. A flying freaking WAGON?!?! And that's supposed to make up for having a horrible mother who cares more about her own screwed up needs than her children? No wonder they don't have enough sense to tell someone he is beating them, their mother teaches them nothing but that what she wants comes before everything else. Absolutely horrible.

What? someone liked this?

This movie was horrible. If it had never been made the world would be a better place. Come on, a flying wagon? What were they thinking? This was a sub-par movie with a horrible hook, and I would like a written apology from the studio that produced this, along with some cookies to help repay me for the time I wasted on this crap fest that I can never get back. If you payed to see this movie, I am truly sorry because I watched it on TV on a Sunday afternoon when I had nothing better to do and it pretty much ruined my whole week. A flying freaking WAGON?!?! And that's supposed to make up for having a horrible mother who cares more about her own screwed up needs than her children? No wonder they don't have enough sense to tell someone he is beating them, their mother teaches them nothing but that what she wants comes before everything else. Absolutely horrible.
In reply to "State of Confusion" The dogs injuries do seem to disappearrather abruptly, but that may have only been an error in continuity.But, as for the kids trying to build a plane out of junk, it's just asimple matter of imagination. These are two very young kids who haveextremely active imaginations and they must rely on those imaginationsto keep themselves from being exposed to the reality of the level ofabuse that goes on in their home from their stepfather. As for thestepfather, it's very interesting that the director chose to no showhis face. That makes him seem more monstrous. If you show his face,then that character becomes a person and not just this "monster" who isterrorizing the childhood of these two innocent children. By showingonly the concequences of his abuse and not focusing scenes on the abuseitself, the children then become the main focus of the movie. This filmhas no loose ends, but runs just as a father's tale to his childrenwould. It has embelleshments. This is a fine American classic.

classic

In reply to "State of Confusion" The dogs injuries do seem to disappear rather abruptly, but that may have only been an error in continuity. But, as for the kids trying to build a plane out of junk, it's just a simple matter of imagination. These are two very young kids who have extremely active imaginations and they must rely on those imaginations to keep themselves from being exposed to the reality of the level of abuse that goes on in their home from their stepfather. As for the stepfather, it's very interesting that the director chose to no show his face. That makes him seem more monstrous. If you show his face, then that character becomes a person and not just this "monster" who is terrorizing the childhood of these two innocent children. By showing only the concequences of his abuse and not focusing scenes on the abuse itself, the children then become the main focus of the movie. This film has no loose ends, but runs just as a father's tale to his children would. It has embelleshments. This is a fine American classic.

Three tissues at least.

This is one of my all-time favorites. It is Elijah Wood coming into his best period, and Joseph Mazzello also showing his great potential. The portrayal of their brutal abuse, including the singling out of one child for battering while the other must look on, is all too veridical. However, their response to it is a testimonial to the bravery, initiative, creativity and mutual love of children at their finest. BTW, I may be a bit slow, but it wasn't until my third viewing that I caught the twist at the very end, which turns the "logic" of the retrospective narration all askew. Once again, I take the opportunity to loudly protest the billings: What would happen to a movie where two characters occupy maybe 90% of the action and yet receive FOURTH and FIFTH billing just because they're black, or female?

Elijah Wood and Joseph Mazzello,such bright young talents!

Sure this movie is kind of unrealistic and sometimes boring but all in all it's a very sweet movie that evokes many wonderful childhood memories.Would I have watched Radio Flyer had it not starred Elijah Wood and Joseph Mazzello?Perhaps not.Wood and Mazzello are incredible in their roles as Mike and Bobby,considering they were only 9 and 7 at the time they started filming the movie.The rest of the cast is alright,no particularly impressive performances from any of them but like I said it's Wood and Mazzello who carry the show through.There was one big surprise though,Tom Hanks.As narrator,well,let's just say after he started off at the beginning of the movie I was this close to switching the T.V off and thus missing quite a good movie. I was disappointed to find out that Radio Flyer didn't exactly hit it off at the box office,I suppose juggling such themes as child abuse and building getaway planes for a 7 year old to fly can be a difficult task. However despite its faults ,I found myself shouting insults at The King when he hit Bobby and laughing at the antics of the boys and their dog Shane.Sure you need a good imagination to enjoy it but we can cough a little of that up can't we?!

Amazing job by kids - may bring tears but won't break your heart

Young Elijah Wood and Joseph Mazzello are outstanding in this excellent film about two boys who have promised to "take care of their mother," and how they cope when their new stepfather begins beating the younger boy. The supporting cast around the boys is top-notch as well. The script really gets inside the mind and heart of an imaginative child. It's hard to believe Wood could grow up to look anything like Tom Hanks, but that's nothing new in Hollywood. That's honestly my only criticism of the film.

This film changed my life

Where do I begin? I first saw this film in 1995 and had no idea of what to expect, I was actually at the time searching out films that Elijah Wood had starred in and this one had come highly recommended. I sat down and watched the film once and didn't know what to think. I watched it a second time a few days later and the floodgates just opened. Never before in my life had I ever really cried while watching a film, and I was blubbing, every high and low the film I was riding right alongside, on an emotional roller coaster.

It struck such an emotional chord in me on many levels, the intense sadness and elation we see in the film, the wonder and innocence of childhood, the yearning for a time that once was, but is no more. More than anything, this film reminded me of my childhood (except for the abuse) during a time in my life when I'd shrugged off my childhood some years before and not even really noticed, I'd given it up and moved on to a life entirely devoid of it. The Radio flyer made me wake up and suddenly realise what I'd given up without really even noticing. From that day forward I immediately set about to change my life and myself, and I did.

This is going to sound corny but basically I rediscovered my inner child, I started down a path that has been ongoing over the past 6 years and has changed me so much, so much for the better, embracing and living that part of myself. I've been finding out who I really am. I don't think it was simply a case of the right film coming along at a crucial moment of my life, The Radio Flyer really did something very special, and I still look upon it as an incredible piece of work in all respects, an incredible film.

In closing I cannot fail to mention the music. I am a great fan of Hans Zimmer and this is among his very finest works. The sheer breadth and depth of emotional expression he has put into the score of this film is a huge part of what makes the film what it is to me. Like subtitles to a foreign language film, his soaring music is a crib sheet to the intense emotions this film will take you through. Find the soundtrack at all costs, it was sadly deleted long ago, I never expected to find it but amazingly did, after chatting with someone I met on a Hans Zimmer fansite guest book.

Watch this film, let yourself live the emotions, don't get bogged in trivial nitpicking of the ending, be that child again
Everything about this film is simply incredible. You truly take thisjourney through the eyes and soul of a child.

I do feel it is important to note this tale is about child abuse. Don'trent it for your kids thinking it is a fun, disney-esquefilm.

An intriguing movie with an unexpected ending.

I rented the movie and liked it so much that I bought it. Elijah Wood (Mikey) and Joseph Mazello (Bobby) are outstanding as the two boys. Their new stepfather physically abuses Bobby. The abuse is implied, for the most part, not seen, and roused a lot of passion in me to help abused children. There is a magical quality to the movie as the boys' imagination helps them find a way to deal with the abuse. You have to try to understand the story from a child's point of view. I'm still thinking about the ending. I've watched the movie 3 or 4 times and each time I think of possible new meanings. I'm not sure exactly what Richard Donner intended me to think, but this is an excellent film! Joseph Mazello and Elijah Wood will make you go hug your kids.
Most people dislike this movie because of the ending. That isbecause of their own limited imaginations, a point I thinkRichard Donner was trying to make throughout the movie. They tryto criticize the film on their own miotic interpretation.Americans aren't used to the subtle, especially from the LethalDonner. I think those people need to watch it again, andespecially pay attention to the narration. Truth is in the mindof the beholder. The movie is about the innocence of childhood-the grandness of being naive and imaginative-being ripped apartby an abusive adult. Just as they never REALLY seen the boogieman, Bobby never REALLY flew away. Mike deceived himself intobelieving that his brother flew away to hide from the fact thathis brother died. Listen to his words, and watch his mother. Itis very subtle, and I have had this argument 100 times before(see, I have only had it probably 5 times but I have deceivedmyself into thinking it is many more). Don't feel bad. I havefound that only 1 out of 10 people that have seen the movie

A movie thats gets in your gut and makes your emotions pour out.

When I first saw this movie, I first started to hate it because of the violence of abuse, but what got to me, was the music of the movie, and the acting that went with it. I, admit, a dream about a talking buffalo was a little weird, but what got to me was the music through the dream, and the VERY COOL performances of Elijah Wood, as the confused brother, torn between about what he knows, and what he can not say. Promises not to say as a special PACT with his younger brother, who tells him not to say anything to the mother.. A BRILLANT DEBUT of Joseph Mazzello, who moves you with the music, as he see his destiny, before it happens, of getting away from the King, the Abuser, by building a airplane, out of a toy wagon. Let me tell, nothing gets you like the end of the movie, and the younger brother is ready to take off the flyer, they built. One brother gives his favorite jacket, as sign of love to remember him by. Out of *****, I give this movie a *****.

Hard subject to watch.

I liked this film, but the subject matter was very hard to watch. The abuse in this film was unexpected and it was never onscreen, but it was still a difficult subject. The film is interesting and quite a departure for the director, Richard Donner. Good film, but if you cringe at the idea of child abuse, look elsewhere.