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Stand by Me: Special Edition

Review Written by: Chris Burns
Film: A+
Video/Audio/Extras: A+/A+/A

Directed by: Rob Reiner
Written by: Raynold Gideon and Bruce A. Evans
Based on the book by: Stephen King
Produced by: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon and Andrew Sheinman
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Pheonix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, Casey Siemaszko
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it!

Stand by Me is perfect. How can you not love this movie? It has so many levels and it can't really be put under a specific genre. Stand by Me is an adaptation of the Stephen King novella called The Body. The story is a semi-autobiography on Stephen King's childhood. This film will stick with you for the rest of your life and in some parts, it might haunt you. This reminds you of everything and is a study of the most important moment in life which is childhood. The film grabs the viewer and makes even the most un-sensitive person have a tear come to their eye.

The story is very simple, yet has so much inside of it. It is about a group of friends living in Castle Rock, Maine who learn that a boy has gone missing and is obviously dead. One of the kids learns that the body is out of town in one of the surrounding forrests. So the 12 year old kids decide that they are going to go off together to find the body and be town heroes. Unluckily, the town's older gangs of bullies (including Kiether Sutherland) are also going to search for the body. This is a story of friendship, courage and growing up.

It will remind people of their childhood friends and will make you want to go back to those days. I recommend you watch this film for the 1st time with your friends when you are about 12 or 13 because it will make you laugh and cry. The acting by the 4 children is magnificent especially River Phoneix's acting as he steals the show. I could not think of anyone else who could perfectly suit the character of Chris Chambers. I think anybody will enjoy this movie. If you don't, I have no idea why! The film is filled with quotes that will make you laugh and some will make you really think about things. The script is one of the best ever written and flows majestically with great flow. The soundtrack has that similar nostalgic feeling to it, with a lot of hits from back in the 50s. You might find yourself singing along to "Lollipop" by the Chordettes.

In my opinion this is the film that defines every generation because of its pureness and elegance. It is also worth reading the original book as you get some extra information not in the film. Well done Rob Reiner for making a film that will always go down in movie history and will never be forgotten. Rob Reiner has put his heart into this movie because he has identified with the characters in the book and has remembered the things he did as a kid. I love the landscapes of Maine as well. It is beautiful to look at because of the wonderful stretching plains and the mountains around Castle Rock. Every actor in this movie should have won an Oscar!

The DVD contains some great extra features. "Walking the Tracks: The Summer of Stand by Me" is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen for a film. It talks to all the actors, the director Rob Reiner and Stephen King. The documentary has a very sad feeling to it though; with River Phoneix being the only actor not to be interviewed because of course he died of a drugs overdose. It is very upsetting to think of how a great talent has gone. Anyway the DVD tracks the whole stage of the making of the film and how all the actors bonded with each other. Rob Reiner is very interesting and tells you everything you want to know about the process of adoption and so on. You also get a music video of the song "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King and biographies to read about the cast. I was very impressed with the extras, even though there are not a lot of special features, the extras contained were so good, that it did not matter. I hope you buy Stand By Me and find it as much of a masterpiece as I did because this is a movie you can watch again and again...

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