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Radio Flyer
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  • "History is in the Mind of the teller...."
    I had seen this movie a couple time when I was younger. It always made me sad. But I saw it on Tv recently and decided to watch it, and I did. But I didn't closely watch it. Because I came on and read some reviews that opened my eyes to the movie in a new way. And with knowing this detail the end makes a lot more sense.

    Th story is about Mickey and Bobby. Two brothers who live their mother, their stepfather, and a dog. And later a pet turle as well. But Bobby is being abused by the stepfather so together Bobby and Mickey work to make an escape for him, via a Radio Flyer wagon that they make into a flyer.

    Now I'm not going to tell you what will help you understand the movie better on many different levels, as many other reviews talk about it.

    But I would like to talk about the childrens performances. Both Elijah Wood and Joseph Marzello are absolutely amazing. Its worth seeing the movie just for their performances alone. If you're a fan of Elijah Wood and have'nt seen this, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR.! And if you have seen it, watch it again, and bear in mind that "History is in the mind of the teller, truth is the teller."

    So you be the judge of what the movie and the ending are. :D

    This deals freely with domestic abuse so if you like to pretend its not there, well.... I wont even go there. But for everyone else *enjoy*.! :D...more info

  • confused!!!!!
    I saw this movie when i was younger and i must admit I really thought Bobby flew away!! I never understod it because I always asked myself how does he survive on his own? and all these questions? Until recently I came to know that it is possible that Bobby actually died from the abuse? I don't understand how and when this happened? i tied reading more about it online but there is not much!!! Also I never understood why "The King" only beat Bobby and not Mike? why only one of the boys and why didn't they both try to run away? Also how could the mother be so naive about what was happening and I do agree with a previous review as to why did she take him back? Also someone should have been punished for that boy's abuse/death at the end of the movie!!!!!! Well inspite everything I did like the movie it is not your happy ending heartwormer but it is very real and very well-presented!!! The acting was very good and Tom Hanks does a good job at turning something very sad into something not so bad for the sake of his own kids!!!!!!...more info
  • radio flyer
    This movie was my sons favorite when he was a little boy. my son is 25 years now and he has two little boys of his own. I have been looking for this movie for a long time now,I was so happy to find it in amizon. He was so touched to see this movie again for christmas. Now he can enjoy it with his own boys. ...more info
  • A movie worth watching
    A very good drama, Radio Flyer, brings to the screen the story of two young boys whose father abandons them at a young age leaving their mother alone in providing and caring for them.
    Things take a turn for the worse when a "stepfather" enters the family...
    I have to admit that I did not know what to expect from the film, but as it turns out it was a really good movie that keeps you glued to your seat in anticipation of what comes next!
    It is a film about human relations, hope and second chances, but most importantly about trust, love, and inner strength.
    Elijah Woods, Joseph Mazzello, Tom Hanks, and the rest of the cast, have truly outdone themselves with their performances, which are outstanding to say the least. All the actors, without exceptions, give it their 100% and it really shows (the chemistry is something else)! Very well written and very well presented, the movie is without a doubt guaranteed to provide more than just a few tears. The film does a great job of describing people's every day lives and the problems they face.
    In short, Radio Flyer is a movie definitely worth watching, as it will surely provide for an evening's entertainment!
    ...more info
  • a wonderful film for all
    Movie came in within reasonable time. It is such a precious film in regards to the brotherhood bonding in it. Definitely an owner....more info
  • a different view on the ending
    I have read many reviews on Radio Flyer, most concerned with the ambiguity of the ending. I saw the movie for the first time a few weeks ago. After watching it, I decided that it had, in fact, been a good movie. It was able to depict many aspects of child abuse, emotionally and physcially, along with the unstableness of the family. However, this alone does not even scratch the surface of the movie's depth. Like I said, after watching the movie, I had decided that it was good. However, if Mike's brother Bobby had flown off and never returned, then where did the turtle in the end come from? The same turtle that they boys had found when they were little, and the same turtle that Bobby took with him on his flight. After this perplexing detail was brought to my attention, I realized that Mike (tom hanks) at the beginning of the movie had said "History is all in the mind of the teller; truth is in the teller". The story recounted by Mike being told to his children was his version of what actually happened to him, and him alone, as a child. After considering this, other facts seemed to make sense. Why had only Bobby been abused? Why hadn't Bobby's flyer ever seem to fail? and for that matter, why hadn't Bobby ever come back? Because Bobby had never existed. In an attempt to escape his own childhood dilemas and tragedies, Mike created an outlet to disguard all his pain. The new idea of this ending made the movie so much better than I had originally perceived it. I'd definitely recommend it, even if it's just to get your own view on the ending :)....more info
  • Imaginative.
    Radio Flyer starring Elijah Wood is a sweet and heartbreaking story of two brothers who find solace with a magical radio flyer. The boys' stepfather is abusive and so they use their imagination to heal the pain of reality. Great movie, look for Tom Hanks he pops up now and then. Enjoy!...more info
  • cute movie
    first i just want to say that Bobby did exist and was not "imaginary"! he was spoken to directly many times and when he asked questions people answered. if he wasn't real then the adults would never say his name would they? check out "the sixth sense" can easily see when reviewing that movie the bruce willis character was not addressed.
    also the step-father had a face and it was shown constantly.....what movie were you guys watching anyhow, haha?
    just because he flew away in his home-made plane near the end doesn't mean he wasn't supposed to be a real kid......remember "ET" when all the kids on bikes went soaring through the air?
    i love the way people misinterpret movies and then try to act like they are smarter than the average bear :) ...more info
  • Beautiful story and there really are 2 boys
    This is a beautifully crafted movie with a controversial ending. A lot of people are annoyed by the ending (which I won't reveal here), viewing it as inappropriate for this thype of movie. Others believe that instead of there being 2 brothers there is only really one boy with an imaginary brother taking all the abuse. And this explains the strange ending.

    However, as I recall after many years, in the original story the boy dies in the last episode that we see him in. But this was thought to be too extreme for a Hollywood movie. (It's against the unwritten rules of Hollywood to kill a child) So once the story had gotten to that last scene there has to be a what happened next scene. ...more info
    THIS IS THE BEST MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!! The acting was first rate by all of the cast, especially by Bobby Wright. He was an excellent actor despite his young age at the time; it wasn't any of that horrendous Mary Kate and Ashley from "Full House" acting that was supposed to be cute but makes you puke. Also, Bobby does not die contrary to what some other reviewers have said. If he died, there would be no scene where Tom Hanks (middle-aged Mike) is pinpointing Bobby's location from the postcards he sends him on the map in his room. Also, there are 2 boys, not one. I wholeheartedly believe Bobby and Mike were 2 completely different characters. Everyone is trying to infer things from the movie, but it is how it is shown. It is pretty straightforward, no analysis needed. I can see how Bobby would be a figment of Mike's imagination, but then again, Bobby sends his brother postcards, and Mike maps his brother's location up to the day Mike is middle-aged. Emotional aspects of an imagination do not vacation in Maui and send postcards. And to all you who think that because Mike has the turtle Bobby is dead?!! You were only able to conclude one thing from that, so it must be that Bobby died?! And screw all of you who think this movie makes the wrong approach at child abuse--you know nothing; another example of political correctness run amuck besides the fact that you were never abused. This is my favorite movie and I believe it to be the best movie ever made. Although, I would have liked to see a good ending: I would have liked to see Bobby and Mike re-unite. That would have completed the movie. If you are a brother who had a little brother like me and you went through something like this, you will absolutely love it. I bought it because it is too good for words... those two are beautiful......more info
  • moving and superb
    So what if this movie is unconventional, we were all children once and used our imaginations to handle our problems and fears. Do watch this movie, it is touching, superbly acted and will probably bring a tear as it handles a common and delicate subject. I cry at the sibling bond as it touches a nerve as I remember times of solidarity with my siblings when upset. I have learnt not to listen to much to film reviews but go off the feedback from everyday people, folk that do not get backhanders to say certain things! A young and promising Elijah Wood - long may he reign...more info
  • I wish I could fly sometimes too..
    This old film from when I was a kid still gets me. Its such a tearjerker.. Basically these two brothers spend a lot of time selling bottles and collecting golf balls to raise enough money to get the youngest one out of the house where his mother has fallen victim to a horrible man. "The King" is what he requests that they call him.. He beats on the smallest boy because he cannot defend himself.. It is a movie of all ages. WATCH THIS!!...more info
  • Radio Flyer
    A reviewer, who decided to remain nameless, reviewed this movie giving it one star. Here's why I disagree. First off, the stepfather wasn't 'faceless'; with his face not being shown, he was meant to represent ANY abusive, alcoholic father or stepfather. Secondly, I was abused by my alcoholic father between the ages of 1 and 6, and the way these children acted was exactly how it is. Let's face it: when you're that young, you don't exactly know how to 'find the help you need', so you feel you don't have a choice but to 'retreat into your own world'. It may not have been healthy or the right thing to do, but that's just how it is most of the time. This film portrayed almost perfectly what it's like to be that young and to be abused, and Joseph Mazzello and Elijah Wood did such a good job playing those boys that I found myself crying through most of the movie, because that's how it is.
    My congratulations to all involved with this film. You managed to capture innocence and how it's lost even when, as abused children, we try dearly to hold on to it.
    Oh. Also. The damn Flyer is a metaphor for all of you who thought the end was stupid!...more info
  • Wonderful!
    I just saw this movie yesterday and absolutely loved it! It was extremely moving and I'd recommend it to anyone. The ending is hard to understand but I suggest reading other reviews to figure out the meaning behind it. Elijah Wood is simply remarkable as is Joseph Mazzello! It definitely brings light to the ongoing suffering many children are enduring and how they cope with the abuse. Very moving. ...more info
  • Ambiguity is a good thing, people
    This is a wonderful movie -- beautiful story, incredible acting, very true emotions. I highly recommend it, to people who aren't only looking for "escape" from movies.

    There's been a lot of debate on this and other boards about the ending of the movie. I say -- let everyone decide for him/herself. Ambiguity is a beautiful thing in art if done well, and I think the writers/director of the movie wanted the end to be ambiguous. There is no "right" answer; there's only what you think in your own mind after watching. I have my own opinion, which is actually different from what most people seem to think, but that's exactly what makes this movie great, not just good....more info

  • Loved this movie one question
    I loved this movie. It was my favorite movie when I was a kid. SO I didnt get all the messages until I watched it today. I still have one question and I hope that somebody will answer this. Is the younger brother real or fake?...more info
  • The Wrong Message
    I realize there are a lot of fans of this film and that I will probably get 0 out of 19 people found this review helpful, but please read this review anyway.

    I really enjoy the performances of Elijah Wood and many of the other talents in this movie. The film is great until the last ten minutes or so. I am writing this because many people view the ending as a metaphor for suicide (many of the other reviews here have stated that or alluded to it).

    It occurs to me that, as astounding as the performances and as well-written as the film is, I can't recommend this motion picture, it completely gives the wrong message.

    The film is about two little boys who are being emotionally and physically abused by their step-father. They kept it to themselves and attempt to solve the problem in their own way. They could have told their mother, they could have told the policeman, or even the post man who delievered their potion. They didn't. Then, before the credits roll, the producers of the film, after having laid out the moral "put your problems in your own hands", gives a hotline number for abused children. It simply was irresponsible. The film should be rated R because children should not be able to see it and get the idea that if they are faced with a terrible problem they can only deal with it on there own....more info

  • DVD
    This item was a gift so I did not view the video but assume it was fine. The dvd became loose inside the box so I had a little concern of scratching but it did not appear scratched when it was opened. I think all went well....more info
  • The boys and the dog steal the movie.
    I haven't read all the 70 or so reviews posted thus far; only some of them. Sometimes I think Hollywood movie makers become a little too obtuse or purposely ambiguous. Scorsese does this too. Perhaps that was done here as well. I first saw this film 15 years ago when it was released, no one I spoke to at that time understood the ending, although everyone enjoyed the movie. I saw it the second time just a few days ago. I see what some reviewers are getting at with the two boys actually being different facets of one person. Looked at that way, the ending (yes, as a metaphor) makes more sense. Still, I disagree that there are many clues, and evidently that was not what the movie maker was shooting for. There are too many scenes where there is no ambiguity about the presence of two distinct boys, both to the mother and to others. At the end, with Samson the turtle still on-board with Bobby, one wouldn't know what became of him. Yet, at the very end, Tom Hanks' two screen sons ask if that is how they "got Samson". Another ambiguity. (We know the dog jumped out to defend the boys.)

    Anyway, ambiguity aside, the two boys' performance is astonishingly good. If only current movies aimed at teens had equally excellent acting. They really, really are quite good. The dog comes in a close second. He played the best dog someone could ever have, and he played it well.

    The message of the movie provoked some observations. Although this would not be the case in every instance in real life (thank god), my experience has been that the typical woman portrayed as their mother would have, again and again, taken this man back. The psychodynamics and dysfunction which explains that is too much to go into here. Or, having finally rid herself of this individual, she would find someone like him to take his place. The efforts of social agencies, the police, the courts, well-meaning friends and family--all are of no avail in so many tragic cases.

    The film is well worth watching. It is useful in making us more aware of child abuse. The DVD I purchased has no "extra's" on it, but it did come in widescreen and the transfer was very good.

    By the way, if you can figure out the deeper metaphor of the buffalo, good for you. ...more info
  • Great movie, don't want my kids to see it
    Hey its PG 13. Well everyone else gave away the end. Call me a idiot. I believed he flew away in the wagon. Why (...) would Tom Hanks spend 2 hours at the airport waiting for his brother to show up. Or maybe he was about to go to therapy as the other viewers suggest. The movie is great...more info
  • High-potential; fatal flaws need editing
    A problem with this film is that since Hollywood today is always presenting impossible events as real, most viewers of this film will probably be kids and will not understand what it appears the original writer was trying to do. If we take for granted that toy wagons do not actually fly, then it makes sense that our young hero met the same fate, or worse, as the original daredevil from years ago. Thus, the flyer symbolizes escape, and the story is a tragic one befitting its subject matter well. On the other hand, though, the film then presents two additional minutes of "evidence" claiming that the flight was not simply a childish rationalization, since postcards are supposedly being received for years afterward to confirm that an escape actually occurred. This is of course absurd and should not be believed, and yet Hollywood has dished up that kind of garbage so much that I actually think the original writer had one idea in mind, but that the producers/director tacked on a phony "feel-good" ending that contradicts the original intentions of the script. Inane feel-good fantasy endings have been dished out countless times before (including Donner's own "The Goonies") and so I need to see additional evidence in the film that the metaphor as presented really holds together. Fellow reviewers have commented that the abuse could have caused a dissociative disorder. This would be an ingenious wrap-up to the film if there were clear evidence for it in Tom Hanks' character. Instead, we have him making a trivial "pinky promise" on the whim of the kid even though he'd just spent two hours telling them not to make promises lightly. Frankly, I just think the filmmakers' and test audiences couldn't handle the power of the script, and felt it needed toning down. Fans of the film later can find clever ways after the fact to have the story fit together in a way that makes sense, just as people keep reading things into the Bible to try to fit it together, but we should see some evidence that such things are truly a part of the film, although I agree that they might have been intended by the original storywriter.
    If we keep the shot of the dog staring after the flyer, and then remove most of the material following it, retaining only Hanks' saying two things: (1) that history is in the mind of the teller, and (2) That's why a promise is so important, and then the credits roll, then the film remains really powerful and consistent, rather than self-negated. Otherwise, we need to see in the mother's face that the narrator has constructed a second personality to attribute the abuse to, or at the very least to see that Tom Hanks was affected in some way that hints at mental illness. As it stands, it isn't clearly demonstrated to me that the filmmakers intended or understood that interpretation of the script, assuming that the original writer of the film really did do such a brilliant job (screenwriter David Mickey Evans' other credits are not nearly so impressive). If the original script was really so ingenious as elements of this film suggest, and people assume that the director, Richard Donner, is literate enough to relay its sophistication properly, then we should also find Donner or Evans effectively doing other films that have similar potential. Instead, Donner's other projects are effective purely as action/thriller types of works with little or no literary significance (Lethal Weapon, Superman, The Omen).
    The film Radio Flyer at it is contains a number of juvenile aspects that clumsily subvert the effectiveness of what should be an adult-oriented script. The result is messy, but with better editing that makes the tragic elements clearer to viewers, or with a clearer presentation of script elements, a brilliant film can be salvaged from it. However, the performances by the youngsters and the mother are ASTONISHINGLY good and are mainly what sustains the whole film through its flaws....more info
  • Eye opening reviews
    I just discovered this movie 9 years late, but it doesn't matter, because I thought it was great. Reading the reviews here about how there's only one boy, it makes total sense. I thought at first that that couldn't be, because the mother, "the king", the cop, and other characters all talk to the younger boy, but then I rememered that at the beginning and at the end, Tom Hanks says that reality is in the mind of the story teller, and that's how he rememberd the story. With this new knowledge, I realized that the movie is brilliant, and a gem. Everyone should rediscover this movie, because it is underappreciated....more info
  • A Great Coming Of Age Tale
    This was the first major movie that Elijah Wood performed in and it's very obvious that he's going to move on to bigger things because his talent even then is amazing to see. The whole story is told from the viewpoint of the kids with Tom Hanks doing narration. It's at times sweet, sad, angry and hopeful. One of the top movies I've seen that can be watched by the entire family although some of scenes can be a bit emotional so it's probably not a good idea to watch it with children under 15. ...more info
  • Touching, emotional, and a little bit complicated.
    I don't usually like to rant about a particular actor, but I seem to have re-discovered Elijah Wood's childhood performances. I just saw Radio Flyer for the first time last night and I must say that I was more impressed with Elijah Wood and Joseph Marzello than with any of the adults. The two of them were absolutely amazing.

    The plot basically centers around the life of two brothers, the younger (Marzello), is abused by the boy's stepfather. Mickey, the older brother (Wood) tries his best to make sure his little brother is safe. The two build a flying machine on top of their Radio Flyer Wagon so Bobby can escape the beatings.

    No matter what you believe about the end of this film, you must admit that it extremely touching. The last scene with the two brothers is one of the best performances by child actors I have ever seen. I am personally under the impression that Bobby never really existed and that Mikey made him up as an outlet to deal with the abuse. With that in mind, the movie takes on a whole new dimension. Howver, it may be a little hard for some people to pick up on these themes, as they are not well presented. Whether you belive that or not, Radio Flyer is a blunt wake up call to a problem all to common in our society. Not to be missed....more info

  • 1.5 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    A relentlessly manipulative movie that leaves no stone unturned in its attempt to make the audience cry/cheer/whatever, Radio Flyer is not only shameless but ridiculous (we're supposed to be happy at an ending where little Bobby is all alone and isolated from his family) and blessed with awful special effects--please stay away. ...more info
  • Great Movie
    I just watched this movie for the first time, and enjoyed it immensely. After watching it, I read all the views at Amazon. I feel the younger brother was in fact created by Mikey as a way to deal with (and escape from) the physical abuse he endured, and the ending a metaphor. I did not think it meant suicide. I too found the actors' portrayals of the young brothers excellent, done in a way I would not have normally expected from some so young. As for the post cards the adult Mickey supposedly receives, maybe that is his way of keeping Bobby (his means of survival as a child) alive in/for him, a reaffirmation that he did in fact survive the abuse. If you haven't seen this movie, see it and come to your own conclusions....more info
  • An emotional and unexpected turn out ! !
    I was ten years old when I first saw this film. Truthfully, I never really understood it until I got older. Judging by the title, "Radio Flyer", I would have never thought of what was in the film to be in the film. Initially, I was not too keen about the issues contained in this film. Then as the years went by, I understood completely why the way things were.

    As many know, there are several issues in this film, that as a child are curious about. Believe me, I was one of them. This film has its many ups and downs. It explores elements brotherhood, happiness, normality, and abuse. Domesticity was an enormous problem shared in the hands of two innocent brothers, Elijah Wood and Joseph Mazzello, their biological mother, Lorraine Bracco, and their intoxicated and abusive stepfather, Adam Baldwin.

    I don't want to give other people a horrible impression of this movie due to how I started this out. As electrifying and courageous this film is, it proves that two brothers can help each other out and be there for each other. Also, I say this film is unexpected because of the conclusion. Courage is the key word to not just the ending, but to the film as a whole. It tells audiences to get out there and take a chance.

    Although there are many, memorable moments of laughter, sadness, and excitement, this film also asks us all a question, "CAN THIS BE DONE IN REAL LIFE?"

    This film has my absolute blessing to be passed onto another !...more info