August 28, 2015-Amy Bunten
Well I can tell you that this movie was not warmly received by most critics and didn't do so well at the box office. With a reported budget of 20 million and box office sales at 6.5 million it doesn't look too good for the film that was released April 24th in theaters. I myself didn't see it at the theater but did catch it on Pay Per View recently and I would say I don't always listen to critic’s reviews. I thought it looked like a different and interesting film so I thought why not give it a try. I can tell you I didn't find myself bored or forcing myself to watch it to the end, which is a good sign for the movie. The story starts with Pepper (Jakob Salvati) narrating over a scene from his hometown of Ohare California. He starts our story off with the day he was born and placed into his fathers arms James Busbee (Michael Rapaport). His father immediately noticing how small he is and asking will he get any bigger. I wanted to tear up in the first 5 minutes of the movie because James does what a great father does and encourages his son Pepper and becomes his closest and only friend. They spend days reading the comic books of Ben Eagle and going to the movies. It's a special relationship and it helps Pepper to know someone is on his side because all the other kids his age take every chance they get to tease and torment him. Everything is going along smoothly until Peppers older brother London (David Henrie) is rejected from the army due to flat feet. This puts the family in a bad position and now James the father will have to go in his place. This is devastating to Pepper but he doesn't lose faith that he will return. Odd events unfold after Pepper goes to a live performance of Ben Eagle and is called on stage and appears to move a bottle with his mind. Pepper then believes he has magic powers and can bring his dad back by completing a list Father Oliver (Tom Wilkinson) has given him. One task he doesn't want to complete and that is befriend Mr. Hashimoto (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) but he finds a true friend when he does. This movie reflects a lot of the negative racial profiling that was occurring here in America around the time of the war with Japan. The Japanese were segregated for a time and then released only to be threatened and ostracized by the local people. This movie is a story of never giving up on what you believe and overcoming obstacles that may hold you back in life. It was such an interesting film that when Kevin James who plays Dr.Fox read the script he said he would do it for free. I always admire an actor who would believe in a project enough to do that. This movie isn't a top contender or anything spectacular but I admire the film and what it tried to accomplish. If you are looking for a cute inspiring movie I would recommend renting this.