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The Dust Factory

3.8 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Two teenagers find love in a magical world between Heaven and Earth.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Kelley, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Kim Myers, George De La Pena
  • Directors: Eric Small
  • Writers: Eric Small
  • Producers: Eric Small, Erika Lockridge, Jonathan Dana, Tani Cohen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007GP6ZG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,141 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Dust Factory" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Intelligent movies for young teenagers are hard to come by. They are either hopelessly saccharine Disney-fied movies that no kid could ever relate to or 90-minute product placements. Both types tend to leave little to the imagination. Every so often a film comes along that stands out by bucking contemporary trends and fads. The Dust Factory is such a film. It is a thoughtful meditation on loss. How do you deal with the death of a loved one?

"Making The Dust Factory" is a far too brief look at the movie with the cast and crew talking about it and their characters with clips.

There are two deleted scenes that include one in which Ryan and Melanie move a trunk and another that takes place at the ball. They are both brief and not important but could have easily been kept in.

Also included is a music video for the sappy ballad "Someone Like You," performed by Hayden Panettiere. There is footage of her recording the song with Watt White and clips from the movie.

Finally, there is a theatrical trailer.

The Dust Factory is a rare film that champions imagination without irony. The two young actors are excellent and devoid of annoying child actor tics like mugging for the camera. They deliver heartfelt, believable performances. The movie relies on good old fashioned storytelling which is something you don't see much in kids' films anymore. It eschews modern trappings, like TV, video games and the Internet in favour of collecting baseball cards and gazing at the stars. This gives the film a timeless nature that is refreshing in this day and age.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Dust Factory is one of those films with a long sequence where you can't tell if it's real or a dream - not until the end. Ryan Kelley (until now best known for guest appearances as Ryan on Smallville) is a troubled boy who's been mute since the trauma of witnessing his father's violent death in a train accident, several years ago. Now, after his grandmother's funeral Ryan skates across an old bridge to go fishing with a friend. But a rail collapses and Ryan falls in the river, knocked unconscious. This is when the "dream" sequence begins, where he meets a girl, Melanie (Hayden Panettiere) and speaks to his grandfather (who has had alzheimer's and hasn't talked for a while), informing the apparently revitalized old man of his wife's death. But no one else is around. Has Ryan died and gone to heaven? Purgatory? An alien experiment? Or is he dreaming in a near-death state? Can Ryan and Melanie stay together for ever in this place, or must they somehow move on to find paradise? While this dream sequence that comprises most of the movie suffers from heavy symbolism, it's entertaining and romantic, and the end is satisfying. I think this is one of the best films of it's kind in several years that's suitable for the whole family. If you like films that deal with life and death with elements of fantasy and romance, like Bridge to Terabithia, ...Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Contrary to popular belief, films do not have to be dumbed-down for children. Much of the pleasure they get comes from puzzling out complex plot developments and recognizing subtle details. And there is actually a small sub-genre of children's films (mostly independents) that challenge young viewers to use their imaginations and film viewing skills.

"The Dust Closet" joins "An Angel for May" and "Restless Spirits" as the best recent examples of this type of film. These films have a hidden depth to their story and storytelling technique that will interest even the most sophisticated viewer-provided that they retain at least some of their childhood capacity for wonder. The weak vote count probably reflects viewers unable or unwilling to deal with a film that requires some mental energy and a few functioning brain cells.

Ryan Flynn (Ryan Kelley) is a teenager who has refused to speak since being traumatized when he saw his father killed at a train crossing. Ryan's father died when Ryan was nine years old, but not before he passed on a passion for astronomy to his son. But now Ryan is having trouble connecting with astronomy, symbolized by his inability to find the man in the moon his father drew for him. Like an impressionist painting, the moonscape becomes meaningless when viewed close up through his new telescope.

Ryan's family takes care of his grandfather (Mueller-Stahl), but Ryan barely knows him because he has had Alzheimer's for a number of years. Ryan hangs out with his best friend Rocky (Michael Angarano), and they communicate fine nonverbally. Rocky does not question Ryan's silence-he just accepts it. Things dramatically change one day when Ryan falls off a bridge and into a lake while roller-blading.
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Comment 12 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Ah what a surprise I found in The Dust Factory. This is a good example of the level of quality a great writer and director can acheive together.

A boy with elective mutism who has a lot of mixed feelings about life and death, as well as a grandfather in advanced stages of Alzheimers, falls into a lake and seemingly drowns. He instead goes to a strange and almost surrealistically perfect world called The Dust Factory. There he meets a girl able to skate on water as well as his grandfather who in this world, is able to talk and move about without a worry to be found. At first, he decides this is a great place of perfection, and that he would love to stay forever. Later on, through many lessons learned, he rethinks that decision and decides that perhaps there is a life to go back to in the real world.

The direction and scope of this movie is enormous at times. It isn't preachy in it's messages, all of which are of great value, and it doesn't dilute it's merits by subverting to treating young people like they are lesser people than that of adults. The only gripe i have about the movie is that it seemed too short, As if there were more story to tell somewhere along the way and for whatever reason, the director chose not to include some scenes. Its a DVD sparse of features although there is a very brief look behind the scenes of the film. I would be interested in an edition that includes more scenes (If they exist) as this is one of the greatest young people's movies I have seen in quite some time. More like this, Please. 4.75 stars
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