Since Valentine’s Day is coming up on the 14th of February I decided to take a poll of my fellow employees, close friends, students, film professors, and movie buffs about romantic films. Later this month I will be dropping by Bob Sheppard’s Cinema 100 class at Palomar College where his film series this semester is “Isn’t It Romantic?” You can view the schedule and his response as well as other’s in the Memories section of this website.
My review of films will soon be posted on the Internet Movie Database, Rotten Tomatoes, and the Movie Review Query Engine, type in your favorite film and reviews will pop up. Check it out! I guess this means I have to stop sprinkling my reviews with such words and phrases as “bukkake”, “teenage drag queens”, “bang her like a dinner bell”, and other dirty words and sayings. Just imagine – my reviews alongside those of award winning critics; the only difference is that I pay to see my films in a public movie theatre, no fancy screeners here. Not to mention the fact that these guys have degrees in film criticism and all I am is just your average moviegoer who happens to be retiring from filmmaking.
I’m glad that this Friday came around. Only three major films were released last Friday and all of them bad and awful (The Perfect Score, The Big Bounce, and You Got Served). I was hoping for a better batch but knew there will be some films in the mix that would fly under radar with all the Oscar-nominated films in the movie theatres.
The film that I am seeing this Friday is a new release called Miracle from Walt Disney pictures. The film is about the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team and their famous victory over the Russians. The team is coached by Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) who shapes a hapless group of players into a mean green fighting machine that goes up against the almost unbeatable Soviet Union team.
At first glance from the trailers and the story this film seemed to be very predictable and formulaic. But hey that’s Disney, right? Wrong. There are some parts that do fall into the “feel good” Americana films that Disney is use to releasing. The beginning of the film sets the mood for the era that the film is set in: hostages in Iran, gas shortage, and the general malaise the country was in back in the 1970’s and that the U.S. Olympic hockey team was the country’s last hope. Some have called this segment Disney propaganda to stir patriotism in the moviegoers; this film could have easily gone in that direction and deliver a saccharine coated message of believing in yourself and your country but it doesn’t go there. I was completely surprised by the film. It doesn’t portray the Soviet team as the evil Commies that must be destroyed but simply they are viewed as the opposing team. The film sends a positive message and if you’re a fan of hockey you won’t be disappointed by the coaching and hockey segments in this film.