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A movie directed by Gavin O'Connor

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  • May 10, 2010
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This review was written after my mother passed, the first one after.


There are two things that lead me to write this review, the most important being that this film was one of my mom's favorites. She passed away recently after 13 years of battling various types of cancer [no lie, multiple]. The second being that the winter Olympics just passed with the US doing very well in hockey, in this true story they went all the way and won the gold. When getting ready to write this I thought about various things, things I should say, should it be about the film and just that, or should I discuss my mama as well. The truth is I am not sure even still while typing this but it may serve as some kind of therapy, who knows. What I do know is that even if she was still around this is a very good film that shows what America is all about. In hockey, war, friendship, love, and life this is still the greatest country ever. From the actual hockey all the way to the acting the film is suburb in every way, and I mean that.

I am sure after all the years this film as been out you know the story, the story of the underdog. The story of the people who are not even looked at as worthy to be in there let alone win the thing. Yeah that is the story of the American Olympic Hockey Team from the 1980 Winter Games. The team was coached by Herb Brooks who was the coach at the University of Minnesota at the time, turns out this guy was a genius. He was counted out even before he got the job and once he did no one supported his decisions except maybe one or two people. Even still no one believed he could lead the US to victory especially over heavy favorites the Soviet team. Still as it would turn out he was the right man for the job, and his methods were excellent.

From the get go he wanted his team to be able to practice and come together longer than planned, so instead of a week long try out he had one day. Picked 26 guys who were all talented but maybe not the best over all in some cases, he wanted the best potential team players. Then he wilted it down to just 20 and off he went making his team of no name college guys [remember pros were not playing at the time in the Games] making them hate him so they wouldn't hate each other, which made them a team. Eventually that hate turned to respect for Brooks which made them into a family. It was that frame of mind that Herb wanted all along because it was no longer a team of individuals but one unit. It was that unit that would go on to give this country something it needed most off all in that time. What was that one thing, well for some it was hope, for others a good time, for others an escape, but one thing is for sure it was more than a hockey game.

Kurt Russell does a fantastic job of playing Herb Brooks and gets the man point blank, from his mannerisms to his voice and everything else. From what I can tell from the excellent special features he spent a lot of time with Herb and basically became him on the set. Same thing for all of the players on the team, they actually became the people they were portraying. Honestly Kurt could have won some awards for this because it truly is a great film and he did a great job. The surprising thing about this film is how good the kids are that played the players. Finding people that can act and play hockey is an amazing task, I mean my brother fits that to a t but finding a whole team is amazing. Also Patricia Clarkson does a great job as Herb's wife for the time that she is on screen, as does every one in the film.

Gavin O'Connor did a great job directing this film and making as true as possible and bringing this story back to life. You could tell when watching the behind the scenes he really did enjoy making this film. Writer Eric Guggenheim as well did an excellent job turning this true life sensation into a screenplay; I wish he would do more films. Also DP Dan Stoloff did a marvelous job, I love the way they filmed the hockey. This movie truly is a great film and not only should be watched but should be owned. I recommend buying this film as soon as possible because during these times it is could to see something like this. There are some excellent special features from behind the scenes, to the true story, to an excellent audio commentary.

This is not the grand review that I wanted to write but I just can't seem to get the words to come out. As I type and type after watching this movie I can't help but think about my mother, I was hoping to not only honor this film but to honor her as well. To be honest I am not even sure if I should post this or not, I guess I did if you are reading this. This movie is not only a true story but it showcases the best this country has to offer, its people. I get goose bumps when the legendary line "do you believe in miracles" is said, it is also the actual audio from that game. So here's to the greatest person I have ever had the pleasure and honor of knowing. The strongest person to have ever impacted my life, who was actually a hockey mom, we all miss and love you.

So here's to my miracle, my mother.

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November 18, 2010
Sorry to hear about your mom. My good friend is now battling with Cancer too. I hope she will survived it but after having tried all the treatments, including radio-therapy, we are not sure... *sigh*
November 18, 2010
Hey don't give up, my mom battled cancer for 13 years and defeated ones that she should not have. Her first one was a brain tumor in which the doctors said no one has ever lived, she beat it and lived 13 more years after. Every time she was hit with another type of unrelated cancer to any before she beat it. This last time was just her time, hard for me to say that. But any way your friend can do it, I am a first hand witness that it can be done. I hope your friend makes it as well.
November 18, 2010
No, we are not giving up, just a little saddened that she has to go through so much pain! Thanks for your encouragements!
November 18, 2010
Oh I hear you on that, it was terrible to see her go through all of that. Also I apologize if I made it seem like I thought you were giving up, didn't mean that at all.
May 28, 2010
I know what you mean, man. Sometimes you just can't get out on paper what you were aiming for, but you gave it a great try. I haven't seen this film but I think the "Miracles" you're talking about is by Marty Balin and Jefferson Airplane/Starship which would make it one of my favorite songs and a very appropriate one for the movie and your mother.
May 10, 2010
My friend, I actually thought about you today--Mother's Day. I really liked this review (actually I made a list that somewhat reflected my deceased mom also) Great tribute review to your mom, Alex! Bravo!
May 10, 2010
Thank you so much man, this was the first one with out her so it was, well you know. I also read your list a couple of days ago but had to leave right after, I will be dropping a comment and such for you as well good sir. Thanks again my friend.
More Miracle reviews
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
Go USA! =)
review by . January 04, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I am not a sports fan. Period. I'll watch the occasional few minutes of Michael Jordan in a tense playoff or a fantastically close Super Bowl on occasion, but beyond that, I have no interest.     I do find few movies about the fanatics who drives themselves to excel interesting or the fanatics who drive people to excel, to go far beyond what they themselves thought possible.     That's what "Miracle" is all about, a coach named Herb Brooks who drove a group …
review by . March 03, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
1979-1980 was a critical time in U.S. history. In fact, the post-9/11 world in which we now live in many ways resembles the beginning of that fateful decade. The Middle East was in turmoil and terrorists had hijacked a plane with a bunch of American citizens and was holding them hostage. People were afraid of traveling overseas because of the threat and gas shortages and prices caused people to begin carpooling, walking, and biking to work. The Cold War had been going on for almost 35 years without …
review by . September 04, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Miracle is the true story of the "Miracle on Ice" when the1980 US Olympic hockey team won the gold medal by defeating the Soviet Union and Finland. This movie centers around the coach, Herb Brooks, and how he steered his team to the gold medal. It certainly brings back all the nostalgia of that hockey team and is a fun movie to watch.     The extra features, especially the ESPN round table with Kurt Russell who played Herb Brooks, and three of the real players, including goalie …
review by . June 14, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Absolutely not! "Miracle" takes a simple hockey game(a sport deemed regional to this day), and shows viewers how it not only captivated a nation, but also how a game can come to represent change.This is a highly motivational film, full of subplots involving many of the characters and political undertones. When you boil down to it, though, this is a movie about Americans being Americans. Unlike most films, this one shows the Soviets as the arrogant, unstoppable force. Soviet hockey was exactly that …
review by . February 06, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Russell and nostalgia.     Cons: No substance given to supporting roles.     The Bottom Line: A rousing and enjoyable film that although light, delivers the goods.     In 1980, America was in a state of transition and turmoil as political events threatened world stability. The Reagan era was just starting but the nation was still trying to deal with economic issues as well as the Iran hostage crisis, and long gas lines.   …
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About this movie


The miracle aboutMiracleis that it gets so many details right in telling its 24-year-old story about the historic victory of the U.S. hockey team at the 1980 Olympic Games. It's typical for Hollywood to compromise such period details as hairstyles and fashion when catering to a contemporary audience, butMiraclelooks and feels right in every detail, capturing the downbeat mood of post-Watergate America while showing how obsessively determined Minnesota hockey coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) managed to assemble a once-in-a-lifetime team and whip them into a victorious frenzy over their Soviet champion opponents. With sharp support from Patricia Clarkson (as Brooks's wife) and Noah Emmerich (as his long-suffering assistant), Russell grounds the film with a well-balanced combination of aloofness, intimidation, and closely guarded strategy. No doubt the real Brooks (who died in a car accident shortly after filming completed) would have approved. Thanks to director Gavin O'Connor (Tumbleweeds) and the producers of the similarly laudable sports filmsRemember the TitansandThe Rookie,Miraclebrings plenty of heart--and historical accuracy--to an old, familiar formula.--Jeff Shannon
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Director: Gavin O'Connor
Genre: Drama, Family, History, Sport
Release Date: 6 February 2004 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Eric Guggenheim
Runtime: 135 min
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