*** Official MIRACLE Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Alex Spindler, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

    Jan 23, 2000
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    Caught a sneak of Miracle and thought I would share the experience.

    Sports movies have one of the most rigid structures in all of film. They start with a down on their luck team, a newly hired coach with a past, and a motley crew of kids who can't work together. He then ties them together by stressing them and pushing them to their limits while still forming them into a workable team. They meet their chosen enemies, usually relegated to being faceless machines built to win games, in the final ultimate game after having lost to them once before and win at the very last minute to the roar of the crowd.

    The difference here is that it's all based on a real event. And for that reason, it really does work.

    There is that uncommon feeling that you're watching an authentic and amazing event that elevates this above the typical sports flick. They do very well to establish the feelings at the time, with nice reminders about the crisis points the country was going through at the time. They also do a great job of creating the intimidating Soviet team by showing footage and discussion of their skill and success. All of these brought just the right ingredients towards emotionally investing the audience into The Big Game. And, based on both my reaction and that of my audience, worked very well. They also did a good job of avoiding wholesale jingoism, which is a danger with an Olympic story like this.

    The game footage was very well done, with just the right amount of commentary to let you know what's happening without making it felt overly narrated. Even a hockey novice could enjoy the game as it was shown, and the pace never lagged.

    The cast was uniformly good, and the full 20 man team was well represented and easily differentiated despite the period haircuts. Kurt does a good job of losing himself in the role and handles the rousing speeches and smaller character moments with some ease.

    Is the movie predictable? Sure, but I can't fault them too much because they have a bit of history to wrangle with. See it if you like a good sports movie, if you like a film with a good positive spirit, or if you want to see what seriously hard work and dedication can do. I certainly enjoyed it. I would give it [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (out of four).
  2. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

    Dec 31, 2003
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    My wife and I saw this last night at a preview. I was skeptical going in, but was quite surprised at how well this was done. You're right about this appealing to a hockey novice (I'm one of those). There is some mild foul language throughout the movie, but for the most part I would feel comfortable recommending this for an entire family to see.

    I liked the closing credits where they listed the actor, character, and a "what are they doing now" snippet for each of the players. I know Herb Brooks (to whom the movie was dedicated) passed away late last year, but I wish they'd done an update for the assistant coaches as well.

    Was Al Micheal's commentary that was superimposed over the game lifted from the actual broadcast? I know there was an actual vintage Micheals video clip used, but I wasn't sure about the audio. Regardless if it was old or new, it was very well done.

    Finally, I have a sneaky suspicion the Soviet hockey coach was really Sam Donaldson. Check out those eyebrows! [​IMG]

    A solid 3 star movie for me as well.

  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Miracle". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  4. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Nov 21, 2001
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    I won a 4 pass of tickets on ESPN Radio 1410 here in CT for tonight's debut sneak preview of "Miracle". Let me give you the good and the bad.

    The good...
    The casting of most of the characters was great. Eruzione looks like Eruzione, as do most of the other stars in the movie. The action is shot in a very low to the ground, first person sort of view. This is both a good and a bad. It's good because for most of the movie you feel like you are skating right along with the players. It's bad at times because the action gets so hectic you sometimes lose track of what's going on as everything seems in such close quarters.

    Also, I read that they casted the players on the team with former Canadian Junior players and US collegiate players. It shows. Every guy can skate and skate WELL. There are a couple scenes shot where the players make moves that only accomplished players could make so it's very realistic. Also, Kurt Russell (and I am a big fan) does a great job as Herb Brooks. Don't know much about the man, but the way he plays this role you can really feel the conviction and the determination.

    Lastly, the sound is top notch. This is the only time I can recall watching hockey on a screen where it really conveys the sounds of the game. The hitting, the tape to tape passing and the skating all sound as if you were watching the games in the stands, not on a screen.

    The Bad...
    For the most part the authenticity is pretty good. You see a lot of old school Titan and Northland all wood sticks, the goalie pads are smaller and definately throwbacks and the Al Michaels/Ken Dryden commentary is pulled straight from Lake Placid 24 years ago. It's a trip watching Dryden and Michaels look as old as I do now! (32). However, and this is super odd, but every player in the movie is skating on Bauer Supreme Comp 5000's with TUUK chassis. I mean, this skate wasn't even brought to market until 1997. It's just surreal to see the all black TUUK chassis when you know that's not how skates were back then. There is a very close up shot of the skate in one part of the movie and it just looks out of place. I know the skate...I skate on the same exact model. Another thing is that all the Europeans skate on Bauers, which I know is not right as most of them grow up skating on Graf skates, especially the Swedes. Another MINOR pet peeve is that the Lake Placid ice had a very blue tint to it, kinda like you were watching the game through tinted glasses, yet the ice in this movie is totally white, again a very minor point barely worth mentioning. I was also disappointed in the guy who played Craig Patrick (assistant coach). Although he did a fine job, he looks nothing like Craig Patrick in my opinion.

    As for the action, it's very much like I remember it, there is a lot of tension and people clapped throughout the triumphant scenes. I think this is going to be a sleeper that makes a LOT of money and word of mouth may carry this picture pretty far.

    If you are a hockey fan, it's a must see...even if you are not an American.

    My .02

    I love Sports movies, I play hockey 3x a week and I remember this game vividly even though I was only 9 years old. I have to give this movie

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] and a half out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    This film portrays the impact of an improbable sports event outcome on the world stage to elevate a nation's spirits when it needed it the most.

    Sure, it's "Rocky on skates" but the journey of taking a bunch of hockey players and turning them into the team that gives the Soviet hockey team a run for its money is done well, with nary a mis-step in terms of a non-meandering narrative, so the flow is good, and the 3rd act propels the viewer back to that magical time where such a sporting event could lift up a nation's hopes and dreams and provided plenty of inspiration to work harder and smarter to face adversity head-on and commit to a team concept fully and wholely.

    And if you're not cheering and applauding by the end of the film, you're sitting on your hands!

    In some respects, I would have liked a longer version of the film, just so I would get more background of all of these courageous and spirited US hockey players because I think it would have been time well spent.

    I give is 3 stars or a grade of B.
  6. Rhett_Y

    Rhett_Y Screenwriter

    May 23, 2001
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    I just got back from seeing it. I freaking loved it! All I can say is this. You know who wins, you know who we defeat. But good lord I was still on the edge of my seat..... The audience I saw it with clapped at the end........ Very good movie.......

  7. Rob P S

    Rob P S Screenwriter

    Mar 22, 2002
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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    An amazing film that will take its place among the great sports movies.
  8. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

    Jan 29, 1999
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    I leaned over to my wife and said "Brehznev" after a particularly good shot of those brows. [​IMG]

    This is a sports movie well worth seeing - they manage to create tension throughout the movie, even though we know the outcome. I liked the story angle of Brooks' coaching techniques keeping everyone guessing - he was a master manipulator in the best sense of the word.

    I too really liked the "where are they now" closing credits.

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