Miracle

Miracle

4.6 26
Director: Gavin O'Connor

Cast: Gavin O'Connor, Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Noah Emmerich

     
 

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Miracle tells the story o the gold medal-winning 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, who were led by the flinty coach Herb Brooks -- portrayed in a good performance by Kurt Russell in the film. The movie is presented in a standard full-frame transfer that fails to preserve the original theatrical aspect ratio of the film. The English soundtrack is rendered in DolbySee more details below

Overview

Miracle tells the story o the gold medal-winning 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, who were led by the flinty coach Herb Brooks -- portrayed in a good performance by Kurt Russell in the film. The movie is presented in a standard full-frame transfer that fails to preserve the original theatrical aspect ratio of the film. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. This two-disc set is loaded with supplemental materials including a commentary track recorded by director Gavin O'Connor, editor John Gilroy, and cinematographer Daniel Stoloff. They discuss many aspects of the production including the director's decision to cast the team with people who could actually play hockey. A making of featurette, a look at how Kurt Russell met and absorbed the nuances of Herb Brooks (who passed away shortly before the film opened in theaters), a featurette on the sound design of the film, and outtakes round out this release. While fine for what it is, the film is available on a different disc that offers the same extras with a widescreen transfer of the film that is preferable to this edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
An inspiring story drawn from real-life events surrounding the 1980 Winter Olympics, Miracle provides Kurt Russell with the best starring role he's had in years. The erstwhile child star, best known as Escape from New York's Snake Plissken (or perhaps as Mr. Goldie Hawn), portrays Herb Brooks, the veteran hockey player turned coach charged with assembling the U.S. team for the 1980 Games. The United States had not been competitive in Olympic hockey for two decades, a period during which teams from the USSR dominated international play. The task had a special resonance for Brooks, because he had been the last player cut from the American team that won the 1960 Olympic gold. A handsome Hollywood star whose boyish looks once made him a teen idol, Russell is totally convincing as the grizzled, hard-boiled coach. He has the character nailed with regard to superficial things -- Brooks's hopelessly square buzz-cut and plaid jackets, his Minnesota accent, his no-nonsense manner -- but he also seems to have internalized the coach's feelings. The real Brooks, who died in a car crash shortly after the film's completion, consulted extensively with Russell. Sports movies these days tend to focus on the young team members, who only seem to pull together after experiencing some kind of trauma. Everything builds to the Big Game. But Miracle is different because it focuses on Brooks, who inspires awe and commands respect precisely by remaining aloof from his players. He isn't an avuncular figure; he drives the would-be Olympians hard and takes no advice from well-meaning but essentially useless hangers-on. It's not that the film doesn't have well-drawn supporting characters: Noah Emmerich is fine as Herb's assistant coach, and Eddie Cahill stands out as Jim Craig, the team’s spirited goalie. But this is Russell's show, and director Gavin O'Connor knows it. Despite the movie-ready true story, Miracle avoids many of the clichés you typically see in sports movies, and even during the well-staged hockey sequences it remains fixed on its principal character. Thankfully, that character is extremely well drawn in the script and portrayed with gusto by a much-underrated actor.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Director Gavin O' Connor made a brilliant decision to cast hockey players rather than actors to portray the members of the 1980 USA Olympic team in Miracle. Although the film will not teach the viewer a thing about hockey itself, the action all looks like the real thing. That verisimilitude complements Kurt Russell's fine performance as coach Herb Brooks. Russell does a superb job of playing a man who is consciously manipulating his players in order to get the best out of them. His performance lets the audience know how difficult it is for him to occasionally confront the more painful aspects of his job, but also shows how that inner struggle is never revealed to his players. Brooks did not want a collection of stars when he put his team together, he wanted a unit that would work well together. This is exactly how the unknown (and often first-time) actors who represent the team come across. Nobody is asked to do anything too difficult from an acting standpoint, allowing Russell to control every scene with his dominating personality. The film has faults -- Patricia Clarkson is fine but underdeveloped as Brooks' wife, and the final voice-over is overly earnest in a way the film had almost entirely avoided up to that point. However, Miracle does offer downright inspired game footage. The camera weaves in and out of the action in ways that will surprise an audience only familiar with televised hockey. The period aspects of the story are handled with taste and restraint -- an achievement considering how easily the film could have pandered to a viewer's patriotism. Miracle succeeds at being Hoosiers on ice, an honorable achievement for any sports film.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
Although playing a hockey coach might seem like a slap shot for an actor, Russell does real acting here. He has thought about Brooks and internalized him.
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan
Powered by an excellent Kurt Russell performance, Miracle treats old-fashioned, emotional material with an intelligence that respects both the story and the audience.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/18/2004
UPC:
0786936231922
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
PG
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[THX-Supervised Mastering, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:16:00
Sales rank:
4,985

Special Features

Disc One: Audio commentary by director Gavin O'Connor, editor John Gilroy and director of photography Daniel Stoloff; The Making of Miracle; English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French language tracks.
Disc Two: First Impressions: Herb Brooks with Kurt Russell and the Filmmakers; From Hockey To Hollywood: The Actors' Journey Featurette-Turning Hockey Players into Actors; The Sound of Miracle Behind the Scenes Featurette; Miracle ESPN Roundtable with Linda Cohn-Winning Team Members Mike Eruzione, Buzz Schneider and Jim Craig Join Kurt Russell in a Journey Back to The Miracle on Ice; Outtakes; THX Certified, Including THX Optimizer.

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kurt Russell Herb Brooks
Patricia Clarkson Patty Brooks
Noah Emmerich Craig Patrick
Sean McCann Walter Bush
Kenneth Welsh Doc Nagobads
Eddie Cahill Jim Craig
Patrick O'Brien Demsey Mike Eruzione
Michael Mantenuto Jack O'Calahan
Nathan West Rob McClanahan
Kenneth Mitchell Ralph Cox
Eric Peter-Kaiser Mark Johnson
Bobby Hanson Dave Silk
Joe Cure Mike Ramsey
Bill Schneider Buzz Schneider
Michael Coristine Young Herb
Pete Duffy Robert Suter
Stephen Kovalcik Dave Christian
Nate Miller John Harrington
Samuel Skoryna Steve Janaszyk

Technical Credits
Gavin O'Connor Director
Tom Bronson Costumes/Costume Designer
Mark Ciardi Producer
Ross Dempster Art Director
John Gilroy Editor
Gordon Gray Producer
Ross Greenburg Executive Producer
Justis Greene Executive Producer
Eric Guggenheim Screenwriter
Sarah Halley-Finn Casting
Randi Hiller Casting
Mark Isham Score Composer
Michael McGee Sound/Sound Designer
Jonathan Mone Associate Producer
Greg O'Connor Co-producer
Mike Rich Screenwriter
Brian Ross Musical Direction/Supervision
Daniel J. Stoloff Cinematographer
Mary Lou Storey Set Decoration/Design
Pete Whyte Asst. Director
John Willett Production Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc 1
1. Opening Credits [3:18]
2. A Lofty Goal [5:26]
3. Making the Cut [9:04]
4. Old Rivalries [5:57]
5. Motivations [9:00]
6. Training [5:59]
7. "Again!" [8:08]
8. "Legs Feed the Wolf" [6:30]
9. Whatever It Takes [5:45]
10. "We're a Family" [8:27]
11. Final Roster [3:24]
12. The Soviet Machine [6:57]
13. Olympics Begin [6:24]
14. "I Am a Hockey Player" [5:26]
15. Team Effort [6:19]
16. "This Is Your Time" [1:43]
17. Score Tied [6:23]
18. "Usa!" [6:31]
19. Victory [7:34]
20. End Credits [6:20]

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