Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
The cover for Miracle prominently features the United States flag, one of our hockey players with his arms outstretched, and a few of the other players beneath. It is of course a snapshot from the end of the triumphant US v. Russia game that the United States won in 1980. For those of us that are old enough to remember the game, or those of us that are American, this cover is a visual reminder of that historic event. It is enough just to see the hockey player to remember the historic event that occurred on the ice on that day. I was 10 years old, and I still remember how big of an event that the game was, and I was not a huge hockey fan.
The cover is adequate, and really captures the movie. The menu is a nice setup where scenes from the movie play in the background. I actually liked the flag motif that was present on the loading screen also. It was a nice change from the boring Blu-ray logo, or a random rolling disc image.
- The Making Of Miracle – This is your standard making of piece. At about 17 minutes, is includes some behind the scenes, some bits on the casting and such things, but it is pretty bland in my opinion. It is not horrible, but it seems a bit superficial.
- From Hockey To Hollywood: The Actors’ Journeys – This extra talks about the actors themselves, and how they featured in the movie.
- The Sound Of Miracle – This is in my opinion the best extra on the Blu-ray. This 11 minute long piece demonstrates how the sounds were captured for the movie. It showcases the methods used for getting the sound of the scenes, and even shows the various levels of a scene as it progresses. A very interesting feature.
- MiracleESPN Roundtable With Linda Cohn – In this 40 minutes extra, some of the actual hockey players who played on the 1980 US Hockey Team reminisce about the game and the team, and shows an insight into how the movie stayed as close to the real story as possible.
- First Impressions: Herb Brooks With Kurt Russell And The Filmmakers – This is a bit with the real coach of the 1980 US team, Herb Brooks. Brooks talks about the movie and his experience, and the miraculous event that shaped his place in history. I liked this extra quite a bit.
- Audio Commentary By Director Gavin O’Connor, Director Of Photography Dan Stoloff And Editor John Gilroy – The commentary that is included is nice in the fact that these guys seemed to have fun with it. We get our normal how they did that type of talk, with bits about the movie was created, but they really seem to have fun with the commentary itself, which is a nice change of pace for these types of things.
- Outtakes – The included outtakes run about five minutes long, and some of them are really pretty funny.
The Movie: 7/10
Ah 1980. I was 10 years old at the time, and I was just old enough to understand the cold war and the fact that we as Americans were not fond of Russia. I was not a huge hockey fan, but I loved sports, and even I knew that the United States hockey team was considered a long shot to beat the Russians when we played them in the Olympics. I remember being in front of the television with my parents, but and I remember the outcome of that historic win (as well as the fact that it was not the gold medal game, which occurred later against Finland.) The fact is, it was a win that was deemed the “Miracle on Ice,” due to then announcer Al Michaels asking with seconds left in the game “do you believe in miracles?” I remember the game and the joy that we all took in the massive underdog win.
Miracle is a movie based on that story. Starring Kurt Russell (it is weird seeing Snake Plisskin as the US hockey coach) as Herb Brooks, the movie focuses on the build up to that historical game. Brooks was the ingenious national team coach who literally crafted a team of no-named hockey players into a cohesive unit that was able to eventually win the gold medal at the Lake Placid Winter Games.
The movie’s main focus is Brooks and his struggle with juggling the national team and his family at the same time. It does a good job of showing how Brooks believed in this team, and how his ideas were not generally accepted at the time. Brooks basically breaks the team down through grueling workouts to instill a team mentality that ends up permeating the locker room. Kurt Russell does a good job of portraying the quiet, intense Brooks, and does a good job of making him a likable guy who is intent on transforming this group of individuals into a real team.
Miracle does a good job of expressing the feel and the time that was 1980. The country was hurting for something to believe in, after the oil embargo and gas shortage of 1979, and the idea that this underdog team could go as far as they did just lifted the spirits of this country. The wardrobe and hair is appallingly accurate for the 1980’s (did we wear stuff like that?) Overall Miracle is a nice representation of that miracle moment when the US showed the world that anything is possible. Miracleis not only a good sports movie, but it is a good movie about what can happen if you believe, which is what Brooks instilled in the 1980 hockey team. They became a team, and they believed in that team, regardless of what the outcome was supposed to be, they believed they could win, and they did.
Audio & Video: 7/10
Miracle is a nice transfer from Disney. The video itself is nice and crisp, and the colors are very well done. Presented in 2.40:1 1080p wide screen, the details are very sharp and it really adds depth to the movie itself.
The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio in 5.1 Surround Sound, and it is amazing. During the game sequences, the audio makes you feel as if you are actually in the game, with the blades cutting through the ice. the surround sound is nicely used, and the overall dialogue is nicely mixed. Just a solid audio presentation.
Miracle is a great movie about a great time in American sports history. This is a guy film for the most part, but there is enough here for all to enjoy. The movie seems to do a good job of sticking to the facts. It obviously helps if you are into sports or remember the game itself, but I don’t think that it is necessary to enjoy this movie. I enjoyed seeing the movie again, and I think it is definitely worth a view, especially with the way Disney has set up this Blu-ray.
Overall Score 7/10