Kevin Costner Weekend – McFarland (2015)

Director: Niki Caro

Writer: Christopher Cleverland, Bettina Gilois, Grant Thompson (Screenplay) Christopher Cleverland, Bettina Gilois (Story)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Ramiro Rodriguez, Carlos Pratts, Johnny Ortiz, Rafael Martinez, Hector Duran, Sergio Avelar


Plot: Jim White moves his family after losing his last job as a football coach. He sees that some of the students are worth starting a cross-country team and turns seven students with no hope into one of the best cross-country teams.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Sports Drama


Story: McFarland starts as high school football coach Jim White (Costner) goes too far trying to motivate his team, which leads him to lose his job, needing find a new job, Jim relocates with his family wife Cheryl (Bello) and kids to McFarland a small town populated with mostly Mexican families.

Moving to this town opens Jim’s eyes to a potential cross-country team to help the children with little hope of a big future to aim for something, he takes Thomas Valles (Pratts) the fastest, Danny Diaz (Rodriguez) the slowest, Jose (Ortiz), David (Martinez), Johnny (Duran) and Victor (Avelar) and attempts to make them a champion cross-country team.


Thoughts on McFarland


Characters – Coach Jim White is a fallen man having lost his temper with an over privileged team not performing, needing to redeem himself he moves his family to the only place that would give him a chance McFarland a mostly Mexican neighbourhood. Here we see Jim believe he can turn 7 kids into a champion cross-country team using his ability to learn the new culture and give the kids hope they never thought they would get. Thomas is the star of the team, he has natural speed, but he has not been given too much hope with his future after school, he now gets a chance that could bring him a college dream he could never even consider. Danny is the slowest member of the team but he never gives up showing improvement on every single run.

PerformanceKevin Costner shows us here that he does still have it and most of all can handle being the mentor figure for the young actors. The young actors playing the runners all give great performances show us just how anyone could be given a chance to be the next big thing. Maria Bello is potentially the weakest of the main performers but we don’t get too much for her to do.

StoryThe story of one coach needing to get redemption for his actions is one idea we have seen before. It works here and mixing it with entering into a neighbourhood that has been given no hope of a future until they are shown a new way out of the town. This is based on a true story which shows how real people’s actions were important for this community. This shows how people working together can achieve any dreams.

Biopic/SportsThe real people are show in this movie should be used as inspiration for anyone who has dreams and it helps show people can make them happen. The running is chopped together to be fine but isn’t the most engaging part of the film.

SettingsThe small-town setting shows how difficult life would be for this families living here, it also shows just how together the neighbourhood is when supporting any success that could come their way.

Scene of the Movie – Bridge talk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Due to not knowing Spanish I didn’t understand slight words other people would.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fantastic look at how one man changed the hopes for a small town, it shows how every kid should be given a chance to prove themselves for a future and gives us a true story that could inspire.


Overall: Enjoyable, Inspirational story.




ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – R – Replicas (2018) Movie Review

Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff

Writer: Chad St John (Screenplay) Stephen Hamel (Story)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Thomas Middleditch, John Ortiz, Emjay Anthony, Emily Alyn Lind

Plot: A scientist becomes obsessed with bringing back his family members who died in a traffic accident.

Tagline – Some Humans Are Unstoppable

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Sci-Fi Questions

Story: Replicas starts as we see genius scientist William Foster (Reeves) who has seen his work of bringing people back from the dead in synthetic robots, struggling to achieve the required results, seeing him face the potential of losing his funding. Trying to spend some time with his family Mona (Eve), kids Matt (Anthony), Sophie (Lind) and Zoe (Leabu), they get caught in storm, which sees them have an accident, with William’s whole family killed.

William doesn’t want to accept this, he turns to his partner Ed Whittle (Middleditch) to help him clone and bring his family back to life. As William works on returning his family, he is left to make difficult decisions, while covering his tracks.

Thoughts on Replicas

Characters – William has been working on transferring minds into synthetics, he nearly has this ready to work, but things are always going wrong just when he sees things working out. He is already working on a tight rope and after his family dies in a car crash, he wants to break all the laws of his science by bringing them back to life, meaning he will work day and night to fix the problems, not even considering the side effects of his work. Mona is the wife to William, she dies in the accident and is cloned and has her memories placed into the new body. Ed Whittle is the partner that has been working with William for years, he agrees to help with the revival and will change him on the moral grounds of what he is doing. Jones is the man that William works for, he is pushing him to get everything he wants even if he might have his own reasons for the technology William is working on.

PerformancesKeanu Reeves in the leading role doesn’t do much wrong, but does struggle to show all the emotional trauma his character must go through. Alice Eve doesn’t get a chance to do anything of any difficultly, while both Thomas Middleditch and John Ortiz are both fine with what they do.

StoryThe story here follows a scientist that sees his family die in an accident, only for him to use his own project to bring them back to life even if the technology might not be ready to use. This is one of those stories that does look to dig into the ideas of whether if you could, would you bring family members back to life as clones, we get plenty of the discussions about the ethics behind it and what could go wrong if you got found out, while we do dig into the concept of trying to pick and choose what would be remembered by the loved ones. This side of the story is the most interesting because the final act of the story just seems to be thrown in here to try and make us have an action packed ending to the film.

Sci-FiThe film uses future technology that could be used to bring clones of loved one back to life, showing us just how science is always moving forward and how they could be looked at more in the future, keeping everything feeling like the realms of possibility.

SettingsThe film is set in Puerto Rico which I am guessing is used to try and show us how the laws of science at looser in this country.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are interesting with the synthetics looking unique, but never looking like they are operating correctly.

Scene of the Movie – The choices William must make.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The action tagged on story.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting sci-fi movie that does offer big questions about technology in the future and shows how desperate somebody would be to try and fix something out of their control.

Overall: Sci-Fi 101