Big Miracle (2012) Movie Review

Director: Ken Kwapis

Writer: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler (Screenplay) Tom Rose (Book)

Starring: John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Ted Danson, Tim Blake Nelson, Stephen Root. Andrew Daly, Ahmaogak Sweeney, Kristen Bell, Vinessa Shaw

Plot: In small-town Alaska, a news reporter recruits his ex-girlfriend – a Greenpeace volunteer – on a campaign to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Big Miracle starts when local reporter Adam Carlson (Krasinski) doing a story around Alaska, he finds himself finding a big story, three grey whales trapped in the ice. When the story grabs the attention of America, with Rachel Kramer (Barrymore) the ex-girlfriend and Green Peace activist looks to make help, with oil driller J.W. McGraw (Danson) seeing the PR stunt to help increasing his popularity.

Bringing everyone together for the difficult operation to rescue the whales, the world watches the incredible rescue attempt that will bring more people together.

Thoughts on Big Miracle

Characters & Performances – Adam Carlson is a small time reporter that has been working in Alaska for years, putting together small pieces, getting to know the people. This new story will help him gain the headlines, where he will be doing the right thing for the whales, the people and for his career. John Krasinski brings the charisma to this role, as well as he everyday nice guy figure we all know now. Rachel Kramer is the Green Peace activist that is always caught in a fight for the wildlife of the world. This latest story sees her doing everything she can, working with people she hates to rescue the three whales. Drew Barrymore is great here showing the emotional core behind the determination. We get to see the team effort here, from the oil barrel J.W. McGraw who is always looking for PR stunt before he gets emotionally invested in the saving the whales. The endless amounts of journalists looking for the big story. The locals that must embrace change and the military people involved in trying to make the change.

StoryThe story here follows what seems like a small story of three trapped whales, that become an international story of an unlikely rescue attempt of the trapped whales, that had the world watching what seemed like an impossible task. This is based on the true story that took over the world, seeing how the world would come together in an attempt to rescue three whales, showing the different struggles they must look to overcome along the way. We see how different people’s thinking was put aside for the rescue attempts, letting people learn the different points of view that would end up changing parts of the world forever.

ThemesBig Miracle is a biopic that show the incredible people that came together from different worlds to save three whales, they each have their own reason for being there, with the same goal, to rescue the whales. The locations show us how the freezing temperatures would make this harder for outsiders to adapt too and how the town would look to let them into their lives to learn their culture.

Big Miracle is a heart warming drama that will show us just how much the human race could achieve if they worked together.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – H – Hidden Fortress (1958) Movie Rob’s Pick

This is Movie Rob’s pick, head over to his site here for more reviews.

“Hide a stone among stones and a man among men.” – General Rokurota Makabe

Number of Times Seen – 1 (6 May 2021)

Brief Synopsis – Two peasants help a princess and her trusted general try and reclaim her throne.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve been meaning to see for most of my movie-watching life, but my lack of interest in Foreign language films was greater than my urge to see this.

This film is widely known for being quite influential in George Lucas’ Star Wars films and knowing that trivia tidbit has always still made me curious to try and check it out.

Darren’s choice this month for foreign films finally gave me the extra push that I needed to sit myself down a watch this film.

I was floored by the storytelling and really enjoyed the characters.

Yes, It’s quite easy to see the influence this film had on the Star Wars movies, but I wonder if I would have noticed it if I didn’t know this information beforehand.

The choice to have the story told from the point of view of two peasants works really well and has been used by many other storyteller besides Lucas and it helps give the story more weight because it’s seen from the perspective of someone who has less to gain from telling it.

The story itself is told in epic fashion by Director Akira Kurosawa and the battles are choreographed really well.

The fight on the steps is so enjoyable to watch unfold.

The story seems quite straightforward in the way that it’s being told, yet is still filled with some great surprises along the way that enhance the storytelling to even greater heights.

So glad that I finally got around to seeing this film!

Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In an interview for the Criterion collection DVD, George Lucas stated that while this film is a story about a princess and her protectors that this was not the primary element that he employed in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977). He stated that he was more concerned with the way that Hidden Fortress is told through the eyes of two lesser characters. In Hidden Fortress it is the two thieves; in Star Wars it is C3PO and R2D2. In both films the comical interplay between the two characters is a major theme.(From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – H – Weathering with You (2019) Movie Review

This is under Ho because of the main character Hodaka.

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai (Screenplay)

Starring: (voice talents) Kotaro Daigo, Nana Mori, Shun Oguri, Sei Hiraizumi, Yuke Kaji

Plot: A high-school boy who has run away to Tokyo befriends a girl who appears to be able to manipulate the weather.

Tagline – An impossible love made possible by the changing weather.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Weathering with You starts as we meet Hodaka, who is running away to Tokyo, when he gets to meet a stranger Keisuka Suga on the ship taking him there, where he ends up working for him and his niece Natsumi Suga. They are searching for a sunshine girl, that can change the weather, bringing sun to the rainy Tokyo skies.

The search takes them high and low until Hodaka meets Hina, the sunshine girl, who looks to start helping the resident of Tokyo enjoy the sunshine on a rainy day.

Thoughts on Weathering with You

Characters – Hodaka is the teenage runaway who finds himself in Tokyo, looking for something more from life. He gets more than he bargained for, meeting the Suga’s that offer him a home, shelter and job, searching for a sunshine girl. He will fall in love in the most unlikely way, as he learns to grow up in the world. Hina is the sunshine girl that the people have been searching for, she has the ability to turn the rain into sun, something she does to help people in the city, but it is coming at a price. She starts to get involved with Hodaka as the two look to open up the world to a better place. We do also meet the adults that are trying to guide the young couple to try and find the right path, each one will give advice and show what life is really worth.

StoryThe story here follows a teenage runaway that heads to Tokyo and falls in love with a sunshine girl, a girl that can control the weather, bringing the sunshine back during the rainiest days. There journey will not be easy and they will be drawn together by love, the biggest driving point of their relationship. This is a story that does following in the steps of Your Name of a fantasy love story between two young people that doesn’t make logically sense, but is drawn together to make sure it doesn’t sound out of place. We do get the message of learning about hope through the darkest moments in life, which will show how difficult to be without someone in life will cause problems or help you grow.

ThemesWeathering with You is the latest animation from the director that bought us Your Name, it looks amazing with their creation, turning to a lot of weather conditions. The romantic side of the film that will give us a chance to see how far life will drive you for love. The Tokyo backdrop shows us just how the city will be filled with people looking for something more.

Final Thoughts Weathering with You is a beautiful animation with a moving story of love through the weather.