Although the film never brought in a huge amount of box office revenue when it was in theaters (it topped out at under $65 million…both domestically and worldwide), the film did win critics over with its heroic and moving story of a group of American hockey players who went on to win the Olympic Gold. While real life sports films have been a staple of Hollywood for awhile now, Miracle was one of the few to alter only the smallest of things for the theatrical adaptation, leaving the majority of the real story intact from start to finish. With the Blu-ray release now ready for release in stores, fans who enjoyed the original 2004 DVD release can now witness it in full 1080p high-definition.
Face-off with this rousing, action-packed sports drama like never before, now with stunning, crystal-clear high definition picture and stadium-rocking 5.1 sound. Then, discover what it took to recreate one the most exciting moments in sports history with a winning line-up of behind-the-scenes bonus features, including: “First impressions: Herb Brooks with Kurt Russell and the Filmmakers,” highlighting Herb Brooks’ unforgettable experience coaching the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team to victory; “The Making-of Miracle” featurette; “From Hockey to Hollywood: The Actors’ Journeys,” detailing how the film’s twenty hockey-playing leads were cast in the film; “Miracle ESPN Roundtable with Linda Cohn,” spotlighting three of the real life players of the winning Olympic team, and an Audio Commentary by Director Gavin O’Connor, Director of Photography Dan Stoloff and Editor John Gilroy. Additional bonus features include outtakes and much more!
I will not deny that this is a very inspirational film to watch…but I also can’t help but feel that I’ve seen this film before under the guise of a different title. The Mighty Ducks? Maybe a little Cool Runnings? While Miracle is definitely more dramatic than those previously mentioned films, it’s still fitting into the same genre of a group of rag-tag misfits who eventually come together to achieve a goal that was seemingly impossible at the start of the film.
Not that I’m knocking the story of Miracle, but it’s just kind of hard to get into the same story repeatedly over time. It’s really just a bunch of cliché’s, which is harsh to say considering how amazing the actual story really is…but as a film it just feels like a repeat. We’ve seen it before and as much as I love rooting for the underdog, at times it just becomes too much. Thankfully, however, the performances in this film save it from being a total loss.
Kurt Russell especially brings forth a brilliant performance that is truly remarkable. As the coach he is just both motivational as well as really invested in the training of these young men. The players themselves range from stereotypical to genuinely admirable characters, but between them and Russell’s acting, the faults of this film have nothing to do with the performances of the cast. Simply put it’s an emotional and moving production, but it just feels old hat after awhile.
Take, for instance, the hockey sequences themselves. They’re engaging, sure, but after awhile they all blend together. The shots of the ticking clock, a slowed down sequence of shots to heighten drama…it’s all just a big cliché at times, but you still manage to get a bit wrapped up in it all. You know the outcome has to be good, eventually, but it’s still a fair journey to take if you have a couple hours to kill.
Overall Miracle is a solid film, but one, despite being based on true events, still manages to feel like a retread. Still it’s Recommended to be seen at least once.
The film arrives in a standard Elite Blu-ray case with the usual inserts inside as well as an easy to navigate menu system. Video is an AVC encoded 1080p affair with a 2.4:1 aspect ratio that brings to life the…well, actually it doesn’t bring much to life for this film. The color palette is rather subdued here, so there aren’t a whole lot of brilliant hues to take in, but what there was to see was replicated fairly well. This is still a pretty recent film so it definitely doesn’t look old by any means and the audio that accompanies it, a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that reproduces the cheers of the crowd and the slapping hockey stick sounds with solid depth. Surrounds aren’t utilized all that much but all in all it’s a more than adequate video and sound mix for this film. Also included are French and Spanish DD5.1 audio as well as English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles.
Extras are all ported over from the 2004 DVD release and include:
• Audio commentary by Director Gavin O’Connor, Director of Photography Dan Stoloff and Editor John Gilroy
• “The Making-of Miracle” Featurette
• “From Hockey to Hollywood: The Actors’ Journeys”
• “The Sound of Miracle”
• Miracle ESPN roundtable with Linda Cohn
• First impressions: Herb Brooks with Kurt Russell and the filmmakers
There are also some D-BOX features added in for those with the setups. Overall this isn’t a bad release but it’s really only a HD upgrade from the original DVD release with no new extras…so depending on how much you love the film, that’ll guide the decision on whether or not to pick this Blu-ray release up.
Miracle is now available on Blu-ray.