Madison Reviews

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FilmFanatik
Super Reviewer
April 27, 2007
I grew up near Madison, Indiana, lived there briefly and spent a lot of time there - so this movie is kind of special to me for those reasons. Other than that it's not really very good.
March 15, 2014
Cliched but heartfelt film about a small town coming together to make a champion of the town and it's speedboat. Jim Caviezel gives a heartwarming performance as Jim McCormick the speedboat racer who overcomes his personal fear to lead his team and town to its first and only speedboat racing championship. Cliched at every turn yet Madison has enough heart to overlook all its shortcomings.
½ November 11, 2007
It tells what is probably the most compelling story the sport has ever produced: how the little river town of Madison, Indiana, came to host the 1971 APBA Gold Cup race and how driver Jim McCormick struggled to lead Madison's community-owned racing boat, the Miss Madison, into the race. But the movie largely focuses on the relationship between McCormick and his son, Mike (Jake Lloyd), who is about 10 years old. Some of the best scenes involve interaction between the two, who are portrayed as very likable small town people who are close. Mike is usually with his father and also often helps the Miss Madison team with menial tasks. The movie also does a very good job portraying Madison's love for hydroplane racing and working the classic underdog formula. In conclusion, "Madison" is a very entertaining family movie that has something for everyone to enjoy.
January 2, 2007
Hey people, if you watch this, you can see my home town area!! the Madison of the movie IS the Madison, Indiana, that I grew up in! It was filmed there, and there was a premiere and evrything! the most excitement the town has seen in years, haha!!
June 22, 2006
I think this is a good movie even though I have never seen it... it just seems like that kind of movie..hehe
March 22, 2006
Was kinda one of those old movies, could have been a bit more eventful, but a good movie none the less, and its always good to see "ani" from star wars! :P
½ January 25, 2014
A fantastic film and one of the best sports file in years. Caviezel is phenomenal as Jim McCormick, and so is the rest of the cast. This film is severely unappreciated.
February 28, 2013
Madison illustrates a basic difference between men and women. Women can never understand why men need to prove their courage by risking their lives to prove that they can drive a boat or car or fly a plane or hang glide faster than any other man in the county, state, country or world, especially when they have a family for whom they share responsibility. If they have to risk their lives to feed their children or fight for their children's right to exist, that's one thing, but to do so just to prove to other jocks that they can climb or fly higher or drive a car, plane or boat faster is something else. In my opinion, such men shouldn't have families, if that is what they choose to do with their lives, and that includes living fathers and mothers. As for this movie , it just reinforces this idea that sports are worth risking your life for, which in my opinion is just as irresponsible.
½ July 8, 2012
I liked it, not for its story, because I've seen the story a hundred times. No, I like it because of the way the story is told. A movie about hydroplane boat racing is a new one, but every single scene in the movie is one that you have seen in another sports movie. Yes, it's predictable, but the acting and the story-telling is what I like. Oh, and the great boat racing.

The story is of the Madison Indiana boat racing team. Their boat, The Miss Madison is the laughing stock of the hydroplane racing world, but the guys who work on it put more effort into their boat than anyone else. Madison is suddenly given the chance to host the prestigious Gold Cup championship. The leader of The Miss Madison team, Jim McCormick, accepts. They must raise 50,000 dollars to host the event. Also, The Miss Madison is without a driver. Jim used to drive hydroplanes, until an accident forced him from the game. Now it is up to him the race for the team, and the town.

Jim Caviezel stars as Jim McCormick. The movie was shot before the Passion of the Christ, but released after. It was shelved from 2001 to 2005. It really is a shame that Passion of the Christ kind of torpedoed Caviezel's career for a few years. He is a exceptional actor, and it's good to see him getting more projects lined up lately. Bruce Dern plays Harry Volpi, an old time mechanic who helps Jim and the team. It is a decent performance, nothing really of note. Mary McCormack plays Jim's wife Bonnie. She is actually very good, and she has some chemistry with Caviezel. Jake Lloyd, aka little Anakin Skywalker, plays Jim's son Mike. Wow, is he a bad actor. Maybe if he acted in the silent movie days, when over-the-top expressions where required, he would be good.

Overall, it's all in the execution. The actual scenes of racing were well done. The acting was solid. But the story is completely formula. Still enjoyable.

"Were in it to win it. Just like everybody else." 7/10
April 23, 2011
Just saw it on TV. A little drawn out but it was a better movie than some of the critics wrote. Solid and tells a good tale of quiet perseverance and ingenuity beating the odds.
½ November 6, 2009
**1/2 (out of four)

Independent film about the small town of Madison, Indiana and it's obsession during hydroplaning season.

It's shot well and offers some fine actors like Jim Caviezel and Paul Dooley, but it manages to fall into the same old sports film routine. Given it is an indie, I would have hoped that it would have been a less Hollywoodish production.
½ October 30, 2009
It is a fine flick, and joins the pantheon of great flicks made in Indiana, including Breaking Away and the incomparable Hoosiers. The fact that they are all sports movies is interesting, and I don?t know the reason for that. This one may not quite achieve the heights of Hoosiers, but no other movie does either.

I am from an Ohio River town in Indiana not far from Madison, and have been there many times. But I really haven?t watched the speed boat races much so don?t know about the details. I think a lot of the criticism is nit-picking though; they certainly got the major parts right at some trouble and expense. Beyond that, you might as well complain that Shakespeare didn?t get all the details of the Battle of Agincourt right in Henry V. A movie is a work of art, which is an abstraction from reality. That is the whole point. You can like it or not, but I loved it.

The casting people should be complimented for hiring some local talent. You won?t find ?Louisville? pronounced that way outside the area; you have to be born to it. And I heard a good Kentucky accent, not uncommon in Southern Indiana but seldom heard in the movies. And the cinematography was outstanding. The beauty of the river, with Madison nestled on the shore at the foot of the hills, was breathtaking. You can?t see it any other way.

I was graduating from university in 1971 when the movie was set, and recall that the economy was not the greatest. Maybe Madison was affected more than most at that time. But river traffic has boomed since, due mainly to exports of coal, grain, cement and other bulk cargo, for which water transport is by far the cheapest method. A real river is one that has barge traffic, as God intended.

Maybe it was just as well that this movie did not achieve a general release. I am not fond of the idea of people from other parts of the country descending on the Midwest. Let them live in their ignorance is my motto. But I will stop in to Madison again on my next trip home.

Trivia:
What other movie was made in Madison?
Answer: Some Came Running, starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine. Frank hated the time spent in a small Ohio River town, but Dean Martin loved it, since he was from a similar river town, Steubenville Ohio.

Why was the Clifty Creek power plant, shown in the opening scene of the movie built?
Answer: To supply the large electrical power needs of the Atomic Energy Commission?s uranium enrichment plant in Portsmouth, Ohio. That is now closed, and so the power now goes for civilian use.

What species is being restored near Madison?
Answer: Bald eagles are nesting again in the cliffs above the river.

What are fiddlers?
What is a gar?
You will have to research those yourself.

If you do go to Madison, be sure to allow a couple of hours to visit the Lanier Mansion, and spend the rest of the day walking around the whole historic district. You won?t do better.
August 19, 2009
Madison (2001): "We're gonna go, or we're gonna blow." - Jim McCormick

"Madison" chronicles the 1971 campaign of Miss Madison, the American Power Boat Associations only community-owned unlimited hydroplane, that culminates in the Gold Cup Championship in the boat's namesake, the river town of Madison, Indiana.

Despite running near the bottom of the points standings for years, the boat remained the town's pride and joy. At the time, Madison (Pop. 13,000) was depressed and its folks were struggling to scrape together the money to keep their out-of-date boat running, let alone host a Gold Cup. Soon, the town's people become discouraged at the team's performance, the team members start to fight among each other, and Jim McCormick, a former driver and now team manager, gets cross-wise with his wife.

But sometimes, just when things are at their darkest...

Seen through the eye's of McCormick's 10-year old son, this (based-on-a-true) film does a good job recreating a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the good people of Madison, IN.
½ October 3, 2005
Looks and feels like a made for Disney movie. Which isn't really good. Classic underdog story, but with speedboats. Not to interesting.
½ September 9, 2005
Adequate family inspired film. Just couldn't get into it.
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