Big Miracle Reviews
It's got a fairly high rating, so perhaps it just me being harsh, but I really did find this ordinary.
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.
Based on a 1988 true story (which, apparently, had a more ambiguous ending), Big Miracle tells of a family of three whales which get trapped beneath the ice near Barrow, Alaska, with only a rapidly freezing hole to breathe out of. The mutually antagonistic factions of the oil business, the Inupiat locals, and the environmental lobby combine to try to keep the whales alive until it becomes possible to get them the 5 miles from their breathing hole to open water, augmented (if not aided and abetted) by a sizeable press faction. Even the end of the Cold War gets a look in. This film arrived with no fanfare and, despite a couple of irritations, proved to be a feelgood movie which I enjoyed. It is very well mounted, with most of the scenes involving the whales and the ice field being convincingly staged. The unexpectedly starry cast all did well, although I found Drew Barrymore's Greenpeace girl a bit excessively preachy (by the time the film finished I had come to the conclusion that she was meant to be), John Krasinski is a pleasing low-key leading man, and Kristin Bell is happy to portray a shallow young woman of over-riding ambition and little compassion. It may be a little too leisurely for young children but, otherwise, I think it makes a good family movie despite the fact that the film's title isn't very good.
Very good movie! I thought this was a beautifully-made film. For people saying the plot was unoriginal or dull... they obviously missed the point that it was based on a true story. If you let it, it's a wonderful story of a pretty insignificant event that ended up uniting a whole slew of people from different factions and interests. As for me, I would recommend this movie for all ages. It doesn't seem to be geared toward only kids or adults. If you're looking to see a film jam-packed with action or suspense, then this simply is not the one to see. But if you prefer movies with a simple yet compelling story about people, then please do take a look.
Inspired by the true story that captured the hearts of people across the world, the rescue adventure 'Big Miracle' tells the amazing tale of a small town news reporter (John Krasinski) and a Greenpeace volunteer (Drew Barrymore) who are joined by rival world superpowers to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.
Local newsman Adam Carlson (Krasinski) can't wait to escape the northern tip of Alaska for a bigger market. But just when the story of his career breaks, the world comes chasing it, too. With an oil tycoon, heads of state and hungry journalists descending upon the frigid outpost, the one who worries Adam the most is Rachel Kramer (Barrymore). Not only is she an outspoken environmentalist, she's also his ex-girlfriend.
With time running out, Rachel and Adam must rally an unlikely coalition of Inuit natives, oil companies and Russian and American military to set aside their differences and free the whales. As the world's attention turns to the top of the globe, saving these endangered animals becomes a shared cause for nations entrenched against one another and leads to a momentary thaw in the Cold War.
Starring: Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, John Pingayak, Kristen Bell, Time Blake Nelson, Stephen Root, Dermot Mulroney, John Michael Higgins, Kathy Baker and Ted Danson.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Question: Do you have that one animal that you absolutely adore? Perhaps you collect chachkes, always gravitate towards greeting cards with their pictures on it; or you have some other form of devotion like a certain wildlife conservation project you support. I would say dogs are my favorite animals but whales come in at a close second.
Quick explanation of why I like whales: When I was three years old I went into a toy store and apparently demanded this particular stuffed animal. According to my mother I had a tantrum and wouldn't stop holding it and saying, "Mine, mine, mine!" It was a stuffed whale. My parents gave in and bought it for me. I named him Herman and to this day I have no idea why I named him that. Neither do my parents. It's not like I had read Moby-Dick yet. Soon after receiving Herman, my father told me "Herman the Whale" stories at bedtime, sometimes to comfort me or to teach me life lessons. I loved them. Listening to those stories and holding Herman are some great memories; and from that point on whales have always had a deep place in my heart.
So when I saw the previews for Big Miracle I secretly knew I would end up seeing that film. Was I expecting greatness or an unbelievable tale? Not really. I thought the film would go overboard in the sentimentality and sappiness that often surrounds stories like this. However, I ended up really enjoying Big Miracle - more than I thought I would.
John Krasinski plays, Adam Carlson, a reporter in Barrow, Alaska; and he seems somewhat content in the remote frozen town although he dreams of going to a big network station. While trying to find another topic to report on, he witnesses three gray whales surfacing about a 100 yards away to get air and to keep the ice hole open. The family of whales is stuck there because the ocean was freezing over quicker than normal. They had missed their chance to start their migration south.
Now for the rest of the tale, it's pretty predictable but I didn't care. I was too content. Politicians, Greenpeace, oil-tycoons, native Eskimo tribe, swarms of new crews and mix in a love story or two all have one thing in common: three stranded gray whales. That's Big Miracle. There was decent acting by all and the story was well told and it had whales in it. As you can see above, there was also a large amount of well-known cast of actor for Big Miracle, which sort of surprised me.
However, there was one thing that surprised me more about this film - that it was a true story. Throughout the whole movie they showed real broadcasts with the top network anchors: Brokaw, Jennings and Rather. Plus there were others that I recognized like weekend anchors and reporters. I personally don't recall this story but I had just started college that fall (1989) and didn't have a TV, and I was too busy...umm...studying. Yeah, that's it.
Since it's my rule to stay vague with these reviews I am stopping here, but I hope you get a chance to see this movie. It was a charmer. Big Miracle is a great family film and for anyone who wants a feel-good story. Oh, and I did get pretty teary-eyed at a couple of parts but I am soft-hearted, as you guys should know by now.
Based on the book Freeing the Whales How the Media Created the World's Greatest Non-Event by Tom Rose
My favorite part: That I was pleasantly surprised with the film.
My least favorite part: Can't say. I will give too much away.
Length: 107 minutes
Rating: 7 out of 10
It has the usual assortment of eco-drama overtones, back in the day when oil exploration was king. However, it was a different time, and they get the tone of the late 80's right in that people had more respect for their government in the waning days of the Cold War. everyone's motives are clearly explained as well, in a straightforward fashion that any youngster could understand, and they film-makers gave the younger audience a child lens to see the story through in the young boy that befriends Jon Krasinski's news reporter. The movie doesn't dwell on relationships or character development much, which ultimately weakens the impact of watching the characters go through the rescue, but it might have also been overdone, which its not. The whole rescue takes place over a very short span of time, so diving into past romances would be a waste of screen time.
There are some genuinely moving moments. That's because it's played straight, and people can indeed get all worked up over whales trapped in the ice. They also don't sugar coat the ending, since it's not a perfect outcome (I'd rather not reveal more)but it's a good lesson for kids and adults alike on doing the right thing. The movie also is leavened with a good dose of humor, as well as reality, and you'd think it might be dull, but it's surprisingly tense and engaging. Overall, an enjoyable, well-meaning film that's well worth your time.