Saturday, 30 May 2015

Blu-ray Review: McFarland, USA

McFarland, USA
Director: Niki Caro
Starring: Kevin Costner
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Retail: $39.99
Running Time: 129 minutes
Rating: PG
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on Blu-ray & Digital HD this coming Tuesday June 2, 2015, is the heartwarming true story McFarland, USA. Directed by Niki Caro, the film stars Kevin Costner, Maria Bello and Morgan Saylor. Bonus Features include McFarland Reflections - Join Kevin Costner with Coach Jim White and members of the 1987 cross-country team as they look back on the bonds they forged and the opportunities they were given; "Juntos" Music Video - Performed by Juanes; Inspiring McFarland - See the strength and perseverance that brought a community together; deleted scenes and extended scenes.

Based on actual events, McFarland, USA centers on an Ohio high school football coach, Jim White (played by Kevin Costner), whom gets fired after losing his temper with a player. After the incident, he has a hard time finding a coaching job, but eventually he takes a job at the high school in the  Hispanic neighborhood of McFarland, California. Along with his wife, Cheryl, and two daughters, Julie and Jamie, they settle into the small town.

Instead of being the football head coach, he has to settle for being an assistant, that is until a disagreement leads him to step down from coaching all together. Later, after noticing how fast a few of his students can run in his PE class, Coach White decides put together a cross-country team, featuring his students Thomas, Jose, Johnny, Victor, Damacio, David and Danny, and compete for the state championship.

In the tradition of The Rookie, Million Dollar Arm and Remember the Titans, Disney once again releases a heartfelt sports film, but this time it centers on a the real 1987 McFarland cross-country team, though the are several historical changes, but none that harms the movie in any way. I would never thought that a film about running would be interesting, but the New Zealander director Niki Caro did a wonderful avoiding all the cliches that are typically found in sports films. The entire cast the does a great a job in their roles. Overall, McFarland, USA is a surprisingly entertaining film from beginning to end.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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