The sportscaster shown at the end of the archived news clip is Sarah Palin, before she became the Governor of Alaska and Vice President nominee around two decades later. ~ IMDB
Big Miracle is a film “inspired” by a true story starring Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels), John Krasinki (Leatherheads), and a slew of other celebrities from Ted Danson (Bored To Death) to Kristin Bell (When In Rome) and more. It’s the tale of three whales trapped in rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle and the people who worked to help set them free.
There are two kinds of feel good films in this world. There are the ones that have a story that progresses and feels natural and then there are feel good films that force the whole feel good vibe down your throat. Big Miracle is the latter. While it does have it’s enjoyable moments the film is simply a big bottle of syrup that relies on the heart to guide you but fails to really step outside of its comfort zone to supply the viewer with real character. In a sense it’s basically all about the human spirit and how we’ve lost touch with compassion and a love for nature wrapped in a bow.
I’m sorry. I just wasn’t feeling it. Whales trapped in ice to me is just natural selection. Forcing a very obnoxious Drew Barrymore as an aggressive Greenpeace soldier down my throat only distances me from caring one iota about some marine mammals who nature selected, however cruelly, to perish. With such an extensive cast there is some offset but this is really a film that’s geared to be watched as an occasion, like maybe an educational viewing or for nature week or something. I just wasn’t feeling it.
PICTURE AND AUDIO QUALITY:
Universal does a halfway decent job at offering up a good HD picture. Fair warning the Alaskan territory is a big white patch of never ending snow and ice which at times I felt zapped the color from the picture, though not all of the film is shot in the exterior. Aside from that color is mostly fine with a few flesh tone concerns and some washed out random scenes. Definition is pretty solid aside from some small grain issues, again I think the film’s ability to sustain is challenged by the completely colorless white pallet. It’s not perfect but very near, especially considering that the film is a release from Universal which usually tends to fail in the HD picture department every time I review one of their releases. Audio is above average with crisp dialogue and some small instances of immersion from the ambient soundscape (ice breaking apart, whales spouting water from their blow holes, back chatter).
~DVD/BD combo disc: I really hate when a film comes all on one disc, Blu-Ray on one side and DVD on the other but there you have it.
~A “Big Miracle” In Alaska: A Behind The Scenes Featurette starring the films massive cast on location in Alaska.
~Audio Commentary with Director Ken Kwapis
~Truth Is Stranger Then Fiction: How close to the true story was Big Miracle? This bonus feature holds the film up to the events that inspired it.