Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Big Miracle

Last night Amy, Hannah, and I drove over to Andover to see the “Big Miracle.” This was the first time in a while we’ve enjoyed a Family Fun Night. We started the night by going to Dixie Blue Barbeque in Blaine and then went to enjoy the opening night of the Disney produced movie.

For the first time in a long time I experienced some excitement in a movie theatre. The theatre wasn’t quite sold out, but it was almost full. One group had reserved three rows of seats. Some folks could only sit in the bottom row of seats. Obviously Disney had done an excellent job of marketing the movie to teens and pre-teens.

Starring Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, and Ted Danson “The Big Miracle” is based on a true story of the attempted rescue of three grey whales in 1988 in the Arctic Circle. The whales—named Fred, Wilma and Bam-Bam—had gotten off course from their winter migration to Baja, Mexico and became trapped by ice near Port Barrow, Alaska. The whales were discovered as they came to the surface for air. The rest of the movie was a story about many different people working together to try to save the whales.

And what wouldn’t a kid like about the movie? A patchwork of different forces come together to try to save these innocent creatures.

All sorts of other side-plots were presented in the film—the role of the media in generating a story; the relationship of the Native American culture with the outside world; opposing groups (Greenpeace and Big Oil; the United States & Russia) coming together; the ambition of young reporters,; and frayed romantic relationships. None of these side-plots could be developed thoroughly. Each was presented like a teaspoon of sugar that gave my brain a momentary high.

I particularly enjoyed another side plot where two, goofy inventors from Minnesota were brought to Alaska with their home made de-icing machine. Each was stereotyped as a Minnesotan—make sure the “o” is long. Picture Ole trying to save a whale. There were plenty of slurred vowels by both. I don’t know if the characterization was a spoof or if Hollywood actually thinks that we Minnesotans talk like this. Whatever the motivation the two were very funny.

I don’t want to disclose the end to “Big Miracle,”, but it does have some surprises. It’s a worthy film to take a kid—with plenty of material for a rich conversation later.

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