Big Miracle – Blu-ray Review

“Everyone Loves Whales” was the working title for the film Big Miracle, based on true life events from 1988, when the world came together to rescue grey whales caught in early ice near Pt. Barrow, Alaska.  Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski star in this entertaining film that belongs in all family collections. 

Chances are that in October of 1988, you were one of the millions of people mesmerized by a news story from Pt. Barrow, Alaska, a reporting of the plight of a family of grey whales trapped by early seasonal freezing of the sea, unable to migrate to a warmer climate. 

The working title suggests, everyone DOES love whales, or at least it seemed so at that time as a usually disparate group put aside their differences and worked together to rescue the helpless whales. 

Big Miracle does a splendid job of capturing the spirit of the cooperative efforts of moneyed oilmen, environmentalists, scientists and statesmen, working together with the National Guard, innovative entrepreneurs and the native Inupiat people to devise a rescue.  The President of the United States Ronald Regan took notice, and with his influence a Russian ice-breaking vessel came to aid when it seemed all was lost.

Cast and crew care about this story, and have taken great pains to develop the characters and to re-create their environment as true to life and the times as possible. 

Woven into the lives of the characters are moments of genuine laughter that will remind fans of the beloved series Northern Exposure. Like real life, there is sorrow, but it is handled with such consummate tenderness and respect as to make viewers feel it is part of the whole, and not just a chance for the actors to be overly dramatic and wring tears.

The film begins with events causing frustration and anger for the characters, old enemies pitted against each other over the crisis with the whales.  The audience is soon carried along on the journey that requires heroic efforts on the part of most of the characters to change their attitudes to co-operation and belief in possibilities.  The reward for all is the elation of success.

Adding a richness of cultural heritage to the story the Inupiat knowledge of and reverence for the whales is brought out in the plot line of generational differences between a local boy and his grandfather.  Romance both real and fictional, and career advancement round out a very satisfying adventure story.

Big Miracle Blu-Ray and DVD and Digital Copy is presented on a single disc with multiple versions.  Special features include deleted scenes, a feature commentary with director Ken Kwapis, and a featurette “Truth is stranger than Fiction.”  In the featurette we see behind the scenes with both characters and crew as they design Barrow, Alaska circa 1988 on sets created in Anchorage. 

Audiences get to meet real life characters from the story, and hear interviews with the actors, discussing how they created their roles.  The film has a PG rating for language, but is suitable for family viewing, and should become a favorite.

Visit the DVD database for more information.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.