Big Miracle (2012)

I’m sorry if I’ve been really slow on the movie reviews front. Fact is, movie watching takes time and it takes even more time to write the review because I’m not as talented as all of you movie bloggers out there.  Plus, not being home doesn’t help especially when I’m travelling with a dying tablet that only lets me read e-books and my phone is also on its last leg of functionality.  So, I’m working on it but I ended up not getting most of the May expiring Netflix movies seen.  I started Love is a Many Splendoured Thing and gave up because I kept dozing off and getting massively angry and frustrated at the lady.  But before completely losing all the movies on Monday, I managed to squeeze in Big Miracle, which I’ve wanted to see for a while.

Big Miracle (2012)

big miracle

Director: Ken Kwapis

Cast: Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Ted Danson, Ahmaogak Sweeney, Kristen Bell

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.- IMDB

Based on real life events (that I’ve never heard of), Big Miracle surrounds itself with a decent cast and a heartwarming story about the environment, global warming, and helpless whales and working together through differences.  I have a soft spot for these movies and regardless of how cliche these family dramas always turn out to be, they usually charm me a whole lot. This one had John Krasinski, who I can’t seem to remember where I saw him last and the lovely Drew Barrymore who always ends up making me like her movies despite me never regarding her as a great actress.  Still, she is fantastic because she always knows how to pick mostly feel good movies.  Big Miracle is no exception.  Plus, I’m a huge animal lover especially sea animals so whales and just coming back from Alaska made me feel just a tad closer to the whole thing.

Big Miracle

What is really commendable about this is that there’s a lot of messages being sent here and at the end of it all when the credits roll, we see real snippets of the actual event this was based on and who each character in the movie was playing.  I always like that sort of thing, even though I never go seek out how true it stays to the real thing (which I should). Its always touching when an event can bring together everyone and their differences, even change some views.  Like how everyone does things whether political, social, financial, environmental, all for their own benefit and motive and just how passionate some others are completely about giving their all to understand and do absolutely anything to save others (animals included) who may not look helpless but actually are.  In the end, regardless of what those motives are, the cause itself will always change someone’s mind and its these little changes and push our world to become hopefully a better place.  I mean, I’m being really simplistic and naive here probably but sometimes that is all it takes.

big miracle 1

On top of all that dramatic stuff with the whales and even the love story injected into Big Miracle, there’s also a lot about connecting with animals in the tradition of the original people that inhabited there.  I can’t remember the name right now.  Damn memory.  Still, the grandfather and the kid has a really good relationship where you can see the outside world affecting how the young ones are and how they are being modernized and seemingly forgetting their roots bit by bit as the outside world invades Barrow, Alaska.

There’s only so much I can say about this.  Big Miracle may be predictable and cliche but there is no doubt that it is extremely effective as a heartwarming, tear-jerking, at times funny and extremely passionate family drama about saving whales.  Its definitely worth your time.  I know I got a little misty near the end (but then as I get older, I tend to get all emotional easier).  The story is really great and the fact that this actually happened makes me feel just pretty great also.

Have you seen Big Miracle? Did you hear of these events in Alaska about saving the three gray whales? 

Valentine’s Marathon: Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)

I apologize for the sporadic reviews going up.  I’m still recovering from my cold, so energy levels are still not quite how they were.  It should almost be over *cross my fingers*.

Next up is Ever After: A Cinderella Story, as mentioned yesterday, also one with Drew Barrymore.  I’ve also never seen this one before but I personally love Cinderella stories so I wonder why I haven’t till recently.

Let’s check it out! 🙂


ever after

Director: Andy Tennant

Cast: Drew Barrymore, Dougray Scott, Anjelica Huston, Patrick Godfrey, Megan Dodds, Melanie Lynskey

 Danielle (Drew Barrymore) grew up under her father’s care until he dies suddenly after bringing home a stepmother, Rodmilla (Anjelica Huston) for her along with her two daughters, Marguerite (Megan Dodds) and Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey). Her father’s death passed over the ownership of her home to Rodmilla and her daughters, dropping her down to being a servant.  However, she still grew up to be strong-willed and happy and knew how to defend what was right.  On a random meeting, she meets Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) who wants to escape his fate to marry the Spanish princess, hoping instead to be able to marry his true love, knowing little that he would end up falling for a girl who will awaken him to not only love but also the society/kingdom that he is supposed to take over.

ever after

Ever After is set up as a retelling of the “true” Cinderella story.  Cinderella’s real name in this case was Danielle de Barbarac played by Drew Barrymore.  I’ve seen a lot of really fun takes on the Cinderella story and while none is quite as enchanting as the Disney version, and some are just enjoyable in a rather silly way, this one adds a nice twist to it that makes it not only entertaining and fun but also really enchanting to watch.  There’s something that just draws you straight into the story and I believe it has to do with the wonderful cast here.

ever after

Drew Barrymore really takes on this Cinderella business and owns it.  I think this is my favorite role of hers of what I’ve seen so far.  Danielle’s gone through a lot but she’s smart and knows how to make positive change to make sure things are for the better and thats the person that should be with our Prince Charming here, Henry.  I think Prince Henry, played by Dougray Scott, which took me forever to figure out that he is Norman in Hemlock Grove was really cool.  I’m not exactly sure I really liked Prince Henry but the chemistry from Danielle and Prince Henry was amazing. I was pulled into their love and I’m not sure if that happens to others but for me, when I get into these love stories and they have the misunderstanding/breakup part (and you know they always have it), my heart kind of throbs a little because I feel the pain.  Thats when I know that I’m drawn into a good love story.  Its been happening less and less but its nice to feel it again for this one.

ever after

What Cinderella story is complete without an absolutely worthy villain in the stepmother.  I’ve seen Anjelica Huston a few times before this one although I can’t remember what exactly anymore but she was totally evil in this one as the stepmother Rodmilla.  Plus, we add in her evil influence on her favorite daughter, Marguerite (played by Megan Dodds) and their whole evil scheme and they just brew up quite the annoying and hated group right there.

ever after

The twist I did like was that we usually thought that both stepsisters were pure evil and spoiled but in this one, they make the younger daughter, Jacqueline, played by a young Melanie Lynskey, as a pretty good-hearted girl.  She’s neglected and pushed aside by her mother and in a way, she can relate to Danielle who really just wanted her stepmother to accept her so that she can feel motherly love, which of course never happened.  Another twist is that the fairy godmother in this one turns out to be a very silly Leonardo da Vinci who guides and encourages Danielle and Henry separately on love.

Ever After is a really awesome twist to the Cinderella story. It has a nice story with a convincing romantic chemistry between the leads and the supporting characters are equally fun to watch.  There are humorous moments as well as some sweet ones as well.  This is definitely one of my favorite roles by Drew Barrymore. I’d totally recommend this one.

Have you seen Ever After? Are you a Drew Barrymore fan? 

Valentine’s Marathon: Never Been Kissed (1999)

Its taken me all day to finish writing up these posts but apparently after a whole day of meds, water and losing my voice then watching Superbowl, I finally feel a little more energy to get this finished up.  I promised a review to kick off the Valentine’s Marathon and we are starting with two consecutive days of Drew Barrymore movies. Its all coincidence because Netflix decided to expire those two movies.

The first of the two to kick off this marathon is Never Been Kissed. I’ve never seen this (or the other one for that matter). Let’s check it out!


never been kissed

Director: Raja Gosnell

Cast: Drew Barrymore, Michael Vartan, David Arquette, Jessica Alba, Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly, Jeremy Jordan, Leelee Sobieski

 25 year old Josie Gellar (Drew Barrymore) is the youngest copywriter at the Chicago Sun Times.  However, her dream is to become a reporter.  A chance presents itself when she is sent to do a undercover report posing as a high school student in her old high school South Glen South.  Having to face her nerdy unpopular high school past, she tries to get along with the popular kids with the help of her brother, Rob (David Arquette).  At the same time, she realizes that her feelings for her English teacher, Mr. Coulson  (Michael Vartan) are growing at the same time.

never been kissed

 First of all, let me confess that I’ve never been much of a Drew Barrymore fan.  I’ve never seemed to like the roles she plays or maybe just how she portrays them but then, I haven’t seen all that much either.  To be fair, I actually watched Never Been Kissed and then rewatched it a few days later and my second viewing yielded a lot more love for it than the first viewing.  I’m not exactly sure what that says but one of the best parts was all the younger versions of actors/actresses that I’ve noticed like Leelee Sobieski and Jessica Alba both as students.  Oh, and there’s also a very young James Franco.

never been kissed

Never Been Kissed is an okay romantic comedy. I’m not going to remember it or want to add it to my movie collection any time soon but there’s something really sweet about it also.  I’m not such a huge fan of it exaggerating the whole nerdy student thing because trust me, I’ve known nerds in high school and I wasn’t a popular kid and its never that absurd.  Sometimes, I’m not a huge fan of stereotypical portrayals of certain roles and I think that’s really what didn’t work as well for me the first time. But, on the second viewing, I think I got used to it a little more and actually found that what really worked was the whole message about adolescence and high school and just how no matter what generation, it really doesn’t change all that much as far as the student population goes and just the whole popularity thing.

never been kissed

Now, we’re talking about a romantic comedy so our main stars here is Drew Barrymore’s Josie and Michael Vartan’s Sam/Mr. Coulson.  Now, there is two people which really has some amazing chemistry.  Oh, and what makes this movie awesome also was that Mr. Coulson totally is an accurate portrayal of that young good-looking teacher in high school that the girls like to go to their class.  In this case, its English class but for my high school, it was French.  Thats just my way of saying that I think Michael Vartan is really handsome and totally adds to why I would watch this again.

never been kissed

Other than that, what makes Drew Barrymore’s character Josie pretty good was that although she is totally awkward and nerdy at times, she has this really passionate regard of finding that person that she loves and would give her first “real” kiss.  I mean, its also one of the parts that made me fall in love with her character a little. Here’s the quote:

never been kissed

Never Been Kissed is not a perfect romantic comedy and its just about average with a few good and bad points to level itself off.  Drew Barrymore carries her role well as the nerdy Josie looking for her career break but finding more than she imagined in her love interest, Michael Vartan.  Their chemistry in every scene together is pretty fun to watch.  Also, there’s an enjoyable element of watching a younger Jessica Alba, James Franco and Leelee Sobieski on screeen.  With a few memorable quotes to add to the mix, this could be a decent choice with a few laughs at the absurd and awkward situations that happen.  It probably wont’ be memorable but there are a few sweet moments to enjoy. 🙂