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)

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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.

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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: He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)

It seems that these multiple story movies are becoming a thing.  They usually don’t get a lot of praise except for Love Actually, which was possibly the first of its kind.  This one doesn’t seem to have a lot of good ratings on it either on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes but when it first came out, I had no expectations from it at first and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Now I’m going back to see it again for this marathon, lets see how that went…

he's just not that into youDirector: Ken Kwapis

Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kevin Connolly, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, Justin Long, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore

Based on the self-help book by the author of Sex and the City, He’s Just Not That Into You looks at different types of relationships amongst a group of people that are linked together through friends, coworkers, acquaintances or simply coincidence and how a lot of people will misread and misunderstand the signals that other people send off.  We start with Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) who is on the search for a relationship.  She always wonders and waits to see if a guy will call her back after a first date or after a first meeting at the bar.  That is until she meets the friend of one of the dates that she decides to try and “accidentally” see.  Alex (Justin Long) is the manager of the City Supper Club and he is the exact opposite of Gigi because he can read the signals of others very well and because of this, he starts helping Gigi in her future pursuits.  At the same time, the guy who Gigi saw at the beginning of the movie, Conor (Kevin Connolly) who is obsessed with Anna (Scarlett Johansson) who had slept with him before but now only finds him in times of need for comfort and affection.  Anna is trying to build a career as a singer and at the supermarket one night, she meets Ben (Bradley Cooper) who is a married man and is in a business that can help her with her career.  They are attracted with each other and despite Ben trying to resist, he eventually has an affair with her while his wife Janine (Jennifer Connelly) is putting all her focus into their new house’s renovations.  At work, Janine’s coworker Beth (Jennifer Aniston) has been in a relationship with Neil (Ben Affleck) for 7 years and she wants to get married however, Neil does not want to.  A string of stories that looks into a guy’s signals and the rules and exceptions of whether a guy is into you or not.

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“If a guy’s into you, he will make it happen no matter what”

Let me just say that I originally didn’t really think I would like this movie at all.  The first time I saw this and realized that it was based on the Sex and the City author.  I don’t really have too much love for those series. Never really caught on to it maybe or its just not my type of series. Either way, this flick was definitely good.  It definitely sticks to its boundaries of being a romantic comedy and especially with a relatively strong cast.  It was witty and fun.  They put in interviews of other people to make it a bit more original with certain issues they were dealing with for example, “if a man doesn’t want to marry you…” then it flips over to people talking about it and some of them are funny.

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If you can brush off the whole trying to be a self-help and teaching us the signs of when things aren’t working out which from the things I’ve read are usually based on stereotypes because we all know that every relationship is different.  If you just solely focus on the stories and think about it in one basic way: Each girl is the exception to the rule when in the eyes of the guy that loves us for who we are.  Its as simple as that.  So take that and just go for the ride and you might enjoy this movie.  One warning though, even if you fellow men out there are okay with rom-coms, I really don’t recommend this one to any guys.  You might want to either fall asleep or yell at the stereotypes (unless you like any of the actresses for their good looks).  I mean, even I wanted to yell at the stereotypes, especially those that Gigi had where she just sits by the phone and waits for the guy to call.  Are all girls supposed to be portrayed as being that desperate?  That part really bothered me because I guess its an extreme to bring Gigi to portray the desperate need to find a guy and how she doesn’t know how to read the signals that the guy is sending out each time so she just hopes all the time. Its the concept of never losing hope that is the theme of her story, so I guess you can’t really blame her.

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As much as all the side stories were cool, the main story is of Gigi’s search for romance and how she learns that its better to have tried to fall in love than to just block out the feeling of being able to love someone.  This is miles and miles away from as being as epic as Love Actually (which I reviewed HERE!), but it does have some witty and fun moments and as always in these flicks, some sweet and touching moments as well.  No tears will be shed but there is enough smiles and laughs to be had.  I state once more that guys should avoid this…it can’t be more targeted towards girls than teaching girls how to know when guys aren’t into them.  This may not be an epic movie but as generic as it may seem, it is really helped a lot by the chemistry that the talented cast brings.

Oh right, one more thing, if you do end up seeing this, you should definitely wait for the ending credits because they still have a few scenes there and those are actually pretty good and wraps up the movie in a pretty good way.

Have you seen this? Did you like it? Do you enjoy these multi-story setup for movies or are they confusing and hard to perfect?