McFarland USA: Blu-ray Review











The Movie:

This heartwarming drama follows novice runners who strive to build a cross-country team under Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) in their predominantly Latino high school. Everyone has a lot to learn about each other, but when Coach realizes the boys’ exceptional running ability, things change. Beyond their talent, it’s the power of family, commitment to each other and work ethic that transform them into champions — helping them achieve their own American dream.

I’m a sucker for underdog stories and this story in particular was really interesting so there was no doubt that I was going to check this out. The film starts out in typical “fish out of water” fashion with the coach being thrust into a school where everyone looks at him like an outsider. I think this film grabbed me so much because it actually reminded me a lot of the neighborhood I grew up as a kid. Everyone was always under the impression that they couldn’t do anything else but live in the same neighborhood that their family lived in. This story tackles that exactly and shows that sometimes there are teachers out there that do care enough for their students to push them and help them strive for something greater. Just seeing Costner’s character not giving up on the group of kids made me smile throughout the entire film. Costner was fantastic and led this film with ease as to be expected but the real highlight of the film goes to the young actors Ramiro RodriguezCarlos Pratts, Johnny Ortiz, Rafael Martinez, Hector Duran, Sergio Avelar and Michael Aguero. They made quite the impact on me and their performances felt so genuine and honest that I couldn’t help but connect with them. The strongest part was the third act and the lead up to the State Championship. It was filled with so much hope and the tension of the final race was enough to keep you at the edge of your seat. This really is an all around great film and proves that Disney can do way more than just animation. 9/10

Special Features:

McFarland Reflections – Costner hosts a roundtable discussion with the real life members of the original running team that the film is based on. This feature would’ve been way better it it was a lot longer.

Deleted & Extended Scenes – A handful of scenes here that are kind of 50/50 with me but are interesting to check out either way.

Music Video – Music Video for the song “Juntos” by Juanes.

Inspiring McFarland – A really short behind the scenes feature.

McFarland USA is available NOW on Blu-ray and DVD from Buena Vista Home Entertainment


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