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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Miracle [Blu-ray]


(Gavin O'Conner, 2004)



Re-issued on March 29th, 2011:



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Mayhem Pictures

Video: Disney Home Video



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:15:55.188

Disc Size: 46,262,100,171 bytes

Feature Size: 33,878,108,160 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.63 Mbps

Average Total Bitrate: 33.23 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 16th, 2009



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 4115 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4115 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Thai 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround



English, English (SDH), Chinese (traditional + simplified), French, Indonesian, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, none



• Commentary by director Gavin O'Conner, DoP Dan Stuart and Editor John Gilroy

Outtakes (4:51-SD)

• The Making of Miracle (17:52 - SD)

• From Hockey to Hollywood: The Actor's Journey (27:31 - SD)

• The Sound of Miracle (10:24 - SD)

ESPN Roundtable with Linda Cohn (41:08 - SD)

• First Impressions: Herb Brooks with Kurt Russell and the filmmakers (21:13 - SD)

HD trailers for Earth, Morning Light, G-Force, Race to Witch Mountain, Snow White, and Hannah Montana





Description: The inspiring story of the team that transcended its sport and united a nation with a new feeling of hope. Based on the true story of one of the greatest moments in sports history, the tale captures a time and place where differences could be settled by games and a cold war could be put on ice. In 1980, the United States Ice Hockey team's coach, Herb Brooks, took a ragtag squad of college kids up against the legendary juggernaut from the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games. Despite the long odds, Team USA carried the pride of a nation yearning from a distraction from world events. With the world watching the team rose to the occasion, prompting broadcaster Al Michaels' now famous question, to the millions viewing at home: "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"



The Film:

Nineteen seventy-nine wasn't a good year for the United States. In fact, the country was in such a severe state of political and economic turmoil that inflation was at an all-time high, and employment an all-time low. Between the gas shortage, the threat of nuclear weapons, the Iranian hostage crisis, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, America was hit badly during the height of the Cold War. Nothing it seemed could shake it from its sociopolitical slump. That is, until February 22, 1980, when a group of amateur athletes hit the ice to defeat the Soviet Union -- the world's greatest reigning hockey team -- and went on to win the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY.

Based on the real-life story of 20 champions, who collectively restored the faith of an ailing nation, elevating patriotism, bravery, determination, and teamwork to a whole new level, Miracle is more than just a great hockey movie. It's a touching tribute to a man who devoted his entire life (cut short on August 11, 2003 by an automobile accident) to the rough-and-tough sport of ice hockey.

Excerpt from Tiffany Sanchez at located HERE



Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Miracle is one of those films that has an incredible amount of quick editing cuts and along with a fluid camera it helps export a certain realism to the drama. It's result is that it doesn't support a lot of detail in the visuals. But this Blu-ray looks pretty good regardless. Colors stand out as bright and impressive while there are no manipulation impediments. There is a bit of gloss and no abundance of depth. I expect this 34 Gig feature represents the film in 1080P about as well as it possible for this format. Grain is very minimal as are artifacts.  This is dual-layered and Disney has done, an expectantly, competent job on the transfer. Skin tones appear realistic and contrast exhibits rich black levels. Overall fans should be very happy with this healthy advancement over the existing DVD. This Blu-ray image is solid and the game scenes border on spectacular.















Audio :

Like the image quality the DTS-HD Master audio at 4115 kbps is rock solid. There are subtleties in the mix and the crowd noises don't overwhelm until called upon. It sounds very professional - hinting at both depth and expansive range. It's not as agressive as a modern action yarn but the track obviously comes to life with punchy bass and a flexing high-end near the conclusion. It's very stirring - encouraged by Mark Isham's score. There are a large selection of subtitle options and my Momitsu tells me this is region FREE! 




Extras :

Typical of Disney the film doesn't start till after a plethora of adverts for Blu-ray or upcoming 'kid' films including HD trailers for Earth, Morning Light, G-Force, Race to Witch Mountain, Snow White, and Hannah Montana. The supplements appear to duplicate the last DVD with nothing new or exclusive for the Blu-ray. The commentary with director Gavin O'Conner, DoP Dan Stuart and Editor John Gilroy has some good moments of imparting production information. There is an inconsequential outtakes portion in SD (as are all supplements). The Making of Miracle seems a bit long at almost 20-minutes but I did like the featurette From Hockey to Hollywood: The Actor's Journey showing some of the on-ice casting process. Establishing the music is covered in the 10-minute segment The Sound of Miracle and the ESPN Roundtable with Linda Cohn at over 40-minutes is good for the more sports-minded fans. It was nice to see First Impressions: Herb Brooks with Kurt Russell and the filmmakers despite the rough quality of the image/sound. I wonder if anyone considered putting on the entire game vs. the Russians on the Blu-ray - or at least many highlights although I expect they are tied up in a rights situation with the broadcast Network. By now though - they may have been purchasable and a dynamite addition. These extras though are very thorough and most are worthwhile venturing to. 



This is a great sports film - basically because the story is true. No matter your favorite athletic pastime - there are always a handful of games that have eclipsed the realm of possibility to achieve the unthinkable. For this to transpire a large group of circumstances had to join together - we say 'the universal tumblers fell into place'. With a competent script that doesn't bite off more than it could chew (or we could swallow) you have a wonderful film experience that was a total pleasure to revisit... especially on Blu-ray. I guess it's about as close as we'll come to reincarnation of that day and this Blu-ray is surely recommendable! 

Gary Tooze

May 30th, 2009



Re-issued on March 29th, 2011:



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze








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