Sports Films for the Spirit: Remember the Titans, Cool Runnings, & Miracle
AIRDATE: Thursday, August 6, 2009
Greetings, wholesome viewers, and welcome to Cinema Scene. Today, we will feature three inspirational films based on true sporting events: “Remember the Titans,” “Cool Runnings,” and “Miracle.” “Remember the Titans” is a beautiful depiction of how the 1971 high school football team at T.C. William High School, located in a suburban town of Virginia, USA, became pivotal in bringing understanding and harmony to their community. The 2000 production stars an amazing cast and was wonderfully directed by American Boaz Yakin. It won eight awards, including the Broadcast Music, Incorporated Film Music Award, and the Outstanding Motion Picture Image Award. The film begins with the narration of a young lady, who takes us back to when T.C. William High School became the first in the region to implement racial integration. Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, has been hired to be the new head coach of the football team, a highly reputable position, as the sport is very popular in Virginia. At first, he is hesitant to accept because the job had been promised to former head coach Bill Yoast, played by Will Patton, prior to the combining of the schools. But when he sees how much hope his new role brings to the African Americans of the community, he changes his mind. Likewise, Coach Yoast is now reluctant to accept the job of being assistant, but decides to stay after encouragement from his football players. The two men accompany the boys trying out for the team to a training camp. Through Coach Boone’s intensive regime, the athletes begin to appreciate one another as individuals and friends. This is especially apparent in the relationship between team captain Gerry Bertier, played by Ryan Hurst, and Julius Campbell, played by Wood Harris, who become as close as brothers. The young players now return home from camp as a unified team. We see the sacrifices that they make to support each other, such as when Gerry forsakes his former buddies when they refuse to accept his new friendship with Julius. As the season commences, the football team’s strength and brotherhood is put to the test. Meanwhile, their outstanding performances on-field gradually begin to influence more community members to realize the importance of the light within, regardless of outer appearance. The film conveys the profound theme of honoring the greatness in everyone. The actors’ brilliant performances successfully represent the genuine rapport amongst the characters. The audience can relate to the accurate portrayal of teenagers and share the excitement of the football games. “Remembering the Titans” is sure to touch the hearts of young and old. Let us venture to the sunny island nation of Jamaica for our next feature, “Cool Runnings.” Directed by American Jon Turteltaub, this 1993 comedy centers on four Jamaicans who became the first to represent their country as a bobsled team at the 1988 Winter Olympics. The film immediately jumps into the joyous atmosphere of Jamaica, showcasing the land’s vibrant sun and the jubilance of the people as a man runs to the tune of a buoyant soundtrack. We soon learn that this is Derice Bannock, played by Leon Robinson, who is known to be, like his Olympian father, the top 100-meter dash sprinter in the nation. He then competes in the Jamaican Olympic Trials. At the starting line, we meet Yul Brenner, played by Malik Yoba, and Junior Bevil, played by Rawle D. Lewis. The contrast in their personalities calls for humor: Yul is a big tough guy, while Junior is slightly built, friendly and obedient. The race begins, and it appears that Derice and Yul will finish first and second, winning a spot to the 1988 Summer Olympics. However, something happens to Junior and that brings the other two down with him. Derice, determined to fulfill his dream of participating in the Olympics, appeals to the board for another chance, but his efforts prove futile. However, an idea is sparked when he learns of Irving, or Irv Blitzer, who is played by John Candy. Irv was once an American bobsledder and gold medalist who retired to Jamaica and tried to recruit Derice’s father to form a bobsled team. Hope renewed, Derice decides to seek Irv’s help in forming the first Jamaican bobsled team to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics. He goes to his best friend Sanka Coffie, played by Doug E. Doug, a pushcart driving champion, and convinces him to join. Irv reluctantly complies, and a funny turn of events finds Yul and Junior completing this fledging team. Despite the lack of snow, they are determined to attend the Games in Canada, which is only a few months away. Nonetheless, it seems no one takes them seriously. Upon their arrival in Canada, they are given a rickety bobsled. The Jamaicans find themselves amongst the very best in bobsledding, while they themselves have just seen a real bobsled and ice for the first time. Can they gain the respect that they deserve? Will they be able to prove that determination and hard work do pay off? “Cool Runnings” is a lighthearted yet moving journey. Like the marvelous Jamaican bobsled team that they portray, the actors work well together. Doug E. Doug is the comedian, while Leon brings the group together as their dignified leader. Meanwhile, the sincere support and understanding that develops between Malik Yoba and Rawle D. Lewis evokes warmth in the film. “Cool Runnings” won the Golden Screen Award and Broadcast Music, Incorporated Film Music Award. It is not to be missed by anyone who enjoys a good laugh and a great story. HOST: Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for our final movie, “Miracle.” Cinema Scene will be right back after these brief messages. Welcome back to Cinema Scene on Supreme Master Television. Let us now take a look at “Miracle,” a 2004 family drama directed by Gavin O’Connor based on the phenomenal American ice hockey team whose performance at the 1980 Winter Olympics was dubbed the “Miracle on Ice.” [MIRACLE] It begins with a rink full of nationally acclaimed athletes coming to try out for the team. Coach Herb Brook selects 26 players, with the most famed ones being sent home. They have been chosen not for their individual performances, but because Coach Brook believes that together, they have the potential to overcome the impossible. Herb, played by actor Kurt Russell, was once a member of a past Olympic squad, but wasn’t given the opportunity to win a gold medal. Now he is set on going back to achieve first place as a coach. As a result, Herb is especially stern in his trainings on ice; in spite of the time of day, he often holds intensive exercise sessions for the hockey players and continuously brings them to reach the limits of their endurance. Through a period of rigorous practice, the original 26 are narrowed down to 20 dedicated individuals. The young group averages 21 in age with mostly college sporting experience. Though they lack professional background, under Herb’s unique ways of guidance, the team members learn the secret of gaining strength through group unity. When Herb’s crew is first formed, people throughout the country are skeptical of its competency. At that time, another hockey squad was considered to be invincible; they had won every game since the 1960s, often giving their opponents no opportunities to score. Herb knows in order to win the gold medal at Lake Placid, where the upcoming Olympics is held, they need to surpass the legendary champions. Herb encourages his boys in overcoming their inner obstacles and giving each other their best on the ice. Outside the rink, he studies the background and films of his players in order to formulate the best plan, and place them in the most suitable positions. Though he rarely gives them lavish compliments for fear of boosting their egos, Herb skillfully leads them to one win after another, uplifting their esteem in each other and the team. Match after match, the persevering group learns to move in union. Prior to the Olympics, they get the opportunity for a warm-up hockey session with the current champions. However, they wind up losing 2 to 13. Furthermore, one member suffers a knee injury which causes him to miss practice all the way until the actual game. Herb, recalling his own disappointment in not being able to participate in the Olympics, decides to keep the player in the game. This reflects the fact that the team has grown to become a caring family. Two weeks later, they enter the rink of Lake Placid in the spirit of giving their country the ultimate miracle. This movie serves as a reminder that in the face of the seemingly unattainable, what is most important is the ability to truly believe in each other. Immediately following the release of the film, “Miracle” won the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award in Los Angeles, California, USA for Best Sports Movie. “Remember the Titans,” “Cool Runnings,” and “Miracle” are three splendid productions based on true tales. In their exceptional ways, each instills hope and awareness of the God-given attributes abundant in every one of us. Fine viewers, thank you for being with us on today’s Cinema Scene. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for more constructive programming. Up next is Vegetarianism: The Noble Way of Living, after Noteworthy News. May God’s glory shine throughout your days.