Monday, January 27, 2020     Volume: 20, Issue: 47
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
AD ASTRA
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: MAGIC FOR HUMANS
BINGEABLE: NATHAN FOR YOU
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: LONE WOLF MCQUADE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BOMBSHELL
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CATS
DARK WATERS
DOCTOR SLEEP
DOLITTLE
DOWNTON ABBEY
FORD V FERRARI
FROZEN II
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HAEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
KNIVES OUT
LIKE A BOSS
LITTLE WOMEN
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RICHARD JEWELL
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
SPIES IN DISGUISE
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE GRUDGE
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
THE TURNING
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
UNDERWATER
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)

PHOTO BY IMAGE COURTESY OF WALT DISNEY PICTURES

BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)


Where is it playing?: Disney+, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes

What's it rated?: PG

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

One of my favorite holiday traditions in my family is the nights we inevitably spend re-watching some of our old favorite movies together. I assume most families have these—the films that you and your siblings wore out on VHS growing up, the ones that fill you with nostalgia and a cozy feeling whenever the opening credits roll. One of those flicks for me, which we watched recently over Thanksgiving, is the 1993 sports comedy Cool Runnings.

Cool Runnings is the perfect tweenage kids’ movie, parents take note. It’s hilarious and quirky. It’s breezy. It’s dramatic. It’s inspirational. It’s about the underdog. Loosely based on the true story of the 1988 Winter Olympics, the film tells the tale of the first Jamaican bobsled team and its unlikely path to a respectable showing at the Olympics in Calgary.

When Jamaican track star Derice Bannock (Leon) gets accidentally tripped during his 100-meter Olympic qualifying race, he gets the wild idea to try to form a bobsled team instead. Many years prior, an American bobsledder, Irv Blitzer (played wonderfully by the late John Candy), had tried to recruit Derice’s father and other sprinters for one. 

Derice, determined to be an Olympian, convinces his goofy friend, pushcart racer Sanka Coffie (Doug E. Doug), to help form the long-lost bobsled team, and they recruit the guy who tripped Derice at the qualifier (Rawle D. Lewis) and the other sprinter who got tripped (Malik Yoba) to join the squad. Blitzer, who lives on the island as a depressed bookie, long disgraced from the sport of bobsledding after a cheating scandal, agrees to coach them.

Cue a hilarious montage of the four young men screaming wildly as they bomb down a hill in a pushcart-turned-sled, and we’re off to the races! Most of the world thinks they’re crazy—I mean, a Jamaican bobsled team, really?! Even their native Olympic officials are convinced they’ll embarrass the country. But the five-some doesn’t care; they believe in their cause and each other. The remainder of the film tracks the team’s journey to Calgary, with its many ups and downs, in a fun and touching way. Needless to say, the Jamaicans shut up their naysayers by the closing credits.

While I called this the perfect kids’ movie at the start, Cool Runnings is plenty enjoyable for teens and adults too. In my most recent viewing, I was able to appreciate some of the more mature themes and character nuances that went right over my head as a kid. The relationship between teammates Junior Bevil and Yul Brenner, initially antagonistic as Yul holds a grudge against Junior for tripping him and Derice, blossoms into a strong, supportive brotherhood. A scene in Calgary where the two get into a bar fight with members of the mean-spirited German bobsled team is particularly memorable. Just before, Yul demands that the hopelessly timid Junior look in the mirror and tell him what he sees. “I see pride!” Yul pumps him up. “I see power! I see a badass mother who won’t take no crap from no one!” The exchange perfectly sums up the essence of this ’90s classic. m

—Peter Johnson




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