Unless it’s a comedy, I generally don’t go seeking out “sports” movies these days. Thing is, over the past few decades, some of the best dramatic tales with a sports background have all starred one man – Kevin Costner – and his path largely started with the dramatic comedy, BULL DURHAM (though he did do a film about cycling back in ’85). When I interviewed Costner back in February, just days prior to the theatrical debut of McFARLAND, USA, he pointed out something that rings true about the entire “sports movie” genre: “The best ones are about people, and there’s less sports in it than you would imagine.” That rings exceptionally true with McFARLAND, USA, which I initially reviewed on the day of its theatrical debut, February 20, 2015.
The charm of the film is that, while it uses the true-life story of Jim White’s 1987 McFarland Cougars cross-country team as its foundation, the film itself is, as director Niki Caro notes, “a profoundly American film” about families, culture and community.
Revisiting the film upon it’s release on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) Digital HD, my appreciation has grown even more, with McFARLAND, USA ranking among the most-recommended films that I’ve seen in recent memory. The story is unstoppable, and the golden-hued look of the film comes through at home just as beautiful as it did the first time I saw it on a big screen back in Burbank. Nearly six months later, it’s still one of my favorites of 2015.
- Read the in-depth feature film review and interview with Director Niki Caro.
- Read all McFARLAND, USA coverage from THE ROCK FATHER, including interviews and special features.