Monday, June 24, 2013

Miracle (2004)

Directed by Gavin O'Connor 

Cast: Kurt Russell (1), Patricia Clarkson (2), Noah Emmerich (3), Eddie Cahill (4), Nathan West (5), and Kenneth Mitchell (6)

(Watch the trailer)

My favourite quote - "Two days later, miracle was made complete. My boys defeated Finland to win the gold medal. Coming from behind once again. As I watched them out there, celebrating on the ice, I realised that Patti had been right. It was a lot more than a hockey game. Not just for those who watched it, but for those who played it. I've often been asked in the years since Lake Placid, 'What was the best moment for me?'. Well, it was here. The sight of 20 young men of such different backgrounds now standing as one. Young men willing to sacrifice so much of themselves, all for an unknown. A few years later, the US began using professional athletes at the games. Dream teams. I always find that term ironic. Because now that we have dream teams, we seldom ever get to dream. But on 1 weekend, as America and the world watched, a group of remarkable young men gave the nation what it needed the most, a chance for 1 night, not only to dream, but a chance once again to believe."

Did You Know? - According to Captain Mike Eruzione, coming into the dressing room in the second intermission, Brooks turned to his players, looked at them and said, "If you lose this game, you'll take it to your fucking graves." He then paused, took a few steps, turned again, said,"Your fucking graves," and walked out. Actor Eddie Cahill who plays his childhood hero Jim Craig in the film plays hockey leisurely but never played the position of goalie prior to the film.

Herb: 26 names. Tough part would be getting it down to 20 before the opening ceremonies.

Craig: This is the final roster? You're kidding me right? This is our first day Herb, we got a week of this. And what about the advisory staff? Aren't they supposed to have a say in this?
Herb: Technically that's all.
Craig: You're missing some of the best players.
Herb: I'm not looking for the best players Craig, I'm looking for the right ones.

Recently, I helped out with my friends' project First XI. The football trials, which lasted for 3 whole days, seemed like a massive undertaking for us as we were pretty short handed. But in the first part of the film, when Kurt Russell's Herb Brooks was scouting for players, it really reminded me of the First XI trials. I particularly liked what Herb said to Craig, "I'm not looking for the best players Craig, I'm looking for the right ones."

In my archery days, I wasn't the best archer. So I had to work very hard for my spot on the national youth training team. I trained almost every day after school and on weekends. I sacrificed a lot of time to train. Time I could have spent with my friends and family instead of sweating it out at the range. I guess that's what Herb meant by "looking for the right ones" instead of the best players. Because more than skill, to excel in any sport, you have to have the right attitude. This is even more so for team sports.

Herb: Well how 'bout it boys? Look like hockey to you? More like a couple of monkeys trying to hump a football to me. I don't know. What do you think Craig?

Craig: Yeah.
Herb: You want to settle old scores you're on the wrong team. We move forward starting right now. We start becoming a team right now. Skating, passing, flow, creativity, that is what this team is all about gentlemen. Not old rivalries. So? Why don't we start with some introductions. You know, get to know each other a little bit. Where you're from, who you are, go ahead.
Rob: Rob McClanahan. St Paul, Minnesota. 
Herb: Who do you play for?
Rob: For you here at the U.
Herb: Jack?
Jack: Jack O'Callahan. Charlestown, Mass. Boston University.
Herb: Over here.
Ralph: Er... I'm Ralph Cox. I'm from wherever's not gonna get me hit.
Herb: Very good.

If your team doesn't put aside their ego and their own personal agenda, they'll never be able to rise to the challenge and be the best team that they can be. But that's the beauty of a team sport isn't it? The cohesiveness of a team is what makes a great team. It makes training much easier if you already enjoy working with your team mates. 

Over the course of the film, from strangers, the players become more than just a team. They become a family. 

"I'm sorry we didn't talk. And I was wrong not to ask. So I'm asking now if you, you know, if you can be with me on this because it won't mean anything if you're not."

- Herb Brooks

Behind every successful man is a woman. Well, actually what it's trying to say is that if you don't have a good support system, it's much harder to concentrate on what you're doing, so it's a little harder to achieve greatness. 

When I was working on the program Sports@SG, I helped interview a number of athletes for the show. And a lot of them were pretty young. So in order to travel to trainings and to pay for sports equipment, they all had to have very supportive parents and siblings. But likewise, they also all felt that achieving all the medals in the world wouldn't mean much if not for their family being there for them and sharing their joy in their achievement. 

It's the same for goalie Jim Craig, who wants to play for the US Olympic team because it was his mother's dream for him to be a part of the team. On the topic of Jim Craig, I discovered the film Miracle because I was looking up Eddie Cahill on Wikipedia. Eddie Cahill plays goalie Jim Craig in the film but I first noticed him in CSI: NY. So when I realised Miracle was about the US Men's team for the 1980 Winter Olympics, I immediately wanted to watch the film. So I did.

And I love it! I was already inclined to like it because it was about my favourite team sport anyway, but I didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. I was there every step of the way. I 
fist pumped and cheered along with the crowd every time the team scored a goal during the much-talked about game with the Soviets. It was like I was there, watching them make this miracle on ice happen. For real. 

"You better think about something else, each and everyone of you. When you pull on that jersey, you represent yourself and your team mates. And the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back. Get that through your head!"

- Herb Brooks

"Win, lose, or tie, you're gonna play like champions!"

- Herb Brooks

"This cannot be a team of common men. Because common men go nowhere. You have to be uncommon."

- Herb Brooks

One of my favourite scenes with awesome lines from coach Herb Brooks was after the team played a friendly match with the Norwegians and tied them. During the game the players on the bench were not watching the game while their team mates were playing on the ice. Instead they were talking about the girls they could see across from where they were sitting. After they tied the game, Herb made them stay back to do drills and that's when he gave them all a piece of his mind. But that was also the turning point for them as well. They all finally got it. They understood the stakes and the importance of what they are training for. And I love the look on the assistant coach's face when he too finally understood what Herb was trying to drill into their heads.

Mike: Mike Eruzione. Winthrop, Massachusetts. 

Herb: Who do you play for?
Mike: I play for the United States of America. 
Herb: That's all gentlemen.

And that's what he was waiting for. That ended the drills he made them do over and over again. Before this, they didn't realise that they were a team, Team USA. And to be a team was to realise that this was bigger than any single one of them. 

In D2: The Mighty Ducks, another Disney ice hockey feature film, Coach Bombay did something similar to remind them that although they were from different parts of America, they were one Team USA.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Flashpoint: Episode 1x08 - Never Kissed A Girl (2008)

Created by: Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern

Cast: Enrico Colantoni (1), Hugh Dillon (2), Amy Jo Johnson (3), Sergio Di Zio (4), David Paetkau (5), Michael Cram, and Mark Taylor

Read about 'He Knows His Brother', the seventh of Flashpoint.

Episode 8 - Never Kissed A Girl

"But he's blind man, so what? So is justice right?"

- Runaway Jury

Justice. I wrote a review on the film Runaway Jury in January and remembered the above quote about how justice is blind. This episode kinda reminds me of that. It's one of those cases where you find yourself secretly rooting for the guy holding the gun even though you know his methods is wrong you can't help but feel for the guy. This episode also ties in with the very first episode of Flashpoint and Ed being sued is one of the side effects of the job. It also does a good job of continuing to show how the job affects the team members. I also like that although their livelihood involved death and guns, the team understands that "a gun never solved anything"

Ed: Are you kidding me? A guy walks into a building, shoots a woman dead, holds another woman hostage, turns his gun on you, I do what I'm hired and trained to do. Come on! 

Greg: I know, that's the truth of what happened nobody doubts that.
Ed: Somebody does! Somebody does! That's... You know.
Greg: Yeah, the guy's son. Everybody grieves in their own way, right, you know that. They look for somebody to blame.
Ed: Well look no further.

Michael: I spent 11 years in there wondering what happened. How somebody could get on the stand and say that I said things that I didn't even know. Ian if we don't appeal...

Ian: Michael! Come on. You're young, you're 26, you got early parole. You got your whole life, you're free. 
Michael: No I'm not free Ian. Okay. As long as they think I killed Katie, her family, my family, everyone I ever met, everyone I ever knew. I'd never be free.
Ian: I can't help you.

Greg: Parker here. 
Ed: Boss, hey, it's me. Yeah, I... I'm in a stairwell off a... off a third floor with a young man... what's your name? 
Michael: Forget my name! Ask about Cheznik! 
Greg: Young man? What are you saying, Ed? Are you telling me you're with the subject now? 
Ed: Yup. 
Greg: Okay. Hang tight, we're right outside the building. 
Ed: We're looking for a... for a... for a prosecutor named Dan Cheznik. 
Greg: You got your gun, Ed? 
Ed: No, no, no. It's... it's C-H-E... 
Greg: Are you telling me that he's got you at gunpoint? 
Ed: That's right, yeah. We just need a location for the young man and the lady here. 
Greg: Okay, he's got a hostage? 
Ed: Correct. 
Greg: Do you want the team on immediate action plan? Just give me "yes." 
Ed: No... no, no. He's a prosecutor. 
Greg: Okay, just stay on the line with me, Ed. 
Michael: Tell him you'll call him back. 
Ed: Boss, I'm gonna have to call you back. 

Greg: Okay. (to the team) Stairwell off the third floor. Guy's got 2 hostages, one's a young woman.
Jules: How do we know?
Greg: Cos Ed's the second hostage. Guys he doesn't have his gun with him.
Lou: Oh no.

Spike is so sweet and funny in this scene... 

Greg: Okay, subject is in the corridor, seconds away.
Sam: Spike. Let's go.
Spike: Okay. Hey! No! Up!
Greg: They're at the door.
Spike: Up! You can't be here. 
Old Lady: I'm scared. I'm...
Greg: 5 seconds.
Spike: Come on. Go...
Michael: You don't get it do you. I have nothing left. I'm not afraid to use this. I will kill you both, leave you both dying here. I do not care anymore.
Spike: Okay come here. That's it. Come.
Greg: Come on buddy, just buy us a minute here. Buy us a minute. 

Wordy: He came into the courthouse with a gun looking for you and you have no idea who he is?

Dan: That could be anyone. You remember every bad guy you've arrested?
Wordy: Any idea why he'd go after you?
Dan: Sure. Same reason I live in a bunker, drive home in an armored car. I'm a prosecutor who does his job well.
Wordy: Just so you know, that's my team mate staring down the long end of this guy's gun, so I'd appreciate it if you think real hard about this. Let's start over. Any hate mail recently? Any threatening phone calls?

Michael: Charged me as an adult but I was 15 when they put me away. Never finished high school, never had a job, never kissed a girl. I don't know anything about anything but I know what happened that day and I know I didn't kill Katie.
Spike: Okay Boss we're on the back roof, we should be at the vent soon.
Greg: Copy that.
Ed: Why don't you tell me about her? What was she like?
Michael: She was amazing. Incredible smile. She didn't have to be but she was nice to everybody. Didn't matter what kind of family you had, house you lived in. She just saw you. So I show up first day of school, you know I'm 12, the only black kid in class, it's like they'd never seen it before. Now kids are whispering, they're moving their desks, and I'm feelin' like I want to fall into a hole and disappear. But she comes right over, she sits beside me, smiles and tells me we're gonna be friends. And just like that we're friends.
Dan: She was raped. Dumped in the woods. Tied her ankles. Tied her wrists. Slit her throat. Covered her face with a t-shirt. Couldn't stand to see what he'd done.
Michael: Just like that, best friends. 3 years. 3 years we were best friends until I fell in love with her.
Dan: All the evidence pointed to Michael. She was killed with a knife, he had a knife that fit the specs. She was raped before she was killed, well, we knew from Michael's friends that he had said he wanted more from Katie.
Ed: Did Katie feel the same way?
Michael: I don't know. The day I told her, we rode to the park. She was sitting on the back of my bike, I was swerving, she was laughing, we were having such a great time. Just being together, just us. It was a perfect day. And then I just said it. I told her I loved her.

Sam: Bravo team in position. Frosted windows, limited joy.
Greg: Standby, we're 5 minutes away. 
Wordy: That one's Ed, can see the cuffs.
Sam: I've got the suspect, I can take him right now.
Wordy: We don't fire on a thermal image. We need to see the guy for real. Okay. Boss calls Scorpio, first shot's mine on the glass. You're a split second later on the subject as soon as you confirmed it's him.
Sam: Copy that.

"A gun never solved anything"
Michael: In prison I went over a lot of things. But there was this one thing that I kept asking myself over and over, I asked myself why Katie didn't want me to drop her at home that day. Why she wanted me to drop me at the corner. She didn't love me. She wanted me to drop her at the corner because she was meeting someone else. She had a date.
Ed: My God.
Michael: Whoever she was meeting, that's who killed her. It had to be. I promised her, first time I went to her grave that I would prove I was innocent, not for me, but for her. So they'd start looking for him, whoever he is, and justice would be done.
Ed: I promise you, we're gonna make sure that happens. And you're gonna get your appeal. Nobody dies today okay. That's it. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Gotta Be Somebody by Nickelback (2008)

Performed by: Nickelback

Album: Dark Horse

Did You Know? - Gotta Be Somebody is the first official single released from the album Dark Horse. However, the song If Today Was Your Last Day was initially planned as the first single to be released.

Each song puts me in a different mood. And with Gotta Be Somebody, it makes me feel both hopeful and sad at the same time. In fact, when I feel lonely, I love to put this song on repeat, and very loudly. 

It's obvious isn't it? From the title of the song, you immediately know its about wanting to find that special someone out there for you. And that is why it makes me both hopeful and sad. 

I feel hopeful that there's gotta be somebody out there for me, but sad that I haven't found him yet. Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but for now, this song gets me every time. 

My colleague and an old friend of mine got married yesterday and like the lyrics of the song, "I wonder what it feels like to find the one in this life, the one we all dream of". I was talking to a few friends after the wedding about how I want an exciting and thrilling love to call my own. And although I'm now trying out the whole online dating website thing, I am a traditionalist and kinda prefer meeting a person organically, face to face when it comes to meeting someone and falling in love. Of course I don't rule it out totally the whole online dating thing. But, one can have a preference right? I mean, who doesn't want the moment that they meet their special someone to "play out like a scene straight off the silver screen". Hmm the film Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! and Notting Hill suddenly comes to mind. 

Anyway, to my Mr Perfect, "I'll be holding my breath, right up 'til the end, until that moment when, I find the one that I'll spend forever with". Who am I referring to? You of course silly.

Gotta Be Somebody Lyrics:

This time, I wonder what it feels like
To find the one in this life, the one we all dream on
But dreams just aren't enough
So I'll be waiting for the real thing, I'll know it by the feeling
The moment when we're meeting, will play out like a scene
Straight off the silver screen
So I'll be holding my breath, right up 'til the end
Until that moment when, I find the one that I'll spend forever with

Cause nobody wants to be the last one there
Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me like that
Cause nobody wants to do it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there

Tonight, out on the street, out in the moonlight
And dammit this feels too right, it's just like déja vu
Me standing here with you
So I'll be holding my breath, could this be the end?
Is it that moment when, I find the one that I'll spend forever with

Cause nobody wants to be the last one there
Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me like that
Cause nobody wants to do it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there

Ooo... You can't give up, (when you're looking for)
A diamond in the rough (cause you never know)
When it shows up, (make sure you're holding on)
Cause it could be the one, the one you're waiting on
Cause nobody wants to be the last one there
And everyone wants to feel like someone cares
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me, oh

Nobody wants to go it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there
Nobody wants to be the last one there
Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there

Music Video:

The music video for Gotta Be Somebody isn't the best one I've seen, far from it actually. And while watching the music video, all I can think of is how much the lead vocalist Chad Kroeger kinda reminds me of Nicholas Cage. I think its because the CGI really makes it feel quite amateurish. However, that being said, I like the opening in space with the CGI graphics of the various planets. I have a thing for space. Also, the Brooklyn Bridge and Colosseum used in the music video really brought a smile to my face because it reminded me of when I saw it in real life. 

Interestingly, the music video won Best Video, Best Rock Video, and Best Post Production at the 2009 MuchMusic Video Awards.

The Eclectic Reviewer thinks... Nickleback's Gotta Be Somebody is the perfect song for when you're feeling lonely and need to feel some hope of ever finding somebody special to spend forever with. I love this kind of grand rock ballad tune as well. So together with the lyrics, it's high on my favourite list. 

Album cover from Wikipedia

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