McFarland USA Movie Review & Tamale Recipe | Focused on the Magic : McFarland USA Movie Review & Tamale Recipe


McFarland USA Movie Review & Tamale Recipe

We received a copy of Disney’s McFarland, USA for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Disney McFarland USA
McFarland , USA is available on Disney Blu-ray® Combo Pack, Disney Movies Anywhere, and Digital HD June 2nd.

In the tradition of Disney sports movies comes "McFarland, USA" based on a true story of underdogs triumphing over tremendous obstacles. This heartwarming drama follows novice runners who strive to build a cross-country team under Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) in their predominantly Latino high school. Everyone has a lot to learn about each other, but when Coach realizes the boys' exceptional running ability, things change. Beyond their talent, it's the power of family, commitment to each other and work ethic that transform them into champions — helping them achieve their own American dream.

“McFarland, USA” is not your ordinary sports film. What makes it very special is that it is inspired by a 1987 true story, in which Coach Jim White (now retired) and an unlikely group of inexperienced, under-equipped, young Latino runners with incredible determination rise to become cross-country state champions. Over the years since then, the McFarland High School cross-country teams have won nine state championships and the small school is considered a powerhouse in the sport.

A number of the original runners on the championship 1987 cross-country team became educators in the McFarland school district. The former teammates are not only working in their hometown, but also raising their families there and actively supporting today’s cross-country teams by coaching, helping out with the meets and practices and donating goods or money so the teams have what they need.

Three out of the seven young actors on the team in the movie are from the McFarland area—Sergio Avelar who plays Victor Puentes, and Michael Aguero, cast as Damacio Diaz, are actual runners; Ramiro Rodriguez, as Danny Diaz, was a champion soccer player.

Ramiro Rodriguez had no intention of auditioning when he agreed to drive his cousin to the casting tryouts for “McFarland, USA.” He landed the role of Danny Diaz after being pestered repeatedly by executive producer Mario Iscovich to audition.

I really enjoyed watching this movie with my sons. You can check out my blog post from the movie release, Superstar Juanes Thrills Fans with Disney’s “McFarland, USA” Song, Images + Movie Trailer + Poster.
Bring your tissues and be prepared for an uplifting heartwarming story. You'll cry and then smile. It's the kind of movie that families can enjoy together and kids can watch over and over.
This movie sparked a great family discussion about sports, coaches and culture. I'd say that's a win!
McFARLAND, USA..L to R: Thomas Valles (Carlos Pratts), Jose Cardenas (Johnny Ortiz), Johnny Sameniego (Hector Duran), Damacio Diaz (Jamie Michael Aguero) and Victor Puentes (Sergio Avelar)...Ph: Ron Phillips..©Disney 2015

Staring Kevin Costner (“Dances with Wolves,” “The Untouchables”), Maria Bello (“A History of Violence,” “Prisoners”), Carlos Pratts (“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,” “Out of the Fire”), and Morgan Saylor (TV’s “Homeland,” “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant”) this movie shows how it is possible to rise above difficult circumstances and also learn how to accept other’s differences.
McFARLAND, USA..Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner)..Ph: Ron Phillips..©Disney 2015

This DVD is rated PG and runs for 129 minutes.

Bonus Features Include:

  • McFarland Reflections - Join kevin Cosner with Coach Jim White and members of the 1987 cross-country team as they look back on the bonds theye forges and the opportunites they were given. 
  • “Juntos” Music Video performed by Juanes. 
  • Inspiring McFarland - See the strength and perseverance that brought a community together. 
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes. 

The film can be viewed on Blu-ray, Disney Movies Anywhere, and Digital HD/SD. Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer.
McFARLAND, USA..Coach Jim White on set w/ the real McFarland '87 runners and current cross country team runners...Ph: Ron Phillips..©Disney 2015

Buy it

You can pick up your copy of McFarland USA on Disney Blu-ray Combo Pack beginning June 2nd.

Stay Connected

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Now for the delicious Tamale Recipe:


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