Saturday, September 10, 2016

Tonight's Movie: Cool Runnings (1993)

It had been several months since I last saw a film in the ongoing Disney Screen series at my local Cinemark. I returned today and saw COOL RUNNINGS (1993) for the first time.

COOL RUNNINGS is one of several Disney films we've owned on DVD for years, but when the rest of the family watched it, it seems I was always working...or grading homeschool papers, or cooking dinner. You get the idea!

It's been delightful having the chance to catch up with so many Disney films for the first time on a big screen in recent years, whether they've been Disney Screen movies or were seen at Disney's El Capitan Theatre.

COOL RUNNINGS was loosely based on the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team, though names and other aspects were changed.

As those who saw the Olympics back then will recall, it was quite a novelty having players from a tropical country competing on bobsleds, especially as they'd had little chance to practice on an actual bobsled track!

The movie tells the story of the team coming together, with the four athletes played by Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle E. Lewis, and Malik Yoba. They recruit a coach (John Candy) who is a former Olympian with a troubled past. The film covers their early training in Jamaica as well as their experiences at the Olympics in Canada, where they raced on a borrowed sled.

As expected based on my family's liking for the film, COOL RUNNINGS was an enjoyable watch. It fits right in with Disney's "inspirational" line of films based on true stories, yet it's also got some unique twists due to its story and setting.

It's admittedly sort of a by-the-numbers feel good sports film, but that's a genre that works for me, and its colorful Jamaican background and lingo give it an unusual kick. It wasn't one of my favorite Disney sports films, but I liked it and found it worthwhile.

COOL RUNNINGS runs 98 minutes. It was directed by Jon Turteltaub and filmed by Phedon Papamichael.

Parental Advisory: COOL RUNNINGS is rated PG for "mild language and brief violence." It's a family-friendly film.

In addition to the DVD, COOL RUNNINGS may be seen via Amazon Instant Video.

Today's screening was preceded by the delightful Donald Duck cartoon CORN CHIPS (1951), in which Donald battles Chip and Dale for a box of popcorn. It's an especially funny one.

I'm happy to say that the Disney Screen movies have been playing at our local Cinemark for over a year now, and they're currently scheduled at the theater through December. The Disney Screen series has been a great opportunity to see old favorites and catch up with new-to-me Disney titles. With COOL RUNNINGS I've now seen a dozen films in the series, averaging to roughly one a month in the last year. I'm looking forward to more!

Previous Disney Screen reviews, in the order seen: OLIVER & COMPANY (1988), EIGHT BELOW (2006), THE LOVE BUG (1968), THE ROCKETEER (1991), ROBIN HOOD (1973), POLLYANNA (1960), POCAHONTAS (1995), FUN AND FANCY FREE (1947), THE MANY ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH (1977), MAKE MINE MUSIC (1946), and ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE (2001).


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