Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The 33 pays tribute to the Chilean miners

Movie Title:      The 33

Grade:   B

Rating:   PG-13, 2 hours

In a Nutshell:  Based on the true account of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped far below the surface of the earth, this feel-good movie shows the human spirit and the power of hope.

At the beginning of the film, we’re told that every year, 12,000 miners die from mining accidents.  This movie is a tribute to all miners, as well as The 33 who endured a horrifying ideal that captured the attention of the entire world in 2010.  If it happened today, everyone would be plastering the Chilean flag all over their Facebook profile pictures.  :)

Uplifting theme: 
  • Faith & Hope.  "Super" Mario, played by Antonio Banderas leads the miners and constantly inspires them to remainful faithful and hopeful.  At one point when some of the men begin to falter, he tells them, "I believe it, because I choose to believe it."  The only other option is despair, right?  That doesn't do anyone any good, right?
  • "Moving on!"  - Mario

Things I liked:
  • Antonio Banderas.  Men want to be him and women want to swoon over him. 
  • I loved being able to see the real miners at the end of the movie.
  • There is some decent CGI during the big cave-in scenes.  When everything has collapsed, the screen goes black and the audience sits in still darkness for almost a minute.  Then, you hear a cough.  Then, you finally see one of the headlamps of the miners.  It's a powerful scene done well.
  • It's refreshing to see a government official who truly cares. The handsome Rodrigo Santoro plays Laurence Golborne, the Minister of Mining in Chile. 
  • There is a sweet scene that shows the miners praying for the safety of their families.  That touched me, because they kept their faith and they were more concerned about their families than themselves. 
  • Smaller parts played by other actors included James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bob Gunton, and Gabriel Byrne.  The cast is actually very international, including actors from Argentina, Spain, Ireland, America, France, Chile, and more!
  • I remember watching this story on the news, so it was really interesting to see what was going on down in the mine when we were only seeing what was happening above.
  • Juliette Binoche's character sells empanadas on the street.  I watched this movie on an airplane while flying home from a trip to Panama, where their empanadas are made with corn meal flour.  I hadn't had those before.  Juliette's empanadas were the more familiar kind made from regular flour.  They looked delicious.

Things I didn’t like:
  • It’s really hard to create suspense and tension for an audience that already knows how the story ends.
  • Casting Juliette Binoche as a Chilean street vendor was a very odd choice.  Jennifer Lopez was originally cast for that role, but had to leave the film because of scheduling conflicts with her role as a judge on American Idol Season 11 Highlights .
  • There are a few cheesy, overly dramatic moments.
  • One of the miners is married with a mistress on the side.  We see the women have a cat fight over him, among other bad behavior.  I'll never understand a cheating man.  Just as bad, I'll never understand a woman who tolerates it.  The story line is supposed to provide some comic relief to the movie, but it just disgusted me.
  • There isn't as much character development as I would have liked.  We only get to know a few of the miners, while the rest remain mere faces in the crowd.



Funny lines:
  • “If we're really hungry, we can always eat the Bolivian.  I hear they taste like chicken.”  - miner
  • “Hatred is for children.” - Jose henriquez (Marco Trevino)
  •  "Elvis is in the building!" - Yonni Barrios (Oscar Nunez) 

Interesting lines:
  •  "This is why we are here.  I can taste it.  Cooper and gold." - Mario
  • "That's a big rock!" - miner                                                           "That's not a rock.  that the heart of the mountain.  She finally broke." - Mario
  • "It's not about us.  I believe we have a moral responsibility.  Thirty-three is a lot of people." - Laurence Golborn
  • "We can pray together." - Jose                                                      "I don't know the words." - Dario                                                "God doesn't care." - Jose
  • "Family is all we have." - Mario

Tips for parents:   
*   This is a family-friendly movie with no profanity.
*   Other than the initial collapse of the mine, there isn't a lot of action and so, young children may become bored.  

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