McFarland, USA Inspiring Stand Up and Cheer Flick

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McFarland USA Disney Kevin Costner Cross Country Sports Critical Blast

When high school football coach Jim White is fired, again, he and his family end up in the poorest town in California -- McFarland. The population is almost entirely Mexican immigrants who work as pickers, Their football team is a pushover -- and it isn't long before he loses his position as an assistant coach for them as well!

What he does notice, however, is that these kids can run -- fast, and for long distances. As Jim (Kevin Costner) relates his plan to Principal Camillo (a much-slimmed Valente Rodriguez, THE GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW), the kids carbo-load on rice and beans, and then run miles to their jobs in hot dry weather. They're natural fits for cross-country running.

Putting together a team of seven is a challenge, and White has many obstacles keeping them together. Ultimately, however, his work has a lasting impact on the runners, their families, White's family, and indeed the entire town.

Also featuring Maria Bello (TOUCH), Morgan Saylor (HOMELAND), Elsie Fisher (DESPICABLE ME) and a standout performance from Diana Maria Riva (THE WEST WING), MCFARLAND USA is the kind of film that makes you want to stand up and cheer, even if you're not a "sports movie" kind of person. That's because MCFARLAND USA goes beyond the sports, and delivers a look into the relations of human beings fighting the odds and coming out on top.

Based on a true story (the closing credits phase from actors to actual people in a filmed running sequence, with accomplishments listed), the bonus features on this Blu-ray release focus on the events which inspired the story. In "McFarland Reflections," Costner talks with the real Jim White, and the members of the 1987 McFarland "Cougers" (and no, that's not a type), as they look back at that historic year. There's also "Inspiring McFarland," which looks at the community as a whole, and how a town known for hosting a prison (conveniently across the street from the high school, for ease of transitioning) became known for something greater.

The Blu-ray also includes the music video "Juntos" performed by Juanes, and a collection of deleted and expanded scenes. And for an additional bonus, please enjoy the following tamale recipe!

4.5 / 5.0