Will inspiring biopic ‘Blue Miracle’ break out as Netflix’s latest sleeper hit?

Independent journalist Josh Shepherd examines how the brand new Netflix original film works in interviews with the cast and crew Blue miracle– Elevates the inspiring genre of true story with relatable characters and a hot reggaetón soundtrack.

During this Memorial Day weekend in the US, many plan to enjoy big budget Netflix original movies like Zack Snyders Army of the Dead and Amy Adams Thriller The woman in the window. But the most popular streaming service around the world today has a real family drama that has been largely scrutinized.

During the last Faith and Family Getaway on Netflix, Campy Musical A week away, had attraction mostly limited to families with children at home, Blue miracle tells an inspiring story in a way that will attract generations.

“The way you make a movie compelling is that it has to come from a real place within you,” said writer and director Julio Quintana at a press conference for the soundtrack. “Everyone has said that this film is refreshingly not persistent. When you tell a story and explore its subjects in a real way, you inevitably learn things and grow and the truth emerges. “

A protégé of the film legend Terrence Malick, the Hispanic filmmaker Quintana (The ship) associated with faith film producer Darren Moorman (Same kind different from me) who had secured the rights to a story that was seemingly too perfect to be true – about an orphanage in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

After a devastating hurricane in autumn 2014, the jaded professional fisherman Captain Wade Malloy (Dennis Quaid) agrees to take a crew of inexperienced orphans to the world’s largest offshore fishing competition. He intended to share the six-figure prize if they win a big one.

Viewers familiar with inspirational biographies can likely guess aspects of how they end up. But the journey to get there – with three-dimensional characters wrestling with big questions, stunning cinematography, and a street-party rap soundtrack – invites a wide potential audience, much like in previous biopic hits like Soul surfer and Remember the titans.

Star Power and ‘Impossible Dreams’

When veteran Hollywood star Dennis Quaid (Traffic, frequency, The right stuff) logged in, it raised the profile of Blue miracle. He said the script was written by Quintana and co-writer Chris Dowling (Where hope grows) sold him the comfortable, entertaining story.

“That’s how I really choose all of my films,” Quaid told me. “When I read a script, this is the only chance I get to see the story for the first time, like a viewer. This is the ultimate underdog story, it is the impossible dream story – and it really happened. “

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Dennis Quaid as Captain Wade Malloy and Jimmy Gonzales as Omar Venegas in BLUE MIRACLE. Photo credit: Carlos Rodriguez / Netflix

Certain elements have been embellished, such as the film’s tournament prize of $ 1 million instead of the actual $ 250,000.

In real life, the soft spoken orphanage director “Papa” Omar Venegas rarely expressed doubts; this is different from how he’s played by Latino star Jimmy Gonzales (Mayan’s MC), here in his first leading role. And to simplify the narrative, the film bypasses how Venegas was involved in a serious car accident just before the tournament.

However, Quintana points out that essential facts are true. In September 2014, Hurricane Odile demolished Baja California. “This storm severely damaged the orphanage. They didn’t know what to do for money. Also, the storm has caused the organizers to change the tournament rules this year to allow this team to join. “

Like his character, Quaid has long been an avid fisherman. It was easy for him to identify with the two-time fishing tournament winner who wanted to help a ragged orphan team.

“All he cares about in the beginning is the money and the profit and his own fame,” he said. “These kids end up teaching him what’s really important.”

Creative challenges, children juggle

Quintana made the most of her production budget. He and a small crew, including his wife and brother, visited Cabo San Lucas in October 2019 to win Bisbee’s actual Black & Blue Marlin tournament, which has hundreds of ships competing.

“We used drones to take aerial photos of the tournament with all the boats taking off from the marina,” he said. “We have the great, wide expanses of the rocks and this iconic stone arch. Then we took this footage and made sure it fits our locations in the Caribbean. “

The first shooting took place in the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola, among other things due to an innovative 60,500 square meter Horizon Water Tank that was developed for film productions. This makes it much easier to capture scenes set at sea on film.

Quaid speaks from his past. “It is very difficult to shoot boats,” he said. “There is always an element keeping you off the course. Shooting (Blue miracle) Everything went smoothly in this huge tank, built right on the ocean shore – especially when working with the kids. “

Over the course of weeks, the director realized that they might have spent a full day in the ocean waters. “Whenever we needed the boat to move around a bit, we would go out and take a few shots,” said Quintana. “But it was just miserable and you couldn’t really set anything on fire.”

He added, “The open ocean is no joke, especially with young children. As soon as they start throwing up, the day is as good as over. “

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In BLUE MIRACLE, the Casa Hogar family is waiting for the storm. These include Tweety (Steve Gutierrez), Becca (Fernanda Urrejola), Wiki (Isaac Arellanes), Geco (Anthony Gonzalez), and Hollywood (Nathan Arenas). Photo credit: Carlos Rodriguez / Netflix

While the orphans cared for by “Papa Omar” take center stage Blue miracleIssues of fatherhood emerge in other contexts as well. Finding out that he and his wife have three children under the age of five, writer and director Quintana said it was all very personal to him.

“I struggle every day to be a good father,” he said. “What professional success or what options do I have to make sure that I am there for my children and that I go to the soccer games? Even if people aren’t parents, I hope they feel like this is coming from a real place. “

Father of three grown children, Quaid affirmed, “The most important thing about being a parent is being there. This film talks about the importance of having children knows you are there for her. “

Without question, Blue miracle will attract parents and grandparents. Can it appeal to younger viewers too?

“This music is fire”

Quintana set out to underpin the film’s urban conflicts with current hip-hop and reggaetón, a mix of reggae and rap that has spread widely in recent years. He faced a problem.

“It’s very difficult to find anything in this area that isn’t negative in terms of messaging,” said Quintana. “I can’t write about my film like 99 percent of reggaetón, it wouldn’t work. But what they do at Reach Records is completely different. “

Atlanta-based indie label Reach Records, founded in 2004 by Grammy-winning rap artist Lecrae, has built a diverse roster involved in emerging urban genres. They avoid explicit texts in favor of socially conscious messages that often reflect their Christian faith.

Label boss Lecrae, who has sold tens of millions of albums, has used his success wisely. Last year he ended a four-year contract with Columbia Records and now releases tracks exclusively through Reach. Lecrae has been widely lauded for his public relations work and has caused controversy among some U.S. Christians for using his platform to highlight issues of racial justice.

The team behind it Blue miracle According to producer-artist GAWVI (née Gabriel Alberto Azucena), Reach contacted the soundtrack at just the right moment. “The stars are kind of aligned,” said GAWVI. “When the film was finished and they decided on music, we just released Sin Vergüenza, our first Latin American album that Reach artists worked on. “

The son of immigrants from Mexico, the Georgian emcee Raul Garcia, also known as WHATUPRG, integrates trap-oriented rhythms into his various soundtrack contributions alongside Puerto Rican urban collaborator Tommy Royale.

“We’re connecting more to our roots and just creating the most authentic music we can make,” said RG. “They used to have no place for Christian music like anywhere, and now it’s premiering in a Netflix movie. This music is fire and has a message of hope. “

The next sleeper hit?

For Dennis Quaid, this film is the latest in a long line of inspiring biographies. “I was drawn to this character because he’s a guy who has really changed,” said Quaid. “He’s humble in this story, and then I think God works miracles.

The actor, who has just released a Christian Gospel music album, has similar roles on deck. He plays the main role American Outsider: The Kurt Warner Story comes from Lionsgate later that year and becomes the polarizing US President Ronald Reagan all in one Reagan Biopic is currently filming.

He praises Blue miracle as a “positive intercultural story”. Writer and director Julio Quintana talks about the film’s multicultural milieu and alludes to front-page headlines on the US southern border.

“The importance of such a story is humanizing children in such situations,” said Quintana. “The next time someone hears about children stuck on the US-Mexico border, they have a face and an emotional connection. I think that can only result in positive things. “

Bringing together a diversity of talents Blue miracle Could end up like a true war thriller as another attractive Netflix sleeper hit The outpost and recent drama The ditch.

For rapper WHATUPRG, the great reach of the world’s largest streamer is not lost. “It’s close to seeing how far we’ve come. I can’t wait to show my mother that we need to put our songs in a movie on Netflix. “

Freelance journalist Josh M. Shepherd writes about culture, beliefs and public policy issues. His work has been published by outlets such as The Stream, What’s On Disney Plus, The Federalist, Christianity Today, Family Theater Productions, and Faithfully Magazine.

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