Movie Reviews
4:12 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Checking Off The Boxes Of A Disney Sports Movie In 'McFarland, USA'

Kevin Costner leads a team of runners in McFarland, USA.
Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:03 pm

As long as hearts still beat in America, there will be a place for the big, gooey Disney sports movie. Like its forefathers Remember The Titans, Miracle, and countless others, McFarland, USA is a based-on-truth myth in which a maverick coach leads a ragtag team of misfits to victory against posh, polished enemies, touching the essence of the American dream in the process. There is a grand tradition at work here, a lifeblood that runs through mid-century entertainment like Knute Rockne—All American and Kevin Costner's baseball movies alike.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:10 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Good Acting, Directing And Story Make 'McFarland USA' Effective

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 5:10 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Early in his career, in films like "Bull Durham" and "Field Of Dreams," the actor Kevin Costner specialized in playing athletes. Now in "McFarland USA" he's moved up to being a coach. Kenneth Turan has our review.

Read more
12:12 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

McFarland Residents Cheer As Movie Makes Bakersfield Debut

The Disney film "McFarland, USA" is a fictionalized story based on the real-life McFarland High School cross country team and their coach Jim White, played here by Kevin Costner.
Credit Disney

On its opening weekend, the movie McFarland, USA grossed more than $11 million at the box office, ranking No. 4 in the nation. Without a movie theater in their town, the people of McFarland have been flocking to Maya Cinemas in Bakersfield, 25 miles away, to attend several premiere events.

Read more
Valley Edition
11:10 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Valley Edition: February 24 - McFarland; Hmong Bus Tour; Fresno Water Rates; Photographer Matt Black

Valley Edition February 24, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition reporter Jennifer Burger attends the Central Valley opening of the feature film McFarland, USA.  Reporter Ezra David Romero goes on a bus tour with 4o East Asian farmers to the Bay to discover new markets. 

Read more
Valley Edition
11:38 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Valley Edition: Feb. 10 - McFarland Film; World Ag Expo; Fresno Grand Opera

This week on Valley Edition reporter Ezra David Romero visits the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif. We are also joined by Valley farmer Paul Betancourt who talks about the state of agriculture in the region.

Read more
12:13 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

"McFarland, USA" Director Finds Inspiration In The San Joaquin Valley

Kevin Coster stars in the film "McFarland, USA" as McFarland High School cross country coach Jim White
Credit Disney

It’s just 129 miles from the star-lined sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard to the dusty streets of McFarland, in rural Kern County. On the surface it might be hard to think of two parts of the state that could possibly be more different. But a major new motion picture featuring one of Hollywood's biggest stars has brought the two places together in an unlikely way. 

Read more
Government & Politics
10:39 am
Mon October 28, 2013

California Begins Sending Inmates to Private Prisons

The GEO Group's Golden State Modified Community Correctional Facility in McFarland, CA.
Credit The GEO Group, Inc.

California is beginning to transfer inmates out of its state prisons. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the transfers are part of a court-mandated plan to reduce overcrowding in state prisons

California is sending 2,100 inmates to three private prisons within the state. James Black is with the GEO group, which operates the facilities. He says GEO’s prisons must meet the same standards the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation must meet.

Read more