Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Great (film) Debates vol. 46

Everybody loves sports! Bowling, badminton, hot dog eating, and all those other minor sports. And Hollywood is quite good at capturing sports on film.

What is your favorite sports film?


Panelist: ScottDS

I was never into sports but one of my favorite films growing up was The Sandlot. It's a quintessentially American film and I'm pleased that my generation can still quote from it. "You're killin' me, Smalls!"

Panelist: AndrewPrice

I'm going with Major League. Sure, it's a comedy and not a true "sports" film, but it's still one of the best sports films of all time. It's got all the elements of a great sports film, including the underdog, the guys everyone counted out, the drama of the final game and the final pitch, and you feel it like your team just won the game for real.

Panelist: BevfromNYC

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!!! This is one of my favorite genre of film. The running theme in most of these kinds of film is someone overcoming some great odds to achieve their goal (literally and figuratively) In Rudy, Rudy Roettiger’s dream was to play football for Notre Dame. Everyone told him that he was too small, too dumb, too something and it would never happen, but he never gave up. Though he did not play as a regular player, he made his dream come true. There is something always uplifting about real people making real dreams come true.

My second favorite has to be The Blind Side. Though not specifically about sports, it is about a real sports figure who gets to realize a dream he never even knew he could have – a supportive adoptive family. It is just a great heart-warming tear-jerker of movie.

Panelist: T-Rav

The Sandlot. Because a), it's set in the early '60s, when everything was still good ol' Americana and the hippies hadn't ruined everything yet; b), it's a baseball movie (see point a), and c), it's got James Earl Jones in it. Plus it's about friendship and growing up and all that. Perfect ingredients for a great sports movie.

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

Eight Men Out edges out Hoosiers. My rationale is most sports films are feel good stories. 8 Men was a great depiction of a real event, and there was no happy ending."

Comments? Thoughts?


151 comments:

K said...

The Natural.

Nice baseball period piece with an underlying moral/spiritual subtext.

DUQ said...

"Happy Gilmore"! Just kidding. My favorite is the original "The Longest Yard." I also have a soft sport of "North Dallas Forty," though I wish that could have been better.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Man, there's so many good ones.
I really liked Cinderella Man a lot. A very American, can do film (starring an Australian! LOL! But that's okay because Crowe is a great actor).

One of my favorite parts is, after Crowe's character is literally forced to beg for money, for his family, from friends and also getting money from the govt., he paid them all back as soon as he could, including the govt..

He reluctantly swallowed his pride and accepted a hand up during the bad times, but he refused to take a handout.

How refreshing to see in a film!

Oh, and the boxing scenes were good too, as well as the rest of the story, acting and directing.
I was really rooting for Crowe to win!

Based on the true story and very inspirational!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I'm sure glad you were kidding, DUQ, LOL!

DUQ said...

Don't worry Ben, I know when a joke's gone too far! ;D

By the way, I love Crowe and I thought "Cinderella Man" was excellent.

Soonertroll said...

Favorite football movie- Rudy
The emotional triumph at the end brought me to tears.

Favorite baseball movie- The Natural
The tale of a mythical hero set in our most mythologized sport well executed by Barry Levinson.

Basketball movie- Hoosiers
Love watching Gene Hackman channel Bobby Knight.

Boxing movie- Cinderella Man
If you like uplifting stories, they don't get any better then Ron Howard's take on the story of Jim Braddock. Excellent preformences from Crowe and Paul Giamatti.
Also agree with Ben, the boxing scenes are far better than most. For that reason alone I rate a better boxing movie than Raging Bull or any of the Rocky movies.

Outlaw13 said...

I liked the Natural and will watch it whenever I see that it is on but I don't seek it out, same with Rudy.

Many might this odd coming from a Texan, but I found the film Miracle, starring Kurt Russell about the 1980 Olympic Hockey team quite compelling.

Recently I watched a film called Seven Days in Utopia that was wonderful. it's about Golf and finding yourself and it has Robert Duvall in it. I found it quite nice.

Of course the ultimate Golf film is Caddyshack... so it wins hands down.

Mike K. said...

Does Breaking Away count as a sports movie, or is it a 'coming of age' movie? Either way, it's one of my favorites.

The best sports movies are about baseball, and Eight Men Out is just ahead of Field of Dreams in my book. Shoeless Joe is a great tragic character.

The best movie ever made about the cut-throat world of professional bocce ball is Blackballed, hands down.

Cheryl said...

I'm torn between Remember the Titans and Radio.

No... I have to go with Remember the Titans.

When my boys were growing up I always tried to choose films with strong male characters and moral values.

It's such a great story with so many admirable characters and teachable scenes.

Plus, that little Cheryl is a hoot!

Tennessee Jed said...

"K" - The Natural is a movie I enjoyed as well. Growing up in the Philly area, I remember the famous Eddie Waitkis incident on which the Roy Hobbs character was based. At the time of the Natural, I had yet to become quite so bored with Redford's "soft" romanticized style which by now has become a bit of a cliche. Nice acting job by Glenn Close and Richard Farnsworth, too.

Tennessee Jed said...

DUQ - I remember reading the book "North Dallas Forty" which was written by a Cowboy wide receiver "druggie." The QB was loosely based on Dandy Don Meredith. I like the book, but was disappointed with the movie. One of those reasons it is sometimes tough to watch a movie made from a book you've already read.

Tennessee Jed said...

Cinderella Man is an excellent movie, one which I do rank right there with Raging Bull, Ben. A much more positive film than "Bull" although it was hard to beat the acting in Raging Bull.

Outlaw - I agree with you, "Miracle" does deserve to rank right up there with the very best. People sometimes tend to put down "feel good" pictures, but this was a really proud time to be an American. Brooksie, who was coach of the Gophers, was one of the best ever.

Tennessee Jed said...

Oh, and Outlaw, thanks for the tip on 7 Days in Utopia. That sounds like it's right in my wheelhouse.

Soonertroll - I don't know why, but Rudy just never grabbed my attention. Perhaps because I was never a Notre Dame fan.

Tennessee Jed said...

Mike - No, it doesn't (l.o.l.) Breaking Away is a great coming of Age Movie. Seriously, the great thing about this kind of discussion is that it is whatever you believe it is..

I agree with you about 8 Men Out (I have always enjoyed John Sayles) is a terrific depiction of the Black Sox Scandal in the 1919 World Series, and quite accurate, too.

Tennessee Jed said...

Cheryl - Sports movies are so great because they do have positive messages and can be watched with your kids or grandkids (by way of contrast, see Scott's review of "The Room."

Tennessee Jed said...

Although it is hardly the best sports movie ever made, I have to give another shout out to "The Might Macs." This was a film designed for the Philly area viewers, but it is a wonderful story, particular for those of you with young daughters. It is how a tiny Catholic College, Immaculata, in Malvern, Pa. somehow managed to win two consecutive women's national basketball championships.

AndrewPrice said...

K, Excellent choice! I enjoyed that one a lot.

BevfromNYC said...

Ooh, I loved The Natural and Field of Dreams too. Eight Men Out was on just last night, but I didn't watch it. I will check that out.

Cheryl, I think that's what I like about sports-themed movies is they are almost always filled with teachable moments. Rudy is a perfect example of accomplishing a dream, but maybe not in the way you thought. Rudy wasn't a football starter or good student, but he wouldn't give up his dream and he didn't ask for handouts or shortcuts. He studied hard and played hard and saw his dream come true in HIS way and earned the respect of everyone around him. That is a story worth repeating over and over.

Tennessee Jed said...

I have to also give shout outs to four of my favorite sports biopic's from my youth:
1) The Babe Ruth Story - William Bendix as The Babe

2) Lou Gherig starring Gary Cooper

3) Follow the Sun - the inspirational story of Ben Hogen starring Glenn Ford

4) Fear Strikes Out - How Boston Red Sox outfielder Jimmy Piersall felt with mental disorders including Tourette's - starred Tony Perkins

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Oddly, I enjoy North Dallas Forty as well and I think it's much better than Stone's indifferent Any Given Sunday.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Cinderella Man was an excellent boxing film! I think I still prefer the original Rocky but it's a close call.

AndrewPrice said...

Soonertroll, That's an excellent list! And here I thought someone would say Spacejam for basketball! LOL!

Thinking about it, I can't come up with another basketball movie?

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, LOL!! Caddyshack!! Yes, that is the ultimate golf film hands down! :)

Apparently, Rudy and The Natural are very popular choices around here!

I have not seen Miracle. My favorite hockey film is Slapshot with Paul Newman.

AndrewPrice said...

Mike, Professional bocce ball? I had no idea. And I haven't seen the film.

Field of Dreams is a great film which always brings me to tears -- very sad and yet happy film.

AndrewPrice said...

Cheryl, Remember the Titans and Radio are both excellent films. Remember the Titans in particular is highly inspirational. I used to work with someone who went to one of the schools when those events happened and they were less happy about the film, but still it's a great example of an inspiring film.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I enjoy North Dallas Forty, but I agree that it could use "more." It feels like it's lacking some sort of punch.

That's what bothered me with Stone's Any Given Sunday too -- it lacked punch. It seemed to deal only with cliches everybody already knew about, it had too many of them to focus, and it felt like Stone thought he was doing a hard-hitting hit job on the NFL only nothing he said wasn't already obvious to the public. To me, that's why it fell flat. At least North Dallas Forty felt like it was exposing the ugly side of football which people never saw.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, On your comments to Outlaw, one of the great things about these discussions is that you get to hear about films you missed. I've gotten numerous e-mails over the past year from people who say they watched something because they saw it mentioned here and they were really happy they did. That makes me happy! :)

I'm actually intrigued by Mike's film about bocce now and will definitely check it out.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I never watched The Mighty Macs, but I recall the ads.

Other films that deserve mention:

The Might Ducks
Baseketball (lousy, but funny)
Bull Durham (better before Robbing/Sarandon went political)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I agree. Sports movies always seem to be full of teachable moments and the more noble instincts. They're also strangely inspiration. Even though you know it's fake, it's still great to see the good guy win in these films -- or even fail trying.

Also, I love your choice of The Blind Side, that was an EXCELLENT film!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Lou Gherig was an excellent film. Gary Cooper is one of my favorite actors and he always delivers.

T-Rav said...

I considered Remember the Titans for a while, but ultimately it's a little too sentimental for me. Maybe a good #2. Denzel is pretty awesome in that movie.

I have plans to see The Blind Side at some point, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I don't know, I just wasn't as taken with the previews as everyone around me seemed to be.

tryanmax said...

I don't care much for sports movies. They all end one of two ways: either the main character/team wins, or he/they lose but become better people. To that end, I like Prefontaine because neither of those things happened. Beyond that, Rounders is the closest thing to a sports movie in my personal collection.

BevfromNYC said...

Another movie that I love is Cool Runnings about the Jamaican bobsled team. Another great sports movie about beating the odds just to complete and earning the respect of those who laughed.

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - See The Blind Side! I was skeptical too because I am always disappointed in what is popular, BUT this movie is great. From beginning to end. It's a great story about good people with a great message.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I saw The Blind Side on Joel's recommendation actually. He said it was a conservative film and worth checking out. Although it's ostensibly about sports, it's really not. And it is a truly inspiring film. You will like it a lot. It's well worth seeing on many levels.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, LOL! That's kind of the point to sports films! Plus, there's usually some strong father-son moments.

You could always stick to the darker films if you don't like that. If you really want to be depressed, check out Hoop Dreams. No happy ending or life lesson there.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Cool Runnings was really fun. That's both a great sports film and a hilarious fish out of water story.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Like you, I was skeptical at first about The Blind Side, but it was fantastic! I loved it. It was highly inspirational and deeply moving.

Doc Whoa said...

I enjoyed the film about Marshall starting over after the plane crash - We Are Marshall.

ellenB said...

No love for Friday Night Lights?

ellenB said...

Bev, The Blind Side was incredibly inspiring and sad. I cried a lot during that film.

Tennessee Jed said...

ellenB - Friday Night Lights was a very good sports film, but it was elapsed, in my mind, by the wonderful television series. Like Blind Side, the t.v. series was more about human relationships and teachable moments than football per se.

BevfromNYC said...

ellenB: I forgot about Friday Night Lights. Loved it. There is nothing wrong with a show about Texas HS football!!

And I cry just thinking about certain scenes in The Blind Side...

T-Rav said...

Andrew and Bev, I'm sure I'd like it a lot once I do see it. I just haven't motivated myself enough yet, or something.

One sports movie I thought was kind of cute was Rookie of the Year, about a kid who gets an arm injury that lets him throw a baseball like a rocket and winds up pitching for his hometown team. Unfortunately, that team happens to be the Cubs, so I couldn't entirely enjoy it, but it was fun regardless.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I have an aversion to anything West by God Virginia.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, We can motivate you. Do you prefer beatings or electric shock? :)

AndrewPrice said...

Ellen, I enjoyed it, but oddly it didn't make much or an impression on me. I think it was too close to other teen movies of the time.

One teen football movie I do enjoy a lot is All The Right Moves. That's a film that proves that Tom Cruise actually can act.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I keep hearing really good things about the series, but I've never seen it.

ellenB said...

Bev, Me too. There are some amazingly touching moments in that film. And Bullock did such a great job!

ellenB said...

Jed, I love the series. It's been appointment viewing at my house.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - I knew I could count on you to make a joke, citing "The Mighty Ducks" as a good sports movie--unless you are making a distinction between "favorites" and "good." Interestingly, many of the films mentioned here are grounded in real incidents. Miracle, Blind Side, Hoosiers, Rudy, are all based on true events.

I generally don't like "kid" sports movies. The one I did enjoy was Bad News Bears having coached little leaguers myself for many years.

For equine athletes, Seabiscuit and Secretariat are both excellent. I probably like Secretariat a little better since I was alive to see "Big Red" make himself the greatest race horse in recorded history.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I don't discriminate between sports movies, I enjoy them all, even the ones that are totally made up. :)

I can't believe I forgot The Bad News Bears!! I love that film. And I have to say that it actually makes me nostalgic. I never played baseball, but I did play football and back then we did things like pile the whole team in the back of a pickup truck to get to games. Our coach drank a beer at practice. Nobody was uptight or freaked out like today about safety and the such. To quote Star Wars.... it was a more civilized age. :) And The Bad News Bears (while extreme) kind of encapsulates that era for me.

Tennessee Jed said...

Doc - I enjoyed "We Are Marshall" also. A very sad story just like the U.S. Olympic team.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Which story about the US Olympic team was sad?

Tennessee Jed said...

Golf is a sport that doesn't really lend itself very well to film. A great example is the "Legend of Baggar Vance" a wonderful book by Steven Pressfield that was made into a marginally dreadful movie by Robert Redford. Likewise, the all time great golf book, "Golf in the Kingdom" would never be able to translate to the big screen. In recent years, a few strides have been made in more realistic portrayals. "Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius," "Tin Cup" and "The Greatest Game Ever Played" all come to mind, but the latter is the best--a portrayal of the legendary U.S. Open win at Brookline by Francis Ouimet.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I'm just not big on predictable endings.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - sorry, I was probably unclear. There is no film about this, but in 1961, the entire U.S. Olympic figure skating team was lost in a plane crash in Belgium (?) Similar to what happened to Marshall's football team

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Golf is hard to make exciting on film, just like I think it's hard to make exciting on television. It's definitely a participation sport.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Sports movies are predictable? Pshaw!

Besides, isn't there something to be said about the journey itself? :)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Ah. I wasn't sure if you meant a movie or not.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - your comment about enjoying them all is interesting to me, because it also is one of my very favorite genres of film. I ran down stairs to where my film library is stored. I think I have 99.9% of all the films mentioned today on either VHS, DVD or Blu-Ray. :)

tryanmax said...

Andrew, there is definitely something to be said about the journey. And when it comes to sports movies, that word is "predictable."

tryanmax said...

;-)

Tennessee Jed said...

Yeah, golf is hard for the very reason it takes so long. That said, sports where the tension is aloud to keep building creates unbelievable tension. Best in that regard, (for viewing that is) is the Ryder Cup. Momentum is swinging back in forth the whole time.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I think there is something about sports films which just makes them very enjoyable. I even enjoy when they add sports parts to films like Brewster's Millions.

I'm not sure what it is, but maybe it's just that they always involve people working to overcome challenges and so they show humanity in a better light?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Allow me to point out that romance films, war movies, and historical dramas are all also highly predictable. Yet, they too are enjoyable.

In fact, the only kind of film that isn't predictable is the summer blockbuster. ;)

Tennessee Jed said...

Tryanmax, you just want to make a film where the hero is about to make a big comeback only to be swatted down. You might have liked Rocky if, like Chuck Wepner (the character on whom Rocky is based) gave a good account of himself only to get knocked out in the 9th round and summarily forgotten. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's true. But golf isn't photogenic, which is the problem. It's just a guy hitting a ball as other people stand around. Compare that to football with all of its moving parts or even baseball which is a one-on-one sport competition moment by moment. You don't even have the emotion of the crowd to work with as a filmmaker.

I think that makes it harder to build the drama and maintain it. I'm not saying you can't, because obviously you can, but I think it puts "film golf" at a disadvantage to other sports when it comes to making movies.

tryanmax said...

Okay, okay, I acquiesce. I guess I'm just not a sports movie guy. I hereby turn in my Man Card.

AndrewPrice said...

Dude, I think that was already confiscated when you went through your jumpsuit phase! LOL!

Of course, that said, jumpsuits are cool and all the Presidential candidates should wear them.

Can't you just see Romney rockin' this baby: LINK

tryanmax said...

Jed, I don't think I would have made it any better for me because there's still the matter of all that he accomplished just to get to that fight. Prefontaine was more of a tounge-in-cheek offering. It's like the Requiem for a Dream of sports films.

tryanmax said...

Best. Jumpsuit. EVAH!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree! I want one! :)

tryanmax said...

You know what they say, the longer the fringe...

AndrewPrice said...

I hadn't heard that, but now that you mention it, it sounds like it could be true. LOL! Perhaps I should get the fringe lengthened on my jumpsuits? ;)

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew, golf can be incredibly photogenic, just in a different way. A lot of that has to do with how it is photographed and the budget available. Look at the NFL with all those steady cams on wires. Even still, they tend to follow the ball, almost exclusively. There are a myriad of incredibly beautiful golf holes, but most television coverage shows guys putting, too much coverage of Tiger Woods, and tight shots. It probably helps with any sport if you have played the sport. It can only increase one's appreciation.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's true. But I'm talking from a dramatic standpoint. Football is a sport with a lot of motion, it's very frenetic. You can follow three or four key moments all on the same play and flip back and forth to make it seem even more dramatic - not to mention penalties and injuries can increase the tension dramatically. That gives a filmmaker a ton to work with to keep the audience's attention glued to the screen and their hearts pounding. Golf is much more focused on the one event and much harder to manipulate.

BevfromNYC said...

Is that what they mean by "fringe benefits"??

{{rimshot}}

tryanmax said...

Andrew, you pretty much asked for THIS. You know you did.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, LOL! Nice one!

It certainly redefines the term lunatic fringe though, doesn't it? :)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, THAT IS POSITIVELY EXCELLENT!!!


I'm going to work that into tomorrow's article in some way. :)

Floyd R. Turbo said...

You guys are amateurs... Victory with Sly Stallone, Michael Caine, Pele, and Max von Sydow is the greatest sports movie ever. :-)

Much love to Harold Lloyd's The Freshman where he joins the football team to gain popularity.

Brian's Song... one of the few times a man is allowed to weep like a baby openly.

Bingo Longs Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings about a barnstorming Negro League team is awesome.

Bang the Drum Slowly is a great movie too as Michael Moriarty takes a dying catcher played by Robert DeNiro under his wing...

Damn Yankees for sports musical....

And I also have to give a shout to Warren Miller's original ski movie -- "Steep and Deep" and Stacy Peralta's awesome surfing doc "Riding Giants". I'm not much of a skier or a surfer, but those are amazing films.

Also much love to ESPN's 30 for 30 series -- especially the devastating documentary "The Two Escobars" about Colombian drug cartels and soccer.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, LOL! I hate to admit this, but I haven't seen any of those except Damn Yankees. :(

And now that you mention motorsports, I have to mention Days of Thunder which I really enjoyed and, of course, Cannonball Run... the movie that taught me to drive the right way! :)

LawHawkRFD said...

Miracle, and I don't even like hockey.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, The event was incredible, but I haven't seen the film. I still remember watching it on television to this day.

tryanmax said...

Okay, last thing that is off-topic, but this just had to be done: LINK

BevfromNYC said...

Oh, yeah Brian's Song... very good one, Floyd! Even the remake wasn't so bad.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, You seem to have a talent for using photoshop!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I didn't actually know that was about sports.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Andrew... if you like Baseball you'll like Bingo Long's... a who's who of 1970s Black stars...

No love for Personal Best? It was on an HBO loop in the early 1980s.. ;-)

T-Rav said...

Speaking of beatings and/or electric shock, how did people here feel about the Adam Sandler remake of The Longest Yard? Because...I kinda liked it.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I'll check Bingo Long. I may have seen part of it.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm not a Sandler fan and I thought the remake was marginal. I also didn't think the original needed a remake.

ScottDS said...

I read an article a few months ago that I wanted to submit to BH but I think Nolte was off that week. (Or maybe he wasn't. I don't remember!)

It was about all the kid-friendly sports movies from the 90s... a genre that seems to have all but disappeared. Sure, many of them were less than good but when I was growing up, we had The Sandlot, Cool Runnings, Angels in the Outfield, The Mighty Ducks and its sequels, Little Giants...

...and another favorite of mine, Rookie of the Year, which had a gag that I remember laughing hysterically at in the theater, involving a locked door and a very very nice hotel bellman.

Re: Sandler, I have no interest in seeing his version of The Longest Yard but I still think Happy Gilmore is one of his best movies.

Re: Radio, there's a line in the trailer that we liked to mock back in film school: "We're not teaching Radio! Radio's teachin' us!" :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I would agree that Happy Gilmore is Sandler's best movie.

Now that I think about it, you're right that all these kid-friendly films have vanished, haven't they? There were a ton of kid-friendly sports movies in the 1990s. Don't forget Little Big League, Little Giants, Space Jam, Ladybugs, the Bad News Bears remake (which was kind of aimed at kids), Air Bud, etc.

ScottDS said...

I think Ladybugs is pretty underrated and probably Rodney Dangerfield's last good movie. I vaguely recall him arguing with the character played by Jackée about whose better at sports, white people or black people:

Julie: "You know that black people are the best at sports, c'mon! We're the best runners, the fastest runners, the best at track. We're the best at baseball, the best at boxing, the best at basketball, football. Hey, you name it!"

Chester: "Eeesh, black people are best at sports. Are you kidding? How about hockey? And waterpolo? Fencing! Best at sports... hey, badminton! Yachting! Best at sports... Oh, I forgot fox hunting! Best in sports..."

:-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The last movie of his I really enjoyed was Back to School.

Tennessee Jed said...

tryanmax - Thank yah, thank yah very much. The original Brian's Song with James Caan and Billy Dee Williams was the best. Same with the Longest Yard; the original with Burt Reynolds was the better, even though I try to like Sandler because his politics are remarkably good for an SNL alum.

Speaking of golfing drama, Adam Scott bogged the last 4 holes, while Ernie Els birdie 18 to win the British Open. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Ernie has a child with autism and has been in the forefront in the fight against it. This was excellent drama though.

T-Rav said...

Scott, everyone in high school quoted Radio all the time for a while while I was there. Or they just shouted at sports matches, "Radio! Radio!"

Tennessee Jed said...

Bingo Long was a pretty neat under the radar sports movie, Floyd. I also liked the Costner film where he played a kind of Tom Seaver like pitcher who comes back from a severe tendon injury to win the series for the Tigers. That was also predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

And Andrew... Victory is great... preposterous alternative WW2 history and soccer movie... but great in spite of that.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083284/

And isn't Harry Potter just a movie about Quidditch basically?

Tennessee Jed said...

Bingo Long was a very nice, obscure baseball movie. Mystery Alaska a was kind of interesting hockey movie. I liked the original tele movie Brian's Song with Caan and Williams. Same with Longest Yard (the original Burt Reynolds version.) I'd like to be more of an Adam Sandler fan because he is not a mindless liberal SNL alum.

I can't think of the name of it, but Costner was in an enjoyable (if predictable) baseball picture as a kind of past his prime Tom Seaver kind of a pitcher who summons up one last effort to win the world series for the Tiger.

Tennessee Jed said...

didn't think my last 2 made it so the post above is more or less a duplicate of the previous two.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Yeah, I guess in the scheme of things, Harry Potter is just a film about Quidditch! LOL!

Here's your link: LINK.

Wait a minute, I have seen Victory, but I don't recall much about it.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed and Floyd, I'll check out Bingo Long. I do think I remember some of it.

Jed, I didn't hate the remake of Longest Yard, I just thought it was bland and added nothing to an original that really is a classic.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, People were calling Tampa's recently-fired coach Radio for a while.... it wasn't a compliment.

("Radio" Raheem Morris)

Firefly said...

To Tennessee Jed - Bull Durham might be what you are thinking, (though "For the Love of the Game" is an additional Kevin Costner baseball movie). League of Their Own is tied with Major League for favorite sports movie - though not necessarily "best." Rocky and Brian's Song are tied for third. And, to add to basketball movies, you can add the dreadful "The Fish who Saved Pittsburgh" to Space Jam and Hoosiers. (I was stationed at Ft. Harrison, IN when they were filming that - announcements went out looking for extras with period costumes - Sorry - tangent surfing).

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - I'm the same way. I didn't hate either of the re-makes mentioned. Like you, though, I just didn't think they improved on the originals. I understand the notion of re-makes for new generations who might only know Burt Reynolds as a grandfather geezer type. That said, I don't think Adam Sandler was right for that particular role.

Firefly - "For the Love of the Game" is the one where I couldn't think of the name of it. Bull Durham was a classic, of course even though it brought together two of Hollywood's most obnoxious liberals for a long long time. For the Love of the Game was a movie that I was expecting to be disappointed by that turned out to be surprisingly good.

Tennessee Jed said...

with this many comments, it's hard to be certain, but I don't think anybody's mentioned the relatively new film with Marky Mark about a Boston boxer. I heard it was quite good, but haven't yet seen it.

Firefly said...

The Fighter - yes - Just added it to the Netflix queue.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's exactly how I felt.

I enjoyed Bull Durham a lot, despite the cast. At the time, I don't think they were as openly political as they are today.

I have no seen The Fighter.

AndrewPrice said...

Firefly, League of the Own was excellent as well.

The Fish Who Saved Pittsburgh, LOL! That's a name I haven't heard in a long time!

Outlaw13 said...

OK since we are just pulling the names of sports films out our collective rear ends and not just naming our favorite. :)

The Rookie with Dennis Quaid were he plays a TX high school teacher and coach that makes it to the big leagues is a good film.

It Happens Ever Summer is also a great little baseball film about a guy who invents a formula that makes a baseball physically dodge wood.

Outlaw13 said...

Damn, that should have read, "It Happens Every Summer"...need to slow down when I post. Too many typos. :-)

Firefly said...

Outlaw13, if we were pulling them out of our collective... you would also see Angels in the Outfield ('90's version), Wildcats, and Unnecessary Roughness plus all three progressively worse incarnations of the Mighty Ducks in the mix. :-) - (Collective ugh) I did enjoy The Rookie, though.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, We never follow any particular rules. :)

I didn't see The Rockie, but I like Quaid a lot.

AndrewPrice said...

Firefly, Unnecessary Roughness was a lot of fun.

And yeah, The Mighty Ducks went downhill fast.

Commander Max said...

Sports? I don't know very much about those tournaments. I only know I was, "You get him".

I did do a lot of fencing in college, so I'll put up, "The Great Race".

Since I brought up racing, how about the "Gumball Rally", both Cannonball movies, Death Race 2000(original), Rollerball(original) etc.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Outlaw13: Collective rear ends? LOL!
We're gonna need a helluva lot more toilet paper around here.

Because, you know, collective....yeah. Well, it sounds funnier than it looks on screen.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew: The Rockie was like a blend of Rocky and The Rookie.
Pretty obscure film.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Celtic Pride is the funniest basketball film I have seen.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Invincible was a good football flick, about Vince Papale, who tried out for the Eagles and got a spot on the team.

No one expected a guy off the streets to actually make the team which made it even more amazing.
Be kind of cool if teams did that today.

BevfromNYC said...

OutLaw13 - Actually, we have rules just so's we can break 'em! Yeah, that's just how we role here...

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

No love for Dodgeball?

"If you can dodge traffic you can dodge a ball."

"Dodgeball is a sport of violence, exclusion, and degradation."

Although it's not what I would call a great film, Dodgeball does have a lot of funny quotes and Ben Stiller obviously relishes his role as the bad guy, lol.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, Rollerball is an awesome and underrated movie! Death Race 2000 is pretty cool too! :)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Too bad Hallmark doesn't make a "Sorry your dodgeball coach got killed by two tons of irony" card."

Plus, like most Vince Vaughn films, pc ain't invited. I respect the guy a lot for that.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Yes, the Rockie is like a mix of Rocky and The Rookie! LOL!

I haven't seen Invincible or Celtic Pride.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That seems to be true. Our rules seems to be there just so people can break them. Who know a bunch of conservatives were such enthusiastic rule breakers?

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Dodgeball is a fantastic film! I love the line: "It's like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob!" He's one heck of a coach!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

We're all a bunch of outlaws. Breakin' the law! Breakin' the law! LOL!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew: LOL! Aye! He was a great coach!

Patches O'Houlihan: You couldn't hit water if you fell out of a boat!

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I love when he starts throwing the wrenched too. That's an hilarious scene!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

That would motivate me to dodge! Ha ha!

AndrewPrice said...

That it would Ben! That it would.

AndrewPrice said...

Everyone, BH has posted a promo for one of my books. If you get the chance, please let a comment! :)

LINK

EricP said...

Caddyshack the absolutely quintessential golf movie, but need to give some love to the Bill Paxton-directed The Greatest Game Ever Played. Shia LaBooBoo showed some nice chops (and swing) and Elias Koteas great as usual.

No love yet for Kingpin amongst so many faves above, so this Hunky's gotta give a nod that direction.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, I would have sworn I had mentioned Kingpin above, but apparently I didn't. :(

Firefly said...

Another thought - apropos given the upcoming Olympics - Chariots of Fire. And the Cinderella story monologue from Caddyshack is making me smile as I think of it right now.

Michael K said...

I really enjoyed The Greatest Game Ever Played. As a disclaimer, I am big fan of period pieces especially Victorian/Edwardian. The great thing about the movie are the three British golfers especially Stephen Dillane as the great Harry Vardon. It was nice that Mr. Paxton did not see the need to make Vardon some bad guy, which he could of done easily by making him some stereotypical British snob. You see Vardon and Ouimet battle it out on the gold course playing a game that they love and the circle closing of the student overtaking the teacher. In contrast, other people have listed Cinderella Man. I did very much enjoy that movie but Mr. Ron Howard for me did an unpardonable sin of slandering Max Baer. He cited the typical cop out of creating tension. Paxton showed you can make a great sports movie without having to make the protagonist’s opponent someone the audience is manipulated to hate.

AndrewPrice said...

Firefly, I saw Chariots of Fire decades ago and never revisited it, and I can't recall if I enjoyed it.

I always think of the "you want to kill the golfers" speech when I think of Caddyshack. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Michael, I have not seen The Greatest Game Ever Played but I like the idea of films without villains. I think too often the villains are introduced simply to inject drama where the story itself isn't strong enough.

rlaWTX said...

Cool Runnings!!!!!!

The best fencing movie has to be "The Princess Bride"!

We Are Marshall was very good - reminds you that MMcConaughey really can act. (Andrew, it's good regardless of WbGVa)

And the only Lou Gehrig movie I've seen is the one with Jimmy Stewart - I had to look it up because I thought I was getting confused after y'all mentioned Gary Cooper!

Soonertroll said...

The villianization of Baer is a fair criticism of Cinderella Man. To quote Jethro Bodine "Opie did'nt need to make my father an ogre to make Jimmy Braddock a hero."

I feel embarrassed for leaving Caddyshack off my list. Chevy Chase, Bill Murry, Rodney Dangerfield, and Ted Knight were at the top of their game. And BM's brother Brian Doyle.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, That is easily the best fencing moment in any film ever!! What an excellent scene. I still recall people comparing that to the ending in Revenge of the Jedi and being amazed at how poorly Lucas did compared to that simple scene in a comedy.

AndrewPrice said...

Soonertroll, I didn't worry about the villianization of Baer because I never thought of the film as historical -- I no longer believe anything Hollywood says about "based on a true story." But it is a fair point.

Caddyshack really was a film with a lot of people at the top of their game! They rarely make them like that anymore.

rlaWTX said...

the absolute worst Hollywood "based on a true story" moment ever: that point in "The Perfect Storm" when I realized no one was making it home alive - SERIOUSLY???

Princes Bride: apparently, that move that the 6-fingered man makes in the hallway before he runs from Inigo (stance/hand position) is called... drum roll... the chicken.
(that's what I was told by a fencer/re-enactor)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Wait a minute, so you're saying you don't believe that everything you saw in "The Perfect Storm" was 100% accurate? I'm sure they reported all of that in before they all died. ;)

I had no idea they named their stances, but I guess it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

I find it weird, I don't like most American sports, but Americans do sports movies really well. While I won't watch some sports, I'll watch a good movie about them. I love feel good movies, it's one of my weaknesses.

My list (though I most likely forgot some)

Serious sports movies

Remember the titans
Victory
Eight men out
Bull Durham
Miracle
Warrior
67
The rookie
The Natural
Chariots of fire (anyone?)
Invincible

Comedy sports movies.

Caddyshack
Happy Gilmore
Major League
Dodgeball
BasketBall
The longest Yard (the UK remake Mean Machine)
Waterboy

Australia doesn't do sports movies that well, but two good ones are

The Club (about Aussie Rules Football made in 1980 by Bruce Beresford who made Breaker Morrant)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080546/

Crackerjack (about Lawnbowls of all things but it is very funny and heartfelt)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0291832/

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I agree that we do sports movies well, even on sports that aren't so great. I have no interest in boxing, for example, but I've enjoyed several boxing films. I think the thing is that these films are about bigger ideas than just the sport itself -- the sport is just a pretext. They are about all kind of values we hold dear, and those values play out really well in sports films because they can be shown at their most extreme and most clear.

Also, most sports films are feel good stories and like you, I am a sucker for a good feel good story.

Anonymous said...

I agree that they use sport to tell bigger stories then just about sport. Everyone loves an underdog and most sports movies are about the underdog overcoming odds to either win or at the very least overcome great odds.

Dam forgot Friday Night Lights (great movie and TV show).

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, True. I think the underdog story is one of the most inspiring and most used storylines in film.

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