Saturday, 22 February 2014

We Like Sports

I am not a fan of sports films, usually, but I do have a short list of sports films I approve of. Sports films is a genre, whether I like it or not

All of the films lists are considered sports films, note, only one is football and there are no basketball or baseball films listed, for a massive reason.

Bend It Like Beckham (2002, Gurinder Chadha) - Football (not soccer) 
I can't escape this film, its from my youth and yes, it was good, for its time. People just look at this film now and call it cheesy or bad but they are and are wrong, it wasn't ground breaking but it was something that made people take a second glance at films made in the UK. I remember e-v-e-r-yone watching this and even buying it on VHS. Can't believe that in 2002 we were all still buying VHS tapes. I liked this story and it was genuinely funny. An outsider, fighting against convention succeeds in following her dream. A british film by a female directer, you have to support this rare occurrence.  And I think Keira Knightly should be very grateful for being cast in this film.

Whip It (2009, Drew Barrymore) - Roller Derby
Another film in the list directed by a woman, plus the amazing sport. I really got into watching the games or should I say bouts(?), I miss not seeing one every month, I still support my team though, the Steam Rollers from the London Roller Girls league. The film is a perfect mix of derby appreciation, friendship and I have to say this, female empowerment. This sport, solely belongs to women. Having seen so many games live, the films really does capture the energy and excitement of the game. I don't feel this with any other sport.

Rush (2013, Ron Howard) - Formula One Driving

Unlike the other films in the list, this film is based on two real life drivers, James Hunt and Niki Lauda and their rivalry. I am a huge fan of Daniel Bruhl (played Lauda) and and I was intrigued by the story and I actually didn't know the outcome, as I am not familiar with formula one driving history. It was brilliantly acted and I really got into the races that were shown in full. I mention more about the film in my Watch List comments.

Kingpin (1996, The Farrelly Brothers) - Bowling
A film not talked about that often, happened upon it when I saw it in the sale. I like Woody Harrelson, I love Bill Murray and I really wanted to see Randy Quaid play a Amish bowler. The story of a talented bowler (Harrelson) who is tricked by an evil rival (Murray) ends up losing his bowling hand and years later seeks revenge in a competion with the help of the Amish. Both Murray and Harrelson, as their older selves have terrible comb overs, and get really violent when playing, so the hair is everywhere. As well as bowling, we got ourselves a hair off people! Its a hidden gem.

Goon (2011, Michael Dowse) - Ice Hockey
This film was a surprise to me. I thought it was just a 'dumb' movie with Sean William Scott, but, as I said in my comments in my Watch list, the film was so much more. The central character, Doug (the thug) is unbelievably sweet and a great team player. I actually liked the look of the sport, a contact sport, like Roller Derby. It has a great story a guy who comes from nowhere to be apart of a failing team, only to bring it up to the top, again similar to Whip It. It may look like any generic sport movie but it feels a lot simpler and there is a heart in Doug's character.

Day at the Races (1937, Sam Wood) - Horse Racing
Horse racing doesn't always have to be the Seabiscuit story over again, it can be about the Marx brother trying to delay a race so their horse, High Hate can race. First time I saw this film, I laughed so much I cried, I could not stop. My family had the same reaction too. I would have thought this was a comedy rather than a sport film so I suppose this is a cross over, a bit like King Pin. To be honest this film is less about the actual competing and more about the characters and the comedy, thats all I can say. Just watch this film.

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