A League of Their Own

Kevin Costner in TIN CUP

Here’s the thing. I don’t care about your sports team. It’s nothing personal, but I just don’t care about sports teams or sports in general. That lack of interest on my part extends far too frequently to sports movies as well though, and while I’ve found myself unexpectedly captivated on more than one occasion the ones that truly stick with me over time are the ones that actually aren’t about sports at all. Of course that assessment could be applied to just about every sports movie to some degree. Hoosiers for example is about underdogs, teamwork and faith in yourself and others, but basketball still courses through its veins. Rudy is another underdog story, something I’m a sucker for in general (as you’ll see below), but while it contains commentary on honor and racism it’s unavoidably a college football film through and through. It’s the seriousness and reverential attitude towards the institutions that put me off I think, and while I enjoy the human stories in films like these I feel they’re too often overshadowed by the iconic worlds of baseball, basketball, football, etc. and the blind devotion that follows. Or maybe I’m just bitter because while I do love watching and playing tennis the only movie I get is the Paul Bettany/Kirsten Dunst rom-com Wimbledon. Anyway, here are the ten best sports movies that choose people over the sport. The ones that entertain and emotionally affect without needing to honor the institution. The ones that those of us who […]

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The Matrix

We’ve lost something close to 3/4 of black and white films. It’s easy to imagine that we have all of them at our fingertips, and that they’ll be there forever, but that’s simply not the reality, and it’s a good reminder of what can happen if we’re not careful. That’s part of why the work of the National Film Registry is so vital. They ensure that a large number of time-tested films survive to test even more time. This year, as usual, they’ve selected 25 flicks to preserve including The Matrix, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Dirty Harry, and A Christmas Story (which will also be preserved 24-hours a day as long as TBS still exists). The Library of Congress has also saved Delmer Daves’ 3:10 to Yuma (1957); Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder; George Cukor’s Born Yesterday; Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own; Richard Linklater’s Slacker; the Laurel and Hardy comedy Sons of the Desert; Robert Epstein’s documentary The Times of Harvey Milk; Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop; a 1914 adaptation of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” that’s thought to feature the first leading role by a black man; The Augustas (which may be the Scott Nixon compilation of towns in the US named Augusta); The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight from 1897; Nathaniel Dorsky’s experimental Hours for Jerome Part 1 & 2; the Kidnapper’s Foil films; the Kodachrome Color Motion-Picture Tests (which you can see below); Robert Snody’s The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair; Kary Antholis’ holocaust documentary One Survivor Remembers; Rolf Forsberg and Tom Rook’s Christian film Parable, which imagines Christ as a clown and the world as a circus; Ellen Bruno’s Samsara: Death and Rebirth in […]

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Moonrise Kingdom It’s 1965 in New England, and two young lovers have run away from their homes. They’re twelve years old, and they live on an island, but it’s the thought that counts. Their decision sets in motion a chain of events involving Bob Balaban, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis, a scout troop and an impending storm. A spectacular cast isn’t the only thing going for Wes Anderson’s latest film though as he weaves a beautiful, romantic and bittersweet tale complete with a sonderful score by Alexandre Desplat. It’s a sweetly funny visual feast guaranteed to put a smile on your lips and in your ears. [Extras: Featurettes]

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A League of Their Own

There have been times in my life when I’ve been invited to things. I usually end up having to work or sleep or do something far less interesting, but I’ve been known, from time to time, to make my presence known at a holiday gathering or two. One particular holiday of which I’ve long been a fan is the fourth of July. From fireworks on the National Mall to suburban block parties to back yard BBQs that end with various limbs in danger (thanks to the backyard BBQ’s constant cohort, the backyard fireworks display), I’ve never been one to shy from a few cold ones and grilled meat in celebration of this wonderful nation. It’s for the troops, for the American dream and for future generations that I imbibe. And because it’s a good time, of course. Another great Fourth of July tradition is that of getting out of the heat, before the fireworks start, and seeing a movie in a nice air conditioned theater, be it the multiplex or the couchiplex. Nothing says America like some good old fashioned Hollywood commerce. Which brings us to this week’s Pop Quiz question: what is your go-to Fourth of July movie? 

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Roy Halladay, the starting pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies just became the second person in history to pitch a no-hitter in a post-season game. Even those apathetic about baseball can appreciate the incredible rarity of this cleat-footed feat, and to celebrate, I’ve put together a list of the best baseball movies out there. What goes into a great baseball film? Is it a sense of Americana? Is it a well-paced presentation of the game itself? Is it the players being brought to life and rounded out so that they become something more than just Gods of the Mound? Would Gods of the Mound make a great title for a porn version of Clash of the Titans? I think it’s a combination of all of these things. So, without further ado, and since “5 No-Hitter Baseball Movies” doesn’t make sense, here are 5 Perfect Baseball Movies in honor of Roy Halladay.

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mwl-leagueoftheirown

“We are the members of the All American League. We come from cities near & far. We have got Canadians, Irish ones & Swedes. We are all for one, we are one for all, we are all American!”

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FemaleDirectorList

Remember all of those movies you love to sit around watching and loving and talking about? Some of them were directed by women. You didn’t even know that. Did you, you chauvinist pig?

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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