Field of Dreams

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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Over Under - Large

I’m not any sort of sports guy at all. Corner me in a bar and try to talk to me about last night’s big game and I’m going to stare back at you blankly and stupidly. Invite me to your Super Bowl party and I’m going to politely decline for fear of dying of boredom. But even I understand the appeal of baseball: the lazy pace, the fresh-cut grass, the hot dogs and peanuts, the crack of the bat. Hollywood has a long tradition of movies that have tapped into this seemingly universal love, but ever since it was released, the Kevin Costner-starring Field of Dreams has been considered by most to be the king of the mountain. And while pretty much everyone has seen Field of Dreams at some point in their lives, or at least understands that it’s the source of the, “If you build it, they will come,” quote, almost no one I know has ever seen Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s 2008 film Sugar. It got a brief release in New York and L.A., and then was shunted off to DVD without playing for anyone else. That’s a shame, because this tale about a young Dominican prospect trying to improve his station in the world by making it to the majors is my favorite film about the game.

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Back in May, the illustrious Matt Patches put together a list so honest, so compelling, so original, that I had absolutely no choice but to copy it almost totally wholesale to craft my own version. Patches’s list was comprised of eight films his previous girlfriends had forced him to watch that made him who he is today (the list was, of course, titled “8 Movies My Past Girlfriends Forced Me to Watch That Made Me Who I Am Today” because we here at FSR are nothing if we are not succinct). The list, while interesting on a purely cinematic basis, also said something surprisingly deep about the nature of relationships themselves – mainly when it comes to the all-important element of compromise. Patches, a gentleman and a scholar, found some compelling honesty in his consistently sweet tales of cinematic (and romantic) discovery. My list starts off with a film that made me realize my first boyfriend was possibly also interested in other men. That’s just the sort of list this is. Here are seven movies that seven different suitors all “forced” me to watch at different points in my (admittedly still young) cinematic life. More than any individual lesson each film taught me, together the list forms one giant reminder of what I love best about going to the movies – endless possibility. Take a peek at my list after the break, and then feel free to pipe in with any films that someone made you watch that ultimately changed your […]

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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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A fantastic creative pairing just took place right under your nose. Hopefully Sidney Poitier will be involved again.

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bluray-header

This week the world famous FSR Blu-ray column changes formats again. We told Exec. Editor Neil Miller not to do it, but he just kept saying “I’m the Boss, deal with it.” Hopefully you like it…

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