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 […]


Black Hawk Down

In honor of the Fourth of July, we are republishing this article from January 2011, as we feel it to be an appropriate act of patriotism. We will now allow you to return to watching Independence Day for the third time. We know that you’re doing it… Aleric, one of our favorite comment providers on the site, tossed out an interesting theory the other day regarding the state of auspiciously pro-American movies being put out by Hollywood over the past ten years. Specifically, that there was a noticeable lack of them in the face of films that criticize. It’s an interesting idea, and like most trends, it’s unclear exactly how bold a trend it is. It’s true that those looking for the World War II levels of Americana from Hollywood are out in the cold. There are probably a dozen reasons for that. Levels of pro-American movie production have never been higher than that era, but it was also a wildly different time for movie making in general (no matter what the subject matter). Still, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius were charged with the seemingly difficult task of finding movies that celebrated the United States that came out of Hollywood in the past ten years. It’s an oddly specific list, but it’s also a very good list of movies that demand to be seen (whether you agree they’re patriotic or not). Plus, they don’t celebrate any particular political party. They celebrate the highest ideals of the country. Overt flag waving […]


Hockey Tough Guys

Since the days of yore, or at the very least, my childhood, the sport of hockey has made my blood pump faster through my veins. Born across a lake from Canada into a family with a few notable hockey lovers, I couldn’t help but become enamored with the game of sticks, ice and grit. There’s nothing like a good old fashioned hockey game. Old time hockey, as someone once called it. And in every great hockey movie, like every great hockey game, you need a few things. You need a hero, you need a sage coach with relentless demand for perfection and you need some supporting players. The funny guy, the smart guy and the eccentric goalie. But chief among these sidekicks of stick is the enforcer — the toughest motherf**ker of the group. Whether he’s challenging the hero or watching his back, the enforcer, the thug, the goon is the guy who makes it all so much fun. Because everyone loves a good fight. Inspired by a recent viewing of the awesome Sean William Scott led hockey tale Goon, about a bouncer who finds a true calling on the ice, in the line of knuckle-fire that permeates the world of minor league hockey, I would like to proudly present a list of cinema’s great on-ice tough guys. None of these man are the center of their particular stories. None of them get the girl. But they’ve all got the guts and the grit that it takes to challenge the hero, […]



In the wrong hands, Warrior could have been a disaster. If a few beats in Gavin O’Connor‘s family drama missed the mark even in the slightest, the final result could have been a sports parody. Despite playing in familiar territory, the Miracle and Pride and Glory director didn’t make that parody. Instead, the filmmaker strived to be as honest as possible with the material at hand. In doing so, he’s made an underdog of a film that’s, ironically, about underdogs. Like his previous works, O’Connor explores the meaning of brotherhood, family, and overcoming insurmountable odds. The trick for O’Connor was to make those well-known — drama, not sports — tropes believable. Here’s what co-writer and director Gavin O’Connor had to say about striving for realism, telling personal stories in mass appeal films, and love stories among men:



Based on the real life backstory of the 1980 U.S. Men’s Hockey team, a team that defied all odds and rallied a nation by defeating the Soviet Union during a time of great sociopolitical tension, Miracle is also the very human story behind one of the greatest moments in sports history.



This week I am pleased to bring you the most epic Blu-ray report in the history of my musings about the format. As you may have noted, I’ve taken the past two weeks off and have missed quite a few titles. So I’m playing catch up.



If you are sitting on your couch watching Michael Phelps try and break the record set by Mark Spitz or watching the American women’s gymnastics team try and tumble their way past China this week and you feel like you need a little extra inspiration, these ten films should do the trick quite nicely.

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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