Sports Movies

The Do-Deca-Pentathalon

The Duplass Brothers got into making movies by making movies. Some called it Mumblecore, but it should really be called The Nike Method. Their latest, The Do-Deca-Pentathalon features two brothers locked in an epic (yet secretive) sporting event that they take exactly as seriously as it needs to be taken. But as Mark and Jay Duplass explain in this interview, no matter the type of movie they make, they’ll always focus on the small moments and emotions that arise from them. One example? Battleship. If given the blockbuster, here’s how the pair would have delivered the littoral explosion-fest

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Justin Bieber

News popped up last spring that Mark Wahlberg was planning to make a dramatic movie with tween pop sensation Justin Bieber. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, because why would Mark Wahlberg, an actor who spent years trying to shrug off his own reputation as a music industry pop act, want to dive back into that can of worms by appearing in something alongside the current flavor of the week? He must have his reasons, however, because MTV recently asked the actor/producer a few questions about the project, and it sounds like it’s still on.

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Recently the big news hit that a hole in Clint Eastwood’s directing schedule was going to lead him into coming out of acting retirement and allow him to star in a new movie called Trouble With the Curve. The story centers on a baseball scout who is losing his sight and getting too old for his job and who embarks on a final road trip/scouting mission with his adult daughter. Apparently, she’s there to help him scout a hot young prospect, but I’m willing to bet some daddy/daughter bonding is going to go on as well. Just call it a hunch. Reports were going around soon after the film was announced that Sandra Bullock was in negotiations to play the daughter, but those negotiations must not have gone too well, because she never signed, and now Variety is reporting that Amy Adams has been offered the role instead. Apparently Bullock’s schedule was too full to fit the movie in, so Warner Bros. is hoping that Adams will be more flexible. I think this is a good move for the studio all around. Adams isn’t as big of a name as Bullock, but that means she will probably come cheaper. And, also, she comes with the added perk of being so much better than Sandra Bullock.

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Over Under: A New Perspective on Films New and Old

Hoosiers is one of those films that somehow finds a way to strike a chord with nearly everyone who watches it. There are some movies that are just mainstream right down to their DNA. There’s this, there’s The Shawshank Redemption, maybe a Forrest Gump; they get mentioned as people’s favorite movies with far greater frequency than anything else. And I’m not talking about cinema buffs when I say people, I’m talking about your grandma, the guy who works on your car, the grandma that works on your car. You know, regular people.  Since it contains one of the big starring roles of Gene Hackman’s career and it was directed by David Anspaugh, who repeated his success at telling an Indiana sports tale with Rudy, that should probably come as no surprise. Disney is maybe the most mainstream production company in the movie business. From the very beginning they’ve focused on creating wholesome entertainment that the whole family can enjoy together.  In the early 90s one of those attempts at making movies for the whole family was Cool Runnings, a John Candy starring bobsled movie that most people might describe as a “guilty pleasure.” It gets lumped in with other 90s sports movies that Disney made like The Mighty Ducks and Air Bud, movies that you can look back at with nostalgia, but if you were to watch them today would look about as ridiculous as a team of Jamaicans showing up to the Winter Olympics with a bobsled.

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Whenever a smaller film breaks through and becomes a mainstream success it is always inevitable that a series of imitators will soon follow and attempt to ride its coattails. In this case, The Fighter got a lot of critical success by telling the story of street level hoodlums gaining success in the world of hand to hand combat, so now we have trailers for Warrior hitting theaters and news that Training Day director Antoine Fuqua is going to team up with 8 Mile star and hugely successful white guy who raps Eminem to make a new boxing movie called Southpaw. Fuqua was thought to be directing a biopic of another famed rapper, the late Tupac Shakur, but news that he’s close to signing on to this film points to the fact that he must have stepped away from Tupac for now. Probably similar to what was being planned for the Tupac film, Southpaw will detail the day-to-day tragedies of the life of a welterweight boxer as he struggles his way to greatness. I guess the moral of this story is just that Fuqua really likes to make movies about poor, urban people. Now if he could just make something that affected people as much as Training Day he might get somewhere as an auteur. Maybe Eminem will be his good luck charm; he’s at least got to do more for Fuqua’s career than he did for Curtis Hanson’s. [24 Frames]

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Sylvester Stallone’s epic boxing series closed the curtains with this final installment and is not only (arguably) the best since the first, but also contains a sincerity that trickled out of the franchise since Rocky defeated Apollo Creed. Oops, spoiler.

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Should you really cheer for the underdogs if they have low morals and resort to petty theft to elevate their own self-esteem?

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Will Ferrell’s brand of comedy may never get old…

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Every once in a while a movie comes along that I know must be seen. ‘The Rocket’ is one of those types of flicks.

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