Opinion Battles Round 7
Best Sports Movie
When it comes to Sports movies we have had nearly every sport put onto camera, we have had football to ping pong, ice staking to boxing and most include the typical underdog story but just what is the best film?
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Darren – Movie Reviews 101
When it comes to fighting films I am normally turned away because I find boxing films rather boring, but when I sat down to watch this one I wasn’t really sure what to think. I couldn’t believe how intense this film was, I have never seen UFC before but the film managed to pull me into a world of sport I have no interest in. the fights come off realistic and the conflict between the two brothers works because you really don’t know which one will win the final fight. Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte all shine through every seen.
Rob – Movie Rob
This movie tops many people’s list for being the best sports movie ever made. A case can definitely be made for that, but very few could argue that it doesn’t deserve to be close to the top if not already perched on top of it.
Kim – Tranquil Dreams
Shaolin Soccer is more of a personal choice. One reason is that I watched Stephen Chow growing up and he is my absolutely favorite comedy actor. His humor is of the absurd and ridiculous variety but it almost always makes me laugh. Of his newer movies, this one has to be the one I enjoy the most. I don’t watch a lot of sports movies to begin with but to merge the art of Shaolin with the intensity of soccer was a unique match. Shaolin Soccer revives how great humor in the Stephen Chow world and reunites him with his greatest partner in crime Man Tat Ng, plus it focuses not only on dedication in winning the competition but also rebuilding teamwork and each of the characters find their pride and their confidence in their journey through Shaolin Soccer. Fun, entertaining and even a little sad and heartwarming at times, Shaolin Soccer mixes in a little bit of everything but doesn’t forget the essence of a sports movie being in pride in the sport and the concept that it takes a team to win in a team sport.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a guilty pleasure as big as this guilty pleasure. Mean Machine is a light
hearted comedy about a football match in prison, between the cons and the guards. I believe
Adam Sandler did a dumb US version. Anyway, I love this film and I’ve definitely watched it more
times than Scarface (for your benefit James!) it’s really funny and it has a great soundtrack. It’s
totally silly and ridiculous of course but I still enjoy it every time I watch it. Plus the cast is great -it’s pretty much every actor who was in Snatch or Lock Stock (except Brad Pitt obvs). Also, Danny
Dyer is adorable in it! I love his character in Mean Machine more than any other, even the fit bloke
in The Busineess.
Jenna & Allie – Flicks Chicks
I’m generally not a huge fan of sports movies, there are a few that I enjoy but this one, is the best, by far!! It has all the makings for a great sports movie, actions, tense moments, high emotion and the ‘bad guy’ team – plus the comedy genius of the four guys hoping to be Jamaica’s first Olympic bobsled team with the help of disgraced coach, Irv played by the legendary John Candy.
After Leon loses his chance at becoming an Olympic runner, he convinced a team of local lads to join him as the Jamaican bobsled team, although there are hilarious moments in there quest to succeed. It’s also really heart-warming and you find yourself on the edge of your seat with your fingers crossed hoping that they win. Never have I been so engrossed in a sports movie and so desperate for them to prove everyone wrong.
Khalid – The Blazing Reel
Boxing films and more importantly sports films simply do not get any better than Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. Arguably the best film of the 1980’s, this film for me defines everything a sports movie should be about. Scorsese directs this film with such flawless precision and focus that his direction shines through and there are not enough words to describe how amazing Robert De Niro is in this movie. If Taxi Driver and The Godfather Part 2 established De Niro as one of the best actors of his generation, this film established him as one of the all-time bests and his performance in this film is one of the greatest ever put on screen. Raging Bull presents us with perhaps one of the most fascinating character studies in recent times, it takes the rise and fall story to a completely different level. It’s powerful and riveting and I don’t think any other sports film even comes close to rivalling it.
I’m going to pull in a technicality here and pick Point Break as the best sports movie. Okay, it’s not a conventional choice, and Point Break is more of a cops and robbers flick than a sports movie. But, the main bulk of the movie is spent on extreme sports, so there!
Point Break, for those of you who have never seen it, is a movie in which Keanu Reeves plays a Los Angeles cop named Johnny Utah who goes undercover as a surfer to sniff out a group of bank robbers known as the Ex-Presidents who wear masks of former presidents as they commit crimes. Utah befriends Bodhi (played by Patrick Swayze), and eventually learns that Bodhi and his friends are the bank robbers. So, it’s basically a better version of the first Fast and Furious film, but with extreme sports. Yes, this is an extremely tenuous choice, but I’ll stick to my guns, and pick Point Break as the obviously best sports movie.
James – Back to the Viewer
Very rarely do we come across a sports movie that isn’t based on a true story. There’s something inherently moving about a sports movie that deals with magnificent feats of sporting achievement, that tells a touching underdog tale and takes the viewer on a personal journey. Because of that trend this week has been particularly difficult to choose from many worthy options. I’ve opted for Bennett Miller’s Moneyball starring Brad Pitt as Billy Beane.
Telling the story of how Billy, the General Manager of the Oakland Athletics vies to rebuild his team after his major players are swiped by major budget teams such as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Sitting at the bottom of the pile and trying desperately to rebuild and replace his key players he employs the help of computer-generated analysis to build his team with a tiny budget around anaysis and statistics. A gutsy move that is painfully never fully appreciated by the suits or the Manager as Beane builds a championship team against all odds. A great sports movie that delivers outstanding performances from Pitt, Jonah Hill and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Drew- Drew’s Movie Review
Personally, I don’t consider golf a sport. It’s more of a past time. But my opinion on the matter doesn’t count for much, especially since there is a whole organization in the US saying otherwise. In this case, I will change my stance, if only for the next two weeks. You see, for my best sports film pick, I chooseCaddyshack. Most sports movies have some sort of a lesson, something along the lines of determination, not giving up, don’t bend the rules, play with all your heart, or some of that jazz. Caddyshack, on the other hand, couldn’t give a damn about any of that. It’s all about being as crude as possible. This film boasts three great comedians: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray. Each has their own unique humor and delivery that makes each scene special and stand out on its own. Caddyshack may be a non-traditional pick for a ‘best of sports movie’ category but that’s what makes it such a great choice!
Sports films are dominated by one major element: the underdog. From boxing to golf to anything with a ball, most films feature an unlikely player or team who manage to beat the odds and gain the glory, despite unsympathetic parents or invincible opponents. While I could have chosen any number of such films, the most uplifting underdog story I can imagine is Rudy, the real-life account of Rudy Ruettiger (played by a determined Sean Astin). He’s just a working class kid, much too weak and short to impress, yet a childhood of passionate football viewing has planted deep within him the dream of playing for Notre Dame. He takes every opportunity he can find to make that dream a reality; he earns some sympathy and kindness but even more opposition and slammed doors. Yet for every time he’s knocked down, he gets back up for more; for every time he’s rejected, he profoundly celebrates the little victories. Even his inspiring moment of truth at the climax is small compared with most sports films, but as the culmination of all his efforts, it’s a cheer-worthy achievement. By the end, he has earned the respect of the audience, his team, and the entire university, not for possessing the strongest tackle or fastest legs, but the biggest heart. That’s what the sports underdog story is all about.