Sunday, November 25, 2007

Best Sports Movies (Part I)

I've decided to create a countdown list of the best sports movies ever, well, maybe a better title would be My Top 20 Sports Movies, because this is pretty much just a list of the sports movies I like best. Some will coincide with critics picks, some will be movies only I like.
Also, I will have to have seen the entire unedited version of the film, so movies like
North Dallas Forty, Requim, Bang the Drum Slowly, The Natural, Bull Durham, Pride of the Yankees and newer ones like Glory Road, We are Marshall, Invincible- will not be on the list. I think that's enough explanation. So without further ado, here are the Top 20 Sports Movies of All-Time (according to Tony Brown.)


Honorable Mention:
Searching For Bobby Fisher, The Air Up There, The Sandlot, Happy Gilmore, Cool Runnings "Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Ride, Get on down, It's Bobsled time!", Over the Top- it's all about turning the hat backwards, Fever Pitch (soccer one), Best in Show- maybe not sports, but real funny, Wild Hearts Can't be Broken- horse-jumping-into-a- small-pool-of- water is a sport!- this was a channel 24 Saturday afternoon favorite, Mighty Ducks, Bend it Like Beckham- I admit I liked it, Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud:Seventh Inning Fetch, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, Air Bud: Spikes Back, Bring it On- I like cheerleaders, Spellbound- maybe not a sport by definition, but intense as hell- has the preperation, training, competion, nervousness- maybe I'm saying that because of my Quiz Bowl background- but a great film, You Got Served- no explanation necessary


20. The Cutting Edge (1992)
Tagline: The King of the Rink is about to meet America's Ice Queen

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A tender way to start the countdown. Figure Skating? Yes. And I know the Christina Aguilera song in the video doesn't help. But a solid film. Funny at times. DB Sweeny is a good fit and Moira Kelly is just hot enough to overlook the bitchiness of her character and understand the connection of the two- great chemistry. And when they nail the triple Pamchenko, I was pretty excited.
I understand there is a Cutting Edge 2, with the story of the daughter the two have. I might have to check it out.
Okay, now that the romantic comedy is out of the way on to...


19. Rounders (1998)
Tagline: You've got to play the hand you're dealt.

I really debated about putting this on the list, but with characters like Eddie KGB and Grandma, how could I exclude it?
I think this movie was one of the key componets of the blow-up in the popularity in poker over the last few years, especially Hold 'em.
I was really pissed when Worm caused them to get the shit kicked out of them. Good ending.


18. White Men Can't Jump (1992)
Tagline: It ain't easy being this good.

A nice one for all us white kids out there. We can hoop. And wear ridiculous outfits while doing so. I think this was the first ever rated R movie I saw in the theatre.
The scene where Billy first beats Sidney is great and so too are all the scenes where they hustle other people, especially when the dude brings a gun out and the Jeopardy is great too.
The ending, where he finally dunks is a bit corny, but you allow it.
Oh, and Billy Hoyle, what a great white boy name!


17. Rocky IV (1985)
Tagline: He's facing th
e ultimate challenge. And fighting for his life.

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I think this one is pretty self-explainatory, easily the 2nd best Rocky movie.
Apollo Creed Dies
USA vs. USSR
Ivan Drago
Rocky is too old and could be killed
And the traing montage, priceless- embedded into my mind as a little child.
And in end, the Commie Soviets cheers for all the courage and heart displayed by Rocky. Yes!
And great soundtrack too- Survivor, James Brown, Kenny Loggins- my college roommate used to listen to it before tests to get hype.

16. The Hurricane (1999)
Tagline: His greatest fight was for justice

I believe out of all the films on this list, this has the least amount of actual sport action, less than five minutes I'd say. Most of it is during the opening credits.
Nevertheless, it is a very inspirational film, but the inspiration is drawn from the inner strength of the character and not is outer action in sports. But Denzel is pretty ripped in this movie.
Reuben Carter shows incredible perseverence while in prison. Also shows the racism both in sports and the justice system. Oh, and the great Bob Dylan song.



15. Hoop Dreams (1994)

Absoluntely the ultimate sports documentary
. The story of two poor Chicago youth- William Gates and Arthur Agee- with the basketball skills to hopefully move them to something better.
We see them both mature greatly during the film and see their "dreams" change and grow as well. Shows all the pressure that having talent brings and all the hopes and dreams not only of your own, but all those around you. I haven't seen this movie for a long time, but now want to see it again. Probably even more relevent today with players going to the NBA straight from high school, not all successful, and so much hype surrounding high school sports.



14. Major League (1989)
Tagline: When these three oddballs tr
y to play hardball, the result is totally screwball.

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Pretty much a classic. Got to love Bob Uecker. Got to love Jobu and Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano, Wild Thing. A greatly funny movie. Plus the whole loser turn around thing and the pennant chase. And the greedy owner. Oh, and it was filmed at Milwaukee County Stadium, where I watched many-a-game.
"Up your butt Jobu."
"Hey bartender, I think Jobu needs a refill."
"Let's cut the crap Vaughn. I only got one thing to say to you: Strike this mother fucker out."

Major League II, not bad. Major League 3, horrible.


Check back tomorrow for movies 13-9














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