Sports movies are such a volatile species, they need to play on two fronts, appeasing the die hards of said sport versus attracting a selling main stream audience. Playing to hard to one party will sink a film with both audiences, why people even make them is beyond me. But here we go, first the worst counting down followed by the best.
5. The Longest Yard- Why this is considered a classic is beyond me, and I will call this a two for one and say the remake was just as bad. Crooks and killers playing football really does not appeal to me, if they did this modern-day reality style Michael Vick could have played the QB role. Would you be rooting for the inmates at that point?
4. Raging Bull- I have tried numerous time to watch this film, frankly I can’t make it 20 minutes in, what a terrible job. People will hate me for this choice, but hey it’s my list, if you don’t like it make your own.
3. Any Given Sunday- I don’t believe Al Pacino as a coach anymore than I believe Jamie Foxx as an athlete. Movie dragged and dragged.
2. Field of Dreams- Stupid film. Waaaah, I wish I could have played catch with my absent father. What a cop-out to sell as a sports film.
1. A League of Their Own- The only thing worse than Tom Hanks thinking he is a talented actor is Rosie O’Donnell thinking she can act at all. Hanks should have stuck with quality films like Big or even Forrest Gump. This movie encompasses all things bad by also dragging in Madonna and the always annoying Jon Lovitz.
Barely missing the bad cut
Fever Pitch- Would have been highly (or lowly) ranked as terrible based on the horrible choice of Jimmy Fallon who is not funny nor an actor. The only reason it is not on the list is I could not even argue it is a sports film and more than Sudden Death is because it revolves around a sporting event.
For the Love of the Game- This could have been a great baseball movie, and still good be with some editing. If they could lose the whole “Clear the mechanism” angle the movie would be great, but frankly those 2 total minutes ruin the entire movie.
Slapshot- Once you get past the humor of the Hanson Brothers the movie is really boring. Hockey has never fared well on film, only sport with a worse track record is basketball.
On to the greatest films and documentaries!
5a. Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby- If Will Farrell is not considered the funniest actor of his generation I don’t know who could be. The one liners aplenty make this movie worth the price of admission and it never gets old even with the absolutely ridiculous story line.
5b. Lords of Dogtown- is it about surfing? no it starts off so, but transitions into the birth of skateboarding. While it spends most of the movie focusing on the relationship of Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta it give birth to our stars of today in Tony Hawk and the X-Games.
4. Bull Durham- How can you not love this film?
3. Dodgeball- Really you say? Oh my goodness yes. While it is questionable if dodgeball is a sport you do play it in gym class therefore, I say sport. The cast of characters is far from good actors but they are funny, even Ben Stiller who I find incredibly annoying. The appealing part of this film is the quirkiness sof all the Average Joes.
2. Bloodsport- It seems out-of-place,but with MMA as big as it is today arguing that the predecessor to UFC is not a sport would be hard pressed. I would have put “Enter the Dragon” in this spot, but I had a hard time myself believing that movie was more about the tournament then the hunt for the evil Han.
1. Rocky- Any Rocky movie should make a top sports movie list, even the so-called horrible RockyV. Stallone gets a bad rap as a horrible actor, anyone who thinks so should be reminded to watch Rocky because if you don’t find him genuinely appealing when he is courting Adrian you are a fool. Rocky is by far the greatest movie to happen to sports and one of the greatest individual films of all time.
5. ESPN Presents Mike Tyson- More of a collection of his fights than anything, but the interviews and pre and post fight commentaries make it a documentary in my view.
4. Tyson- Clearly a documentary and a stunning look at the most interesting man to ever put on gloves. Never ducking an issue and honest the Tyson is a star even outside the ring.
3. Ali Rap- The reflection of Ali’s greatness on people and society he affected directly and indirectly. A great film if you have never seen it.
2. Hoop Dreams- The beautiful thing about basketball is that you don’t need money to play. Every town in America has a basketball hoop. There are no fields to be tended, equipment to be bought or referees needed. Chronicles is the story of two NBA hopefuls living their life dribble-to-dribble. Inner city life is hard but the court gives these boys a place to shine. Neither are NBA stars today, but they have both moved on to honest lives and succeeded in their own right.
1. Courtship of Rivals- Two of the greatest players ever started as college rivals and continued into their professional careers. The greatest rivalry in basketballs greatest era. If you need me to explain Larry Bird and Magic Johnson you should not be reading this post.