Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Thursday Movie Picks Meme: Sport Movies

The subject this week for Wanderer's Thursday Movie Picks Meme is something a little bit out of my usual comfort zone. I've never been a particularly athletic person so naturally I'm not normally attracted to movies that prominently feature sports. I remember once in early high school an assignment required us to watch the movie Coach Carter, and while everyone else was super-excited I kept complaining simply because it was about basketball and I didn't like sports movies (with hindsight, I think I might have been a bit harsh on it, and it might be worth giving another chance if the opportunity presents itself).

Of course even with the genres that I am not normally interested in I can still find a few good ones. I'm not a big fan of musicals but that didn't stop me enjoying Singin' in the Rain, and I did enjoy both Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies even though I usually prefer science fiction over fantasy. Same goes with sport movies, even if it's not a genre that usually gets me excited, I do know a few good ones. Here are some of them.

Horse Feathers

This early Marx Brothers film is a lot of fun, and it's all about football. Basically, Groucho is appointed headmaster of Huxley College and decides to try and improve the school's football team by hiring two of the greatest football players who hang out at a local speakeasy. Unfortunately a misunderstanding leads to him just missing rival institution Darwin College hiring those players while Groucho ends up mistakenly recruiting deliverymen Chico and Harpo, leading to inevitable craziness and quite possibly the strangest football game ever put on film.

The Big Lebowski

Okay, technically this isn't about a sport but bowling does play a pretty big part in the whole thing. You could probably make a drinking game out of every scene set in the bowling alley, letalone every major bowling motif throughout the film. The three main characters are even preparing for an upcoming tournament (though we never actually see it). It is a really fun movie that sheds light on a great sport. (fun fact: the only sports team I ever played on willingly was my High School bowling team).

Million Dollar Baby

It was a toss-up between this and Invictus, but that movie seemed a bit too obvious. Million Dollar Baby is a rather touching story about the relationship between a troubled young woman who finally finds herself through boxing, and her trainer who is also trying to redeem himself for something he did in the past. It is an emotional story with plenty of great fight scenes that inevitably come with a film about boxing, but it isn't afraid to show the darker side either, something that helps build up to a real tear-jerker of a finale.


  1. Wow, that's the first time I've heard The Big Lebowski called a sports movie. There are lots of scenes in a bowling alley so if that qualifies for you then I'm cool with that. Another bowling movie I like is Kingpin with Woody Harrelson. Love Million Dollar Baby, but haven't seen Horse Feathers. Marx Bros. usually don't do it for me.

    Interesting you bring up not being a sports fan. Neither is my wife but she enjoys most of the ones we watch. I tell her it's because the good ones are really about the people involved and only use the sport as a backdrop. In other words its the story that's important not the athletics.

    1. Technically it's not a full-on sports movie, no, but I think the fact that it has so many scenes in the bowling alley should allow it to qualify. I didn't know there were other bowling movies. Might have to check that out.

  2. I am so not into sports and have no desire to see a film all about sports. I dis enjoy Kingpin with Woody Harrelson:) I love the Marx bros. so Horse feathers is a given. I enjoyed the original "the Longest Yard" and "A League of their own" with Tom Hanks. I have a hard time watching boxing movies although "Cinderella Man" was quite good and I loved "The Hurricane" and it got badly slammed by the critics which i think was due to the fact the The Mighty Canadians helped this man get out of prison:) I am not sure if i will ever see "Ali" because I always found him a braggert growing up hearing him with Howard Cosell. I also recall watching a boxing match when I was really little and this one boxer was just beating a man as he was hanging in the ropes. My dad was yelling at the TV wondering why the ref was not stopping it. This man later died. I might have been only 3 or 4 but that stayed with me and I don't think of it as a sport...I digress

  3. Of the movies you listed, I've only seen one - Million Dollar Baby, the ending was one of those select few scenes in movies that made me tear up. I'm not a big sports person either, I don't see the joy of sitting around a TV watching other guys run around a field.