February 2, 2013
Stuck here at home with a cold. There will be no multiplex for me this weekend. I dislike the folks who cough and sneeze and sniffle their way through a movie, making me feel like I should be wearing a hazmat suit. I refuse to be one of them.
But the real drama will be on TV this weekend as the Niners and the Ravens face off in a family showdown for Super Bowl Sunday.
I'm inspired to think about sports movies for the weekend. May as well get in the spirit of things.
I never really considered myself a sports movie fan until a few years ago when I watched "Remember the Titans" with Denzel Washington, a movie about the integration of a high school football team. That's when I realized I could tick off a list of my faves. After all, I did grow up sitting at my daddy's knee, watching anything played with a ball.
Admittedly, almost any sports movie with Kevin Costner makes the list. He soars playing washed up, tired out athletes looking for one more shot at greatness: "Bull Durham," "Tin Cup," those are Costner in his element. Some might put "A Field of Dreams" at the top of his list, but I prefer "Eight Men Out" as Chicago Black Sox movies go with young John Cusack. It's also conveniently streaming on Netflix. A couple of other sports movies streaming include "Fever Pitch" (the British version, although my favorite is the American Red sox version), "Miracle," "Brian's Song" (new and original versions), the very fun "A League of Their Own," "Hoop Dreams" and "Slap Shot." Unfortunately, if you want to watch "The Longest Yard," you'll have to settle for the remake with Adam Sandler over the classic with Burt Reynolds.
Cable will get you "Invincible" about Vince Papale, one of my favorites about an unemployed bartender who scores a spot on the Philadephia Eagles in an open tryout. "Raging Bull" is also on cable this weekend.
Unfortunately, some of my favorites aren't streaming anywhere this weekend that I can find. "Mystery, Alaska," for example, is about an upstart hockey team, featuring an undiscovered Russell Crowe and another sports movie staple, Burt Reynolds. "Moneyball" got good reviews in theaters last year for a reason, telling the story of Oakland A's manager Billy Beane's transformation of the team -- and baseball -- by choosing a statistics-based roster.
"Trouble with the Curve" about an aging baseball talent scout (played by Clint Eastwood) and his alienated adult daughter (Amy Adams) is another 2012 entry worth watching.
One of the nice things about sports is they make great movies. After all, almost all of them are about the same thing: an underdog with a dream, the people who want to keep him down, and what he goes through to make it happen. Now that's drama!
I know I've missed plenty of favorites here, even some of my own. What are your favorites?