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BLEEDIN’ WICKED GOOGLY… Films about 35 of those “Other” Sports (Part 3 of 7) by JAY

Posted on April 25th, 2009
Posted on April 25th, 2009

Yessir sporting activities, like crooked cops, malevolent extraterrestrials and nymphomaniacal teens, just lends itself to treatment on the silver screen. Yet apart from films centered on the big four – you heard me, four (football, basketball, baseball, golf) – few seem to have any knowledge or interest in cinematic depictions of the so-called lesser athletic endeavors. So let’s take a look at some participatorily-challenged sports and the films which sought – with varying degrees of success – to bring them to the forefront of the public conscience…

(CONTINUED FROM PART 2)

11. Diving

WINNER: “Back to School”. If you can’t be wowed by Rodney Dangerfield executing a perfect “Triple Lindy” from staggered springboards, then you have no soul.

Dishonorable Mention: “Breaking the Surface: the Greg Louganis Story”.

12. Fencing

WINNER: “By the Sword”. Notice I said “fencing” and not “egregious crowd of extras in hip boots and/or bath robes flailing at each other with shish kabob skewers”.

This is the only film I am aware of that looks at fencing as a sport rather than as a blood orgy on a pirate ship. Therefore swashbucklers are out with two Honorable exceptions: Ridley Scott’s “The Duelists” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”.

13. Fishing

WINNER: “A River Runs Through It”. Girls and gay guys will tell you it ain’t cinematic fishing without Brad Pitt whipping his rod around in the crick. Phallic pole-play aside, it is a fine film; but I prefer the manlier aspects of fishin’ like Wolfgang Petersen gave us in “The Perfect Storm”.

And let’s not forget about the latter third of “Jaws”. “You’re gonna need bigger boat”. Classic.

14. Freediving

WINNER: “The Big Blue”. This is the movie that made me think of this post in the first place. Jean Reno and Jean-Marc Barr are splendid as the hyper-competitive daredevils in Luc Besson’s classic. If there are other films about freediving, they are totally inconsequential. See this movie!

15. Gymnastics

WINNER: There isn’t one. The last director to inflict cinematic gymnastics on the movie-going public was Jessica Bendinger with her unintentionally though hilariously titled teen dreck “Stick It”. That is also my advice to what Ms. Bendinger should do with any notions of a “Stick It 2”. (It’s just so easy)

Another Mention: The Mitch Gaylord fiasco “American Anthem”.

-Jay

Part 1
Part 2
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

OTHER “LIST” ARTICLES…

#1:  BLEEDIN’ WICKED GOOGLY… Films about 35 of those “Other” Sports (Parts 1 – 7) by JAY
#2: “Bard None: A Cinematic Guide to Really Bad Shakespeare” by JAY

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