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BLEEDIN’ WICKED GOOGLY… Films about 35 of those “Other” Sports (Part 6 of 7) by JAY

Posted on April 28th, 2009
Posted on April 28th, 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 5)

26. Skiing

WINNER: “Better Off Dead”. Carvaholics, rippers and trustafarians will of course decry this pick as “sick manky”. Let me try to put this as plainly as I can: documentaries are verboten in this discussion. So as far as this flatlander can see, “Dead” is the best movie featuring skiing, though not necessarily the movie with the most skiing in it.

Sorry (Mention) “Hotdog: The Movie”.

27. Skydiving

WINNER: “The Gypsy Moths”. A team of daredevil stunt jumpers mix it up with the locals in a Kansan town. That may sound like “Macon County Line”, but it ain’t. Burt Lancaster and Gene Hackman are great and the aerial shots are highly entertaining. Also – I can’t believe I’m saying this – there are some finely-shot jump sequences in the Patrick Swayze / Keanu Reeves thriller “Point Break”.

Dishonorable Mention: The milk-curdling “Drop Zone” with Wesley “Taxfree” Snipes.

28. Soccer

WINNER: “Bend it Like Beckham”. The sport of soccer lends itself easily to movies featuring kids and last weeks winner of David Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks”. And with soccer being the red-headed stepchild of the American sports scene, serious films about futbol are hard to come by. But the surprise hit “Bend it Like Beckham” portrays soccer and those who play it in a fresh and illuminating light. (Coop, I’m sure, is squirming in his chair and shouting at the screen: “SHAOLIN SOCCER!!!” Yes, a fine film about soccer balls that turn into leopards and orbs of plasma energy in a kung-fusion of “X-Men”, “Crouching Tiger” and “Ladybugs”. Not exactly what we’re going for here, but by all means a “See It” in my book.)

Honorable Mention: The surprisingly entertaining “Victory” with Michael Caine and Sly Stallone.

29. Surfing

WINNER: “Point Break”. Yes, I did that on purpose. I’ve said it once (literally) and I’ll say it again: when Keanu Reeves is being “Keanu Reeves”, he’s is certainly tolerable. And the surfing scenes, though not competitive in the purest sense, were pretty tubular. This pick, I really hope, will spark the most discussion because I wouldn’t know one end of the board from the other. So let’s hear from the sand crabs…

30. Swimming

WINNER: “Swimming Upstream”. Here’s another sport consisting of events that are either riveting but brief, or protracted and boring. But this little gem about a young man’s quest to find favor in his father’s eyes slipped in under the radar in 2005. Stars Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis. 2007’s “Pride” was hokey and immediately predictable, though Terrence Howard’s ability to cry on cue is just south of astounding.

Dishonorable Mention: “Swimfan”. Yikes!

-Jay

(Part 7 tomorrow!)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
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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