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XXX Summer Olympics

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

I have to admit - I'm a bit of an Olympic junkie. There's just something very appealing about the entire world coming together to compete in fair minded play and to celebrate the efforts of all these hard working incredible athletes. Now having said that, we know that the reality often falls far short of the ideal; but for every doper trying to beat the system there are still hundreds of athletes playing their guts out for the love of their sport and country and these are the competitors that draw me back year after year.

If you are not watching the Olympics (CTV) (NBC) which start tomorrow, do the next best thing and watch a movie about the Olympics. Multi award winner Chariots of Fire is certainly worth your time and features the haunting score by Vangelis.

CPL has a great many titles that are not necessarily about the Olympics, but sports movies, and it is quite a mixed bag. Some of my faves are Invictus, Million Dollar Baby, The Natural, Bend It Like Beckham, Field of Dreams, and Iqbal. Or spend some time with The Flying Scotsman- you won't be disappointed. When We Were Kings is a compelling documentary of the 1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire between then champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali. Not my cup of tea, but it did win cutey-pie Sandra Bullock an Oscar---The Blind Side. Or from this year, Money Ball with Brad Pitt in his Oscar nominated performance. And even though the franchise did go steadily downhill afterward, there is no denying the original Rocky is still one of the best sports movies ever made. Try any of these: Pride of the Yankees, Eight Men Out, Raging Bull, Brian's Song (have the hankies ready), Remember the Titans and the original The Longest Yard. You will barely recognize Batman (Christian Bale) in The Fighter, more cautionary tale than true sports movie, but very good. Warrior earned Nick Nolte an Oscar nod for best supporting actor this year. The Wrestler helped resurrect Mickey Rourke's career and is a gut wrenching look behind the scenes of the wrestling world, just as Requiem for a Heavyweight looks at the underbelly of boxing.

There are numerous movies about equestrian sports and many more about golf. But I just can't bring myself to watch a golf movie- it's almost as boring as watching a golf game (with apologies to all you golfers).

For the younger crowd there is Ice Princess, Air Bud (at least 5 different ones), Sandlot, Space Jam, Bad News Bears (original only) and any of the Karate Kids- new or old.

Teens: Stick It, Rudy, and Whip It

Series: Friday Night Lights- we have all five seasons

Funny: It's been quite awhile since I've seen it but have a look at Cool Runnings- the story of the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Or Nacho Libre---Jack Black's take on Luchadors (Mexican wrestlers), and Will Ferrell in Taladega Nights and Blades of Glory.

The opening ceremonies are being produced by Danny Boyle, who you will know from such films as Slum Dog Millionaire, Trainspotting, The Beach, Millions and 127 hours. They held a dress rehearsal on Monday night and the word is ' unlike anything you have ever seen before'. I was dazzled by the Vancouver opening ceremonies in 2010 so am eager to see what Boyle has in store for the 80,000 in the stadium and the 100's of millions out here in tv land.

Let the games begin.........................

Sports Sports and More Sports

- 0 Comment(s)

Yes, I know the Stanley Cup starts tomorrow, Winnipeg is regaining their NHL team, and that in about 20 days the Stamps have their first pre season game. But if all this still isn't enough sports for you try some of the following:

Eight Men Out- ""say it ain't so Joe". The true story of the eight men who conspired to throw the 1919 world series.

The Natural- with Robert Redford and Glenn Close. Depression era feel good baseball story.

The Fighter- 2010 winner for a couple of well-deserved best supporting Oscars- for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. Not just a story about boxing---it also serves as a cautionary tale. And if you occassionaly think your family is disfunctional, wait till you get a load of these guys!

Remember the Titans- a wonderful movie with Denzel Washington as the man assigned to take on the head coaching duties for a high school footaball team during the first year of racially intergrated play. This is good for everyone about 9 and up.

The Longest Yard- the original with Burt Reynolds, not the Adam Sandler remake. Despite being from 1974 the story stands up well. You will see why Burt was so popular back in the 70's. Currently on re-order, but mark it for later consumption.

Million Dollar Baby- I've recommended this before under a Paul Haggis post. Big cast, big winner from a few years back- big heartbreaker as well. Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank in her 2nd Oscar winning role.

Field of Dreams and A League of their own--- just in case you missed either of these any of the nine thousand times they have been on t.v.

Sandlot- one for the whole family-this is funny and sweet.

No matter how Rocky ended up after far too many sequels, their is no denying it started out well. For a more realistic look at the the brutal world of boxing try Requiem for a Heavyweight with Anthony Quinn. This is also a real gut wrencher.

And because I have yet to see a movie about hockey that is any good, revisit the real thing. We have a 5 disc set that recaptures all the wonderful moments (and there were many) from the2010 Vancouver Olympics---including the exciting overtime Crosby goal in the men's gold medal final against the USA.

by Moe