When Sports meets the big screen what comes out is entertainment gold.Most A list movie stars want to do sports movies because they cut across a wide spectrum of audience. I have picked 5 of my best sports movies of all time. I beg your pardon, meccalites. I may have left some of your favorites. I hope this list does you justice.
This is a sports comedy staring British tough guys Vinnie Jones and Jason Statham. What I love about MEAN MACHINE is that the director Barry Skolnick cast a former soccer player in a soccer film(Vinnie used to be a top flight player with Wimbledon,Leeds amongst other clubs).Danny Meehan(Jones) is a disgraced former England Captain who was banned for fixing a game against Germany.His troubles go from bad to worse when he is arrested for RESISTING ARREST by assaulting two policemen trying to make him take a breathalyzer test in a bar during a drunken night out. Once inside the prison walls, his celebrity status attracted the ire of the guards and the prison warden who has it out for him even before he sets foot in the jail. The Warden who owes money to a bookie hatches a plan to make some money to pay the bookie off. He organizes a match between the guards and the cons, and puts his money of the guards to win. He picks Meehan to train and captain the cons thinking his track record with throwing games makes the result a sure bet. I will not give much away but this British comedy is full of humor and laughs and not to be missed.
4. JERRY MAGUIRE (1996)
Pre-Scientology Tom Cruise was a Hollywood Colossus.This film shows Tom at his humorous and also sensitive best.He combines well with Renee Zellweger and the film got nominated for an academy award. Jerry Maguire(Tom Cruise) is a sports agent working for Sports Management International(SMI). He had a Saul to Paul moment when he realizes that sports management needs a change, a more personal touch better than the more retail type of management that SMI was doing. This change in attitude gets him fired. He does not leave alone though. Before he leaves he gives a monologue in that huge office of SMI that convinces no one to join him in the new company he was about to start. Except a young attractive single mother Dorothy Boyd(Zellweger) who leaves a stable pay check to join Jerry in his new venture. SMI do everything in their power to discredit Jerry and convince players not to sign up with him.Thats where I leave it. What I like about the film is that it encourages the entrepreneurial spirit, the guts of Jerry and Dorothy to leave a stable life to a life of discomfort but prosperity. Whatch out for the performance by Cuba Gooding Jnr.its funny I love it.
3. THE GAME PLAN(2007)
I am a huge Dwayne Johnson fan that I admit. It was strange to see him in a family movie having gotten used to seeing him in action or thriller roles. Joe Ringman(Johnson) is a quarterback for the Boston Rebels. He was pompous and arrogant(last game of the regular season.scores a TD ignoring an open receiver). The very next day , up popped Peyton Kelly(Maddison Pettis) at Joe’s doorstep claiming to be his biological daughter that his ex wife sent to see him. His agent however thinks Peyton will be a distraction fro the upcoming playoffs. Peyton eventually confesses that she came on her own as she longed for a father figure in her life. This is a feel good movie to watch with the family especially during this holiday season. It teaches whats important in life,glory and being in the limelight or family.
2. MR 3000(2004)
This was one of comedy giant Bernie Mac’s last movies before he passed away(God rest his soul).Stan Ross(Bernie Mac) of the Milwaukee Brewers is a star baseball player. He is, like Dwayne in number 3 , an arrogant player who just retired having hit his 3000th hit right in the middle of the season with little regard for his teammates. He enters business for the next 9 years under the name “Mr 3000” and is very successful. In 2004 after an extravagant ceremony to retire his jersey(with the Brewers happy to get rid of his memory for good), he learns due to a clerical mistake he actually retired at 2997 hits instead of 3000. He was de-inducted into the HALL OF FAME because of it making the MR 3000 nickname a farce. He then seeks a return to the team to get the 3 hits he needs to complete the 3000.Also starring Angela Bassett.
1.REMEMBER THE TITANS(2000)
This movie had everything, great cast and director,moving scenes and a lot of lessons. The scene is 197, TC Williams High school is a newly integrated high school. A black coach who is supposed to take charge of black high school football team is assigned to WORK UNDER A COACH who previously was in charge of a successful White school. Herman Boone is his name(Denzel Washington). The school board decides to appoint Boone instead to head coach position instead of Bill Yoast, the white coach, to pacify the growing racial tensions. Boone refuses saying its unfair to Yoast but an outcry from the black community makes him change his decision. Yoast is then offered an assistant coach position under Boone(he also refuses) but white players threaten to boycott the team if he is not part of the coaching staff. With what is happening in the world with race issues we can all relate to this storyline. This movie teaches acceptance .The color of one’s skin does not have any bearing on sporting ability.