It’s time for another installment of my favorite sport movies. Yes it’s Monday, but the Holidays have delayed my posting and I wanted to give you a few sporty classics to entertain you into the new year. Click the movie title or image for a preview. Happy and merry all!
This beautifully photographed documentary tells the remarkable story of Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna and spans the racing legend’s years as an Formula 1 champion, from his opening season in 1984 to his untimely death a decade later. Far more than a film for racing fans, Senna takes a cinematic approach and makes full use of astounding footage, drawn from over 15,000 hours of archival film, much of which was previously unseen.
In one of his most legendary roles, Paul Newman stars as cocky poolroom hustler “Fast” Eddie Felson, a swaggering pool shark punk. With his typical bravado, Felson challenges the king of the poolroom, “Minnesota Fats”, played Jackie Gleason, to a high-stakes match. After losing in a heartbreaking marathon, Felson faces the battle to regain his confidence and his game. He hits rock bottom and teams up with an unscrupulous manager, played by George C. Scott, and finds there is a terrible price to pay for redemption. The shadowy black-and-white cinematography, and darkness lit by the dim glow of a bar lamp or the overhead glare of a pool-table light, creates the atmosphere appropriate for this drama.
There are so many classic baseball movies to choose from, so I decided to go with the girls. This is the true story of The All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League, founded in 1943, when most of the men of baseball-playing age were away fighting World War II. Not wanting baseball to be dormant indefinitely, the owners of the teams decided to form teams with women. Directed by Penny Marshall, the movie stars Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Geena Davis, Lori Petty and Tom Hanks in some of their most entertaining roles. Who can forget “There is no crying in baseball!”
This film documents the evolution of BMX or Bicycle Motocross which began with kids in the 1970’s modifying their Schwinn Sting-Ray bicycles to look like motorcycles. Narrated by Jesse James, this documentary is the first film to take a serious look at the evolution of the sport, from the streets of 1960’s suburban neighborhoods to today’s stadium-packed televised action sports competitions. The directors have assembled a 30-year timeline packed with rare archival footage and interviews with the pioneers and legendary riders that delivers an historical perspective to the sport of BMX and makes you feel like you were there.
This docudrama is the unbelievable true story of two climbers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, and their summit of Siula Grande in Peru. They reach the peak, but disaster strikes on the descent when Simpson plunges off the vertical face of an ice ledge and breaks his leg. Roped together as darkness falls and a blizzard rages, Yates tries to lower his friend to safety. When Simpson slides off an overhang with no way of climbing back up, Simon must make the unfathomable decision to cut the rope. Simpson falls into a crevasse but is lucky to survive. Summoning unimaginable reserves of physical and spiritual strength, he crawls over the cliffs and canyons of the Andes and reaches base camp and his friend.
This documentary focuses on the history and social struggles of the Bra Boys, a notorious surf gang from the Australian suburb of Maroubra with a reputation for being legendary partiers, rebellious thugs and incredible big-wave surfers. Narrated by Russell Crowe, the film highlights the Bra Boys running battle with authorities and shows their reliance on one another to survive in a society in which they are displaced.