Movies.ie gets active this weekend with five great sport based flicks!
Undoubtedly one of the best sporting films but definitely not for the fainthearted! Scorcese’s boxing epic is brutal both in and out of the ring as Robert De Niro plays Jake La Motta, whose violence spills out from his profession into his home life. It is one of De Niro’s best performances; he is almost unrecognisable in fact, having gained 60 pounds to play the part.
Is it really a sport if you can take part and drink beer at the same time…? Well to us that actually sounds like a pretty good idea. Add Bill Murray to the equation and it can’t get much better! It tells the story of an ex bowler (Woody Harrelson) “cut off in his prime”, who sees the opportunity to make a comeback through the talent of a naïve Quaker (Randy Quaid). Kingpin is typical Farrelly brothers fare; outrageous and hilarious… with lots of jokes about a prosthetic hand. Stupid? Yes, but very, very funny!
Even though this is a sporting top ten and so is overwhelmed with manly men, sweating and swearing up and down fields, we’d hate the make this an all out boy’s club. That’s not to say that National Velvet doesn’t deserve its place here in our top ten! This is a great tale of the love of the sport – in this case, horse racing. The young Elizabeth Taylor is luminous in Technicolor as Velvet, who begins to train her beloved horse Pi for the Grand National, along with jockey Mi Taylor (Mickey Rooney). A beautiful, uplifting film.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
There aren’t many films made about long distance running – it doesn’t have the camaraderie of team sports, or even the drama of a sprint! The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner however manages to wring every last drop of drama from the sport. Colin Smith (Tom Cortenay) is a juvenile offender who has always ran as a means of escape from his home life. This is sports film as social commentary with an iconic performance from Cortenay as one of the quintessential “angry young men” of British film in the 1960’s.
A League of their Own
Madonna, Tom Hanks, Rosie O’ Donnell together in a sporting movie… doesn’t really sound that great but this is prime sporting nostalgia. In some ways you could say it’s the chick flick of sports films but it’s full of great characters, set during an interesting time and telling a genuine and obscure piece of sporting history (that of the first female professional baseball league). It may be slightly corny but we defy you not to have a lump in your throat when the girls sing “We are the members of the All American League…!”