My Favourite Sports Movies

I love watching sports on telly and have also been involved in sports from my school days. This probably explains why I love sports movies so much. In this post, I have compiled a short list of my all time favourite sports movies from Hollywood.Lemme take you through them..

1. The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) : Well, I have lived next to a golf course for the better part of my childhood and always had this opinion that Golf is the most boring game ever invented. This movie however made me do a U-Turn. The awe-inspiring picturization, the mind-blowing direction and the motivational story of the dark-horse making it big will all make you instantly fall in love with Golf. This is one of those slow-moving movies where messages are conveyed more through pictures and expressions than through words.I have seen this movie so many times that I think I have almost memorised it. In short, this one is a treat!!

2. Miracle (2004) : This movie is about Ice Hockey and is one of the finest performances of Kurt Russell. The storyline begins with how Russell goes about building the formidable U.S hockey team and culminates in the epic clash between USA and Russia in the 1980 Olympics, when the Cold War is at it’s peak. I also have to add that Chak De , which came three years later, is a pale imitation of Miracle. This movie lays a huge emphasis on team spirit and the nail-biting match at the end will surely make you feel that you are watching it live in the stadium :) .And yes, don’t miss the Tonight speech by Russell just before the final match…it will give you goosebumps!

3. Coach Carter (2005) : This movie is based on the game of basketball. It’s set in the backdrop of the poor,crime-ridden, black neighbourhood in Richmond. Coach Carter, played by Samuel Jackson, lays down some tough rules to discipline his team, most of who are not doing well academically. He puts his career on the line to ensure that every player scores a good enough GPA to get into college and does not get misled into prioritising basketball over college.This movie has lots of motivational and inspiring scenes and I have learnt quite a few dialogues by heart :) . And like any other sports movies, this one too is loaded with all the drama that comes with a close-finish game.

4. Cinderella Man (2005) : Cinderella Man is based on the life of the boxing legend, James Braddock and his rags to riches story in the midst of the Great Depression. The lead role is played lovingly by one of my favourite actors, Russell Crowe :) . I had always considered boxing as a savage game, but this movie sketches a very humane portrayal of the life and personality of boxers. It provides an insight into the trials and tribulations of Baddock and how he struggles to feed his family by making a determined comeback to the boxing ring when almost everyone has written him off. Cinderella Man underscores the fact that Great Champions always have a great heart :) .

5. Ice Princess (2005) : This one is about figure skating, a sport which I knew very little about. But the few times I had seen skating shows on TV, I have to admit it was difficult for me to take my eyes off :) .While skating may look very beautiful and effortless on the outside, it requires a lot of hard work, poise and discipline. It’s not dance, it’s sports. And it’s acrobatics and it’s physics. Well if you want to know the physics behind ice-skating, then watch Ice Princess.The beauty and technique of skating that’s depicted in the movie is what keeps Ice Princess from otherwise degenerating into a chick flick.

Except for Ice Princess, all the rest are based on true stories. And in case you didn’t notice, 2005 seems to be my lucky year for sports movies :D .

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Movie Catch Up Time

I was skimming through my movie collection this week to kill time and found these three movies which I had never seen before. Generally, before watching a movie, I read the plot summary in imdb, just to make sure that it’s worth my time and interest. But since my broadband had ditched me , I dived straight in. And out of the three I saw, two were really good :) while one ended in regret….deep regret!! Here are the movie reviews.

Chariots of Fire (1981) : This is a sports movie, based on two British sprinters trying to make it big in the 1924 Olympics, the physical and emotional struggles they face while they prepare and their ultimate triumph. The theme song from this movie has a really catchy tune and it was played repeatedly in the London Olympics 2012. If you watched Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and felt let down by the over-the-top dramatization and pathetic editing, then give this movie a try. It does not take the audience on a make-believe emotional ride, but is inspirational nevertheless, living up to the adage of “short and sweet”.

The Last King of Scotland (2006) : This movie is based on the regime of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, who became  a household name for terror worldwide. The script weaves a fictional tale (loosely based on real life) set on the background of historical facts.A Scottish doctor who comes to Uganda to help the poor, becomes friends and then foes with Idi Amin, and narrowly escapes from the jaws of death. Now I had heard all kinds of horrible stories about Idi Amin(the jerk used to keep severed body parts in his fridge). Thankfully, the viewers are spared these gory details. The screenplay includes several violence scenes but little on human torture. Watch it, if you want to know more about Idi Amin.

Secretary (2002) : Now, this is the one I ended up regretting watching :( . This movie is about a young girl who is recently released from a mental hospital and who takes up a job as secretary in a law firm.Her relationship with her over bearing boss soon evolves into a typical Dominant Submissive Relationship, and that’s the underlying theme of the movie. Frankly, I had no idea where the movie was headed, until it was too late. I had a sick vomiting sensation for one whole day after watching this.However, if you are a fan of the Fifty Shades trilogy which has been on the best-sellers list for quite sometime now, then this movie will probably be worth your attention.

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The Godfather Weekend

The Godfather

The Godfather

Last weekend, the broadband connection in my flat went kaput! :( .Deprived of my primary mind/time/soul occupying agent, I settled down comfily with my portable hard drive which holds my prized movie collection. There was nothing better to do, as it was raining like dogs and cats outside. And I decided to watch Godfather, all the three parts, which promised to provide me with 9 hours of effortless entertainment.

This was only the second time I was seeing Godfather, a movie which I know all guys swear by, or at least the ones who consider themselves as macho ;) .Last time when I saw this movie, all I could remember at the end was the relentless and exhausting violence and bloodshed. This time I thought I would keep a watch out for the more subtler things.So I have compiled this list of quotes below, which I find kind of wise, witty and inspiring (btw, I love collecting movie quotes and dialogues :) ).And, I hope you would enjoy these quotes as much as I did :)

A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.

I’m gonna make him an offer he won’t refuse.

Mr. Corleone never asks a second favor once he’s refused the first, understood?

Mr Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news at once.

If anything in this life is certain – if history has taught us anything – it’s that you can kill “anybody”.

Finance is a gun. Politics is knowing when to pull the trigger.

Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.

It’s dangerous to be an honest man.

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Power wears out those who do not have it.

Never let anyone know what you are thinking.

Your enemies always get strong on what you leave behind.

The higher I go, the crookeder it becomes.

It’s not personal. It’s business.

Friends and money are like oil and water.

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Movie Mania – Part 1

Recently, I got hold of a huge collection of English movies from one of my teammates and since then it has been a movie a day timetable. Here is the rather “laymanish” review of some of  the movies I liked 

1. American History X : This movie is about the Black vs White racial tensions that were prevailing in America long time back.The script traces the toll this tension takes on a White family, how hate eventually turns to love and camaraderie and the hidden agendas of supposed leaders of such emotional movements. I was already a fan of Edward Norton and in this movie he delivers superbly. Here is one of my favourite dialogues from the movie

Bob Sweeney: There was a moment, when I used to blame everything and everyone for all the pain and suffering and vile things that happened to me, that I saw happen to my people. Used to blame everybody. Blamed white people, blamed society, blamed God. I didn’t get no answers ’cause I was asking the wrong questions. You have to ask the right questions.
Derek Vinyard: Like what?
Bob Sweeney: Has anything you’ve done made your life better?

2. Gran Torino : Well, this was my first Clint Eastwood movie :) . Gran Torino actually refers to a vintage car model that is owned by Eastwood in the movie and which a misguided kid from the neighbourhood tries to steal. The kid and Eastwood eventually become friends, but oh the plot is much deeper than that. For the better part of the movie, one has no clue where the movie is headed and the script seems to be unnecessarily stretched. However the amazing twist in the end is indeed a treat and one can then see how the dots are all connected. This movie will leave a knot in your throat and the bewitchingly beautiful song that plays while the credits roll will keep you engrossed until the screen become blank :)

3. Charlie Wilson’s War : This is a historic movie based on how America first got involved in Afghanistan during the Cold War. This movie starring Tom Hanks as the womanising Congressman Charlie Wilson and Julia Roberts as the Christian zealot, gives the viewer a good insight into the thought process and viewpoints of American policy makers at the time.It is also helpful in understanding the context of the 21st century wars playing out in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my favourite quotes from the movie is this

Charlie Wilson: These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world… and then we fucked up the endgame.

4. True Grit : This one is about the grit and determination of a 14 year old girl who goes out to hunt for her father’s killer. She is joined in the search by a U.S Marshal played by Jeff Bridges and a Texan Ranger played by Matt Damon.They eventually find the killer, but not without the girl getting herself poisoned by a snake bite.Help is however far away and in a desperate bid to save her life, her arm has to be amputated. The script does a wonderful job in playing out the little girl’s courage and maturity against the drunkenness and cowardice of the two cops. A must watch!! :)

5. 12 Angry Men : Well, I heard that this movie is shown as a case study in prominent business schools :) . The fact that the entire movie revolves around the conversation between 12 jury members discussing an open and shut murder case and the fact that there is no action whatsoever and that the picturization is completely in black-and-white may sound like a downer, but trust me, this movie will prove you wrong :) . It is one of those rare intellectually stimulating masterpieces and you will not press the forward button even once :) . This movie sets a good example for learning influencing skills, negotiating skills, leadership skills etc. If you haven’t watched it, you are missing something :)

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