NO MORE GAMES (A Movie-Marathon Alternative To The Olympics)


I CAN’T believe it’s been four years since I completely ignored the last Summer Olympics. If you, like me, couldn’t give a shit about the ’08 Games, then I offer you this list of counter-programming.

Just turn off NBC and enjoy a marathon of these movies instead — you’ll get the games (kinda) without all the garbage.

I had only a few rules for the list — the sport had to be present in the film somehow, the athletes had to be amateurs, and the films had to be great … or at least pretty good.

So let the games be gone and let the marathon begin:

(And for more info on the films, click on the titles to go to their pages.)

Archery: “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938) It hits the bullseye of fun. (How’s that for a tag line?)

Baseball: “The Sand Lot” (1993) Kinda like “Stand By Me,” but with baseball instead of a body.

Basketball: “Hoop Dreams” (1994) Great doc. (Runner-up: “Deadly Friend,” but only for the decapitation-by-basketball scene)

Boxing: “Twenty Four Seven” (1997) Black and white, British, and Bob Hoskins runs a boxing club.

Canoeing: Without A Paddle” (2004) OK, it’s not that good, but I’ve never seen the obvious pick — “Deliverance” (and I’d rather watch the Olympics than see Ned Beatty squeal).

Cycling: “Breaking Away” (1979) Obviously.

Diving: “Back To School” (1986) Dangerfield doing “the Triple Lindy.” That’s comedy (well, it was in 1986).

Equestrian: “The Godfather” (1972) Yeah, this one’s a stretch, but has a horse ever had greater impact in a movie?

Fencing: “The Princess Bride” (1987) “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

Field Hockey: “Ginger Snaps” (2000) A cool Canadian horror flick about teenage girls and “the curse.”

Gymnastics: OK, I’m stumped here. Does that awesome chase through the construction site in “Casino Royale” count as gymnastics?

Sailing: “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) There’s really only one scene in the whole film that takes place outside of the mental hospital, but when those inmates bust out…

Shooting: Sorry, but I can’t think of one movie with a gun in it.

Soccer: “Bend It Like Beckham” (2002) Fortunately, Becks isn’t in it — unlike our country.

Swimming: “The Big Bad Swim” (2006) A low-budget comedy about a swim class in Connecticut. Even so, it’s pretty good.

Table Tennis: “Ping Pong” (2002) A manga-based Japanese comedy-drama with cool CGI ping-pong action. (Runner-up: “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.” Who knew Winona Ryder had such talent?)

Tennis: “Match Point” (2005) Woody Allen managed to slip in a good movie this decade.

Track: “Run Lola Run” (1998) If you gotta watch someone run around and around, you could do worse than Franka Potente.

Volleyball: “Cast Away” (2000) Best use ever of a volleyball in a movie.

Wrestling: “Borat” (2006) Best use ever of a censor bar in a movie.

Well that should keep you busy. Oh, and if anyone knows of a movie with a badminton scene, let me know… (and no, “Bye Bye Birdie” doesn’t count.)


10 Responses to “NO MORE GAMES (A Movie-Marathon Alternative To The Olympics)”

  1. 45vinyljunkie Says:

    If you’re looking for some good gymnastics, check out “White Hot.” OK, it’s a porn flick, but it is a movie. There’s a scene where one of the “actresses” (porn stars don’t really act, do they?) does a handstand followed by an awesome split. Of course, it’s all done in the nude.

  2. Five-Ringed Fred Says:

    Aw, come on. Jump off that hipster train and watch some damned Olympics. You can still watch Woody Allen and Borat if you want … not that I’d know why … but hey, it’s your shuttlecock you’re smashing so knock yourself out. Watching that kayaking dude from Togo win his country’s first-ever medal was great.
    And for the record: 98 percent of Americans only know Deliverance for the Ned Beatty scene. OK, he’s no Jack Twist but it’s still a great fucking … I mean … uh … great movie!

  3. Who isn’t looking for a good gymnastics movie … Can’t help you with a badminton movie, but I think you missed a couple obvious choices.

    Basketball: Hoosiers, Escape from New York (I seem to remember Kurt Russell saving the world or his own hide with a basketball scene).

    Saling: What About Bob?

  4. I might be at this all day … but here’s a couple more:

    Football: The Longest Yard (the original, of course) and Rudi

    Not sure if roller skating is a sport, but I’ve got to go with Boogie Nights.

  5. And in the all-around category, Caddyshack (golf, swimming, sailing, diving, use of explosives).

  6. Good picks, Tod! But I know you’d rather watch the Olympics.

  7. Not Another Fred post Says:

    “A manga-based Japanese comedy-drama with cool CGI ping-pong action.”
    Are you fucking kidding me?!!!! As obnoxious as South Park is, it still ranks below something with that description?

  8. Shooting: “Little Big Man.” Dustin Hoffman, raised by the Cheyenne, learns white-man gunfighting from his sisterm who explains, “you have to go all snake-eyed and shoot the gun BEFORE you touch it.” Great movie all around — check it out.

  9. Katie Blint Says:

    Isn’t there a cheerleading/murder flick that could qualify for the gymnastics movie? I thought one of the mothers of the cheerleaders kills off the competition…maybe that was real life and they haven’t made the movie yet?

  10. Robin Hood – Season 2 The New Robin Hood is fun and innovative. I was always excited to watch this series show! Highly Recommened!!!

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