I have to admit - I'm a bit of an Olympic junkie. There's just something very appealing about the entire world coming together to compete in fair minded play and to celebrate the efforts of all these hard working incredible athletes. Now having said that, we know that the reality often falls far short of the ideal; but for every doper trying to beat the system there are still hundreds of athletes playing their guts out for the love of their sport and country and these are the competitors that draw me back year after year.
If you are not watching the Olympics (CTV) (NBC) which start tomorrow, do the next best thing and watch a movie about the Olympics. Multi award winner Chariots of Fire is certainly worth your time and features the haunting score by Vangelis.
CPL has a great many titles that are not necessarily about the Olympics, but sports movies, and it is quite a mixed bag. Some of my faves are Invictus, Million Dollar Baby, The Natural, Bend It Like Beckham, Field of Dreams, and Iqbal. Or spend some time with The Flying Scotsman- you won't be disappointed. When We Were Kings is a compelling documentary of the 1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire between then champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali. Not my cup of tea, but it did win cutey-pie Sandra Bullock an Oscar---The Blind Side. Or from this year, Money Ball with Brad Pitt in his Oscar nominated performance. And even though the franchise did go steadily downhill afterward, there is no denying the original Rocky is still one of the best sports movies ever made. Try any of these: Pride of the Yankees, Eight Men Out, Raging Bull, Brian's Song (have the hankies ready), Remember the Titans and the original The Longest Yard. You will barely recognize Batman (Christian Bale) in The Fighter, more cautionary tale than true sports movie, but very good. Warrior earned Nick Nolte an Oscar nod for best supporting actor this year. The Wrestler helped resurrect Mickey Rourke's career and is a gut wrenching look behind the scenes of the wrestling world, just as Requiem for a Heavyweight looks at the underbelly of boxing.
There are numerous movies about equestrian sports and many more about golf. But I just can't bring myself to watch a golf movie- it's almost as boring as watching a golf game (with apologies to all you golfers).
For the younger crowd there is Ice Princess, Air Bud (at least 5 different ones), Sandlot, Space Jam, Bad News Bears (original only) and any of the Karate Kids- new or old.
Teens: Stick It, Rudy, and Whip It
Series: Friday Night Lights- we have all five seasons
Funny: It's been quite awhile since I've seen it but have a look at Cool Runnings- the story of the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Or Nacho Libre---Jack Black's take on Luchadors (Mexican wrestlers), and Will Ferrell in Taladega Nights and Blades of Glory.
The opening ceremonies are being produced by Danny Boyle, who you will know from such films as Slum Dog Millionaire, Trainspotting, The Beach, Millions and 127 hours. They held a dress rehearsal on Monday night and the word is ' unlike anything you have ever seen before'. I was dazzled by the Vancouver opening ceremonies in 2010 so am eager to see what Boyle has in store for the 80,000 in the stadium and the 100's of millions out here in tv land.
Let the games begin.........................