Sunday, January 4, 2015
Two Surprising Sports Films of 2014
Million Dollar Arm: Initially, I thought this was some random Disney sentimentality sports drivel and I had no intention of seeing it. Then I learned it was based on true events. Feel-good stories based on life are unbeatable by default. This is a film about setting goals and following through. Following the protagonist on his journey, both geographical and spiritual is a great reward, as is witnessing the Indians' experiences of coming to America. I think the less known about this the better. Like many recent non-fiction-inspired films there are archival photos and video showing the real people at the end. Overall, highly uplifting film.
When the Game Stands Tall: This is more sports magic from 2014. Once again inspired by real events and people. Bob Ladouceur, the real coach this film portrays, was called the greatest living coach by John Madden of any level--high school, college, and professional. This is Friday Night Lights with the foundation of fact. I may even go as far as saying, based on the truth and educational value, this may be the greatest football movie ever. However, We Are Marshall and a few others give it a solid run, come to think of it, most football movies I can think of are based on truth although some are considerably more embellished. I think this has been a fairly overlooked film of 2014 and it deserves spectators.