Being a sports fan, I enjoy sports movies. And with the baseball season coming into full swing and the start of the NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs (not to mention the start of the MLS season – it’s my guilty pleasure – and the World Cup being two months away), I thought it would be fun to discuss my favorite sports movies. Generally, they aren’t especially great, but I enjoy them all the same.
Here’s the #5 pick on the list…
5. The Rookie (2002)
This is the only one of the five films on this list I saw in the theater, and it was well worth it. It’s a wonderful life story – a true story – of Jimmy Morris, the 40-year old rookie for the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays (hence the title). Yes, it’s a Disney movie, the side-story of the Big Lake Owls (spoiler alert!) ends like a Disney movie, but the end – Jim’s revelation that after umpteen arm surgeries, he has a 98-mile per hour fastball and his meteoric rise through the Rays minor-league system – is more than just a Disney movie. It’s real, which makes it all the more beautiful.
4. Remember the Titans (2000)
Proof that Jerry Bruckheimer and Walt Disney Pictures are a match made in heaven, this based-on-a-true-story film of race relations and football in Virginia. Again, it’s a Disney movie, and (spoiler alert!) ends like a Disney movie, but is extremely moving. Plus, it’s got Denzel. Denzel!
Also, I wrote a post for the esteemed UFLAccess.com, entitled “Remember the Titans,” a while back (that was Nation Hahn’s title, not mine).
3. Rocky Balboa (2006)
While the first two films are invariably better than the sixth and final film in the series, Rocky Balboa got me into the Rocky series. The cinematic quality of the fight scenes are impeccable (as is the lighting of the rest of the film). It’s sparse, it’s cold – it shows the loneliness Rocky has without Adrian and the wish to fight again – simply to provide closure. Rocky Balboa allows for that closure – “going the distance” in more ways than one and providing a fitting end to the series.
2. A League of Their Own (1992)
I touched on this slightly in my Stuff I Like post on Tom Hanks – A League of Their Own, simply put, is a classic. It’s comedic, it’s dramatic, and it tells the story of something oft-overlooked: the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League. And, two words: Jon Lovitz.
But the #1 choice isn’t much of a surprise for readers of the blog, as it’s…
1. Field of Dreams (1992)
Join me next week as we continue the sports theme with the Top 5 Most Memorable Mets in My Lifetime (1992-pres.).