Sports, Politics, Popculture--From the Minds of Twenty-Somethings

Sports, Politics, Pop Culture--From the Minds of Twenty-Somethings

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sports Movies, We Miss You

"Sports Movies, We Miss You" 

By,  Michael Fortier

    The great sports movie has truly become a lost art. What was once a great genre that was capable of entertaining the masses has now been reduced to the latest corny version of some inspired by a true story disaster.  What happened to the classics such as Rocky and Bull Durham. These films brought us into some of the intricate fascinations of the sports they were about while encompassing dynamic and interesting characters. They have been replaced with clichéd filled movies such as We Are Marshall, Invincible and The Express.
    Of course there is the occasional exception to the recent rule. The Fighter was an entertaining movie about boxer Micky Ward and the relationship with his drug addict brother. The film was nominated for several Oscars in 2010 and lead to actor Christian Bale winning one for Best Supporting Actor. The film was character driven though which has been missing from most recent sports movies.
    Its characters like Kevin Costner as Crash Davis in Bull Durham or Charlie Sheen as “Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn in Major League delivering great lines of dialogue that fans remember. Most of us can recite many of those lines to each other now and still get a laugh.
    A great original script in which characters are developed and themes are expressed is what made the classic sports films so great. Instead now movie producers seem to be searching for some true story sports event to make a movie about. The problem of course is that this limits your creative ability. Take for instance the latest example which is Moneyball starring Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane.
    In case you are not familiar with this story, Beane uses statistical analysis done by computers to assemble a baseball team on a small budget during the early 2000s. You would think this would be an inspiring true sports story in which we can all learn a valuable lesson but that’s not the case. What really happens is that the Oakland A’s reach the playoffs for a few years in a row. That’s it, nothing special. No World Series and no huge upset. Why is this movie even being made?
    Sports and movies serve nearly them same purpose in our lives. They are dramatic escapes from our mundane realities. It is only natural that we combine the two. The real life drama that sports provides is why we all love it so much. Waiting to see that touchdown throw in the final seconds or the home run hit in the bottom of the ninth is what makes it so great. Who should be able to capture that drama and base a story around it better than Hollywood?
    But they have become obsessed with sequels and remakes. There is very little originality and creativity in most films being made now, not just in terms of sport movies. Hopefully there is a sports movie renaissance in the near future because the genre that is capable of entertaining the young and the old, men and women, is needed now more than ever.

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