I’m not a big fan of sports and to be honest, not many of them I find appealing. Thus neither my collection include any underdogs movies nor does it have inspirational coaches. I am familiar with the basics everyone should be familiar with, but I would not be able to name more than three films about baseball that I have seen, I guess. For that reason, today’s list has been a greater challenge for me than any other I made, but like every underdog in a sports movie, I shall not give up and being lead with the voice of my coaching, inspired heart I present you Top 12 Sports in Movies that actually kept me cheering for their heroes. Give me an ‘E’, give me a ‘N’, give me a ‘J’…or just Enjoy it..
12. Blackjack in Rain Man
Any card games in films can easily raise our adrenaline levels like nothing else, because it tends to bring out more dark horses than any other sport. It seems like anyone could do it and all we need is a little charm with a little luck in it. I put Rain Man on the last place, because with this movie, the situation is slightly different. Raymond (played by Dustin Hoffman) is autistic and ingenious. He is able to count cards on the most advanced level and is almost uncatchable player. Although he is lacking the social skills which would make him charming and instead of luck, he puts his trust in mathematics, Raymond keeps us cheering for him all the way through his journey around the country. Blackjack in Rain Man is definitely an unforgettable tournament.
11. Martial Arts in Kill Bill
Our fascination with martial arts has been portrayed in films for a long time. Not only are we getting inspired by the honourable rules of judo in Karate Kid, but we are also being struck with the awesomeness of it by the Matrix. In Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino has managed to combined both of these aspects and create the ultimate martial arts fighter- Black Mamba. Black Mamba is honorable, self disciplined, determined and thoughtful, but she kicks ass like no other female…well, apart from all the females Kill Bill.
10. Drifting in Fast and Furious- Tokyo Drift
I don’t usually watch Fast and Furious series, but one time I actually went to cinema to see it (because trust me, there was nothing better) and feeling a little embarrassed I had to admit that I enjoyed this ambiguous pleasure. There was something different about the third film, something cool, something more than just car racing. That was the day I discovered drifting- the sport I will never have enough courage to perform but looks so sexy that no wonder they set it in the capital of coolness. Let the film speak for itself.
9. Table Tennis in Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump revolutionised sports world by taking one of the most boring activities and turning it into a breathtaking one. In the film, Forrest takes up ping pong out of boredom and in no days he becomes a pretty professional player…actually he gets so good at it that he ends up taking a part in an international tournament between the United States and China uniting the nations together. Not bad, ha?
8. Quidditch in Harry Potter
The game that mugols cannot follow. Not only did quidditch keep us entertained throughout the five years of Harry Potter’s life in Hogwarts, but also it is now a popular sport within a geekier group of die hard fans. Creative, interesting and having even a whole book dedicated to it, Quidditch is the winning factor in the everlasting fight between Twilight and Harry Potter. The wizard’s sport is just cooler.
7. Croquet in Alice in Wonderland
Just like in Harry Potter, in Alice in Wonderland we are introduced to a new form of sport…actually, not so new because it appears like the croquet we know, but with slightly different rules. In the Wonderland though these rules fit perfectly and we quickly learn that there is nothing weird about using flamingos as mallets and live hedgehogs as balls.
6. Karate Kid
There is no list with sports movies where Karate Kid would not take a high position, and it is because it focuses on most important aspect of the subgenre- the self discovery. Doing sports is one thing, but self development and self discovery are something special that only the truly dedicated students will get out of it. In Karate Kid, Mr Miyagi- one of the most inspirational coach in the film history, through the teachings of judo (sic!) reveals the lessons about the good and the bad and yes, about life itself.
maybe not this lesson exactly
5. Wrestling in The Wrestler
The Wrestler is one of my favourite films of all times and I won’t lie- this had a great influence on its position on my top 12 list. However, the Wrestler offers a completely different view on sports than other movies of the genre offer us. Instead of making wrestling fun and appealing, it showed its darker side when there is no place for prestige and glamour, but it is rather filled with humiliation and dirt. Extremely powerful.
4. Paintball in the Community
Paintball is not just a sport, according to the Community. It is the tradition, the competition and the fight for life, or even something more. After creating an anarchy in the first series, it came back with extreme intensity in series two where it was directed in a stylish, western way that Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t be ashamed of. Paintball is not just a game. It is a lifestyle.
3. Ballet in Black Swan
I know, I know, Black Swan is basically the Wrestler, but with Natalie Portman instead of Mickey Rourke, however, the painful and disturbing way in which it portrays such a delicate and graceful form of dance deserves a separate mention, I believe. Beautifully directed fight between our inner opposites, Black Swan is a story of obsession about unachievable perfection. And what can I say…it is just perfect.
2. Man on Wire
Man on Wire is one of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen and it deserves all the awards there are. It tells a story of Phillipe Petite, an amateur wire walker who on his 25th birthday decided to commit what is now known as the ‘most artistic crime ever’. He illegally spent 45 minutes walking, dancing and lying on the wire between the rooftops of Twin Towers. Man on Wire is an intimate portrait of the man who believed in nothing else but the ability to make the dream come true. Sublime experience.
Need I say more?