Popcorn Muscles

Posts Tagged ‘Sports Movies’

Quick…Call Dennis Quaid

In Things Dennis Quaid has ruined on February 26, 2009 at 18:14


In a town that needed something to believe in, sits an unlikely hero ready to beat the odds, to go for gold and prove that life is more than a game. And next to that kid (preferably played by a young Dennis Quaid or Omar Epps) sits a sleazy Hollywood producer ready to exploit the triumphant tale and provide a run-of-the-mill look at the athletic tale. Movies like Glory Road, Remember the Titans and Invincible offer interchangeable plots and cliché characters that rotate through the cinematic genre. In an effort to give aspiring producers a comprehensive manual to further the demise of quality films, the following is an easy step-by-step guide to making a stock sports movie.


The Concept

Interesting is always nice, but inspiring is usually the best way to go. Starting out with a washed-up, last chance, comeback-seeking character (The Rookie, Bull Durham or Rocky) is always a winner. It lets every former high school football player in the audience believe that the Dallas Cowboys may call during his break at Kinko’s to fill in at the Super Bowl.

            Lovable losers are also a nice touch (Bad News Bears, Mighty Ducks or Hardball). It’s crucial to make sure every single character in the film is presented as having been given up on in some way immediately after the opening credits roll. The characters are usually a collection of misfits and fat kids who have no business anywhere near a field unless they’re mowing it. That is, of course, until a new coach teaches them how to believe in themselves and win some games.

            For the mature audiences, the ever-popular “it was more than a game” script is usually a winner (Gridiron Gang, Miracle, Pride or Glory Road). The key here is to throw an ungodly amount of tragedy or external turmoil at the characters early in the movie only to have a brave protagonist and inspirational speech end racism in a small town, save the community center or prove that Iceland is not the dominant hockey power Emilio Esteves previously believed it to be.

            For the Oliver Stone crowd, there’s also the “riveting look at the true nature of sports” plot (The Program, Raging Bull or Any Given Sunday). This will often involve sex, drugs and Dennis Quaid butchering the role of an aging star. While these movies often prove to be as realistic as Brendan Fraser throwing a 114 mile-per-hour fastball in The Scout, they do let kids know that money is more important than winning and guys who take steroids get the hottest chicks.

            To the romantics out there, please avoid using sports as a backdrop for a love story. In theory it’s a great way to get men, women Read the rest of this entry »