Did the Olympics leave you yawning? Check out these sports movies for indoor people
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games are wrapping up for another year, and what a riot they were, offering up the world’s crème de la crème in ice hockey, curling, figure skating, bobsledding, skiing, and freestyle skiing! Did they get you pumped for the main event!?
Yeah, us neither. Let’s face it, the Olympics are tedious, winter or not. There’s something ever so banal about watching people exercise – something that is supposed to be an everyday human function. We don’t get stoked to watch people on the can all day. Competitive shitting? No thanks.
Whether you agree with this opinion or you think it’s BS, there’s no way that you won’t enjoy the films listed below. We’ve put together our top picks of sports-related films that are so good, even peeps who don’t like sports will love ‘em. These should help you get into that sporty spirit (without having to watch people broom their way to victory).
Wassup Rockers (2005)
Wassup rooooockeeers! Arguably one of Larry Clark’s best movies (who are we kidding – they’re all the best), this film follows a group of young Latino skaters who, instead of adhering to the norms of their South Central neighborhood, opt to model themselves on the Ramones. Skating, music, sex, and no jockeys in sight – what more could you want in a film?
Who can resist Bill Murray (Ghostbusters) in his heyday, playing the groundskeeper at a snooty golf club who’s entrusted with combatting a destructive dancing gopher? The largely improvised script gives birth to some golden one-liners, providing the kind of silly stoner laughs the sport itself is missing.
The Basketball Diaries (1995)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception) gives a compelling performance as Jim Carroll – a high school student whose dreams of becoming a basketball star are threatened by his descent into drug addiction. Loosely based on the novel of the same name, this film is less about sports and more about grief, pain, substance abuse, and teenage angst.
Whether you enjoy Formula 1 or you think it’s a yawnfest, this documentary by Asif Kapadia plays out as an edge-on-your-seat feature film. It’s got it all – the villian (Alain Prost), the hero (Ayrton Senna), and an enticing storyline that builds up to a truly tragic and climatic ending. And it’s all done using archive footage. If anything, this movie is testament to the filmmaking talents of Kapadia, offering a story that’s far more interesting than watching professional racing.
Cool Runnings (1993)
Detailing the only exciting moment in Winter Olympic history, Cool Runnings is based on the true story of the Jamaican national bobsleigh team’s debut in competition during the 1988 Winter Olympics. It might be a family flick, but Jon Turteltaub’s comedy classic goes down a treat with a bag of weed and a lazy Sunday afternoon. “Feel the Rhythm! Feel the Rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time!”
Raging Bull (1980)
Director Martin Scorsese (The Irishman) once admitted “I don’t know anything about boxing”, which is just the kinda thing that should spur sports haters on to watch this film. Instead of fixating on the minor details of the boxing world, Scorsese focused on the psychological make up you need to have in order to enter the ring.
Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver) puts in a career-best performance as the late Jake LaMotta, and if that ain’t enough to convince you to watch it, Raging Bull is so beautifully shot that every frame would make a good poster (the true test of a watch-worthy flick).
White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
A ridiculously raucous offering of smack talk and slam dunks, White Men Can’t Jump is but one of writer & director Ron Shelton‘s affectionate examinations of the games men play, telling the story of Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes) and Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) – two men who team up to hustle other Los Angeles street basketball players.
More ridiculous offerings from Woody Harrelson & Bill Murray, Kingpin features everything you could want in an anti-sports film – dumb humor, unlikable heroes, and the Amish . . . okay, on reflection maybe it’s not the perfect formula, but it fits nonetheless. Oh yeah, and there’s bowling in it too (how could we forget?)
In a world where professional sports have sunk to a new low comes the story of two childhood friends who are pro-athletes of BASEketball – a hybrid of baseball and basketball. Starring the kings of comedy Matt Stone and Trey Parker, if you like South Park then you’re gonna love this. “Dude, dude, dude, dude, dude! . . . Well I guess you’ve got a point there!”
Lords of Dogtown (2005)
Following surfboarding and skating trends in Venice, California, Catherine Hardwicke’s biographical drama tells the true story of the birth of skateboarding as a group of young surfers move from ocean to land. Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door) gives a solid performance as the infamous Jay Adams – the Cali beach boy who progressed in the Zephyr Skate Team to become a seminal figure in skateboarding.