Scoring at the Movies

Scoring at the Movies

Join Ryan and Chris every other Thursday as they talk about sports films. Prepare to sweep the leg of critics, revel in the fine art of training montages, have pedantic arguments over romantic sub-plots, and discuss which sports movies had us at hello or ended up juuuust a bit outside.


March 16, 2023 47 min
We haven't reviewed very many MMA movies and we certainly haven't talked specifically about a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu film before, but writer/director David Mamet was the right guy to focus on that in Redbelt.   He's a practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu, which also means he might not have always explained the sport as well as he could have. Maybe he was too close to it? While the first half is terrific, Redbelt is overstuffed with plot and has ...
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Once Creed III is released on March 3rd, there will be 9 entries in the Rocky universe...and we will have covered 5 of them.    We're obviously huge fans of Balboa & friends, but one of us was a bigger Rocky V apologist than the other one was. This is, after all, universally acknowledged as the worst in the franchise. Even Sylvester Stallone hates it.  

His script creates major problems with the scenarios, the characters and even o...

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February 16, 2023 47 min
Not all sports movies are made the same. For instance, Logan Lucky isn't one.   The car racing is at a minimum in Steven Soderbergh's well-reviewed, but under-seen heist comedy. On the very bright side though, there are plenty of stars and character actors who delighted us. The movie is snappy and funny in an Ocean's Eleven kind of way, which makes sense because Steven Soderbergh directed that series too.   Just like the robberies ...
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February 2, 2023 51 min
As the Eagles & Chiefs prepare for the Super Bowl and since this is Groundhog Day, we thought we'd repeat ourselves and cover a football movie all over again: The Longest Yard.   Okay, the 1974 version of The Longest Yard was 115 podcasts ago, while we're talking about the Adam Sandler remake today. Critics don't like this take on the Mean Machine very much, but we ranted about the way they often turn up their nose at comedies and ...
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January 19, 2023 40 min
You can throw a pillow at our face or hit us with a knock-out dart (why?!), but also listen to us when we say that The Naked Gun really is a sports movie. About 1/3rd of the film is set at the ballpark with Leslie Nielsen doing what he does best: bumbling his way through somehow solving a tough case. Nielsen plays it straight through all the gags and jokes (often double jokes) that only work if you deliver them the way that he does...
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January 5, 2023 50 min
This 1980's relic was the hockey movie we could never find on DVD or streaming, but YouTube to the rescue and we finally get to cover Youngblood.   Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze are convincing on skates and, man, are they handsome. Both play talented scorers who also have to fight their own battles on the ice. On that note, we didn't like the last 5 minutes of this movie, partly because we didn't buy almost anything about the post-ga...
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December 22, 2022 48 min
Sometimes the title of a movie tells you everything you need to know about it, but the biggest problem with Sylvester Stallone's arm-wrestling opus isn't that it's Over The Top. Sly underplays, if anything. He's not even as bad as you might expect, nor is David Mendenhall truly deserving of the Razzie he won for playing the estranged "I love you, now I hate you" son. The editing, the direction by Menahem Golan and the screenplay (c...
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December 8, 2022 44 min
Walter Hill's Undisputed is a gritty boxing movie in which the big fight takes place in prison. There's potential in that concept, right? Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames play the 2 main characters. Hey, that HAS to amount to something cool, doesn't it?   Well, this film could have and should have been vivid and dynamic, but instead it's a disjointed, unsatisfying, anti-Rocky. We couldn't even figure out who we were supposed to root f...
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November 24, 2022 44 min
Sometimes we cover obscure sports films on this channel. The Winning Season is a prime example. It barely even played in theatres 12 years ago. Since it's another in our recent run of "pleasant experience" movies, it probably deserved at least a little more attention back then. Sam Rockwell is the ne'er-do-well coach of a girls' basketball team in this dramedy that co-stars pre-stardom youngsters Emma Roberts and Rooney Mara. Even ...
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November 10, 2022 36 min
Six Pack is a racing movie starring a half-dozen kids and a popular country singer who had never really acted before. What should've been an obnoxious failure is actually a genial experience with Kenny Rogers doing pretty solid work alongside a young Diane Lane and an even-younger Anthony Michael Hall. All 7 of the main characters get in trouble with the law at one time or another, so this road movie is filled with getaways and cle...
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October 27, 2022 20 min
Rather than covering Six Pack this week as we had advertised, Ryan got caught monologuing about Harold Lloyd's 1925 classic The Freshman. While Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin remain legends a century after the height of their stardom, Lloyd is the sometimes-forgotten clown of the silent era. He's cheerful oblivious in this football farce, a "young" college kid who doesn't realize other students are always bullying him. Lloyd him...
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October 13, 2022 61 min
Even though George Herman Ruth is arguably the greatest baseball player of all time, The Babe is not even a good movie, never mind a great one. The problems start with John Goodman, who's a terrific actor, but he's miscast in the titular role of the man-child who started as a pitcher with the Red Sox and then became an outfielder with the Yankees. It also doesn't help that this gregarious, larger-than-life baseball legend is depict...
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September 29, 2022 58 min
While the satire in North Dallas Forty didn't make us laugh, Ted Kotcheff's well-regarded film was ahead of its time with how it shows the brutality of football and the price players pay to do something they love.   This is also a movie about cold, hard analytics...and it beat Moneyball to the punch with that theme by more than 30 years. Despite ingratiating performances by Mac Davis and the (supposed) rebel Nick Nolte, Chris could...
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September 15, 2022 42 min
It must be hard work to have this much fun surfing enormous waves in Maui, but have you tried also working as a maid at a posh hotel?   In Blue Crush, Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez and Sanoe Lake get to do both and, rumour has it, hijinks ensue! At least that's the theory. Director John Stockwell's film has tonal problems and it's also hard to figure out who he made it for. No one can deny though that the surfing is shot very w...
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September 1, 2022 56 min
After the massive success of John G. Avildsen's first Karate Kid, this even-more-successful sequel has Ralph Macchio & Pat Morita in Okinawa. The focus (oh, that infamous focus) in Karate Kid Part II is on Miyagi and the life he ran away from decades earlier. Don't get hung up on the name of the movie though. Daniel is barely even necessary this time. Although make no mistake, these 2 characters are iconic and the 2 stars are alway...
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August 18, 2022 17 min
Our review of The Great White Hope is a little souffle here in the dog days of August. Ryan recorded a solo podcast several years ago and now we find out what those 3-year-old thoughts were. Howard Sackler's Tony-award-winning play was turned into a meh movie by Martin Ritt that's more about race relations than it is about fisticuffs. At least the film feels brutally honest about race. James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander have white...
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August 4, 2022 39 min
This episode is a change of pace because we're discussing the venerable art of arm wrestling for the first time. Golden Arm is lighthearted fun that emulates Kingpin's zany road trip while also taking some plot elements from The Karate Kid. A jacked-up Mary Holland (the scene-stealing sister in Happiest Season), Betsy Sodaro and the funny supporting cast certainly commit to this nutty material. Are they doing a lot of improv? It f...
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July 21, 2022 48 min
Our "Summer Of Quaid" continues, this time with Dennis playing real-life Tampa Bay relief pitcher Jim Morris in The Rookie.   John Lee Hancock has directed many biopics and The Rookie is perhaps his most inspirational.  It's certainly trying to be. Still, the movie just isn't an *ahem​* home run. Disney was in the middle of a successful run of films just like this , but we felt that--for all of The Rookie's merits---the Mouse House...
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July 7, 2022 50 min
It's July, so it's time to talk about the Tour De France. This is the first cycling movie we've ever covered, but it's not the first episode we've ever done that gets into "toxic nostalgia".   We don't think Breaking Away has aged all that well, even though it was beloved in 1979 and has remained that way with most critics & fans since. Paul Dooley (who is otherwise one of the best characters in the movie) throws around casual bigo...

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June 23, 2022 55 min
Hustle has only been out for a few weeks, but the vast majority of opinions seem to be that this is one of the best things Adam Sandler has ever done. We're with the majority.   It's not perfect and it riffs on many movies that came before it, but Jeremiah Zagar's 2nd film has a big heart, dynamic basketball action and features terrific performances by Juancho Hernangomez and the Sand Man. Their chemistry makes the movie work, alt...
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