Tag Archives: Sports

O.J. Made in America: Justice for No One

Like everybody else, I was hooked on the excellent FX anthology series American Crime Story whose first season focused on the murder trial against O.J. Simpson and I didn’t really care about a documentary. After all, we all ”know” this case. Curiously, that’s exactly what director Ezra Edelman was thinking when ESPN first offered him … Continue reading O.J. Made in America: Justice for No One

The Karate Kid

HE TAUGHT HIM THE SECRET TO KARATE LIES IN THE MIND AND HEART. NOT IN THE HANDS.  Teenager Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) move with his mother to California, meets a girl, makes enemies with the young members of a local karate dojo, and befriends a mysterious, elderly Japanese repairman (Noriyuki Pat Morita). John G. Avildsen … Continue reading The Karate Kid

We Haven’t Seen the Last of Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was before my time. I never saw his fights – he was a larger-than-life character I read about long after The Greatest had retired. Watching old clips, like the one above, a 1967 Howard Cosell-hosted encounter between Ali and fellow heavyweight boxer Ernie Terrell that doesn’t end well (although Cosell looks pleased), gives … Continue reading We Haven’t Seen the Last of Muhammad Ali

Creed

YOUR LEGACY IS MORE THAN A NAME. Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the son of legendary heavyweight champ Apollo Creed, talks his father’s one-time rival and best friend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) into training him. After six Rocky movies, Stallone was done… but then came the talented director of Fruitvale Station (2013) and convinced him … Continue reading Creed

A League of Their Own

A WOMAN’S PLACE IS ON HOME, FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD. When America enters World War II, Major League Baseball is forced to change; a newly formed women’s league attracts unorthodox players… and one very reluctant coach (Tom Hanks). Big (1988) director Penny Marshall reunited with the star of that film for another charming comedy, this … Continue reading A League of Their Own

The Program

WINNING WAS IN HIS BLOOD. The Armstrong Lie (2013) was a fascinating documentary that did something original; this biographical drama is disappointingly by-the-numbers. Not only is the story of how cyclist Lance Armstrong kept winning the Tour de France by being part of an advanced doping program unnecessarily rushed, making it hard for us to … Continue reading The Program

Southpaw

BELIEVE IN HOPE. Light heavyweight champ Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is struck by a personal tragedy and has to start his life over, with help from a trainer (Forest Whitaker) in a small-time gym. Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter’s script has a few themes in common with that show, as it explores the consequences … Continue reading Southpaw

Two for the Money

Former football player Brandon Lang (Matthew McConaughey), who has a knack at predicting winners in games, is hired by the charismatic head (Al Pacino) of a sports consulting firm – and his life changes. It’s a pleasure watching these three stars make their characters come alive – McConaughey as the cocky talent, Pacino as the … Continue reading Two for the Money

Grudge Match

A RIVALRY 30 YEARS IN THE MAKING.  Former Pittsburgh boxers Henry Sharp and Billy McDonnen (Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro) have a bone to pick with each other ever since their last fight many years ago, and now the time has come for a “grudge match”. A big deal was made out of “Rocky” meeting … Continue reading Grudge Match

Rocky V

GO FOR IT! After the last movie’s big fight in the Soviet Union, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) returns home with a brain damage and few financial assets; he starts training a young, promising boxer (Tommy Morrison)… A completely superfluous sequel that tries to connect with the simplicity of the first film. Offers the novelty of Stallone … Continue reading Rocky V