I’ve mentioned my love of the original Space Jam before but it’s always worth repeating. It was the first film that I saw multiple times in the cinema. I first saw it with a friend and I loved it so much that I forced my mother to take us to see it again. I adored it. I laughed at jokes that I didn’t understand and I had a bloody good time. I rewatch it all the time because it’s such a joyous thing. It’s a film that shouldn’t work. It’s based on an advert and it’s just shameless in its self-promotion. It relies on ridiculous cameos and in-jokes. Yet, somehow, it just comes together. So, of course, I was interested to see how the sequel would work out. It’s been 25 years. We neither needed or wanted it. But it’s here now. Would LeBron James ever be able to step into Michael Jordan’s Nikes?
I know we’re meant to be complaining about the fact that Hollywood is obsessed with remakes, reboots, and sequels these days. However, I can’t help but be a little bit excited about the new Mighty Ducks series that’s starting on Disney+ tomorrow. For one thing, I’ve always had a soft spot for Emilio Estevez. He’s one of my favourite members of the Brat Pack. I can’t help it; I love him. For another, I bloody love The Mighty Ducks franchise. Yes, the third one is awful in comparison to the rest but there’s still some fun to be had. As a trilogy, it’s brilliant viewing. To prepare myself for the new episodes, I decided that I had to go back to where it all started.
This week it was announced that, in honour of Chadwick Boseman’s death, his film 42 would be released in cinemas again. As cynical as I might be about the move, it is a wonderful way to celebrate his work as an actor. It was also a great excuse for me to watch it for this review. I have to be honest, I’m no fan of sports movies. Well, aside from The Mighty Ducks, Little Giants and Space Jam. It’s mostly because I don’t really care about sports. I can think of thousands of things that I’d rather be doing than sitting down and watching people kick/throw/hit a ball around a pitch. It’s not so surprising that one of those things isn’t sitting down and watching a formulaic film about people kicking/throwing/hitting a ball around a pitch. And I don’t know anything about baseball. It’s just complicated rounders. However, it felt like the right thing to do.
I used to be a fan of F1. It was a really long time ago but my whole family were into. We would sit down on a Sunday and watch as men in stupidly fast cars got paid a stupid amount of money to go round and round a track. As you can probably tell, I’m not that bothered about it anymore. It doesn’t really feel like a great spectator sport. Maybe if you’re seeing it in person but watching it on TV. It just seems like a weird thing. So, with that in mind, I wasn’t sure that Ford vs Ferrari would be the film for me. Any film that romanticises motorsport just didn’t necessarily feel like the one for me. However, I was really excited when I saw the trailer. It looked really good and I’m a huge fan of both Matt Damon and Christian Bale. Okay, I think Christian Bale might also be a bit of psychopath but that doesn’t mean I can’t get excited.
Today, I spent some time researching how women’s football has changed people’s opinions of the sport. I ended up having to wade through a bunch of comments by middle-aged men explaining to everyone what it’s like to be a teenage girl. Cause, let’s be honest, they’re the experts. According to these coaches, girls lose interest in sport when they become teenagers because it’s no longer cool. That girls only play football for the “social aspect” and when it gets to the point that it becomes a real sport they give up. I was so fucking mad. These obvious scientists have discovered something in our biology which means we just care about being cool and gossiping. I mean, we should all feel sorry for these guys trying to coach such vapid monsters who could never appreciate them fully. What the fuck? Maybe these men should start thinking about how they can transfer their passion for football onto the girls in their teams? Maybe if they could find a way to connect these girls to football in a stronger way then they could actually be coaching the players of the future? Instead of moaning about how women’s football shouldn’t be compared to men’s football, maybe they should just coach whoever wants to play football and make sure they do it in such a way that they want to carry on? Maybe all of the girls who stop playing are doing so because you’re so shit at coaching girls it puts them off. 2002 was a long time ago but, let’s be honest, Bend It Like Beckham could easily be talking about the present day.
I know that I should probably have watched a wrestling film to go with my Tuesday review but, to be honest, none of the ones that I could think of appealed to me at the time. Instead, I decided to watch a film that I’ve been wanting to rewatch for ages. This film was one of my favourites when I was a child. I don’t think it was a massive one, at least not in the UK, but it was part of a VHS boxset that we owned. It was in a three-film set with Richie Rich and Dennis. My sister and I loved them all and would watch them over and over. There are scenes we would rewind so much that I’ve never forgotten them. And it’s a film that so few of my friends know about. Which makes me wonder where the hell my parents found that box set but I’m glad they did. But would it be as good now I’m a grown-up?
I’ve been off work is week and it’s been so nice. A week without stress and being able to do whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, I have to go back tomorrow and am really not looking forward to it. I had every intention of getting an early night but, naturally, I put off writing this ’til the last-minute. But, hey, the way I’ve been this week the fact that I’m writing this on the right day is something to be praised. And, as TBT films go, I’m super excited about this one. I don’t think I really have a favourite genre of film but, if pushed, I’d definitely say that terrible sports movies are up there. Emphasis on the “terrible”. Good sports films are all well and good but they take themselves a bit too seriously. I like the dreadful ones like Mighty Ducks 3 and Little Giants where the acting is horrible, the storyline is full of clichés, and the sport is an after thought. So, taking this into account, my pick for this week’s TBT film is an absolute doozy. I mean not only is it all about a full contact underground martial arts competition but it stars Jean-Claude Van Dame in a role that almost netted him a Golden Raspberry award. What could be better than that?
I’ve put off trying to write this review until the last-minute because I genuinely don’t know how to feel about this film. I knew that I wanted to see it because I think Margot Robbie is a great actress and I’d probably totally adore Allison Janney in anything. But, being a British person who has never been very interested figure skating and was only 6 when Tonya Harding was stripped of her title, I also wasn’t exactly knowledgeable about the story. I mean, I knew the basics of Harding’s story but it’s not as if I’d ever had any reason to go an delve deeper into her backstory. So, as much as I wanted to see this film I wasn’t sure I’d be the right person to appreciate it fully. Still, Mark Kermode was raving about it about a month ago and we’ve been on the same wavelength for a while now. I felt like it was the least I could to do to give the whole thing a try.
Another week down and another 30 year-old film to discuss. I’d not seen Bull Durham before because, quite frankly, when something is described as a mixture of romantic-comedy and sports film then I’ll just assume it’s not for me. I don’t have the best history with sports film because I really can’t give a shit about sports. Sure when the Summer Olympics is on I might watch a few of the more exciting events but I can honestly think of better things to do with my time. I’m of the opinion that if you like a sport that much then you’d be better off playing it than sitting in front of a TV watching it. But I’m also the kind of person who finds board games to be edge of your seat excitement. So, I don’t exactly go out of my way to watch a sports film unless there’s another reason to enjoy it. Sure, when I was younger, I was obsessed with the film Little Giants but that was only because it came in a 3 film VHS set along with Richie Rich and Dennis. Still, just like my beloved Mighty Ducks trilogy, it’s an incredibly silly film that happens to be about sport. Not exactly up there. The closest I’ve come is The Damned United; a film that I only watched because I’m completely in love with Michael Sheen and his face. Ask me anything about football and I’d draw a blank. So, I couldn’t exactly say I was looking forward to Bull Durham but I also figured that it was about time that I watched it.