Category Archives: Sports

The Dentist

Directed by Leslie Pearce
Produced by Mack Sennett
Written by W.C. Fields
Starring W.C. Fields
Babe Kane
Arnold Gray
Elise Cavanna
Dorothy Granger
Cinematography John W. Boyle
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date September 9, 1932
Running time 22 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Dentist is an early talky by W. C. Fields. It’s a series of funny sketches joined together so that the film reaches the 20 minute mark. There is only a slight plot about Fields being a dentist who firstly plays golf, then returns to see a couple of patients in his surgery. There is also another plot with his daughter wanting to marry the iceman but Fields being against it. There are a couple of good chuckles to be had, especially when an errant golf ball from Fields hits another golfer on the head. (This is always funny!)

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Talladega Nights – The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

Directed by Adam McKay
Produced by Adam McKay
Will Ferrell
Judd Apatow
Jimmy Miller
Written by Adam McKay & Will Ferrell
Starring Will Ferrell
John C. Reilly
Leslie Bibb
Sacha Baron Cohen
Michael Clarke Duncan
Amy Adams
Jane Lynch
Gary Cole
Music by Alex Wurman
Cinematography Oliver Wood
Editing by Brent White
Studio The Apatow Company
Relativity Media
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date August 4, 2006
Running time Theatrical cut:108 min.
Unrated cut:122 min.
Country United States
Language English

First I must say that I love motor racing but hate NASCAR. I am more of a Formula 1 fan. I find NASCAR to be too American for me to like. It doesn’t help that NASCAR only turn one way, don’t brake or change gears.

The film is OK if you like Will Farrell. It’s a typical Farrell film and has a few good chuckles but nothing too hilarious. It’s really silly but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


The Wrestler

Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Produced by Darren Aronofsky & Scott Franklin
Written by Robert D. Siegel
Starring Mickey Rourke
Marisa Tomei
Evan Rachel Wood
Ernest Miller
Music by Clint Mansell
Cinematography Maryse Alberti
Editing by Andrew Weisblum
Studio Wild Bunch
Saturn Films
Protozoa Pictures
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures (USA)
Optimum Releasing (UK)
Release date United States: December 17, 2008 (limited)
January 23, 2009 (wide)
Running time 109 min.
Country United States
France
Language English
I’ve been watching professional wrestling ever since the first Wrestlemania back in 1984, so I am familiar with the sport/entertainment and some of the characters in it.
Whilst the movie is pure fiction and that Mickey Rourke’s Randy “The Ram” was never a real wrestler, I could see bits and pieces of other wrestlers in his make-up. There are several older past their prime wrestlers who still compete in school gymnasiums on the indy circuit. For example Abdullah the Butcher is 68 years old and still competes with no thoughts of retiring, while if you were one of the (very few) people who attended the Australian Hulkamania tour early this year you would have seen a main event consisting of 57-year-old Hulk Hogan and 61-year-old Ric Flair.
It is also very easy to believe that even a top wrestler from 20 years ago could now be broke, as evidenced by Ric Flair who rumour has it, never invested his money wisely, lived the lifestyle that he portrayed on TV, and has several ex-wives and children to support. Similarly Hulk Hogan has just been through a messy divorce and has tried to get his daughter into the music industry and has had to pay for his sons mistakes also.
It is easy to belive that a pro-wrestler could suffer from a heart attack despite being relatively (40s) young. Eddie Guerrero was just 38 years old when he died of a heart attack.
The best thing about the film is that the Ram character is believable and that the viewer believes that he could be a real person. We empathise with everything he is going through and we want him to succeed. He is not perfect but he is likable. I suppose that this film is very similar to Rocky.

The Wrestler?

Ooops… Wrong movie. I wanted to make a post about the Mickey Rourke film but instead find myself with a picture of the 1973 movie starring Ed Asner and Verne Gagne. I haven’t seen this movie but am interested in seeing if only because it has early appearances of the Iron Shiek and Ric Flair.


Invictus

Directed by Clint Eastwood
Produced by Clint Eastwood
Lori McCreary
Robert Lorenz
Mace Neufeld
Written by Screenplay: Anthony Peckham
Book: John Carlin
Starring Matt Damon
Morgan Freeman
Music by Kyle Eastwood & Michael Stevens
Cinematography Tom Stern
Editing by Joel Cox & Gary D. Roach
Studio Spyglass Entertainment, Revelations Entertainment & Malpaso Productions Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) December 11, 2009
Running time 133 minutes
Country United States
Language English

This afternoon Priscilla and I ventured to Village cinemas at Crown Casino to watch Invictus. I recently received some Gold Class ticket and decided that today would be the day that I actually use them.

I must say that I did enjoy going to the Gold Class cinema today and this may have influenced my enjoyment of the film. It was good that we got to watch the film in nice, comfy recliner armchairs and enjoyed hot wedges with sour cream and salsa and a juice for nibbles, although I would probably have preferred the traditional popcorn and Coke to be honest. The service that we received from Ken and the other staff was very good.

As for the movie I can say that I enjoyed it. I thought that it showed a very important message that sport has the ability to unite people whatever their differences. It also shows how fairytales do come true although if this were not based on actual events it would be very hard to believe. It is a movie that is very easy for a viewer to get emotional over, which is not a very bad thing.

I enjoyed the performances of Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as South African rugby captain François Pienaar very much and they made the film that much more enjoyable.

The movie did leave me with a question that really had nothing to do with the movie at all. Was John Howard inspired by seeing Nelson Mandela on the field of the World Cup Final wearing a Springbok jersey? Could this be the reason why a former Prime Minster, who was sworn into office just months after the final, decided to use our own Wallabies jersey as a fashion statement and be seen in it as many times as possible? Seriously, when I saw Mandella in the jumper all I could think was that this is where John Howard got the idea!


Winning

Directed by James Goldstone
Produced by John Foreman
Written by Howard Rodman
Starring Paul Newman
Joanne Woodward
Robert Wagner
Music by Dave Grusin
Cinematography Richard Moore
Editing by Edward A. Biery & Richard C. Meyer
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) May 22, 1969
Running time 123 min
Language English

Paul Newman had two great loves in his life, his wife Joanne Woodward and motor racing, so you would think a film produced by Newman that combines both of these loves would be a winner. Unfortunately that is not the case with Winning, a film that Newman made in 1969 that features clips of the 1968 Indianapolis 500. You would think that this is a motor racing film by looking at the poster for the film, but this is more or less just romantic goo. (Yuk!)

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were one of Hollywood’s most endearing couples, but here they seem to have zero chemistry on the screen. It doesn’t help that Joanne looks about seventy years old here (she was 37 at the time) or that the courtship, marriage and then separation of the on-screen couple seems to span a period of about six weeks. There is also the less than convincing sub-plot where Newman’s character Frank Capua legally adopts Woodward’s son Charlie, played by Richard Thomas, who famously portrayed ‘John-Boy’ in The Waltons in the 70s.

Towards the end of the film Joanne’s character sleeps with Newman’s rival in the film Robert Wagner, who is best known for his role in TV’s Hart To Hart, and more recently as Number Two in the Austin Powers’ movies. Newman catches the two in bed and then goes into a permanent sulk until he and Joanne resolve their differences right at the end of the film. As I said earlier, the romantic stuff is very difficult to take because of how quickly everything happens. Perhaps people do find true love in just a couple of months? We don’t really know as it’s not until the end of the film that the characters show any emotion other than indifference to each other.

You cannot even rely on the motor-racing scenes to liven-up such a dull movie. Every so often the sound of a V8 engine would rev loud enough to wake a sleepy viewer, but then they would cut back to the Newman’s soap-opera to send the viewer back into a coma. It is all very dull and boring. When they finally show the Indy 500, which Frank naturally wins, the motor racing scenes are inter-spliced with random clips of Joanne and especially ‘John-Boy’ making weird, orgasmic faces as their hero progresses through the field.

The film is weird because it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. It is not really a romantic picture, or a drama or a sports-film although it does have elements of those three genres.  Over-all the film is very dull and not one I really recommend.

* I bought the DVD for this a few weeks ago after hearing about the supposedly great racing scenes contained in the film. The DVD cost just $5 and I did expect it to be similar to Grand Prix or Le Mans, two other racing films released in the late 60s and early 70s.