Okay all, time for another group participation exercise! Earlier this week I had the opportunity to see the gymnasium where Hoosiers was filmed. That story was loosely based on the 1954 Milan high school basketball team’s run to the Indiana State Championship and was voted as one of the top 10 sports movies of all time. That got me thinking. My first thought was that I really need to see that film again. The second is that this is the perfect topic for feedback. So, without further ado, here are the questions and my picks for answers.
Favorite Sports Movie – For this one there were so many contenders, from Rocky to Caddyshack, the aforementioned Hoosiers to Field of Dreams, but my pick for favorite sports movie has to be “A League of Their Own”. Between Tom Hanks’ portrayal as coach of the Rockford Peaches to Geena Davis’ starring role as Dotty Hinson this movie had the right mix of humor, drama and feel-good moments. The fact that it is based on a true story and led to a section of Cooperstown being set up to acknowledge the All American Girls Professional Baseball League makes it all the better.
Favorite Oscar Winning Movie – Lots to choose from here, especially with The Godfather, Revenant, Patton and so many others, but my choice comes down to Unforgiven, the quintessential western, directed by and featuring Clint Eastwood. Any time you can have Clint and Morgan Freeman together facing off against the always classic Gene Hackman, you have the makings of a great movie. Add in the cinematography, the score and the solid writing and you can see why it won.
Favorite Movie Franchise – Hands down the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit follow-on movies. Sure, the Bond movies are a close second for me, but you can’t beat a great story brought to the screen by a director who wanted to stay as true as possible to it. I know there are discrepancies, some of which are almost unforgivable, but every time I watch them I still get drawn in. Also, for those of you who don’t think it was close enough to the stories, I have two words, Ralph Bakshi.
Movie That I Have to Watch if I See It Playing On TV – This was a close call between The Blues Brothers, The Rock (yes, I know it’s campy), Con Air, and my ultimate choice, Gone in 60 Seconds. Yes, I realize that is three Nicholas Cage movies, but, let’s face it, it’s hard to not get sucked in to watching any of them, if you are searching the dial. Sure, none of these are anywhere near Academy Award quality and the lines are pretty awkward (“Carla was the prom queen!”), but they are entertaining and fun, so they make the list. Gone in 60 Seconds takes top spot simply because of Eleanor. Can’t beat that Mustang.
Favorite Comedy – There are way too many contenders to choose from, so I know that I will immediately have to change my selection after reading your inputs, but as for now, I’d have to select Blazing Saddles. It is arguably the funniest of Mel Brooks’ hits and certainly not politically correct. From the suede-wearing sheriff, to the fireside scene to Mongo punching the horse, this movie had a lot of funny moments. True, Young Frankenstein and The Producers were bigger successes, but Blazing Saddles is a strong contender. Having said that, there are tons of comedies out there that could compete.
Finally, if you could only watch one movie again, what would it be…for me, it’d be The Return of the King (extended edition) from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s the final act of the hero’s journey and hit all the right notes. I know there are other strong choices, but for me, it has to be this almost 5 hour masterpiece.
I look forward to seeing your thoughts and choices.