Posts Tagged ‘Hoop Dreams’

I was recently recalling the sports movies of my  youth (the movies of The Mark’s post college experience), and started to see a trend. Hands down 1994 was the best year for sports movies. Not only Sports movies, but movies in general, here is the list of who was up for the Academy Award for Best Picture:

Forrest Gump

The Shawshank Redemption

Pulp Fiction

Four Weddings and Funeral

Quiz Show

What other line up has that much power! Then throw in the fact that it was the year of The Lion King, Dumb and Dumber, Clerks, Legends of the Fall, Natural Born Killers, The Mask, Speed, True Lies, Camp Nowhere, Ace Ventura, Blank Check,  and Wyatt Earp.

But back to my point, it was the sports movies that made the year.

One of many great sports movies!

Little Giants: Rick Moranis of the “Honey We Shrunk” series coaches a team of outcast and under sized kids (Little Giants) against Ed O’Neil’s, from “Married with Children” and more recently “Modern Family”, power house program (Cowboys). It’s an NFC East showdown in the middle of Ohio.  Ed O’Neil plays the local legend who comes back to the small town bask in the glory and coach a cut-throat Pop Warner Team. Moranis plays his brother who has always been overshadowed and wants to help kids from falling by the way side.  A David and Goliath story for sure, but with much more humor.

What are they doing now: Shawna Waldron, Becky “The Icebox” O’Shea, starred recently in the erotic thriller, Poison Ivy: The Secret Society. Apparently loaded with special features!

Pro Power: John Madden, Bruce Smith, Emmitt Smith, Tim Brown, and Steve Emtman.

Best Quote: “Without Icebox, Spike’s going to rip off my face and wear it for Halloween”

Staying Power: Just Watched it for the 90th time and might restart it!

Everyone kid's dream, besides Grandpa dying

Little Big League: Luke Edwards inherits the Minnesota Twins from his deceased Grandfather, and the takes on the roll of skipper. Turning the team from some misfits to the verge of a playoff run. Probably winning Manager of the year, while trying to balance is childhood friendships.

What are they doing now: Luke Edwards has been making a name for himself in Jeepers Creepers 2 and hopefully a 3rd one that is in development now!

Pro Power: In a one game playoff against the Mariners, The Twins face Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, and Lou Piniella. Beyond that there are cameos by Ivan Rodriguez, Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlos Baegra, Wally Joyner, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines,  Chris Berman, and others.

Best Quote:

McGrevey: I think you should trade me.
Mac: As soon as we find someone stupid enough to take you, that’s EXACTLY what we’re gonna do.

Staying Power: Downloading it now, want to catch up on lost time.

Above the Rim:  Duane Martin stars as basketball star who wants to go where Patrick Ewing and A.I. went to school.  He trying to find a balance between the streets and court.  Featuring the smash song by Warren G “Regulators”, and other hard hitting songs on the soundtrack.

What are they doing now: Duane Martin is now making some appearance in “Rita Rocks“, a show about a mother who starts a garage band (Can’t make that Shit up).

Pro Power:  Tupac, although he wasn’t an athlete he counts for this section!

Best Quote: “I was just thinkin bout spreadin my fingers and poppin my wrist.”

Staying Power:  One and done!

Interesting Concept

The Air Up There: Jimmy Dolan (Kevin Bacon) is a college basketball coach trying to land a big time sensation from Africa, Saleh. Only problem, why would Saleh be convinced to leave Africa for America, there seems to be a history there. Does anyone else see why he might be hesitant?  It comes down to a game verse a mining company that will make all the difference.

What are they doing now:  What isn’t Kevin Bacon doing? But recently he was in Frost/Nixon.

Pro Power: Although no Pro athletes are credited Dikembe Mutombo‘s brother is in the movie.

Best Quote:

Jimmy Dolan : Sister! You’re allowed to kiss?
Sister Susan: [smiling] Only if I really mean it!

Staying Power:  I saw it in theaters when I was 8 and haven’t seen it since.

Blue Chips: Nick Nolte plays Coach Bell a coach who is struggling with the morality of recruiting in the college basketball ranks. In order to get the top players, the coach sells out and has to deal with the path he chose at school and home.   Ed O’Neil also stars in this film as Ed. Shaq and Penny Hardaway are a couple of Nolte’s players.

Penny's acting debut

What are They Doing Now: Nick Nolte was the crazy Vietnam vet in Tropic Thunder. Shaq has won four NBA titles and Penny had little Penny Nike Commercials.

Pro Power:  Shaq, Penny, Bob Cousy, Bob Knight, Rick Pitino, Larry Bird, and others.

Best Quote:  “Dwayne, you can get through college half-assed. Richard, you can get through LIFE half-assed. But I’ll guarantee you boys one thing: sure as hell, I’ll guarantee you this: you cannot *win* half-assed!”

Staying Power: Relevant today with all sorts of recruiting violations occurring daily!

Chi-towns Finest

Hoop Dreams: A Documentary about two high school basketball players in Chicago, William Gates and Arthur Agee, who are trying to make it to the next level. They are being heavily recruited but struggling with their academics.

What are they doing now:  “Gates said that after the film was released, his high school shunned him, his teammates “must have hated” him for the attention, and the NCAA revoked his and Arthur Agee’s athletic scholarships for becoming “professionals.

Pro Power:  Dick Vitale, Juan Howard, Chris Webber, Bobby Knight, and Coach K all make appearances.

Best Quote: “People always say to me, “when you get to the NBA, don’t forget about me.” Well, I should’ve said back, “if I don’t make it to the NBA, don’t you forget about me.”

Staying Power: Great Documentary about the realities of making it to the pros and college ranks.

Brendan Fasier's high point

The Scout: Albert Brooks plays a scout who discovers a top prospect Steve Nebraska, played by Brendan Fraser, in Mexico. Steve Nebraska serves as Brook’s redemption for past failures of his other prospects.

What are they doing now: Brendan Fraser is producing hits like Journey to the Center of the Earth or something like that and it’s sequel. Thanks Brendan!

Pro Power:  Bob Costas, Ozzie Smith, Bret Saberhagen, and George Steinbrenner III and others.

Best Quote: “I’m the Yankee, not you!”  Using best quote very loosely!

Staying Power:  Saw it on TV, didn’t feel like seeing it again.

On top of all these originals there were three sports sequels that were released.

The Runner-Ups

D2: The Mighty Ducks: Childhood favorite as Emilio takes his team to the international level to battle Iceland, not Canada or Russia. That simple fact makes it great, plus the scene where they get involved in the ‘street hockey game’ in L.A.

Best Quote: “Weuw, Weuw, Weuw, Kenny Woo.”

Major League II:  This one came up way short of the original. How did the first one go from R rated classic to a PG rated clown for some rude language.

Best Quote (loosely again): “Women: you can’t live with them, and they can’t pee standing up!”

The Next Karate Kid: This movie was made, and everyone was disappointed.

A line from the movie: “Julie-san, fighting not good. But if must fight… win!”

Enough said, 1994 had to be the best year in Sports movies, if you disagree post your list and we can go from there.

Salute

The Bearded Guy

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