Favourite Sports Films
So I hate sport. I never watch it unless I have to, but for some reason I do like the Olympics. Probably because there are so many different things to get into. I love the gymnastics, and I'll watch a lot of the more random stuff. My hatred of sport also doesn't stretch to Sporting films - competition and an underdog to support always makes for good drama, and the more random the sport the better. So, in honour of Rio, here are some of my favourites:
The writer of Bring it on takes on the world of gymnastics, in this story of a rebellious former gymnast who returns to the sport as an alternative to jail and finds herself in training for the world championships. Good fun, great gymnastics and no pointless love interest.
This is a kind-of-terrible-but-enjoyable film about a fictional girls relay team at the 2012 London Olympics (or not, as they weren't allowed to mention the year or the word 'Olympics' due to copyright reasons.) Starring Lily James, Mickey from Doctor Who and Arthur from Merlin.
Chariots of Fire
Oscar winning true-life story about two different Olympic runners, one Jewish, one Christian. Don't google the outcome of the games before you watch! Stirring and enjoyable if a bit old fashioned.
Disney are renowned for their animated films, but some of their live-action stuff is great, this being one of my favourites. Based on true events, Cool Runnings is the story of the first Jamaican bobsled team. Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up it's bobsled time!
The Greatest Game Ever Played
Another Disney film, true life story and a new discovery. Also a period drama which I can never resist. Stannis from Game of Thrones plays Harry Varden, a famous golfer and all-around nice guy from the Isle of Man, while Shia LeBouf is the American amateur who finds himself competing against his hero in the American open. I never thought I'd like a film about golf but this ticks all the right boxes.
The Karate Kid
Is it blasphemy to say I prefer the re-make? I like Jackie Chan as Mr. Miyagi, the Chinese setting makes it more original and exciting and the bullies are much scarier. And Jayden Smith is great in this. Definitely worth watching, and the competition at the end is nail-biting stuff.
In a pre-Andy Murray world, a Brit winning Wimbledon seemed like a distant dream, which is part of the reason why this film worked so well - we all love an underdog. Paul Bettany plays an English tennis player, who finds himself doing better than expected in what will be his last shot at Wimbledon. But when he falls for Kirsten Dunst's American rising star, things get complicated.
Bend It Like Beckham
You don't have to know anything about football (Soccer in some places...) or David Beckham to enjoy this film. Fun, smart and feel-good, this is the story of a British-Indian girl who wants to be a footballer, although her parents disapprove.
Remember the Titans
I really don't know the first thing about American Football (and I'm none the wiser after watching this film) but I do know whenever it's on TV I will sit down and watch it to the end. Starring Denzel Washington and featuring a young Ryan Gosling and Hayden Panetierre, this is another true story, about a school football team and race relations in America in the 1970s.
Two estranged brothers, one ex-army, one a teacher struggling to cope financially, enter a mixed-martial-arts cage fighting competition. I don't quite know why I like this film, I think it's because it's so hard to call which brother I want to win out.