SBS Film Vault: Over the Top

Written by :
Published on : February 24, 2017

 

 

Sylvester Stallone was straight killing the 80’s. He was stacking hit after hit while juggling multiple franchises. Sly was flying high. In 1987, he returned to the sports movie world but this wasn’t another installment of Rocky, this was a little diddy about a truck driver finally trying to do right by his son. It’s all about family but with a solid jolt of sweaty arm wrestling. Not only is Stallone the star but he also helped write the script so you know it’s good. Now, for your nostalgic viewing pleasure, the SBS Film Vault proudly presents Over the Top.

 

The Story

Stallone plays Lincoln Hawk, a trucker who is meeting his 12-year-old son, Michael, for the first time. Hawk picks him up from the military academy at the request of the boy’s dying mother who just wants the father-son team to finally meet. It’s a rocky start as Michael and Lincoln are worlds apart but the road proves to be bonding ground. At their first pitstop, Michael learns why Hawk is so famous. A rando challenges Lincoln to an arm wrestling match and Stallone goes to work. Michael loves it as much as we do.

 

over-the-top kid

 

There are many classic scenes and lots of action but in terms of story, this tale is about a father and son creating the framework for a real relationship. This is a sports redemption story but the redemption is about the modern American family, where maybe everything isn’t all perfect. This is the hero step-dad movie.“One great weekend can fix it all!” Oh, also there is also some big tournament in Las Vegas, because there always is some big random thing in Vegas. Life-changing prize money and a new Semi truck. How convenient.

 

Arm Wrestling

The first battle we see is Hawk vs. Smasher. Hawk draws him into the trap then rotates his grip and destroys. This is when we learn that Lincoln is not to be underestimated. The next match we see is Hawk’s son Michael against, let’s call him “Arcade Bully.” It’s best 2 of 3 and Bully wins the first. Lincoln gives Michael a pep talk and he wins the next two. It must be the good genetics.

 

After all that and a bunch of family stuff, we have the tourney in Vegas. Huge stakes, Hawk sells his truck and bets the money on himself. AKA the American Dream. The tournament is kind of like the end of Karate Kid, it’s a double elimination round robin. Meaning you gotta lose twice to be kicked out. Hawk loses early, using up his one life-line. But Stallone rallies like a mother. He kicks ass and makes it to the finals against the 5-time champ, Bull Hurley. A giant, bald, beast of man.

 

Over-the-top arm

 

Before the finals, we see a confessional style interview with Lincoln Hawk where he explains that when he turns his trucker hat around, it’s like a switch. That wakes the truck-sized engine in Hawk’s body. I could tell you how the last round goes but you know. Still go see it, because it’s even better than you imagined.

 

Hawk or Hawks?

While watching the film, half of the time it seems people say “Hawks” instead of “Hawk”which is the character’s correct last name. Makes me think that the issue was so bad on set that the editors just used the best footage and didn’t care if the names were wrong. At least everything was in focus. New drinking game: pick on of the two variations and drink every time they say the opposite. Either way, you get drukn.

 

 

This is the movie Stallone made after Cobra but before Rambo III, just let that venom sink in. Head-esplode! Sly for president. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the grandpa/bad guy is TV’s Robert Loggia. Stupid’s Alex’s favorite. Alright, your assignment for this week is to arm wrestle someone.

 

Switch.

 

 


SBS Film Vault: Necessary Roughness

Written by :
Published on : October 31, 2016

 

It’s time to open the SBS Film Vault back up and dig deep for 1991’s Necessary Roughness. This is a film that is loosely based on the “death penalty” given to SMU in 1987 and only loosely funny, but full of so much early 90’s nostalgia that you’ve got to love it. Let’s open up the vault and take a look at this off the wall comedy about a sad excuse for a college football team.

 

Meet the Armadillos

The Fightin’ Armadillos are the pride and joy of Texas State University and have been a perennial championship powerhouse in college football. That is, until the previous administration, coaches and players were found guilty of multiple NCAA rules violations. The sanctions handed down to the team are reminiscent of those given to SMU in 1987. The resulting “death penalty” forces the team to start the season with an entirely new slate of players and coaches. To top it all off, the dean of Texas State, is a total dick that keeps trying to sabotage the team so he can shut down the program entirely.

 

With no scholarships, the team must hold tryouts and after the dean declares many prospective players ineligible, they are left with 17 scrubs. The team is forced to play ironman football, meaning that the players play on both offense and defense. The head coach, Ed Gennero (Hector Elizondo) and his trusty d-coordinator and assistant, Wally Riggendorf (TV’s Robert Loggia), find themselves using some unorthodox tactics to fill the holes on the team. That includes finding older players who still have NCAA eligibility for various reasons.

 

Necessary_Roughness_6752926

 

Quarterback, Paul Blake (Scott Bakula), is a 34-year-old former high school football star who never attended college. Coach Riggendorf finds him working the family farm and convinces him to go back to college and play some ball. Good thing they get his old ass off the farm and onto campus because it’s Blake who recruits graduate student teaching assistant Andre Krimm, played by 90’s favorite Sinbad. Krimm is a braniac who left the game behind because he was told he would need to take blow-off classes if he wanted to play. Because of that he still has a year of eligibility and is able to join the team.

 

Under the leadership of Scott Bakula’s poor excuse for a Texas accent, and Sinbad’s light-hearted, fun-loving attitude, the Armadillo’s are ready to take on the world! And get beaten to a pulp. One last big roster addition is the move to secure a kicker. In order to do that, the coaches poach Lucy Draper, played by bombshell Kathy Ireland, from the school’s women’s soccer team. Add in a the guys who played Alvin Mack and Lattimer in The Programand a young, fresh-face Jason Bateman, and you’ve got the makings of one awful college football team.

 

Poor man’s Major League

All one has to do it look at the poster for this movie to realize that they are going hard for the whole Major League thing. They lay it on pretty thick, but they can’t really pull it off. It’s pretty hard to rip off a classic that was released only two years prior, and make it all come together. It’s got a similar story, in that this is a team that is horrible and regularly gets stomped by opposing teams only to pull it together in the end and beat the first-ranked University of Texas Colts, who the team also got into a bar fight with.

 

Perhaps the most egregious imitation of the film Major League is the the use of a quirky announcer to cut away from the game action and accentuate just how bad this team is. Instead of the the hilarious Bob Uecker, this movie brings you the insufferable Rob Schneider. The second you see it on screen you know they are ripping off a much better sports comedy. It’s mildly infuriating and sadly not very funny. Schneider brings the whole “makin the copies” thing to the broadcast booth and makes you want to break your tv.

 

 

So that’s our quick look at Necessary Roughness. Maybe I’m being too hard on this movie, but I really don’t think so. It’s too much of a Major League ripoff too soon. As a kid, I remember watching and being entertained but I think that’s only because Kathy Ireland was on a poster in my bedroom and I was a big Sinbad fan. But don’t take my word for it. Go watch it, and report back here in the comments section to give your opinion.

 

 


We Need More Sports Movies Starring Women

Written by :
Published on : October 1, 2016

 

It’s no mystery that SBS loves sports movies. We have done lists of the best ones, covered some of our favs in detail and make callbacks to the best lines and moments in many articles. At this point, these films have become part of the larger culture, an integral part of the modern sports landscape. Which brings me to my point, we need more sports movies featuring women. We have an embarrassingly low amount of them and that needs to change.

 

Boys grow up with a plethora of male athletes in many different sports to act as their role models. Plus all the fictional ones in movies, video games and television. Young women have way less in this department which is tragic because growing minds need movies to show them they can do anything. Cinema is the telling of a hero’s story. It may sound silly but where else does a kid learn that they can overcome any obstacle and win it all with just hard work and determination? Of course from the parents but that message needs to be echoed in the world for it to truly stick.

 

bend-it-like-beckham

 

Sports movies show us a narrative of the underdog and reveals the viewer’s own potential. It is incredibly powerful. Not just for athletes, for everyone. Understanding all that, you can see my call for action. After a little research I found these films. All starring women, set in sports.

 

A League of their Own (1992)

The Next Karate Kid (1994)

Eddie (1996)

Girlfight (2000)

Bring it On (2000)

Bend it like Beckham (2002)

Blue Crush (2002)

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Against the Ropes (2004)

Ice Princess (2005)

Whip It (2009)

 

I’m sure I’m missing some but still, that’s not a lot. Part of the criteria is that these all had to be theatrically released. No made for TV garbage. Also no dance movies were considered. But cheerleading counts. This is because cheer is deeply rooted in the American sport experience and if I included dance flicks then most of the list would be dance movies and that’s not what this is about. And some of these had sequels but we are talking original sports stories.

 

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

 

Shout outs to Wimbledon (2004) and Little Giants (1994) for having strong female roles but the main characters are still men. She’s the Man (2006) is a female lead and has soccer in the background but the sports angle isn’t really strong enough. Amanda Bynes does disguise herself to play on the men’s team which is fun but it’s more of a romantic comedy than anything else. I half considered adding The Hunger Games (2012) but, you know, not a real sport. Still good though.

 

It’s a sad state of affairs when studios make multiple sports pictures about men pretending to be women so they can compete (Lady Bugs, Juwanna Man) but no one wants to make any real stories of female athleticism. And while I’m on my soapbox, let’s get some more diversity on screen. It can’t all be white people. I watch sports. I know.

 

So I challenge Hollywood and all the executives, male and female, make more sports movies starring women. We must have these stories for our kids so they get to see heroics can come from all walks of life. Everyone is an underdog and sports teaches us that it’s okay. We can overcome.

 

Play like a girl.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon Week 2: Kelvin Benjamin TD and Knightriders

Written by :
Published on : September 22, 2016

 

Welcome back to Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon. In this spooky sanctum I’ve poured over all the replay tape to come up with my favorite NFL play of the week. Then it’s straight back to the projector to unspool a film you may have not been aware of…

 

The lights have dimmed, the wine’s been poured, and the wolves have been fed.

 

Week 2: Cam Finds Kelvin Benjamin For Short, Bruising Touchdown

 

While last week The Haunted Dungeon looked at a determined play from young up-and-comer Derek Carr, this week we focus on toughness. The theme is no coincidence since many of us are now looking to patch up the injury-related holes in our leaky fantasy rowboats after a week two that was particularly hard on some dependable names. I managed to snag returning behemoth Kelvin Benjamin for a song in my league’s auction draft and he’s been paying dividends. This is a guy built a bit like linebacker, but happens to be a gifted receiver.

 

It’s 2nd and 9 so Cam’s got some wiggle room: why not throw it to the big fella short of the plane and see what he can do? It looked like a hard play to defend against with both ‘Niners’ edge-rushers committing to sack Newton on the play-action, but the pass defense looked limp. Benjamin takes some licks on his way to end zone, but if it were actually one dedicated tackler instead of two guys giving up against a veritable rhino, I’m not sure the end result would have been any different with Benjamin barreling into the end zone. I hope Kelvin stays healthy. He’s been my favorite receiver to watch in this nascent NFL season.

 

Week 2: Knightriders

knightriders_ver2

Director: George A. Romero
Released: 1981

 

George A. Romero is of course best know for the Night of the Living Dead (1968) and its two sequels, but the wryly political king of zombie terror has a few other oddball entries in his oeuvre from the blatantly violent low-budget statement against chemical weapons The Crazies (1973), to the ludicrously bizarre premise of a murderous helper-monkey capuchin in Monkey Shines (1988).

 

Knightriders is the only major non-horror project that Romero has helmed, but this story of a group of fringe bikers, putting on fully motorized jousting tournaments for the benefit of curious gawkers at Renaissance Fairs rates as one of the very best in Uncle George’s output.

 

The combination of outlaw cool mixed with the freedom and fun of the traveling circus is made even more fascinating by the performers’ dedication to living under a medieval code. Ed Harris may be “King Billy,” but that doesn’t mean The Black Knight, special effects legend and sometimes actor Tom Savini, can’t challenge him. To my mind, this is Savini’s finest performance in front of the camera with his cocaine-fueled ego dishing out heaping helpings of snark and petulance.

 

At two and a half hours it’s a little long for a genre flick for sure, but that allows Romero to explore plenty of interesting and unexpected avenues. While the obvious thrust is the difficulty of living a truly alternative lifestyle under one’s own rules, other concepts like the dilution of what’s cool and worthwhile when outside money is injected into a vibrant subculture, as well as the pitfalls of celebrity that come with being a corporate shill. Most impressively, Romero addresses the homosexuality of a troupe member, and the bald-faced and truly humanistic treatment feels downright revolutionary in an early 80’s movie.

 

tomsaviniinknightriders1-e1450200818385

 

While there are no undead decapitations or cannibalistic disembowelings on hand, the choreographed motorcycle stunts have a gritty authenticity thanks to the lack of over-editing, and the whole film has a synergistic DIY feel both in its subject matter and production style.

 

They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

 

Trailer:

 

Full Movie:

 

Free in eight parts on Youtube. Disc available through Netflix. Streaming rental available through Amazon video.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon Week 1: Derek Carr and The Giant Claw

Written by :
Published on : September 14, 2016

 

 

 

Welcome to my new digs blobs and ghouls! While the last NFL season was spent woozily sprawled out on the couch with the room spinning, this year I’ve decided to take refuge in my macabre sanctuary. A place where I can obsess over the week’s best play as well as the week’s weirdest movie in peace. Without the cruel admonishments of so called “tasteful” film critics.

 

Pull up an electric chair, lay back on the rack, and get comfy as I run the tape.

 

Week 1: Derek Carr Strong Run and Vault For First Down

 

 

Now those familiar with the old Pretzel know that I have a certain weakness for the defensive side of the ball. As such, I was hoping to start the season with a big sack, safety, pick, or crucial stop, but after reviewing all the tape I couldn’t get this one out of my head.

 

It’s a tie game in New Orleans well before the half, and the Saints send a couple of extra guys after Carr on a 3rd and 9. After a quick scan downfield, the Oakland QB scoots to the left and takes off, and while most of the focus rightly belongs on his acrobatic flip-dive for the first, I really like the determined run that got him to that point. Even in slow-mo, the guy’s legs are a blur. There’s something about this play that while risky, also smacks of the irrepressible excitement of football’s return. I’m not saying that Carr wouldn’t be able to repeat such a feat in say week 15, but I am saying that the likelihood of it is rarer than an ex-convict’s first steak out of the joint.

 

Week 1: The Giant Claw

Director: Fred F. Sears
Released: 1957

 

Giant-Claw-5

 

Val Lewton became deservedly famous for producing a series of fright flicks for RKO that traded in on atmosphere and what WASN’T seen, leaving the scares to your imagination and keeping the production’s budget manageable. But sometimes you just want to see the damn monster, and I want my monsters like this.

 

Behold The Giant Claw: A massive and indestructible flying chicken with the head of a vulture, a beak lined with rows of T-Rex teeth, and a bitchin’ Mohawk to boot. This one fits solidly into that 1950’s commie-hating, nuclear-annihilation-shit-scared, national-security-at-all-cost zeitgeist that gave us wonderful films like Them! and The Thing From Another World.

 

You’re obviously in this one for the ugly puppet, but television vet Jeff Morrow and female lead Mora Corday dabble in some genuinely clever and romantic back-and-forth dialogue that is much better than the usual filler these types of flicks tend to have between action scenes.

 

Behold the trailer!

 

 

And the entire thang for the craven and brave!

 

 

Until next week, gang… Stay creepy.

 

 


A Film Tribute to the Baseball Bat

Written by :
Published on : December 14, 2015

 

 

The baseball bat is truly a piece of Americana. It’s a lasting image we love. Film and TV regularly pull out the lumber when they want to make a statement. Holding a bat gives the wielder a sense of power and strength no matter their size. There are plenty of baseball movies but that’s not what this is about. These are the cases where the Louisville Slugger played a vital role in the world of the story. Here are some the best uses of a baseball bat seen in film.

 

Untouchables

 

Start with the classics. Well this is the Socrates of bashing someone to death with sporting equipment. Everyone knows the scene. De Niro plays Al Capone and goes totally Ken Griffey Jr all over one of his men while they are at a fancy dinner. It’s perfect. Suits, insane rage, blood on the table cloth. That’s filmmaking.

 

Suicide Squad

harley bat

 

From the old to the super new. This flick isn’t even out yet but images of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn swinging that bat around gets me excited. She is ready to deal some punishment. And I just love that it says “GOOD NIGHT” down the barrel. Nice touch. The film swings into theaters August 5th, 2016.

 

Inglourious Basterds 

bear jew

 

We don’t much care for Nazis here at ScoreBoredSports, so when Donny “Bear Jew” Donowitz wrecks that kraut’s face, I cheer. This movie is super violent. But it’s a war movie made by Quentin Tarantino, of course it’s going to be bloody. Some don’t condone this type of cinema, but you still have to admit, a pretty dope use of the bat.

 

The Raid 2

hammer girl

 

They just call him Baseball Bat Man. His friend, Hammer Girl. They like to hang out and smash stuff. The Raid movies are bananas in the best possible way. A must-see for any fans of action or Kung-Fu. The choreography is flawless and delivered at hyper speed.

 

Office Space

 

If you don’t know, then watch. If you already know, then smile. This has become the new classic. The The Untouchables of the comedy world.

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

In the clip, we see a fan favorite, Casey Jones, use a few different pieces of sporting equipment but he does his best work with the bat. Man, I forgot how good this movie was.

 

Closing Thoughts

 

Many folks doing a similar piece would mention Casino. I love the film, and I know the scene at the end with Joe Pesci. Yes they have a bat but that movie is three hours of brilliance and one little weapon isn’t going to steal the show. If you want Pesci and baseball bats then I offer you SNL and Jim Brewer doing Joe Pesci on a terribly awesome skit called the “Joe Pesci Show.” Please enjoy all eight minutes.

 

 

Look at that sweet foam prop. I was half tempted to include other members of the bat family in on this list. Like the cricket bat used in Shawn of the Dead  or the paddle from Dazed and Confused but I decided to keep it traditional. In honor of the season. I hope everyone has a peaceful New Year, but if someone does mess with you then you know what to reach for…a hug.

 

 

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 


A few thoughts on the Concussion trailer

Written by :
Published on : September 21, 2015

 

 

The trailer dropped for Will Smith’s new football drama, Concussion. Based on true events, the film follows Smith’s character, Dr. Bennet Omalu and his discovery of the first football related brain trauma. Pretty serious stuff. I’m sure someone at the NFL league office isn’t too thrilled about this. Watch the trailer or else all the jokes below will be meaningless.

 

 

First off, this movie does not look fun at all. Like boring version of The Insider. It’s a super serious biopic that wants to pull you in with football only to trick you into watching a two hour drama about doctors. Ugh, I’d rather watch reruns of ER, M*A*S*H, or even Grey’s Anatomy (Or Private Practice. Kate Walsh, meow.) Look, head injuries in sports are a big deal and definitely the issue of the day but isn’t there a way to inform while being just a touch more entertaining? This becomes a film we feel more obligated to see instead of excited to see. That’s a problem.

 

Second, this movie should be called Protocol. Way cooler title and it works on two levels: the concussion protocol players must undergo after a big hit and the protocol/status quo the hero is fighting against. Bang, that’s good writing. Plus, Protocol seems like a dope sci-fi flick that you just know has some nudity in it.

 

Thirdly, I just recently got a nasty concussion so I suddenly care about this. Maybe Will Smith can pay for my CAT scan or DOG scan. I’m not sure what scan I need. I’m not a doctor. What I do know is that I see stars flying around my head. Like an anvil was just dropped on me straight out of a Road Runner cartoon.

 

coyote_seeing_stars_above_head

 

Fourthly, Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks. That’s a duo I’d hang out with. Maybe go to a nice deli, get some pastrami. Almost makes it worth it. Almost. Brooks’ character does have the best line in the whole trailer though: “You’re going to war with a corporation that owns a day of the week.” Well at this point one could argue the NFL owns Sunday and Monday (and creeping on Thursday). That’s how you know you are really rich, when you own things like colors, shapes or days of the week.

 

Fifthly, wait I had something else for this but for some reason the idea has slipped from my mind. Damn. It was just here. That’s annoying, well must not have been very funny or clever.  Ain’t I a stinker?

 

See the movie or don’t and please leave your foggy, jumbled thoughts below.

 

 

 


Best Hockey Movie of All Time

Written by :
Published on : August 29, 2015

 

Alex had a great piece about the 9 Funniest Sports Movies Ever. And that’s fine and good but there was only one hockey movie on the list. So I thought, maybe give the boys on skates their due. But this isn’t just comedies, it’s all hockey movies (no documentaries, sorry). So let’s go over our options and finally find a definitive answer to the question: what is the best hockey movie of all time?

 

 

Slap Shot

This was #9 on Alex’s list. The movie is both funny and a solid hockey picture but it isn’t the best ever. Don’t haunt me Paul Newman.

 

Mighty Ducks

Classic underdog story. Emilio Estevez’s character is a drunk, named Gordon Bombay. That’s two different brands of gin for his name. Great writing like this makes this an easy answer but I gotta pass. I need something with a little more bite. Even though this photo is tuff as hell.

 

mighty ducks

 

Goon

My kind of movie. Jokes. Fighting. More Fighting. But feels like a less quality Slap Shot.

 

Mystery Alaska

You know that movie where Russell Crowe and his drinking buddies play the New York Rangers? Guess who wins. Spoiler Alert, it’s the Rangers.

 

Mystery-Alaska

 

Miracle

Great real life story. Kurt Russell nails it as the coach. The Russians are the bad guys. What’s not to love? Well, it’s too serious for me. Next.

 

Youngblood

It’s got both Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze. That’s all I can really remember about this movie.

 

youngblood_01

 

D2: The Mighty Ducks and D3: The Mighty Ducks, or any Slap Shot sequel.

Can anyone really claim that these are better than the originals?

 

MVP

I really want to pick this just to piss everyone off. I’m sure this is the worst movie ever but look at that god damn monkey! He has a hockey stick!

 

 

Happy Gilmore, Tooth Fairy, or any movie kinda about hockey.

 

Pass. This is list is about real hockey movies. Sorry not sorry (said with Canadian accent.)

 

 

And the winner is….

 

 

SUDDEN DEATH

 

This movie has everything. Kidnapping, explosions, divorced dads, roundhouse kicks, terrorism and of course, hockey! It’s exactly like Die Hard, but with hockey.

 

The main character, Darren McCord (played by Jean-Claude Van Damme) battles a group of terrorists holding the vice president and the entire stadium hostage.  Oh yeah his kids are there. And it’s game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. And, at one point, Van Damme dresses up as the goalie and plays in the game. Game 7. Of the Stanley Cup Finals.

 

This movie is bonkers and I love it. It’s the best hockey movie ever.

 

 

Well now that has been settled, let’s kick back and watch some more Sudden Death. In this scene, Jean-Claude Van Damme fights an assassin dressed as the Pittsburgh Penguins mascot, Iceburgh.

 

Enjoy.

 

 


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