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sports movie

Ford v. Ferrari (2019)

DIRECTOR: James Mangold

CAST: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Caitriona Balfe, Noah Jupe, Ray McKinnon

REVIEW:

Ford v. Ferrari, director James Mangold’s (Walk the Line, Logan) docudrama chronicling events leading up and involving the 1965 and 1966 Le Mans, is likely to appeal to the same audience that appreciate Rush, Ron Howard’s similarly-themed docudrama telling the true story of the rivalry between race car drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda (played there by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl). The central dynamic here, rather than the “frenemies” there, is in full-blown “buddy movie” mode—albeit not without a little tension—but both movies do an effective job of balancing visceral racing sequences with strong human drama.

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Rush (2013)

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl

REVIEW:

Ron Howard was once on a roll as a highly-regarded filmmaker with films like Apollo 13 and the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind, but his star has lost a little of its luster in recent years.  Reteaming with screenwriter Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon), Howard has struck out for something a little different, with an entry in the sports movie genre that’s a little more gritty and a little more adult than some of the “wholesome” territory he’s well-traversed, with the true story of an infamous rivalry.  To that end, Rush is an engaging sports drama whose central focus is not on the championships, but on the starkly-contrasting characters of two very different men. Continue reading

Warrior (2011)

 WC9V4530.tifDIRECTOR: Gavin O’Connor

CAST: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo, Kevin Dunn

REVIEW:

WARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL REVEAL ASPECTS OF THE FILM’S PLOT

I don’t know much about MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighting, but that doesn’t matter here, because Warrior is less about the sport itself and more about the fractured family drama that plays out both in and outside the ring. MMA is the vehicle used to convey this story, but not the core of it, and even for those both unfamiliar with and not particularly interested in MMA fighting (including myself), Warrior is an engaging and sometimes powerful drama about universal themes of regrets, resentment, and forgiveness. Continue reading

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