Directed by Marcel Sarmiento (The ABCs of Death [D Is for Dogfight], Faceless) and written by Gregory W. Jordan, The Royal is based on the true story of Willie Mays Aikens, a star hitter for the Kansas City Royals (and the Toronto Blue Jays!) who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drug possession. Before his arrest, Aikens was one of the top sluggers in major league baseball, hitting a total of 110 home runs…
NBA talent scout Stanley Sugerman (Adam Sandler) is loyal to his beloved Philadelphia 76ers, and is reputation is respected throughout the industry. However, he’s burning the candle at both ends and he’s growing more restless towards the required travelling that keeps him away from his family. Management is rearranged, as well as Stanley’s brief raise, and the pressure is on to find the next big star.
In Jockey, director/co-writer Clint Bentley offers audiences a reflective perspective from the eyes of horse jockey Jackson Silva (Clifton Collins Jr.). Silva is respected around the track but, otherwise, he’s a reclusive athlete who is becoming a little long in the tooth to be continuing with his sport. He encounters increasing issues with his body, both from past injuries and aging, but his physical weaknesses haven’t broke his determination. Even when he’s faced with the…
Written and directed by Tyson Wade Johnston, Streamline is a polished yet forgettable sports drama that puts young athletes, and the pressures they face, front and centre.
12 Mighty Orphans may be a formulaic sports movie telling a familiar underdog story, but the movie follows the template well and elevates the narrative with good performances and on-screen chemistry.
Golden Arm succeeds with showmanship. Or rather “showwomanship”, given the film’s gender flip of a formula usually associated with testosterone-fueled sports movies.
I’ll be frank: Chick Fight is a disappointment. With a cast that boasts big names like Alec Baldwin, Fortune Feimster, and Bella Thorne, I expected more from this female-lead action-comedy.
Pascal Plante’s Nadia, Butterfly eerily takes place at the now-cancelled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and follows a French Canadian Olympian swimmer as she participates in her final event as a professional athlete. Lovingly directed yet glacially paced, Nadia, Butterfly boasts some excellent performances and cinematography, but struggles to overcome its vague characterizations and meandering screenplay.
Odd Man Rush is surprisingly sweet and thoughtful for a film that revolves around hockey. Unfortunately, a meandering pace prevents this sports-centric flick from being a true breakaway.
Most people unacquainted with pro surfer Bethany Hamilton (myself included) may only know about her dangerous run-in with a tiger shark, which resulted in her left arm being bitten off (a story adapted in 2011’s Soul Surfer, based on Hamilton’s autobiographical best-seller). I wholeheartedly recommend Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable to those movie goers. Not only does Aaron Lieber’s documentary fill us in on Hamilton’s career using stylistic flare, but the film does an exceptional job showcasing…