The Boxer (1997)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) An ex-IRA volunteer trying to rebuild his life after spending 14-years in prison amid a turbulent Northern Ireland. Gerard McSorley’s performance as the primary antagonist Harry is the only noteworthy character from the movie.

 
CONS –
1) It’s neither a full-fledged sports-drama nor a conventional romantic movie. IRA skirmishes remain the core of the movie.
2) For a movie named The Boxer, the boxing choreography is quite mediocre.

 
QUOTE –
Danny: I’ve lived with your face in silence for fourteen years. It’s hard to talk to the real you.

The Color of Money (1986)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) The movie started as ‘Fast’ Eddie being a retired pool hustler finding a new talented kid Vincent. But as the movie progresses, the Mentor-Protégé relationship turns into a rivalry.
2) Martin Scorsese gave a proper closure to Eddie’s character.
3) The turning point of the movie is the scene with Amos [played by a young Forest Whitaker] hustling the hustler. It shows how humiliation can invoke dormant pride.

 

 

CONS –
1) Just like it’s predecessor, The Hustler (1961), it’s a one time watch slow sports-drama.

 

 
QUOTE –
Eddie Felson: Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.

The Hustler (1961)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Watch it for Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats, a player with talent and character.

 

CONS –
1) The entire subplot with Sarah was a drag, making the movie tediously slow.

 
QUOTE –
Fast Eddie: Maybe I’m not such a high-class piece of property right now. And a 25% slice of something big is better than a 100% slice of nothing.

The Way Back (2020)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) An alcoholic & grief-stricken high-school basketball legend seeking redemption by returning back to his school to coach the basketball team. Ben Affleck perfectly fitted the bill.

 

CONS –
1) There is one such high school coach-centered sports drama every few years. This ain’t Lean on Me (1989) or Remember the Titans (2000).
2) Tediously formulaic.

 
QUOTE –
I want every one of you to reach in your shorts right now and tell me if you find a pair. ‘Cause right now, you’re playing like a bunch of fucking pussies.

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Story of Le Mans ’66 chronicling the heroics of Ford Motor Company led by Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles.
2) Tragic to know how corporate narrow mindedness cost Ken Miles the racing triple crown.

 
CONS –
1) It’s a one-time watch generic sports drama with predictable twists and turns.
2) After Logan (2017), we’re expecting something bigger from James Mangold.

 
QUOTE –
Carroll Shelby: There’s a point at 7,000 RPM… where everything fades. The machine becomes weightless. Just disappears. And all that’s left is a body moving through space and time. 7,000 RPM. That’s where you meet it. You feel it coming. It creeps up on you, close in your ear. Asks you a question. The only question that matters. Who are you?

Jersey (2019)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) There are not too many good sports movies in Indian cinema and also it’s never easy to pull off one, but Gowtham Tinnanuri managed it successfully with a tight screenplay.
2) Nani gave a strong and compelling performance of a washed-out first-class cricketer fighting against all odds

 
CONS –
1) The movie can easily be completed within 2 hours. A 150 minutes long movie is tiresome for audiences.

 
QUOTE –
“Arjun: I found myself when I was searching for 500 rupees in the last 3 days. I saw the past 36 years of my life. I didn’t understand myself in all these years but I finally found myself in the last 3 days.”

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) Well-made biopic of an underdog. Real-life footage of matches with CGI adds great authenticity to the entire experience.
2) Herry Tangri as Yuvraj Singh. This actor is a spitting image of young Yuvraj.

 

CONS –
1) Generic elements of a sports biopic. I wonder how many times Anupam Kher will play the perennial role of a father asking his kids to quit sports.
2) Forgettable soundtrack

 
QUOTE –
“Dhoni: yuvraj singh double century. bahut maara. dhaga khol diya ekdum”

Lean on Me (1989)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

PROS –
1) From time to time, it falls to one man to lead his people out of the valley of shadows. This time, it landed on Morgan Freeman as Joe Louis Clark to resurrect a dying school. Way before Denzel got Remember the Titans (2000), Samuel L. Jackson got Coach Carter (2005), it was Morgan Freeman who did Lean on Me (1989).
2) This 30 years old movie is still relevant in today’s time of over political correctness.
3) Lynne Thigpen as Mrs. Barrett – the personification of loudmouthed wench.
4) Great one-liners and refreshing soundtrack
5) Two good dialogues scenes: “HEAD NIGGER IN CHARGE” scene between Dr. Napier and Joe, and the “They are sick of it, and so am I!” scene between Ms. Levias and Joe.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Joe Clark: You’ll be dead in a year, son. Hear what I’m saying? You’ll be dead in a year!

Creed II (2018)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 0

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) Creed desert training – “Runnin (feat. A$AP Rocky & Jacob Banks)”
2) Creed with his baby in the gym. A well-written scene but badly executed.

 

CONS –
1) The entire Tessa Thompson plot was tedious
2) The climax was supposed to give some redemption to Ivan Drago but by the end of the movie, you feel bad for this character.
3) We already knew about the regular “come-back” plot but this sequel haven’t got the soul of Rocky. The direction is awful.

 

 

QUOTE –
Ivan Drago: Because of you… I lose everything. My country. Respect. You ever see stray dogs in the Ukraine? They go for days without food. People spit on them, they are nothing. No home. Only will to survive… to fight. I have son. All he knows…… is this.

Jerry Maguire (1996)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) The movie is divided into 2 parts – sports drama and rom-com. While the sports drama part was entertaining, the romantic plot was meh.
2) Good chemistry between Cuba Gooding Jr. & Regina King
3) Decent soundtrack with songs like “Secret Garden”
4) Dicky Fox‘s quotes.

 

CONS –
1) While the first half is fast and promising, the second half is equally dull. This movie is terribly over-rated.
2) 45 minutes too long.

 
QUOTE –
Dorothy: You had me at “hello”.