The Essence of a Training and Sports Movie
I fussed with this title over and over again. In end I stuck with this because it can span so many aspects. With the best training movies, while the goal of skill is there, the underlining context is equally important. This is why I can put Flashdance in the same list as I do Rocky.
In order to be selected you must abide to a certain formula. The following are just some of the needed requirements in order to be considered an adequate training movie. No, not all must exist in every film, but the ones with the most of these requirements are going to go down in history as the best of all time.
There are a few exceptions for movies that the focus may not be specifically on training, but sports/skill are important and a surrounding basis.
#1-The Mentor – You are not a true training hero without your mentor, be it alive, dead, or wearing a whistle. The mentor is crucial. Bonus points if rising above while being the coach and mentor.
#2-The Rise - You have to rise from adversity in some way. This can be in the form of poverty, inner struggle, or from a chump to champ.
#3-Broke Ass – Most of the time our heroin is a broke ass. You also get points for the obligatory money collection jar shot.
#4-The Chance To be A Traitor – You aren’t anybody until you have to make the ethical choice of trading up for a higher level of help, usually in a ugly coat.
#5- Someone Dies – It may even be you, but for some reason increasing in athletic ability comes best via death of loved one.
#6-Got to Get Some - The pride and devotion to your craft is hot. You get laid accordingly.
#7-Weird Training Methods – For some reason training is only inspiring when you do it with a log or being shaken on a boat by a short asian man. Why not a clown? Why is our heroin never running down the street carrying a clown on his back?
#8-The Disappointed Family Member - Maybe you prove them wrong in the end, or maybe they are just a lazy b**ch who is never thankful even though you bought them a house and can take their ass off welfare.
Bonus for them being proud in the end with clapping or showing up to the big game.
#9-The Frienemy – They hated you. They beat you up, they made fun of you, but dammit they lead that clap in the end and might just become your best friend.
#10- The Slow Clap - Gets me every time.
#11-The Move -You have to have a move or a moment in which you pull off something that makes no sense at all or is absolutely spectacular.
The best training movies ever
*Listed in no particular order, kind of.
(Feel free to list more than I have in the comments, but I if I get one “OMG WTF? Why didn’t you list this movie?! How could you list that one??” I am going to ban you for a year form my blog.)
1-Rocky (All of them)-It’s f**king Rocky. It literally has it all 11 principles of the training movie formula.
2-The Karate Kid 1-4 – You can’t tell me not to include the “Next Karate Kid.” It is as much Karate Kid as the others. There is even a gimp hawk, come on.
3-Million Dollar Baby – Probably one of the most dramatic and depressing training movies of them all. While I loved it on first watch, the next time I might hang myself with a catheter tube.
4-Rudy – If this movie doesn’t touch you then you are dead inside.
5-Hooisers – It almost sounds like hooters.
6-Lucas – The end all, to be all, of slow clap movies.
7-Peaceful Warrior – Nick Nolte’s beard alone should inspire greatness in yourself.
8-Enter the Dragon – “Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”
9-Remembering the Titans -Frienemies, the union of separate races, and trying to not be taken down by the man. What more do you want out of a football movie?
10-The Wrestler – When Bruce Springsteen does the theme song, you know it is going to be good.
11-Breaking Away – It’s the Outsiders, if they would have fought via a bike race and Johnny wouldn’t have died.
12-American Anthem – This movie makes no sense. There is no real order of sequence. However, there are flashbacks, tortured training moments, and so many list making moments that I would be punished to an eternity of mediocrity if I didn’t list this movie.
13-The Natural-There is a bat that is cut from a tree struck by lightening. Yeah like you are going to pass that up.
14-The Mighty Ducks – Quack, quack, quack, quack…
15-Pumping Iron – Granted this is a documentary and doesn’t technically fit a lot of criteria, or any, but I had to give something to the bodybuilding world.
16-Necessary Roughness – Slow motion jumping up and down has never been done better.
17-A League of Their Own – They timed his peeing.
18-Flashdance – You may be thinking that Flashdance doesn’t belong. I suggest you refer to the list and take stock of how difficult doing a jump spin is and call me in the morning. I wont pick up though.
19-Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken- She jumps a horse blind off of a tower into a small “bucket” of water. Blind.
20-Miracle – 1. It’s Disney and let’s be honest, they are the best at this. 2. It’s a true story. 3. Hockey movies bring it almost as much as football movies. Almost.
21-61 – Billy crystal can do more than just act and say “moo.”
22-Remo Williams, The Adventure Begins – The king of weird training.
23-Mystery, Alaska - Nothing better than the underdog nobodies playing the big bad professionals.
24-Bend it like beckham – “No one can bend it like beckham” sounds wrong to me.
25-Little Giants – There are few moments more precious than the allergy ridden snot bubble kid standing up with passion and proclaiming “Don’t you be talkin bout my mama!”
26-Only The Strong – “You don’t fool a man who was born in the worst LAMBARIOS of Rio De Jinero…..well see who the real maestre is in this neighborhood.” . Ba-na-na-way Ba-na-na-way-bah-na-na.
27-Goal – GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLL!
28-Invincible – Just when you think you aren’t going to be anybody in this world, you realize you are Mark Wahlberg.
29-Tin Cup - Do over!
30-Over the Top – Oh man, seriously. One of the finest pieces of cinematic history ever. If Kenny Loggins is singing your movie theme song, you are a stud.
31-White Palms – Little weird. No, a lot weird. Still it qualifies.
32-GirlFight – Gotta respect a woman who will deck you and then tell you she loves you.
33-Cool Runnings - Jamaica bobsled. Only a guy who was smoking a blunt and listening to Bob Marley thought that was a good idea. How about that for a cultural stereotype?
34-Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – While not the cliche that most of the others are, it is just so damn good.
35-Cinderella Man – Nothing gets to me more than a broke down and out boxer.
36-Bad News Bears – Walter Matthau is one of the best characters of all time.
37-SeaBiscuit – The trailer will make you cry. What does that say about the movie?
38-Major League – You can’t watch this movie without quoting every single line. PS- Don’t ever watch it edited for TV.
39-Cutting Edge – The Pamchenko
40-Never Back Down - Wow.
41-Sideout – Volleyball has never been this intense. No really, because it’s volleyball.
42-The Rocket – The name at first made me think of the Def Leppard song off of Hysteria. Curse of being a child of the 80′s.
43-You Got Served – Rich boy says, “You’re just mad… ’cause tonight you suckas got served!”
44-No retreat, No surrender – Van Damme. With a name like that you were destined for this role.
45-YoungBlood – “To the game and getting out of this hick town! Thank God there is a sport for middle-sized white boys.”
Before starting any new diet and exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them before beginning. I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. I do not claim to cure any cause, condition or disease. I do not provide medical aid or nutrition for the purpose of health or disease and claim to be a doctor or dietitian. This is merely an opinion blog. Read full disclaimer here - http://www.leighpeele.com/disclaimer