Tag: Sports

Early Man

By all means, tell me that the movie is done by the people who did Wallace and Gromit. Yes I will watch it every time. I won’t always like it, but I respect it enough to give it the shot it deserves. It’s very weird, very British shot.

So why not Early Man, which is going to combine cave man jokes with very British football jokes. Ones I probably wont even fully understand.

And the best news about it is that the cast only has 3 or 4 recognizable names. They are giving roles to actual voice actors, instead of just laying us down with 40 celebrities, some which probably would have only had five or so lines.

Lava is always a nice bonus, in any movie, regardless of context.

A long time ago, dinosaurs! Also this movie is saying cave people. Let’s let it slide. Meteor wipes them all out, not the people somehow. They find the hot meteor left over that created a giant valley, where it is really hot, so they decide to kick it to each other. They invent the game of football, get really happy, and live their lives in the valley.

Now, some time later, we can meet our new crew of cave people. They don’t know soccer anymore, they are relatively stupid as well. Dug (Eddie Redmayne) is young and a thinker, but the rest of the crew are content. They are content until some mammoths with armor come trampling in, as the rest of the world has decided to stop by and say hello. They are stone age cave people meeting for the first time a bronze age civilization, who is intent on mining out their secret valley for minerals, and letting them die.

Thanks to Dug who infiltrates their society, he learns that they play this game of football on the grand, coliseum like scale. This is their main religion! The only way they can probably get out of their jam and get their home back is by challenging their champions to a game. Dug saw these football paintings on their walls, but they never knew what it meant. But if their ancestors played the game, then they probably can figure it out as well!

Also starring Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall, Richard Ayoade, Miriam Margolyes, Nick Park, Rob Brydon, Johnny Vegas, Selina Griffiths, Simon Greenall, Gina Yashere, and Kayvan Novak.

With that much armor, this thing looks a lot more like…football, than football.

Early Man is one of those basic “ragtag team of misfits pull together to do a sport thing better than professionals, due to teamwork, friendship, and shenanigans!” You know the kind. Despite being the type of thing that we have seen before, Early Man still manages to bring something new to the table.

It has a lot of tiny jokes throughout, a lot of puns they worked towards. And yes, there are some modern British football jokes that mostly would have flown over my head. But I got one or two.

The characters are likable. The caveman crew has a lot of complete characters, who have their individual good jokes or moments to shine. I don’t feel like we only have a few supporting people. The whole crew got to feel supporting, always a great thing in a movie like this.

This is not going to be a game changing animated film. But it is still really well done, at points clever, and tells a fun story. Hell, even the final soccer match seems to deviate away from the norm for these sorts of things. Still some surprised out there for everyone.

3 out of 4.


Urine has always been an attention grabbing headline. Whether it relates to the president peeing in some sexual act in Russia, or R. Kelly peeing on a fan who isn’t at the age of consent to be peed on.

People love hearing pee stories, because people generally love peeing, it makes sense.

But people were quite upset at Lance Armstrong when his pee story hit the news. Everything was a lie, nothing was sacred, and all of those drug tests he passed could not detect his doping problems. Fuck.

What now? Are all professional dopers just waiting to get caught? (Yes). And should we care? (Eh, maybe not?). Bryan Fogel, who you definitely do not know, is an amateur bicyclist who went and did a big hard race in France that lasted only a short amount of days. His goal was to top 100 and he ended up in the top 20, but he was playing against basic machines. People who should have been pro.

So he wanted to find out if he could beat the drug tests, if he should take steroids since “Everyone does it” and if it was known out there how to do it. He didn’t call it Icarus for that reason, but for the other reasons that will maybe be made apparent.

It took him some time to find someone to help him, but eventually he found Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, a Russian scientist. He was very interested in doing tests with Fogel, telling him exactly what to do, when to pee, and how they might try and beat the system. And then, a lot more started to happen.

Look at all this urine! Hooray science!

You see, Dr. Rodchenkov was in charge of the Russian center for testing for drugs for their athletes. He had a long storied career, working around the world, and he was in charge in Russia for a bit now. And it was coming out, rumors, that the entire Russian Olympic program was doping, sponsored by the Russian government. Oh shit!

This is news that would affect the 2016 Olympics! And other programs. But it didn’t happen, and Rodchenkov was feeling breathes down his back in Russia. So he got out of town, joined Fogel in America, to go into basic hiding. He then told his story to the New York Times and the FBI. And the rest is history.

Just kidding, the rest is still getting started, what with the Russian ban in the 2018 Winter Olympics and all.

Fuck! I love the Olympics, and it is crazy that something like this can actually come to the forefront after all these years. I am talking decades, especially when there was talk of them doing it when they were the USSR. All of my pop culture knowledge has brought me to this moment and it just makes since. We had to know it from Rocky IV, right?

This is one of those documentaries that just feels so lucky. Fogel started it with one purpose, and it grew into something so much larger. It is just so goddamn lucky. It starts off strong with good ideas, and builds into something so complex and politically wonderful. In fact, we need an Icarus 2 in some years just to see what came of everything. Solid documentary, overall.

3 out of 4.

Goon: Last of the Enforcers

I. Love. Goon.

I did not do a best of list of 2011, but if I did, Goon would have certainly been on in it. It was such a surprise of a film. I don’t except a lot out of hockey movies, nor do I expect a lot out of Seann William Scott films, but something magical came together to give a movie that was hilarious, brutal, but still full of heart at the same time. And it told a different sort of hockey story. A different sort of underdog.

It was the perfect storm.

And then they said there would be a sequel. This time it would be written and directed by Jay Baruchel who wrote the first film. It would be Goon: Last of the Enforcers and it would come out eventually.

So it took six years yes. And Canada had it released in theaters briefly in March with no knowledge of when it would come to America, theatrically, DVD, or otherwise. And at some point it was just here, I saw the Blu-Ray at used movie store. I freaked out, excited, and scared.

As much as I loved Goon, I had big fears that a sequel would just be utter shit, as a lot of comedy sequels tend to do.

Turning the whole thing from a comedy into a romance is a bold choice as well.

Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is ready to start a new season as a Halifax Highlander, but with a big change. He is going to be the captain. This upcoming season is a bit of a weird one, as there is a lockout in the NHL, so more and better players are in their league than normal and people are actually noticing them for once, including the media. They have a new owner, Hyrum Cain (Callum Keith Rennie) a former player himself.

During their first game, Glatt gets into a bloody fight with Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell), an up and coming violent winner, and yes, son of their new owner. Glatt gets his ass handed to him and his right arm injured, putting him out potentially for good. His right hand is so messed up, if he fights again, it will quickly get fractured and fuck it up permanently.

So Glatt is ready to retire on that note. Eva (Alison Pill), his now wife, is also pregnant and worried about him, so he gets a steady job in some insurance company. He hangs his skates up for his family, as the Highlanders begin to lose and lose. The owner makes changes that seem to threaten the franchise and the careers of his friends. That is not good. There is no way Glatt could come back, right? Not with an inability to fight. He would just have to be a player mostly. It might be crazy enough to work…

Also returning are basically everyone from before: Marc-Andre Grondlin, Liev Schreiber, Kim Coates, Jay Baruchel, Jonathan Cherry, George Tchortov, Karl Graboshas, Trent Pardy, and Richard Clark. It also brings in Elisha Cuthbert and T.J. Miller!

New Guy
New guy definitely wins the beard game if anything.

A lot of the same happens in the Goon sequel, thankfully. We still have the locker room playful banter that makes up a decent portion of the original. A lot of the skaters are the same. The old captain has retired and is now just a coach, along with the same old coach as well. Just a new owner, a new player, and the same supporting cast.

Pill’s character has changed for the worse. She is worried about her husband, and pregnant, but she really doesn’t get to have a lot of good moments unlike the first film. She rocked originally when she was a hot mess, but I guess it is development. Glatt feels like the same old character, which feels great, although the time between the films is a bit up in the air. I definitely enjoyed seeing Rhea in a roll that felt natural as well.

Unfortunately, Russell’s new antagonist, though threatening, was all over the place. They tried to place it all under just anger issues, but it is really hard to understand him as a person, and feels like he would just do what a writer wants, not like how an actual person might react.

Jokes are still there, they just didn’t hit as hard. Some really funny moments, but I have already forgotten basically every best moment, unlike the best moments from Goon which I have quoted for years.

All in all, it is just an okay film. It won’t tarnish the memory of the first film, but also, it is one I won’t ever need to go back and see again. Oh well. Just don’t make it a trilogy and end it poorly.

2 out of 4.

Tour De Pharmacy

A couple years ago, I saw an ad for 7 Days in Hell while using HBO and I was instantly drawn in. I had to watch that movie RIGHT AWAY and review it ASAP. It looked magicial, and really, it was.

I didn’t know it was so short, only 40 minutes. I didn’t know it was to poke fun at the ESPN documentary series. But I went in, it was short, but I still called it a film and had an okay review.

And now years later, I saw an ad for Tour De Pharmacy. This time I was older, a bit wiser, a bit smarter, and a bit less repetitive. I knew what I was getting in to, and thus I was excited. Why can’t lightning hit twice?

And look, we have more athletes now than a single tennis match!

Tour De Pharmacy tells the story of the 1982 Tour De France, and all of the bizarre happenings that occurred during the race. Including the first time that someone died on the race!

Due to plot reasons, a lot of bicyclists in the race ended up getting eliminated really early on, as it turned out they paid bribes in order to avoid being drug tested. Like, a lot, a lot. As in, only five bikers remained.

We had Slim Robinson (Daveed Diggs / Danny Glover), nephew of Jackie Robinson, who wanted to be the first black athlete in some sport, so he was the first black athlete to compete in the Tour De France! There was Adriana Baton (Freddie Highmore / Julia Ormond), the first woman to compete in the race, but no one knew it at the time, as she pretended to be a man in order to qualify. There is also Marty Hass (Andy Samberg / Jeff Goldbloom), who is actually the first African to compete in the race. Yes he is white, and was an aristocrat, and it pisses off a lot of people that he has taken that first away.

The other two members of the pack were Juju Pepe (Orlando Bloom), a native Frenchman and actual famous bike rider, and Gustav Ditters (John Cena / Dolph Lundgren), a giant muscle man who didn’t fit the normal physiques that one would expect from a bicyclist. Along for the ride is Rex Honeycut (James Marsden), a journalist who will bike alongside the pack, in order to give in person interviews as the race happens!

This also features a slew of other actors, some playing themselves, to tell the story of the 1982 Tour De France: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kevin Bacon, Lance Armstrong, Maya Rudolph, Mike Tyson, Will Forte, and narrated by Jon Hamm.

The more arm muscles have, the faster you go on a bike. It’s fucking science!

If you liked 7 Days in Hell, you will like this movie! If you didn’t, you won’t. Pretty simple. Of course, a whole mess of you might not have seen the first one, so I still have to talk.

Honestly, this is just an absurd parody movie, I love it. It is short, so some of their jokes and moments don’t ever get to go into depth, and that is probably where it excels. After all, there is only so much stupid stuff they can throw in it before a viewer might get tired of it all. I think it was just the right length and zany to amuse the shit out of me, possible amuse the shit out of me over multiple viewings.

Now, despite that? Yeah, there are still some dull parts as well. The film even comments on it, as there were long boring stretches in the actual race that caused viewership to drop tremendously, in the fictional recounting. Making it meta and commenting on the progressiveness however, still didn’t do it for me.

Also, well fucking done Lance Armstrong. His role as hidden informant was a joke that just kept on giving, it surprisingly never got stale. All of the cameos were pretty funny.

Tour De Pharmacy is a relatively smart and quick laugh thrill ride, with only a few moments of slowed traffic to catch your breath.

3 out of 4.


The show Chuck had a magnificent run of five seasons. It is incredible, because it had piss poor live ratings, despite a thriving fan community. It was a nerdy action comedy, a genre that doesn’t get a whole lot of love, especially on the TV.

I am glad it didn’t end too soon, but it is good to see it finally getting a movie as an add on.

Oh wait, shit. This movie, Chuck, is about something completely unrelated. And it was originally called The Bleeder. Well fuck, that sounds like a better title, and a title that wont get me super pumped up on Zachary Levi first. And it is a true story.

Well, I assume whoever this Chuck guy is, he better not secretly also be a spy.

I wonder why it might have been called The Bleeder.

Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber) from Bayonne, New Jersey, was a boxer, but it didn’t pay the bills. He had odd jobs, and selling liquor. But he was still a boxer first, he was known for surviving a long time in fights. He could really take a punch to the head. He was also nicknamed the Bayonne Bleeder, on account of how easy it was for his head to bleed, but he hated that nickname. He had fought against George Foreman and other notables, but he was finally getting on a hot streak.

Another person getting on a hot streak was Muhammad Ali (Pooch Hall), who just won the heavyweight champion title against the odds. And against even more odds, Don King wanted Ali to fight a white man, and Wepner was the highest ranked white heavyweight white man, so he got the gig. He was getting paid a lot less than Ali, but it was a lot of money from a bloke from Jersey, and he finally got to train full time.

But his bout with Ali was just the beginning. After that, he became a pseudo celebrity. And he even had a movie made about him. You may have heard about it? It was called Rocky, don’t cha know.

Ron Perlman played his manager/trainer, Elisabeth Moss was Wepner’s wife, Jim Gaffigan was his best friend, and Naomi Watts was his life. Also Jason Jones as another friend and Morgan Spector as young Sylvester Stallone.

“Eeyyy yo, Chuckie! I made some money!”

Chuck Wepner seems like a really interesting person. You gotta be built a certain way to just take a lot of punches and he used that to his advantage. He has a good story, and the story we were given broke the mold a bit. Because this is a boxing movie with arguably, not a lot of boxing. The fight with Ali was done with about 2/3 of the movie left to go, and the fight wasn’t done to showcase the excitement of boxing. It was just another part of the film.

No the real story of the movie is his life before and after the fight. And it got a little bit meta feeling, which I understand is the wrong word, when Rocky came out and how that changed Wepner’s life. I mean, we had a guy playing Stallone in this film, the production of Rocky 2 and more. We got to see his hard times, his bad personal life, and more. So it was bio drama first, then boxing movie second.

The first third of the movie was great, if not pretty standard. I will note after the Ali fight the film seemed to drag a bit more and I had no idea where it was going throughout it. Some okay moments, but they harped on a few of them just way too long. But the acting was fine, and they did a good job of trying to make everyone uglier to better represent New Jersey.

And overall, seeing Schreiber in this role felt really good. But what this movie really made me wonder is when the fuck will Goon: Last of the Enforcers come to America?

2 out of 4.

The Business of Amateurs

For those avid readers of Gorgon Reviews, you might think this documentary sounds familiar. Well, first of all, thank you to the three of you. Second of all, you are thinking about Schooled: The Price of College Sports, which was about the exploitation of college athletes for profit.

This is The Business of Amateurs, which is about the exploitation of college athletes for profit and other reasons!

Now obviously this is a subject I am already immensely passionate about it. I have gotten into arguments about it in real life. I have even read a book on the subject, which is a big commitment for me. There is no good reason for people to be brought to colleges, controlled 100% of their time, make the college millions, while not earning a livable wage, getting educated, or being able to have other jobs or use their success for their gain.

And yeah, The Business of Amateurs is another documentary about the subject. But like I said, it is different. It is more than just the moral reasons why people shouldn’t be exploited that way. They go into some science. And the documentary is written, directed, and narrated by Bob DeMars, a former college football player, so it is also a bit more personal.

Business of Amateurs
Looking closely at the cover, I found myself a little bit moved.

Remember the movie Concussion? The film that was supposed to shake the NFL and bring the truth, but was extremely watered down, if not well acted? Well, this documentary goes a lot into health as well.

We have players who are not making money, who have to practice daily for hours, play in games, hitting their head over and over again. The majority of them are not going to the NFL, will not be making big bucks, and they are potentially setting themselves up for brain damage, depression, and a young death.

Couple that with scholarships that can be taken away if you are injured, and you got a system that cares not at all for the athletes that show up. They drop you as soon as you are hurt, and won’t help you when you have bigger problems in the future for work you did for them.

But I don’t want to get too specific into all of the details.

This documentary has a lot of interesting information and I don’t want to go over all of it. I clearly loved it, but it had some minor issues. It is very clearly an amateur film (about amateurs!), some scenes aren’t well polished, some just scream out indie. This is only important in that other scenes are very well, so the disconnect is felt as it goes back and forth.

Additionally, the documentary doesn’t talk about sports outside of Football and Basketball, the big money earners. We get to hear about how some real life athletes outside of the top two are affected after their education, but they don’t go into how those programs are funded and how they could survive if the players earned some damn income relative to the income they bring in. It was more noticeable thanks to going to the NCAA museum where they showed many sports, but again, didn’t really talk about them.

Either way, this is another documentary, and many more people, explaining why the current system is fucked up, and maybe, eventually, more people will realize it.

3 out of 4.

My All American

My All American is one of those films that came out in 2015 that I just flat out avoided. Football films have been extremely disappointing lately. Heck, for quite a few years I guess. After the extreme disappointment that was When The Game Stands Tall I knew I couldn’t see another one in theaters for some time.

On top of that, Aaron Eckhart has also been equally disappointing, almost entirely, since The Dark Knight. Dude needs to step up his game, I am tired of being let down.

According to IMDB, this movie is actually called Courage. I just have not heard that said about it in any other context, except for it being a big part of a title of one of the many books on this subject. Fucking IMDB, stop being weird.

Hand Jobby?
There is no way this image is not a hand job. Can they show this in a family movie?

This is a true story of course, and of course, some of this is a bit unbelievable.

Despite the billing, it is about Freddie Steinmark (Finn Wittrock), a boy with a lot of heart. But you knew that, why else would he get his own movie? He is a smaller guy, like Rudy, sure, but he gives it his all, he is super fast, and smart on the defense. He is a safety, and fantastic. But because of his size, no one gives him a chance. Except for one guy, Coach Royal (Aaron Eckhart), at the University of Texas. The Longhorns.

He sees his drive. And he also has a friend, Bobby Mitchell (Rett Terrell) who might come by as well. A nice two for one.

Well, sure enough, Freddie becomes their main defensive player. He is on the highlight reels. He is top form. He wants a national championship. And he might be able to force his body to go places no single human body should go. But will he become an All American? That is really what is important. He won’t. Nope. Sorry. But they let you know that one right away.

His parents are played by Michael Reilly Burke and Robin Tunney, girlfriend by Sarah Bolger, and other quarterbacks are played by Juston Street and Donny Boaz.

Old Dudes
Holy shit, is everyone on this college football team a guy in their thirties?

Heart. Drive. Inspiration. I already made the Rudy connection, but apparently Steinmark was a bit better than Rudy. Rudy got to play one game, because he was willing to practice so hard and make it his one goal. Steinmark had family support since he was kid to be the very best and it actually showed, despite his size. Steinmark helped championship games get won and rivalries get stomped down.

My All American is better than it has any right to be. It is more or less a by the numbers inspirational sports film. It is PG, it shows mostly just some personal struggle, and it is about an optimist. It has a lot of really easy material to pluck from to get people nostalgic and tearjerking. In fact, by the end it feels like it is trying to hard just to get some cries out. Did I cry? Yes, but only like half of a cry. It didn’t fully get to me, despite giving its best.

The film is also surprisingly well shot. You can generally tell what is going on during the plays, everything looks really nice and you can tell that someone wanted to put their best foot forward for the film. In terms of acting, most of the side characters are understandably average, being reduced to mostly one or two bit players. But Wittrock as our lead was a joy to watch and is the type of lead you want in a sports bio pic like this one.

My All American won’t be for everyone. In fact, I probably won’t watch it ever again unlike what I do almost bimonthly for Remember the Titans. But it was a better effort than recent fair and hopefully means we can get some better football movies in the pipeline soon.

2 out of 4.

Everybody Wants Some!!

Despite my many claims to be in love with Richard Linklater (damn the Before trilogy, making me melt like butter), I actually haven’t seen a lot of his work. Meaning for the most part, his older work has evaded me.

Yes, that includes Dazed and Confused. I know, I know. I such. And yes, it is free on Amazon Prime right now. I still haven’t gotten around to it. The only reason I bring it up is that I heard this film, Everybody Wants Some!! is a spiritual successor to Dazed and Confused. It has none of the same characters, but it is set in the 1980’s instead of the 70’s, and college instead of high school.

See! That’s all that matters right? I am totally ready for a movie that is confident enough to have two exclamation points in its title, with neither of them representing musical status. (Yes, I understand the Van Halen song title connection too, I’m hip guys!).

I’m so hip I want to point out the man nipples on the left. You’re welcome.

Summer is over, it is 1980, and it is time for college. Our main character is Jake (Blake Jenner), a hot shot pitcher from his high school team. He picked this made up Texas college because they are amazing at baseball, and he wants to win and join the MLB. In fact, the team lives together in a couple houses off campus, perfect for partying and beers. His roommate Billy (Will Brittain) is obsessed with his girlfriend at home, constantly on the phone, also a freshman pitcher.

It should be noted there are no baseball games here. This is the fall, baseball is played in spring. Hell, there is barely baseball practice yet. In this film we get like, one practice and that is it.

This film is about athletic dudes, being in college, being bros, and having fun. And a shit ton of hazing, mini-competitions, partying, looking for girls, general house issues and so on and so on.

And of course it features a huge cast. We have smooth talking Finnegan (Glen Powell), philosophizing Willoughby (Wyatt Russell), ultra competitive McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin), Roper (Ryan Guzman), and Dale (J. Quinton Johnson). Also a few ladies, Zoey Deutch and Dora Madison.

But also a lot more dudes. Like Tanner Kalina, Austin Amelio, Temple Baker, Juston Street, and Forrest Vickery. And more, but I am tired of linking them.

Several sweet stashes exist in every scene, seriously.

It is really dang hard to talk about just what in the hell Everybody Wants Some!! is about. Thankfully, it isn’t that hard to talk about why the movie is good.

First up, the guys had a lot of personality. Everyone was different, but everyone felt real. I was excited to see Powell and Jenner as major roles as well. Powell played Chad in Scream Queens season 1 and was arguably the best character ever made. Jenner was the winner of season 2 of The Glee Project, which was a reality show to get on Glee, became a main character and apparently is in fucking movies now. Crazy. Jenner did a fine job, Powell was fantastic. Russell also played a wonderful character with an amusing plot line.

The film itself is also decently funny. Again, it is almost entirely just shenanigans between teammates. Hanging out, shooing the shit, hitting the bong, whatever you wanna call it. Just people existing.

It can be a sports movie without really any sports it turns out. It can be a good film despite having no reason to even exist. This is a definition of a “fun” movie for me. Not exploding action blockbusters, which have tons of problems and a bad plot. But a film like this where it is just about fun. And Everybody Wants to have Fun. (Sure, also it can be pretty sexist, but it is going for accuracy of the time, not a statement of how people should behave).

3 out of 4.

Never Back Down: No Surrender

I have still never seen the UFC themed movie Never Back Down. I barely even know it exists.

But I did watch the sequel, Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown. When I rented it from Blockbuster (old movie alert), I didn’t see the 2 on the title, just saw that Michael Jai White was involved (and it was his first time directing!) and decided to give it a shot. I don’t think I needed to see the first film to get it, so all was well.

And now, years later, we have Never Back Down: No Surrender, the third awaited Never Back Down film. This one is starring and directed again by Michael Jai White, only his second time at the head of a movie.

And again, that is why I am watching this movie. White makes me excited, what can I say?

Has Michael Jai White ever turned down a role that lets him take his shirt off? I think not.

The third film takes place some amount of time after the last film, and things are different now. I think. Case Walker (Michael Jai White) is thinking about getting back into the ring and slumming it out on his own. But that is ridiculous, he is a great fighter and shouldn’t be worried about minor scuffles.

He runs into an old friend, Brody James (Josh Barnett), who is an elite fighter as well and Brody convinces Case to join with his gym and get back into the big ring. So he does sure, no pressure.

Speaking of pressure, they decide to go to Thailand to train and fight. The PFC is holding their big match there in a month or so, James vs Caesar Braga (Nathan Jones), a scary looking man with anger issues and a criminal record. Of course! The whole thing is being promoted by the legendary Hugo Vega (Esai Morales), who cares only about profits. Hell, they even allow performance enhancing drugs in their league, no judgement.

And of course, Case is just there to help James train. He doesn’t care about getting on the ticket. But when people find out he is there, he gets popular again. They hear about how great of a fighter he still is. He gets a viral video. So things begin to happen to get him on in the ring as well, no matter who gets hurt along the way.

Also featuring Gillian White as our necessary love interest/publicist, Stephen Quadros as a trainer, Amarin Cholvibul, Dan Renalds, and JeeJa Yanin as lesser fighters in the gym, and Sahajak Boonthanakit as the only press person to talk.

That dude is like a head taller than the other dude. That is a head worth of ‘roids.

Never Back Down: No Surrender is not going to win any awards. It won’t be nominated for awards either, unless there are UFC film awards, because I don’t know how many of those come out in a year. This film is not the amazing, wonderful, tear inducing, Warrior. No, this is the third film in a straight to DVD UFC series.

So by its own standards, it is just going for some entertainment, with some decent fights. The fights are decent, and the entertainment is also light. That’s right, just light entertainment.

If the movie was less serious or more comedic, then I probably would have thought it was okay. The way our main character got out of a serious conundrum by the end was pretty smart, but still feels disingenuous at the same time. Our hero was against the fight he was forced to take and didn’t want to do it. But he ends up still doing it, just in a weird way. It gives the film a final fight that they advertise on the cover and poster, but in reality, it shouldn’t have happened at all.

I can honestly say I don’t remember a lot about the last movie. But I remember smiling more and thinking it was at least fun. This one was just mostly awkward, with some bad acting and an occasional decent to watch fight.

1 out of 4.

Eddie The Eagle

Eddie The Eagle is one of those movies that I heard was coming out, I wanted to see, and then never saw. I know I know, it happens all the time, but usually I at least manage to see the movies that interest me.

Fun fact about watching the movie. Well, fun to me. The entire time, despite knowing the actual actors name, I assumed it was Emile Hirsch. The problem is that I could not remember Emile Hirsch’s name, but assumed it was very close to Taron Edgerton. They don’t really look alike, have no where similar names, but I finished the film thinking “Man, that guy from Prince Avalanche sure did nail it!”

It is one of the strangest mix ups I have ever experienced, so strange that I decided to write about it in the intro of a movie review.

“What is this, a ski jump arena for ANTS?”

Eddie Edwards (Taron Edgerton, not anyone else) always wanted to go to the Olympics when he was a boy. He was kind of nerdy, but he had a goal and put his mind to it. He just wasn’t very athletic. He tried so many types of Olympic actives but always came up short. His mum (Jo Hartley) encouraged him to reach for the stars, but his dad (Keith Allen) eventually got sick of it, wanted him to end his obsession and to focus on getting a job and an income. And then Eddie decided he was doing it all wrong. He should train for the Winter Olympics instead.

So Eddie learns to ski and heck, he becomes pretty good at it too. He gets decently fast, but he still doesn’t qualify for the British Olympic team. Partially because they think he is a weird guy and not “Olympic Athlete” material. You know, he is quirky. An embarrassment. So what does Eddie do? He finds a new thing to try. Olympic Ski Jumping. If he can learn how to jump and reach a certain distance, then he can qualify for the Olympics on his own, standards be damned!

Which is why Eddie heads to Germany to a Ski Jumping school. If he can learn to jump quickly, he can participate in a competition, qualify, and still make it to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics! Yes, those Winter Olympics. The same ones that featured the Jamaican Bobsled team. And sure, he finds a gruff but eventually lovable coach (Hugh Jackman) and is faced with the fact that most jumpers start training when they are 6 and not when they are in their 20’s. But damn it, this is his best chance at going to the Olympics and he won’t let anything stop him!

Also starring Edvin Endre, Rune Temte, Iris Berben, Jim Broadbent, and Christopher Walken.

Yeah, technically this is not how an Eagle would fly. But if an eagle had Skis, maybe they would!

I am only human. That means I like to be inspired every once in awhile, and hell, I can find a sports movie inspiring as well. I love the classics but I have found lately that sports movies are trying to hard for inspiration and forcing too many changes into the story. Only a movie studio can take an amazing 100+ game winning streak and lie about everything after the team finally lost and think its a good idea. I’ve been needing something greater than Spare Parts or McFarland, USA or Million Dollar Arm to really get me going.

Thankfully, Eddie the Eagle had everything I wanted and fulfilled something missing in me for years. Hell, I felt inspired just six minutes into the movie. A lot of credit needs to go to the sound and music team. I don’t know what inspired the music, but the tune throughout the film just made me feel like I could do anything.

And heck, the movie is about a guy that constantly got shit upon by others. Especially those in charge. No one wanted him to succeed and constantly they blocked his attempts to go to the Olympics. But he made it. Did he medal? Nope. Did he do his best? You betcha! And he broke records too. Mostly because no one before him had really Ski Jumped in GB since the 1920s.

And what confused me the most after the film ended is that it DIDN’T give me a nice blurb about what ended up happening with Eddie after the Olympics. That is because the Olympics changed their rules to make people like Eddie ineligible for the Olympics in future years. Basically, modern Olympic people don’t know how to have fun and are jerk faces. But I had to learn that on my own.

Egerton was wonderful as the lead and I just wanted to hug him the whole film. This is a drastically different role than the one he played in Kingsman, so I am now excited to see where Egerton takes his career outside of that franchise. The guy can act.

Fly like and Eddie the Eagle. Do it or live in regret the rest of your life.

4 out of 4.