By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
Well, it’s 2010, and in a few weeks thousands of athletes from around the world will converge in Canada for the Winter Olympics. To get you in the mood, here are a few of my favorite Winter Olympics films:
“Downhill Racer” — Released in 1969, director Michael Ritchie’s first movie contains some of the best skiing sequences ever captured on film. Robert Redford stars (in one of his first leading roles) as David Chappellet, an ambitious (and often unlikeable) skier who will do anything to win the gold. Gene Hackman co-stars as the long-suffering coach who must not only try to raise money to support the underdog American team, but also keep his prima donna skier on a short leash.
“Cool Runnings” — Seriously, how could I NOT include this classic 1993 comedy about the real-life 1988 Jamaican bobsled team? John Candy stars as a down-on-his-luck coach who finds a chance at redemption by training a group of guys who had never even seen snow to compete in the Winter Olympics. “Cool Runnings” is funny, heartwarming and most of all, one of Candy’s last and best films.
“Miracle” (2004) — Kurt Russell stars as Herb Brooks, the coach of the “Miracle on Ice” U.S. men’s hockey team that won the gold at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. Following a brutal 10-3 loss against the Soviet team in an exhibition match, the U.S. team is considered overwhelming underdogs at the upcoming Winter Olympics. But through great coaching and sheer force of will, Brooks brings the team together to create the biggest upset in sporting history.
“The Cutting Edge” (1992) — Yeah, I know: Chick flicks about prima donna ice skaters are a dime a dozen, but this one starring Moira Kelly and D.B. Sweeney is actually rather good. Kelly plays Kate Mosely, a wealthy and spoiled Olympic skater who has a second shot at Olympic gold, but goes through partners like a stoner goes through nachos. Sweeney is Doug Dorsey, an injured Olympic hockey player who has lost his chance at going pro and is looking for a new shot at being a champion. After being paired together by her coach, this unlikely duo must learn to work with each other if their dreams of finding glory (and dare I say, LOVE?) are to come true.
“Chuck” The Complete Second Season
“Big Love” The Complete Third Season
“SuperFriends” Season One, Vol. One
“Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures” The Complete Series
“The Philanthropist” The Complete Series
“Kendra” The Complete First Season
“American Experience: The 1930s”
“Burn Notice” Season 1 & 2 Set
“Ghost Hunters: The Best of Ghost Hunters”
© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.