Not too long ago in a discussion with my friends about what movie to go see, one suggested Pitch Perfect 2, and thus argument arose. I have nothing against Pitch Perfect, however it isn't exactly the kind of movie that a group of guys would go see just to see it (not trying to be ignorant and offensive, everyone has their own taste). He presented his argument, saying the first one was a good movie (a valid opinion), but what really brought the elephant into the room is when he compared it to Miracle (2004), a film centered around the Men's National Hockey Team of 1980 and an essential piece of American culture and pride. Our men's hockey team defied the odds and defeated the Russian (Soviet) National Team shocking the world. When I asked my friend in what possible way would arguably one of the greatest displays of the honor in American sport could compare to a group of gals who sang, I received:
"Ragtag team of misfits go against professionalism "
which was probably the best, quick-witted retort I could ever be presented with for the matter. But I thought deeper into the subject, could this be what all movies that feature competition be like?
Off the top of my head, I can think of two monumental films that negate that statement. Remember the Titans (2000) did portray the "team of misfits go against professionals" motif, however the larger and most important characteristic of the film was playing as one unit when the world wished to be separated, 42 could also be included in this situation. The Blind Side (2009) was a touching story and did not allude the generalized motif. A man who had nothing became great with the help of a generous family and slowly overcame the mental difficulties being a professional athlete presented. However, there are few movies like the two, and an abundance of sports movies that do showcase the motif. Invictus (2009) could be considered on both sides of the argument, because the plot is essentially the same as the given motif, however the main idea was about how the protagonist derived his inspiration and learned how to captain his team to greatness from Nelson Mandela.
"Ragtag team of misfits go against professionals" is premise for maybe every single comedic sports films. Movies like The Longest Yard, Dodge-ball, Crooked Arrows, and Goon (a personal favorite of mine) are very much alike in terms of the plot. Why are these movies still being made? Regardless of what sport the film features or what actor the film features--any sports movie is guaranteed to do one thing: send chills down your spine and make you feel like doing something awesome. Whether by way of deep, make your emotions go insane quote (like the one above), or just by the happy ending, you are inspired.
I guess in a way Pitch Perfect could be considered among those kinds of films. I don't recall any necessarily impactful quotes, however one thing I can recall is one of the girls lying down in a puddle of puke (which is the primary reason I can never watch Pitch Perfect again), but if the movie inspired you, wonderful! The impact sports movies have is the reason why they belong in the movie industry. They might not always be the highest grossing film in the box office for the week but these movies are still crucial to the entertainment field. Lets look at other inspirational moments in movie history that might've inspired the viewers:
- Superhero films: whether it be Marvel or DC Universe there is some instance of reckless bravery that will appeal to everyone's emotions. Whether it be when Batman and Iron Man flew nuclear bombs away from the city, or when Thor destroys the Bifrost to save Asgard, something is being sacrificed for the good of the people for their lives.
- Military films: every known military film whether based on a true story or not will deepen your pride for the great U S of A and might even have some considering to enlist. When the Sargent uses his body to cover the grenade and save his men in Act of Valor you shed a tear, because you admire the sacrifice. You realize how impactful one decision can be. *This scene from Lone Survivor contains graphic content and language*
- Selfless Acts all around: Captain Kirk fixing the warp drive at his own expense, Cooper releasing himself from the Endurance so that Dr. Brand could make the trip, Cobb going back to limbo to save Tadashi, the list is infinite. All of these moments made me want to hop out of my seat and go looking for a life to save!
So where do sports films come into play? They present a realistic and appealing way to have an impact on any given group of people. There's a way to feel significant without saving lives and putting your life on the line, and it's as easy to attain by just going outside. Sports films showcase struggles but better yet they show how one can overcome struggle, they teach you to defy the odds and carpe diem. It's a constant reminder that you as an individual can affect others around you in a positive manner. A less discussed aspect of every sports film is how the companionship appeals to us. Any girl or boy can be appealed to any group of comrades, whether it be Cohle and Hart from True Detective, or Batman and Superman on the Season 2 finale of Justice League Unlimited. The feeling of companionship is strong, its even affecting me in thought as I think of my closest friends. We decided to put together a horrible, horrible documentary style film about our friend named Chickenhead. Yes, that's right, Chickenhead. It's a very playful video, and you are feeling contempt enough to support the video, you can check it out here. *It is explicit and please refrain from harassing the channel with negativity, this was all in good fun*
Now, don't take me the wrong way--some things are not meant to be used as inspiration. Don't rob banks because Mark Wahlberg pulled it off in the Italian Job, however awesome it was.
So the overall message and the true purpose of this article, no matter where I veered off to, is to show that a common factor in all good movies is that they stimulate a sense inside of you and appeals to a subliminal conscious factor that you want to have significance in the world, you want to feel appreciated and belonged. They show that no matter what is sacrificed something has been impacted positively, and this scene from Interstellar accentuates that perfectly (you'll know exactly what line I'm talking about). :)
*Cue chills down spine again* *cue teary eyes*
Which film moment/quote was the most inspiring to you?
Thank you for reading this article and my others! I had no idea I would be receiving this kind of recognition when I started off here, with the utmost gratitude for you all I hope to continue writing for you! Check out my other articles here, and feel free to let me know what you think!