Something for Joey – the true-life story of 1973 Heisman
Trophy winner John Cappelletti. When he wins the trophy, he dedicates
the trophy to his little brother, Joey, who has leukemia and is not
going to survive. The ending is extremely emotional. I remember seeing
this movie on TV when I was in the ninth grade in the late seventies.
It bowled me over. A few years ago I searched the Internet to find it
for my sports-crazed sons, but no copies were available. I searched
again this past year, and I found one. I watched it a few days after
Christmas with my sons. You know what? It still bowled me over. Even
better, I know it bowled them over, too. A sports movie that reminds us
that life is about much more than playing games. (This is also a book.)
Miracle – the story of the 1980 U.S. hockey team. Need I
say more? Still sends chills up my spine. Or is it down my spine. Oh,
well, there were goose bumps on my spine, okay. Kurt Russell does a
fabulous job as the coach. There is one part where it shows a montage
of different scenes, and the audio for the scenes (gas lines, etc.) is
President Carter’s voice as he gives an address to the nation; this
speech brought a lump to my throat. I remember that time so well (the
hostages in Iran, etc.), and his words about America touched me deeply.
October Sky – This movie has some bad language here and
there, but if you think your son can handle it, it’ll be a movie he’ll
never forget. Or you either. This is the true story of Homer Hickam
(gotta do something about that name) and his supposedly out-of-reach
dream of building rockets and working for NASA. He pursues his dream
against the will of his loving but tough father who wants him to be a
coal miner like him. For family reasons, Homer does have to spend some
time working in the West Virginia coal mines, and it is absolutely
soul-wrenching when the camera shows Homer getting on the elevator
shaft to take him down below the ground, while he gazes up into the
bright nighttime stars until they are out of sight. Also, there is a
nice scene in which we see the mother (of two boys by the way) painting
a mural on her kitchen wall, and we realize she has sacrificed dreams
of her own. I saw this one in the theatres three times I liked it so
much, and I rarely even get to the theater to see a movie once.
Beautifully written with outstanding performances from ALL the
actors/actresses. Has humor, too.
Remember the Titans – Based on another true story about
how a high school football coach pulls together a team of blacks and
whites and shows them how to work together. Great soundtrack. Wonderful
performance by Denzel Washington, as usual. The only weak point of this
movie’s plot is that the player who is paralyzed at the end doesn’t
seem to be very affected by his misfortune.
James Bond movies – My oldest son has loved these movies
since he was about nine or so. He collects James Bond memorabilia and
reads James Bond books. He simply likes the whole spy theme. I’ve
watched a few, and some of them are suspenseful. Of course, James Bond
is a womanizer, and there are sexually-suggestive scenes.
Brian’s Song – Another true-life movie about two pro
football players – one black, one white, and their close friendship
that develops. The white one- Brian Piccolo, played by James Caan, dies
of cancer at the end, and Gayle Sayers played by Billy Dee Williams
gives a heartfelt, moving talk about what the player meant to him. I
can still hear him mumble, emotion tumbling out of him, “I loved Brian
Piccolo”. Great theme song, too.
The Rookie – Still yet, you guessed it, another true-life
story about baseball. A high school coach follows his dream and tries
out for the Major Leagues and winds up being a terrific player. Dennis
Quaid does a fabulous job in the title role. Movie promotes a ‘don’t
ever give up’ attitude.
Star Wars – Back in 1976, my little nephew, Justin, loved
this and went around humming the theme song everywhere. My guys still
love this series today.
Coach Carter – basketball movie (based on true story) about coach
(played by Samuel L. Jackson) and how he made his team realize
education must be a higher priority than jump shots and lay-ups.
Hoosiers – basketball movie with Gene Hackman
Back to the Future – Michael J. Fox blockbuster comedy
Rainman - Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman
Mrs. Doubt-Fire – Robin Williams, Sally Field in family comedy
Apollo 13 – Tom Hanks – true life story of the failed mission to the moon. “Houston, we’ve got a problem.”
Toy Story - When Buzz Lightyear finds out he’s not a real
space hero but a toy, his reaction really hits home. Funny for kids and
adults. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen and company do a great job.
Toy Story 2 – Meeting Tour Guide Barbie is worth watching the whole movie, but the rest of it is great, too.
Monsters, Inc. – One of the most creative story concepts
ever! Funny and touching. Billy Crystal and John Goodman are
‘marvelous’ as the voices of the two lovable main characters.
Home Alone 3 – by far the best of this series in my opinion
The Air Bud Series (especially the basketball and football ones)
Angels in the Outfield
Big Fat Liar
Secret Agent Cody Banks
Shawshank Redemption (Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins)
Lord of the Rings
School of Rock
- Certain John Wayne movies such as Midway and some of the westerns.