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Scoring at the Movies

Sports & Recreation Podcasts

Join Ryan and Chris every other Thursday as we talk and laugh about sports films, sweep the leg of critics, revel in the fine art of training montages, have pedantic arguments over romantic sub plots that are juuuust a bit outside, and discuss which sports movies had us at hello.

Join Ryan and Chris every other Thursday as we talk and laugh about sports films, sweep the leg of critics, revel in the fine art of training montages, have pedantic arguments over romantic sub plots that are juuuust a bit outside, and discuss which sports movies had us at hello.




Join Ryan and Chris every other Thursday as we talk and laugh about sports films, sweep the leg of critics, revel in the fine art of training montages, have pedantic arguments over romantic sub plots that are juuuust a bit outside, and discuss which sports movies had us at hello.




Ep. 82 - Without Limits

One day in advance of the opening ceremonies for the 2020 (2021?) Summer Olympics, we dig into Without Limits, the long-distance running flick that almost nobody saw back in 1998. Billy Crudup is well-cast as the often unlikable, running-obsessed Steve Prefontaine, but Robert Towne's writing & directing of the "rube" and his running buddies is not the smoothest. Pre tries to expose the corruption in amateur athletics, but then that storyline doesn't really go anywhere. Monica Potter is Pre's...


Ep. 81 - Ford v Ferrari

The performances of Christian Bale and Matt Damon are the best reasons to recommend James Mangold's racing movie: Ford v Ferrari. In fact, the entire cast is stellar, as is the production design and the sound. For some reason however, we just didn't connect with Ford v Ferrari, even though it's been widely embraced by our fellow middle-aged white men. Much like when we talked about Jackie Robinson's life in 42, we either wanted a shorter movie or a miniseries. Chris also felt short-changed...


Ep. 80 - Lucas

Lucas is one of the sweetest movies we'll ever cover, but there are many troubling stories about alleged awfulness behind the scenes. While Charlie Sheen is about as likable in this film as he's ever been on-screen, he might not have been so likable off-screen. Corey Haim is also terrific and he's at his best as the smart weirdo who wins big in the end and (eventually) learns to stay in his romantic lane. The football in Lucas might be as inaccurate and downright dopey as it gets, but that's...


Ep. 79 - Enter the Dragon

To "enter" our 3rd year of this sporty podcast, we head overseas to register for a martial arts tournament on a mysterious island of drugs, enslavement and death in Enter the Dragon. Fun! Actually, Enter The Dragon IS fun and it feels so much like a James Bond movie that you almost wonder why they didn't just cast Sean Connery in (one of) the lead role(s) instead of John Saxon. Then again, Saxon and of course the inimitable Bruce Lee are better at MMA exploits than most other actors are at,...


Ep. 78 - The Damned United

We haven't covered very many soccer movies, but we HAVE been covering a lot of true stories in the last several months, and we cover both bases talking about The Damned United. Fact versus fiction came up a lot in this episode too as we hashed out what director Tom Hooper is trying to say about legendary coach Brian Clough and Leeds United. The trouble is, Hooper's film is unfocused. We weren't sure what to feel or if we should even care. Should we sympathize with Michael Sheen (who's really...


Ep. 77 - The Legend of Bagger Vance

Audiences and critics don't have much affection for The Legend Of Bagger Vance, but we were moved by it. Robert Redford's genial golf movie stars some very good actors and it has some touching moments. Then again, it's also got a lot of tonal problems and it isn't very focused. The dynamic of having real-life golfers Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones trade tee shots with Matt Damon's fictional character works well enough, but Will Smith is clearly playing an angel or God or something. That's a...


Ep. 76 - Necessary Roughness

If you're in the mood for a genial, laid-back podcast about a genial, laid-back movie, our talk about Necessary Roughness is going to feel as welcoming as Southern hospitality. This football comedy isn't hilarious, but its mediocrity doesn't overwhelm its sweetness. It's also hard to hate an underdog movie that's as watchable as this one certainly is. "Old man" Scott Bakula plays the heartthrob quarterback of a Texas university team that's been ruined by scandal and now has to make do with a...


Ep. 75 - 42

It's a gift of good timing that we can post a podcast about a Jackie Robinson movie on Jackie Robinson Day. The Brooklyn Dodgers star is portrayed very well by the great Chadwick Boseman, who played a lot of real-life legends in his tragically short career. 42 is well-made, looks good and gives us what feels like an accurate version of some terrible realities for Black people in America then and now. As for politics, we spent a lot of this episode discussing social awakening (including our...


Ep. 74 - Hardball

Casting legit good guy Keanu Reeves as a degenerate gambler with anger issues is a curious choice, but Hardball is a bit of a curious movie. The gritty gambling story is mashed up with a spunky underdog/kids' baseball story. Let's say the tone isn't always balanced. We weren't in complete agreement about Keanu's acting in this one and we also debated if he's playing a white saviour in this, but we were on the exact same page about the effectiveness of the emotions. All the kids are likeable...


Ep. 73 - Glory Road

Glory Road was unappreciated by the critics and by the crowds 15 years ago, but we think they were out to lunch. This is one of the best pure sports movies we've ever covered. Director James Gartner and his team do a good job getting the facts right about this true story and they certainly captured the emotions of how these young men dealt with brutal racism in the '60s. The NCAA basketball action is just terrific and the actors/athletes are naturals, especially Derek Luke. Josh Lucas is...


Ep. 72 - Fighting with my Family

We probably don't have "it", but we're back in the wrestling ring to cut some awesome promos about Fighting With My Family. Florence Pugh is (to use a very appropriate expression) rock-solid as WWE's Paige, the goth girl from England who struggles to find her way and fit in as she trains in America. We were even more impressed though with Jack Lowden as her secret-weapon brother Zak, whose George Bailey-esque journey back home might be even more interesting than Paige's. So don't be a diva....


Ep. 71 - Invictus

Our recent trend of biographical sports pictures continues with Invictus, but the poker princess, the rock-climber, the chess prodigy and the walk-on football player have nothing on the one and only Nelson Mandela. Morgan Freeman does a terrific job and it feels like he was born to play the Madiba in Clint Eastwood's rugby flick. Eastwood's filmmaking style certainly isn't subtle, but using sport to try to bond a country that's been ripped apart by apartheid is an effective approach. If you...


Ep. 70 - Invincible

The Super Bowl is only a few days away, so a somewhat glum movie about a real-life special teams player from the Philadelphia Eagles in the '70s is exactly what the Brady ordered, right? Okay, perhaps not, but millions of people around the world are struggling more than ever this past year and we can all be inspired by Vince Papale's blue-collar story in Invincible. Mark Wahlberg plays Vince so low-key that it doesn't make for the most enjoyable film we've ever covered, but his co-stars...


Ep. 69 - BASEketball

We wanted to do something bawdy for our 69th episode, but we're disappointed to report that BASEketball just isn't as hilariously crass as expected. Bad language aside, this silly comedy doesn't really earn the R rating. Also, despite having Trey Parker & Matt Stone in the not-so-lovable leading roles and Airplane co-director David Zucker at the helm, this won't go down as one of the best laugh-fests for any of them. In any case, we two dudes have some air balls and psyche-outs to pass along...


Ep. 68 - The Fan

Are you looking for a lighthearted baseball movie? Well, look elsewhere! The Fan has Robert De Niro playing a psychotic stalker going after Barry Bonds-ian superstar Wesley Snipes in this schizophrenic movie. The first half about toxic fandom is a lot better than the second half about child abduction and murder. There's also a lot of (unintentional?) subtext in this macho movie. There are more levels of race relations, sexual oppression and even homosexuality in this movie than anyone seemed...


Ep. 67 - Searching for Bobby Fischer

So it's come to chess, huh? Well, there's obviously no athleticism in all these innocent moves, but this "sport" is actually a polite version of war. Searching For Bobby Fischer shows us a clash of sober thought with speedy brute force. What this is more than anything though is a family movie where people, especially the adults, learn life lessons. There are many lovely moments in this picture, but it's far from perfect. Chris felt director Steven Zaillian's portrayal of chess was...


Ep. 66 - Free Solo

A film about rock-climbing sounds like a strange choice for a sports-movie podcast, but Alex Honnold is truly one of the greatest athletes we've ever seen. He's mastered this one-of-a-kind mix of art and science. He also does what all great athletes do...practice, practice, practice. As we discover early on, he's also literally fearless. Anyway, it's a joy just to sit and stare at this breathtaking movie, both for the incredible camerawork and for the beautiful people in it. So if an...


Ep. 65 - The Replacements

Picking a football movie to jaw about on the American Thanksgiving is a no-brainer, so it's too bad the football movie in question isn't one with a lot more zing. It's not like The Replacements doesn't have a talented cast, because Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman play the two leads. Keanu is as likable as he usually is as the cheerleader-romancing, picket-line-crossing quarterback. Hackman is just playing this football coach the way he played the basketball coach in Hoosiers, but the man is...


Ep. 64 - Molly's Game

If you thought we'd never talk about a poker/skiing movie, well, you clearly underestimated us. Or maybe you vastly overestimated us... Anyway, in Molly's Game, Jessica Chastain is as solid as a rock in the title role and she's also the chillest drug addict you've ever seen. Her quip-filled scenes with Idris Elba are filled with chemistry and heat, but we questioned if all the legal scenes helped or hurt the film. Besides, if you're going to have these two actors spark off each other like...


Ep. 63 - Rookie of the Year

We've covered some goofy flicks over the years, but Rookie Of The Year is definitely one of the goofiest. It's also among the worst... The people who made Rookie of the Year seem to know absolutely nothing about baseball. In fairness, if we were still 12 years old like Thomas Ian Nicholas is in the film, maybe this episode would sound a lot different. Then again, even 12 years old have a little bit of taste and knowledge about their favourite sport. Anyway, we disagreed about Gary Busey's...