With the Hollywood writers strike entering its third month and no end in sight, we thought we’d relieve the tension and point out that maybe some of those writers should be thanking their lucky stars they’re walking the picket line instead of standing in a bread line.
20. Any Given Sunday (1999): Oliver Stone’s attempt to turn football into warfare might have delivered some of the most realistic action any football movie has captured, but what the hell’s going on with the uniforms? And Cameron Diaz? And her little dog too?
19. Point Break (1991): Keanu Reeves’ attempt to portray ex-collegiate football star Johnny Utah earns him his first spot on the countdown – we promise it won’t be his last. Besides the ridiculous name, Reeves throws like a girl and is less engaging than his surfboard.
18. M*A*S*H (1970): As much as we love the movie, the cast, the crew and the idea that “suicide is painless, it brings on many changes,” we can’t forgive Robert Altman and Co. for the nickname “Spearchucker” Jones, Elliott Gould’s attempt to play quarterback and what must go down as the standard for a ridiculously filmed football game.
17. The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000): OK, we went with the alien invasion on Independence Day, we laughed about the secret alien world of Men in Black, we suspended our disbelief in Wild Wild West if only to see Salma Hayek’s tits pushed together so tightly. But c’mon! Finding the secret of life through the secret of an authentic golf stroke? This time Will Smith took it too far.
16. Mystery, Alaska (1999): Thanks to Slap Shot there is no reason on God’s green earth to make a hockey movie. Especially one featuring Russell Crowe as a sympathetic character who doesn’t know how to romance his beautiful wife. This might have been top ten material if it wasn’t for Mike Myers’ constant search for a “rub and a tug.”
15. Bad News Bears (2005): Billy Bob’s no Walter Matthau, and there’s just no replacement for Tatum O’Neal. If ever there was a movie not to remake, the 1976 original Bears is it.
14. The Longest Yard (2005): Speaking of remakes … just because Burt co-starred doesn’t make it right. Besides Adam Sandler’s inability to play the game of football, he shows off his sports knowledge by calling Appalachian State a “slack Division II team.” Even if nobody saw their upset over Michigan coming, most sports fan knew they were the crème of the crop in the then 1-AA Division.
13. Jerry Maguire (1996): Tom showed Cuba the money. Hollywood showed Cameron Crowe the money. The Academy showed Cuba an award. And sports fans everywhere were duped into spending their hard-earned money on a full-on chick flick.
12. Chariots of Fire (1981): Running? Really? Besides the fact that they put the most boring sport ever on film, the filmmakers’ attempt to engineer excitement left us all with the most annoying song ever created.
11. Ali (2001): Never has such a great idea for a movie been so horribly killed in the casting process. If it wasn’t a slap in the face enough to have the Fresh Prince of Bel Air play the Greatest of All Time, the Academy actually nominated him for an Oscar – presumably more to honor the G.O.A.T. himself, than Big Willie Style. Perhaps knowing he was unworthy, Smith decided not to show up to the Award show.
10. Hardball (2001): Our boy Keanu over, and, under acts his way into the coach of an inner-city little league baseball team. Ignoring every flaw this film has related to sports, we’re still left wondering how Reeves could ever get in or out of Cabrini Green alive?
9. The Replacements (2000): Gene Hackman must have thought that his Oscar winning career could never be complete without teaming up with Keanu and the 7-up-guy. Their ensemble created one of the worst portraits of football on film and cancelled the majority of sports cred he earned for his role in Hoosiers.
8. For the Love of the Game (1999): Kevin Costner can’t throw, can’t act, and any intended drama produced by the prospect of a perfect game is neutralized by Kelly Preston’s continuing annoying presence.
7. White Men Can’t Jump (1992): It’s hard to tell which is worse: the plot, the basketball ability of Woody and Wesley, Rosie Perez or the early ‘90s fashion that’s on display at the playground. We’d just as soon call them all equally pathetic.
6. The Program (1993): The quarterback’s a motorcycle riding drunk, the halfback can’t hold on to the ball, the D-lineman’s on steroids and James Caan turns in the biggest stereotype of the film as the hardboiled coach fighting for his job.
5. Basketball Diaries (1995): Leo stars as perhaps the worst ball handling point guard in the history of the sport. Not only are we supposed to believe he’s good at basketball, we have to endure his voice over narration and overacting fall into drug addiction.
4. Necessary Roughness (1991): We don’t know why Scott Bakula’s agent didn’t tell him to leap out of the role as the quarterback of the Texas State Fightin’ Armadillos. But Rob Schneider’s announcing actually makes you wish for Chris Berman’s snappy wit.
3. Wildcats (1986): Wesley and Woody’s first tag-team attempt at sports is doomed from the start thanks to Private Benjamin’s play calling. It’s too bad too—cause Bird is the truth at quarterback.
2. Field of Dreams (1989): Ray Liotta’s depiction of Shoeless Joe Jackson is so historically off base, somehow, he actually bats right-handed and throws lefty—even though Jackson did the opposite on both accounts.
1. Johnny Be Good (1988): How does Anthony Michael Hall go from the biggest geek in school (1985’s Weird Science and The Breakfast Club) to the number one recruit in the country in just three years? How does Jim McMahon endorse the ‘Roid Raging UCC? Where’s Uma Thurman’s Samari sword? How does Robert Downey Jr. stay sober long enough to appear on camera? Just another example of the Hollywood honchos leaving us asking far too many questions.