Ah yes, Super Bowl Sunday. And the Philadelphia Eagles are not involved. Sigh. I suppose I can try to create some sort of vested interest (nice to see an NFC East team in the big game, plus "David & Goliath" is always fun to watch), but the truth is that I'm mostly looking forward to all the new movie commercials. Don't get me wrong; I freaking love (American-style) football, but the Super Bowl seems more like pre-packaged spectacle than an actual gridiron battle. (Give me an Eagles / Redskins game any day!) And so, logically, my thoughts turn to movie-land...
Ask someone to name a great baseball movie and you'll get nine different answers. Ask someone to name a great (American-style) football movie and you'll get nine puzzled expressions. But while the NFL waits for something as lyrical as a Natural or a Field of Dreams, there's definitely some solid football flicks out there. And by "football," I mean "not soccer."
Any Given Sunday (1999) -- It's garish and indulgent and more than a little scattershot, but Oliver Stone's pulpy exposé of the American Football Machine is pretty undeniably entertaining.
The Longest Yard (1974) -- Long before it became a flat vehicle for Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, The Longest Yard was a rough, tough, and admirably gritty prison/football flick from Robert Aldrich. Try watching the two flicks back-to-back and you'll plainly understand why (and how) most remakes suck.
Semi-Tough (1977) -- Burt Reynolds returns to the gridiron (alongside Kris Kristofferson and Jill Clayburgh) in this underrated rom-com about two pro players and one cool girl. Plus it's funny. I expect a remake by 2011.