This summer’s 4 must-see sports movies


Awwww yeah, here we go — it’s summer sports movie time 2014 edition! (!!!)

Summer sports movies usually happen starting right about now, in the summertime. They feature people you often recognize from TV but doing stuff you don’t recognize like giving long speeches and trying not to smile. There’s no smiling until the end of summer sports movies.

Summer sports movies are there because it gets hot in the summer and the movie theaters are generally cold inside. Plus there’s food. How do you get into a sports movie? What happens is there’s big lines of people waiting to see a bunch of shit blow up in the cold movie theater. Usually you start out in the back of that line. By the time you get to the front of the line, all the cool movies about shit getting blown up are sold out.

Then what?

Then you buy a ticket for the sports movie, that’s what.

Below is DPB’s 2014 Summer Sports Movie Guide so at least you have half an idea about what you’re going to see when you can’t get in to see the movie where Jennifer Lawrence is basically in disguise as a naked member of the Blue Man Group the whole time:

Palo Alto (5/9)


James Franco when he went to writing school (because he wanted everyone to know he went to writing school and everyone in writing school to know he was famous) wrote some short stories about a place he never lived — Palo Alto. The best way to use your writing school chops when you’re an actor is to write about something you don’t really know much about set in a place you’ve never been with an authoritative voice and similar themes and then pretty much everyone will believe you or at least they won’t say they don’t believe you because you’re already famous. It also helps if you post things on Instagram a lot. I don’t know why that is, but that’s just the way it goes. Palo Alto is about a girls’ soccer team, more specifically a girl who plays soccer in high school. James Franco himself plays a creepy teacher/coach who kind of stalks the girl and kind of helps her. This is weird because he wrote the character and now he plays it on film and none of it is real life but seems like it could be something he might do and that’s probably not something people will talk about even though that’s probably what you’ll be thinking about the whole time. A Coppola (Gia, the granddaughter) directed the film so it’s got a cool soundtrack or at least a soundtrack of bands only Coppolas know and by know I mean they know them personally or date them or both. Which is cool, because no movies really have cool soundtracks anymore. I think there was a poster up for this movie at Urban Outfitters and the girl who plays the lead soccer player (Emma Roberts, the niece of the lady who learned to swim then danced around and screamed a lot in Sleeping with the Enemy) has this dreamy-girl Coppola movie sleepy-eyed look like maybe she’s drunk and about to pass out or maybe she’s the indy movie version of “in love” which basically means you look like you just got back from the dentist. I don’t know how well the girl’s soccer team does. Spoiler alert: I bet they do all this fun teenage stuff that teenagers get to do in movies while you sit at home and heat stuff up in the microwave. Then they’ll win the championship for James Franco played by James Franco the creepy teacher/coach and then he goes to jail.

Million Dollar Arm (5/16)


Fuck, this one’s tough to figure out. Don Draper finally gives up being an ad exec once and for all and decides to become an agent — which is like being an ad exec but a little less having to convince people of stuff that’s not real, maybe. Anyway, he’s looking for baseball talent and for some reason his plane gets routed from the Dominican Republic to New Delhi where we assume he’s looking for someone who can stretch his arms way out like Dhalsim, but he’s not. There he discovers all these kids playing cricket and decides because Slumdog Millionare did pretty good that they can play baseball too. First he calls up Dennis Quaid to make sure he can’t throw 98 mph on the street and when he says, “no” he doesn’t want to make a sequel to The Rookie, Disney decides, yeah, we’ll make a movie about you signing a bunch of these guys. Then Draper gets Kelly Leak to borrow a friend’s van and drives all these Indian kids to the Astrodome for a tryout. I’m assuming they all break into dance or have a really awesome, colorful wedding. Elephants in the finale would be good too.

The Fault in Our Stars (6/6)


This is a movie based on a book which was based on an After School Special about a made-up guy (Augustus) who plays hoops for his made-up high school team but then gets for-real cancer and gets part of his leg lopped off and can’t play hoops and starts reading instead. This reading bit is when the movie really doesn’t become a sports movie or a movie about actual people because I don’t really know many guys who play hoops and then get cancer and then would do anything but play video games and mope. He reads and hooks up with chicks with cancer, one in particular because he spits mad cancer game at her and I think pretty much cancer chicks read a lot too. Again, with the reading. So he finds this dying girl (Hazel) and it’s cool because they both have cool book/movie names and they say important things at the right time like book/movie people do and they read a lot together which is probably what enables them to say smart things and then they travel and then just as it looks like he’s going to get bored with this girl, cancer flips the script on him. Oh snap! I am kind of hoping they bring it back around and someone in the cancer place gives him an XBox One so he can start virtual ballin’ with other cancer dudes online and at least some much-needed bro time will tie everything together in the end.

When the Game Stands Tall (8/22)


What’s up what’s up, now we’re talking: De La Salle football bitches. If you haven’t heard of De La Salle, then you’re a little bitch. What did De La Salle do? They only won like eleven thousand high school football games in a row in the ’90s and 2000s (actual number: 151 from 1992-2003). Shit. They beat everyone and did so while having Maurice Jones Drew for only like four years. Anyway, the guy who played Jesus is playing their head coach, Bob Ladoceur, who is basically Jesus but for Catholic boys’ school football coaches (note: I kind of feel like there’s going to be a lot of youth group-leader types going to this movie, um, alone — so sit in the back rows just in case). Michael Chiklis plays the assistant coach and I don’t know if he’s going to beat anyone with the butt of a gun during practice and be like all, “you have to win dammit” like every movie cop turned high school football coach might until his players break or whatever, but I’m super ready to find out. I don’t think James Van Der Beek plays “all-time QB” but that would have been a bonus. Warning though, this is about a coach who is some kind of savant who ran the same Tecmo Bowl-style four-play offense for two decades and decided that character builds good teams, not winning or losing so I don’t know if there are going to be any hot-cheerleaders-in-the-back-of-cars-postgame scenes that are expected of most high school football movies. If there aren’t then maybe see The Fault in Our Stars again because I know there’s at least one bone sesh in there with Shailene Woodley wearing a Sally Jesse Raphael wig.