Pigskin picks

Rating: NNNNNHere are some football films that stand out, and the qualities that make them work:BEST -- The Longest Yard.


Rating: NNNNN


Here are some football films that stand out, and the qualities that make them work:BESTThe Longest Yard stands alone as the movie that captures football’s whacked-out violence while entertaining viewers with its down-and-dirty comedy. Burt Reynolds, a former college player, brings an authentic intensity to the role of a crooked quarterback who loves to have fun but loves winning even more. It still shines 25 years later.

FUNNIEST GAME — In director Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H there’s the game between medical units that’s jaw-droppingly chaotic and absolutely hilarious. NFLers Fran Tarkenton, Ben Davidson and Buck Buchanan make appearances.

MOST ROMANTIC — Director/star Warren Beatty’s Heaven Can Wait features an L.A. Rams quarterback who dies and is reincarnated as an industrialist and falls in love with earnest activist Julie Christie. The scene when they meet in the tunnel after the Super Bowl sends goosebumps down your spine.

MOST REALISTIC — The filmed version of George Plimpton’s book Paper Lion stars a young Alan Alda as journalist Plimpton, who attends the Detroit Lions training camp.

BEST TEAMMATE CHEMISTRY — That’s a toss-up between James Caan and Billy Dee Williams, who play Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers in the weepie Brian’s Song, and good-old-boys Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson in Semi-Tough.

BEST SLOW-MOTION ACTION — Jim Carrey’s slo-mo replay of running with a ball in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is amazing.

MOST INSPIRATIONAL — It’s got to be Rudy, which stars Sean Astin as a little guy trying to make the Notre Dame college team. Based on a true story.

MOST DISRESPECTFUL — Disney’s Gus, in which a field-goal-kicking mule leads a kids’ team to victory. Ouch.

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