You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown! (1994)

When this football-themed Peanuts special was released in January of 1994 (a promotional tie-in by NBC for its broadcast of Super Bowl XXVIII later that month), it was the 37th Peanuts TV special and even without the benefit of having seen the previous 36 installments, it is easily the worst of the lot.

Featuring a borderline non-existent story, mercilessly padded with repetitive nonsense and the total failure to even make an effort to pretend this is anything related to the Peanuts universe, you’ll wander out of a viewing in a daze, astonished that a 25 minute animated special could leave you failing the concussion protocol. Continue reading “You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown! (1994)”

Way Down Cellar (1968)

I imagine that Way Down Cellar is something of a failure since I was more interested in how Beans and Skeeter’s hapless flag football team, the Jets, finished up the season than I was in the intrigue surrounding the crabby old man who was staying in the old Burton House (the same house is also seen in For the Love of Willadean) and doing mysterious things down in the basement. It’s especially difficult to work up any enthusiasm for a bunch of crooks who get outsmarted by a couple of kids that can’t even manage to execute a simple running play during the game they get shut out of in the opening moments of the film. Continue reading “Way Down Cellar (1968)”

Superdome (1978)

“You have your team, your buddies, your football, your Super Bowl! Well hell, I went out and had sex! It felt good!” Over-the-hill cornerback Dave Walecki’s wife sure gives an offbeat pre game pep talk to her understandably confused husband in this understandably hilarious TV-movie that constantly talks about the Super Bowl but delivers the ultimate shock ending by finishing up right in the middle of the National Anthem before a single down of the Big Game can be played! Continue reading “Superdome (1978)”

The Last Match (1991)

As I watched it unfold, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it about a hundred times before. It seems so obvious in retrospect. A loved one gets framed up in some nameless banana republic on drug charges. A father can’t get any help from the impotent American embassy. His daughter is facing years behind bars in such a tough prison that the warden has the father beaten during visiting hours! There’s no one left to turn to for help! Except the teammates on his professional football team! Admit it, you just got goosebumps! Continue reading “The Last Match (1991)”

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)

Take Me Out to the Ball Game PosterThis is a film that I would recommend to all the people complaining that our professional athletes are overcompensated. Not because I think these people are jealous whiners and that they deserve to have to sit through this forgettable musical filled with unremarkable tunes, dance numbers that don’t ever catch fire, and a story about as thin as Frank Sinatra, though that wouldn’t be totally unwarranted punishment for them. But because this movie teaches us what happens when pro ballplayers don’t make enough money and have to find second jobs from shady gamblers.

Right from the beginning, the movie demonstrates how desirous it is for our sports heroes to not be forced into off season employment when we meet up with Gene Kelly and Old Blue Eyes as they perform their vaudeville routine that revolves around a lot of singing and dancing to the title song. Continue reading “Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)”

The Program (1993)

ProgramPosterJust how awful is The Program? Well, I don’t think I have ever witnessed a larger collection of less likable characters involved in more pointless stupidity while somehow managing to reduce the most exciting activity in the universe (college football) to a tedious list of schools, scores, and poorly filmed “big plays.” (If this movie didn’t invent the helmet-point-of-view shot, then it at least consigned it to the scrap heap of imbecilic movie techniques along side most of William Castle’s lame gimmicks like Emergo and Percepto.) Continue reading “The Program (1993)”

Father Was a Fullback (1949)

A comedy with Fred MacMurry as the hapless coach at good ole State U? Losing season? Job in jeopardy? Bring on the Flubber! Where’s the field goal kicking mule? And how about that invisibility serum and/or speed pill? And the mascots? You know they’re going to get kidnapped or at the very least eat the playbook right before State U takes on City Tech, right? Continue reading “Father Was a Fullback (1949)”