The movie I was most intrigued to see this past year was “All is Lost.” I was curious how they’d build a full-length feature film on Peyton Manning’s facial expression when the first snap of the ball in Super Bowl XLVIII went sailing over his shoulder.
Then I found out it was just Robert Redford playing Popeye.
Not that Bob didn’t deliver a fine performance. Still, he could have gone to school on some of the takes we saw from Manning during those sideline cutaways as the Seahawks eviscerated his Broncos. Redford can do grim desperation, but Manning’s a Method actor’s resource when it comes to conveying the crushing indignity of enduring of a three-hour dungstorm.
Naturally, Bob isn’t up for Best Actor at tonight’s Oscar ceremony. I blame intramural resentment. He got paid more per word for a movie than anyone in Hollywood since Harpo Marx.
Marshawn Lynch had more dialogue at a Super Bowl press conference.
On a similar topic, can we stop hearing about how Hollywood never rewards its many fine actresses with meaty, award-level roles? Because here we have Robert Redford and Sandra Bullock making the same damned movie, and she’s up for another Best Actress statuette.
All this reminds me that once again, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Interminable Awards Shows has failed to recognize any of the fine sports movies released this past year. What happened to the glory days of the Oscars when Hollywood honored sweaty cinema classics like “Rocky” (boxing), “Chariots of Fire” (track) and “Gandhi” (competitive non-eating)?
Tell me you didn’t love these fine flicks of 2013:
Dallas Buyers Club – Fed up with Jerry Jones’ inept management, Cowboys fans band together to purchase the NFL team, Packers-style.
Before Midnight – Washington State football ticket buyers rejoice when Pac-12 Networks gives them a break in the starting time for the homecoming game.
Nebraska – Bruce Dern drags Will Forte on a delusional excursion to Lincoln to collect a $1 million sweepstakes bonanza, but has to settle for a familiar consolation prize for Cornhuskers fans – getting cussed out by coach Bo Pelini.
August: Osage County – Thrilled with the results of holding training camp in Lewiston, WSU football coach Mike Leach opts to move it even further from campus this year.
The Croods – Richie Incognito and his pals liven up the Miami Dolphins locker room.
Despicable Me 2 – Alex Rodriguez makes Lance Armstrong look like the George Washington of the PED liars club.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – Somebody at KXLY figures it out and puts Dennis Patchin back on TV.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Jesus Montero gets Mariners management and fans riled up after his 2013 drug suspension when he pulls into spring training 40 pounds overweight, admitting, “After winter ball, all I did was eat.”
Mud – After another Super Bowl flop, Peyton Manning gets a new name.
Enough Said – “I’m just about that action, boss,” offers Marshawn Lynch in a film that runs just 6 minutes, 21 seconds. Seahawks teammate Richard Sherman volunteers to give movie-goers their money’s worth with a post-screening Q-and-A.
Instructions Not Included – Mike Leach forgets to pack the clock management manual for Washington State’s trip to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
World War Z – After manager Eric Wedge launches a few scuds on his way out of Seattle, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik drops $240 million on Robinson Cano in hopes of winning the public relations Battle of Safeco’s Emptying Seats.
American Hustle – Yeah, about those U.S. Olympic hockey teams …
Identity Thief – When Brady Nelson sells the team to a guy from Seattle, Spokane Shock fans start obsessing about life without orange wigs and blue face paint when the new owner backs up the moving vans.
Last Vegas – Idaho bids adieu to the Western Athletic Conference at the league basketball tournament, bound next year for the Big Sky Conference – in everything but football. Because Vandals football is way, way too good for the Big Sky.
The Way, Way Back – Determined to make liars out of the media that picked it to finish last in the Pac-12, Washington State’s basketball team finds the view isn’t much better from 11th.
Red 2 – Another of the pre-Pete Carroll Seahawks bites the dust, released to clear out $5.5 million worth of salary cap space, and now the hunt for another Red Bryant is on.
A Good Day to Die Hard – The Cougars fumble twice in the final two minutes and blow the last of what was once a 22-point lead to lose to Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl. Eastern Washington kicks away a 10-point lead at home against Towson and the chance to play for a national championship. And Gonzaga gets pounded by Kansas State and loses forward Sam Dower Jr. to a back bruise. All on the most depressing sports day in the Inland Northwest since Mount St. Helens shut down the golf courses.