Jimmy Dolan is a college basketball coach who wants a big promotion. To get it, he needs to make a dramatic find. He ends up deep in Africa, hoping to recruit Saleh, a huge basketball ... See full summary »
Paul Michael Glaser
Charles Gitonga Maina,
Family man Phil Weston, a lifelong victim of his father's competitive nature, takes on the coaching duties of a kids' soccer team, and soon finds that he's also taking on his father's dysfunctional way of relating...
Scotty Smalls moves to a new neighborhood with his mom and stepdad, and wants to learn to play baseball. The neighborhood baseball guru Rodriquez takes Smalls under his wing, and soon he's ... See full summary »
Irving Blitzer disgraced himself when putting extra weights into his team's bob in the Olympics, resulting in his gold medal being taken away from him. Years later, Derice Bannock, son to a former friend of Irv, fails to qualify for the 100-yard sprint for the Olympics due to a stupid accident. But when he hears of Irving Blitzer living also on Jamaica, Derice decides to go to the Games anyway, if not as a sprinter, then as a bobsledder. After some starting problems, the first Jamaican bobsledding team is formed and heads for Calgary. In the freezing weather Derice, Sanka, Junior and Yul are only laughed at, since nobody can take a Jamaican bobsledding team led by a disgraced trainer seriously. But team spirit and a healthy self confidence may lead to a few surprises in the upcoming Winter Games. Written by
Julian Reischl <email@example.com>
During the opening ceremonies scene, Blitzer is seen wearing a white Smithbilt cowboy hat. The white Smithbilt is a trademark of the City of Calgary, where the XV Winter Olympics were held in 1988. See more »
The announcer at the sprint finals says the 100 meters is the final event of the day, yet there are 50 other athletes practicing and warming up for other events. See more »
Hands up all Jamaicans. (There are only 2.6 million people in Jamaica - so I know you don't account for a large percentage of the English-speaking world.) Hands up all those people with any interest at all in bobsledding. Hah! I knew it! No-one.
That's why `Cool Runnings' succeeds. It depends not at all on aggressive nationalism (it couldn't afford to, with a constituency of 2.6 million), and people of all countries are free to participate in the Jamaicans' perfectly reasonable patriotism. (Probably even the Swiss, whose bobsled team comes across as more than a trifle arrogant.) Nor is there any of that worship of a particular sport that makes baseball movies so unendurable for people outside of North America, Cuba and Japan. (Not that I have any evidence that baseball movies are popular in Cuba or Japan.)
There isn't any power-of-positive-thinking psychobabble, either - at least, it doesn't dominate. The four Jamaican bobsledders are separate people with different goals and ways of thinking. The coach (played beautifully by John Candy, who proves that he can act without playing the clown) doesn't ram a particular ideology down his players' throats. I doubt that any sports film has a more civilised and reasonable coach.
It comes down to this: we are given a reason to care about the characters, unrelated to nationality; and we are given a story that's worth following, even if we would never follow the sport itself. The clichés are fewer than usual and never offensive. It's a sweet film, and I doubt there's more than a handfull of people who could resist its charm.
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