When you take a coach with a problem and give him a down and out team of weirdos, you have yourself a sports movie. It would be easier to name sports movies that don't follow this formula. The real trick, though, is to name the ones that stand out and why. Hoosiers, a sports genre movie, stands out.

    Normal Dale used to be a hotshot college basketball coach, but has found himself in the asshole of Indiana. The high school team he's coaching is full of short people and assholes. The only attractive love interest in town doesn't respect him as a teacher, probably because we never see him teach. Add to that the local star player won't play, and the town is against the new coach.


    This movie makes a splash in an otherwise bloated movie genre because it focuses on the characters. Hackman is a broken coach, good at coaching but little else. We see the regret he feels as he attempts to bring these kids glory after punching out a former player. The other star in the show is Dennis Hopper, who I never knew was in here. He plays Shooter, a former high school big shot player drowning in alcohol and neglecting his son. His eventual turn around can at best be called fascinating.

    If you have to watch a basketball movie this year, make it this one. Because I can't think of any other serious basketball movies.