Posted on: May 24, 2009 12:43 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2009 12:56 pm

Sports Movie Madness : Top Ten Basketball movies

Well Madness fans, the NBA finals are right around the corner, and it seems like the perfect time pay tribute to Dr. Naismith’s great game. This week, the Top Ten list comes from the world of hoops. The list may be a little diverse, though. We have some true stories as well as a loony group of fictional characters. I hope you enjoy the list, and find one for the weekend.

The list will be counting down, from10 to one... and make sure you leave your comments and input!

10) Like Mike . A family film that chronicles the life of a young ball player, portrayed by Bow Wow.  It has a great cast, including some faces you’ll know. Jesse Plemons from "Friday Night Lights", and the one and only Eugene Levy of American Pie fame. The story tells of a young boy who finds a pair of MJ's sneakers, and with them, can play basketball with the same unstoppable skills as Jordan himself. A great, fun , family film.

Madness rates this film a Pro.

09) Pistol is a movie based on the life of the one ball player I put at the top of the ALL TIME list: “Pistol” Pete Maravich. It follows his life form the time he first picked up a basketball, through his pro career, and to his death at the age of 40. A great cast and a truly wonderful story chronicle the skills he practiced until he could do things with a basketball no one had ever done, or has done since. The full-court, full-speed run with out using his hands for instance... yet he dribbled the entire time.

Madness rates this film a Pro

08) Blue Chips . This one has an all star cast of athletes, Shaq, Penny Hardaway and the great Bob Cousy. Nick Nolte stars as a college coach who is recruiting for his school. The twists and turns abound as he tries to keep the boosters happy and stay within the guidelines of the NCAA.

Madness rates this one with a Pro.

07) White Men Can't Jump . This is a story of the basketball hustle that takes place every day in street games all over the country. It stars Woody Harrelson as the guy who can never get it right, and by the way, can't dunk either. Wesley Snipes is the one who always plays it safe, and takes Woody for a ride only to have to team up with him later to win the big tournament.  Enjoy, it is worth the viewing.

Madness gives the film an All-Star rating.

06) Glory Road is the true story of the first college to field an all black team. In 1966, Texas Western and its head coach Don Haskins brought together a team made up of all black players. The movie chronicles the trial and perseverance of the players and coaches as the try and break through the color barrier. Great story and a great cast. Follow the team in all the day-to-day practice on the road to the NCAA National Championship.

Madness gives this a Super Star score.

05) “What’s up Doc?” Who does not love the bunny? Space Jam is the greatest basketball movie ever made... well, that greatest that includes the Looney Tunes. In the movie, Michael Jordan has retired from the NBA, and spends his time playing golf with Charles Barkley and Larry Bird. Meanwhile, the Looney Tunes are being taken over by aliens, (voiced by Danny Devito). Bugs Bunny comes up with the idea of challenging the aliens to a B-ball game for the freedom of all the Tunes. He recruits MJ and the story unfolds. Another outstanding cast, as well as some memorable Looney quotes.

Madness has to give this one a Super Star as well.

04) Hoop Dreams brilliantly follows multiple parallel stories, bringing the viewer in to the lives of two inner-city families. The kids in these families are looking for a chance at the "big time"; their ticket out of the ghetto. Although the main focus is on William Gates and Arthur Agee, their "supporting cast" is equally enthralling. From William's jaded brother Curtis, sublimating his own basketball aspirations to the reality of his blue-collar mailroom job, to Arthur's indomitable mom Sheila, doing the impossible every day as she keeps her troubled family together, there are a thousand reasons to cheer, laugh, cry and rage. The emotions are absolutely packed throughout this amazing, inspirational and cautionary documentary.

Madness gives this one a Superstar rating. It’s a must-see for all basketball fans.

03) Denzel Washington stars in the Spike Lee film, He Got Game . It follows the story of a father who is trying to convince his son (played by Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics) to go to college. It ‘s a drama-packed film that grates on the relationship mentality of father and son. The film comes together perfectly, and Spike Lee proves his brilliance with a phenomenal script.

Madness gives this film a Super Star rating.

02) Coach Carter
, a film starring Samuel L. Jackson, is a one of a kind. It is the story of coach, Ken Carter, who is brought in to coach an inner-city team of misfits. He tries to teach the game, as well as some valuable life lessons, to the kids on his team. This is a true "feel good" story. Make sure you don’t miss it.

Madness gives this film a Super Star rating.

01)  The number one basketball movie of all time, in the opinion of Madness, is Hoosiers . Gene Hackman is a coach with an unorthodox style and the checkered past. Dennis Hopper plays the town drunk and assistant coach. Together, they lead a small town team to the state championship game. No one thinks they can win, and the town questions the methods of the coach. Great story, great subject and a truly great film. An absolute MUST SEE.

Madness rates this one SuperStar.

Posted on: May 18, 2009 10:06 am
Edited on: May 19, 2009 1:13 pm

Movie Madness: Top Ten hockey Movies of all time.

In honor of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Mr. Madness has decided to take a break from reviewing a sports movie this week. Instead, I've chosen to review 10 - the 10 greatest hockey movies of all time. (In the opinion of this writer, of course.) After having spent countless hours over the weekend waiting on hockey to resume, Madness had too much time on his hands, and watched these ten films...

OK, I watched 14, but four will be left on the cutting room floor.

I am sure the choices will spark countless debates and it should be noted that this is the place for those debates. Feel free to disagree and state your case. Just remember that Madness is a trained professional and some of these stunts should not be tried at home. (Again, just something I always wanted to say.) So enjoy the list, and go out and rent or buy the movies. 

Let's drop the puck and start the hockey movie playoff!

10)  Youngblood Stars Robe Lowe, Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. The story centers around Dean Youngblood. Dean is a hockey player who is trying to make it to the NHL. Dean, however, is a problem. He and his coaches are never on the same page, and he's always being accused of lacking the toughness to make it to the pro's. The story unravels and Dean falls for the Coach's daughter along the way, played by Cynthia Gibb. The training is unique and has a Rocky feel to it. Over all, not a bad movie, but it should have had more hockey and less relationship.

Movie Madness gives it a grade of Pro .



09) The Love Guru is a Mike Myers film that centers around a hockey player in the NHL. With an all-star cast that includes Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Jessica Simpson, Ben Kingsley and Mariska Hargitay (some of the funniest lines in the movie), this film chronicles the life of pro hockey player Darren Roanoke and his struggles to play as the super star he is. Roanoke loses his wife to rival player and foe, Jacques Grande (this you have to see). At this point, the Love Guru is called in to help him find his karmic center, and what follows are a lot of laughs and some hockey.

Movie Madness gives this film a Pro rating (Mariska Hargitay gets a SuperStar though).



08) Sudden Death stars Jean Claude Van Damme, and has appearances by NHL stars Mike Lange, Luc Robitaille, Markus Naslund and Bernie Nicholls. The story is about a hockey game. Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, to be specific. But it's not all hockey. A group of terrorists are going to blow up the arena! It has great hockey footage and, of course, some action scenes that are mostly believable. Over all, it plays well.

Madness gives this film a grade of Pro. 



07) The Sweater is a story of a boy and a gift. The boy is a fan of the Montreal Canadiens and the "Rocket". All he wants is a sweater to show his loyalty to his team and favorite player. What he gets is a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater. This movie is an animated short film, but it's one that shows not just the passion we have for our beloved teams, but he social climates that surround them.

Madness rates this an All Star.



06) The Rocket is the story of all time hockey great Maurice Richard - known as the "Rocket". It documents the struggles of his life and the natural talent he used to over come them. It takes place in Montreal in the 1930's, and has some of the most gritty film scenes of all the hockey movies I have seen. This film covers all the issues of the time as well. Language, management and social hierarchy. A well made film that few have seen.

Madness gives it a grade of All Star.



05) Hockey Mom (Aka Chicks with sticks). From the title, you would think this is a powder puff film. Well, don't let the title fool you. This is the story of women against man on the ice. It covers all the normal scenarios of the eternal battle of the sexes. It' a hockey mom that was so close to the Olympics and now wants to see a women's pro league. It's a one-on-one battle between Paula Taymore (Played by Jessalyn Gilsig) must show that women can play as well as the men. What you get is some great hockey and a truly great story.

Madness rates this film an All Star.



04) The Mighty Ducks not only inspired kids to play hockey, it started a whole NHL franchise. Great skating, great cast and a great story involving a former star player (played by Emelio Estevez). This character tries to get himself out of trouble in his law firm by coaching a group of misfits. It's the first in the series of films, and one of the most beloved Disney sports movies of all time.

Madness rates this film a SuperStar.



03) Mystery, Alaska is one of the best hockey stories ever told. David versus goliath... but on the frozen pond (literally). It has an all-star cast with the likes of Russel Crowe, Mary McCormack, Burt Reynolds, lovely Lolita Davidovich and even Hank Azaria of Simpsons fame. You'll also see some New York Rangers stars. Here is a partial list for your viewing pleasure: Phil Esposito, Jim Fox, Tia Domi, Barry Melrose and Steve Levy.

It is the story of an Alaskan team from a small town that gets the chance to prove their worth against the mighty New York Rangers. The story is complete, from the practice, to the tryouts to the team captain realizing he has gotten to old, and needs to let the young star shine. It has the comeback and the drama. If you have not seen this, it is a must.

Madness grades this film a SuperStar.



02) Slapshot is one of the most popular hockey films of all time. It centers around the Hanson brothers, a trio of hockey brothers that are trying to save their team from relocation to the retirement centers of Florida, or so they believe. What follow is hilarious, and although it lacks the fundamentals of real hockey, it has some of the best fight scenes you will ever see, period. Paul Newman leads a cast that will have you laughing from the drop of the first puck. Had it been about real hockey, it would easily have been number one.

Madness grades this film a SuperStar.



01) Miracle is the true story of the 1980 Olympic hockey team and has been reviewed by Madness. It is the greatest hockey movie of all time in the Madness archives and will remain there until, well, forever. To read the full review follow the link or just take my word for it.

Madness grades this film a SuperStar.

So that wraps up the Top 10 hockey movies of all time. I am sure opinions will vary and I welcome any and all of them. Now, on to the Stanley Cup!

Click here to read the full review for Miracle .

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com