All Play and No Work: Other Recommended Titles

Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in All Play and No Work | 0 comments


Absent-Minded Professor (1961): Once a smash hit for Disney, leading to a sequel and remake, this aged classic features a bouncy substance that makes for an interesting basketball game.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994): Jim Carrey’s over-the-top breakthrough role has him tracking down the Miami Dolphins mascot in most unorthodox (and often crude) fashion.

Angels in the Outfield (1994): This Disney remake of the 1951 baseball film of the same name is fun, but far too preachy for most.

Bad News Bears (1976): Despite the crude language and alcohol abuse, this sports movie about a rebellious little league baseball team started many of the clichés we see today. Just like its 2005 clone, however, it’s generally revolting.

Cars (2006): Despite its popularity, NASCAR has to be the most boring of all sports. Yet somehow Pixar manages to present it as mildly entertaining by creating talking race cars.

Cloak & Dagger (1984): Kids obsessed with video games and imagining themselves as a gun-toting hero will love this fun spy movie starring E.T.’s Henry Thomas. There was an experiment in the 80s to release movies with specific video game tie-ins (such as Wizard, The Last Starfighter, Tron, but surprisingly not WarGames), and this one is arguably the best. The creators started with Cornell Woolrich’s story The Boy Who Cried Murder, a fun combination of film noir and The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and then updated it with video games and an imaginary action hero friend (Dabney Coleman). Adults-never-believe-kids stories are a dime a dozen, but this is an exciting and fun take (even with the coping-with-a-dead-parent angle forcibly lodged in there).

Clue (1985): This under-rated comedy is based on the whodunit board game, thus is rather stupid but at the same time fun, and features comedy stylings by Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Michael McKean, and Christopher Lloyd. Murder By Death is similarly fun, but a little less kid-friendly and a lot more racist.

Cool Runnings (1993): Arguably the most ridiculous and inaccurate of all based-on-a-true-story sports movies, Cool Runnings follows the first Jamaican bobsled team. “Feel the rhythm …”

Happy Gilmore (1996): This immature comedy, with content suitable for only mature children, casts Adam Sandler as a failed hockey player-turned outrageous golf sensation.

Heavyweights (1995): The only saving grace for this otherwise waste of time is Ben Stiller’s spot-on hilarious role as the villainous counselor in charge. He essentially reprised the role for Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.

Lagaan (2001): Indian films usually run long (three hours) and break into song for no reason, but this modern classic about an epic cricket match between ruling Englishmen and working class Indians is pure gold for patient viewers.

The Love Bug (1968): Kids who like Tonka Trucks, Micro Machines, or Matchbox Cars will love the first in a series of Disney flicks about the tricky VW that has evolved to develop a personality so it can interact with its operators. Just stay clear of the lackluster sequels.

Shaolin Soccer (2001): shaolinStephen Chow combines his two inspirations: soccer and Bruce Lee, for a comical version of Bad News Bears done in the style of Looney Tunes.

Vacation (1983): Enjoy the misadventures of the Griswold family, led by Chevy Chase and written by John Hughes, as they load into the station wagon and head for Wally World.

Zathura (2005): It’s Jumanji in space, with plenty of eye candy and special effects, but not quite as much fun.

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