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Spring Film Round-up

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THE LAST TWO weeks brought the Tribeca Film Festival (tribecafilm.com/festival), the All Sports L.A. Film Festival (allsportslafilmfest.com) and the release of two movies from SI Films (si.com/films). Here are some capsule reviews, with a guide to how they address some sports movie tropes

Sports Illustrated

FILMS

JaMarcus Russell

The top pick of the 2007 draft, who played three disappointing NFL seasons, reflects on what he has learned, in this short. Alive and well in his hometown of Mobile, Russell remains a compelling figure.

[LAST CHANCE] [MENTAL ANGUISH] [STAR POWER]

The Phenom

A psychologist (Paul Giamatti) is hired to help gifted MLB pitcher Hopper Gibson (Johnny Simmons) regain his control. The dialogue sings and Ethan Hawke terrifies as Hopper's tyrannical father.

[COMEBACK] [KLEENEX MOMENT] [MENTAL ANGUISH] [STAR POWER]

Sports Illustrated

FILMS

Patrick & Zo

Brotherhood is the theme as Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning, connected by college, coaches, competition—and a kidney transplant—reflect on their relationship. It'll make you call your college roommate.

[FRIENDSHIP] [SAGE OLD COACH] [STAR POWER] [TRIUMPH]

Team Foxcatcher

This documentary uses archival footage to show how eccentric millionaire John du Pont went from patron to predator, culminating with his murder of gold-medal-winning wrestler Dave Schultz in 1996.

[FRIENDSHIP] [KLEENEX MOMENT] [LIFE OR DEATH] [MENTAL ANGUISH]

The Play

The 1982 edition of the Big Game, between Cal and Stanford, gets an in-depth treatment, with every major player participating. It examines the rivalry, the colorful history of the band and that fateful final play.

[COMEBACK] [LONG ODDS] [MENTAL ANGUISH] [TRIUMPH]

Soul on Ice

This doc goes from the Maritime Coloured Hockey League (1895--1930) to Willie O'Ree, who broke the NHL color barrier in '58, to Jaden Lindo, a OHLer from Brampton, Ont., to examine what it means to be a black player.

[BIG BREAK] [LONG ODDS] [SOCIAL CONSCIENCE] [TRIUMPH]

BIG BREAK

COMEBACK

FRIENDSHIP

KLEENEX MOMENT

LAST CHANCE

LIFE OR DEATH

LONG ODDS

MENTAL ANGUISH

SAGE OLD COACH

SOCIAL CONSCIENCE

STAR POWER

TRIUMPH

UNDERDOG

THEY SAID IT

"HOW MANY 22-YEAR-OLDS ASK ANYBODY FOR ADVICE?"

Jack Nicklaus

Golf legend, talking about the surprising trend of young PGA Tour players visiting him in search of tips.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

A Nigerian soccer official assigned referee Wale Akinsanya to a match last week. He died in January.

TWO PHOTOS

SI FILMS (RUSSELL, PATRICK & ZO)

PHOTO

COURTESY OF RLJ ENTERTAINMENT (PHENOM)

PHOTO

KWAME DAMON MASON (SOUL)

PHOTO

ROBBIE BYERS (PLAY)

PHOTO

NETFLIX (FOXCATCHER)

PHOTO

ROBERT BECK (NICKLAUS)

TWO ILLUSTRATIONS