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
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]
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]
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]
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 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]
LIFE OR DEATH
SAGE OLD COACH
THEY SAID IT
"HOW MANY 22-YEAR-OLDS ASK ANYBODY FOR ADVICE?"
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.
SI FILMS (RUSSELL, PATRICK & ZO)
COURTESY OF RLJ ENTERTAINMENT (PHENOM)
KWAME DAMON MASON (SOUL)
ROBBIE BYERS (PLAY)
ROBERT BECK (NICKLAUS)