Not everyone in the world has the same taste in movies, not all of us are fans of the big oscar-worthy flicks that win awards every year and feature amazing actors and production value. Some of us just want to sit down and watch a dumb movie that entertains us, no matter how bad other people think it is. So that’s what this post (and possibly more in the series) are geared towards. The stupid movies we watch just to shut our minds off to the rest of the world and enjoy ourselves, and this article is going to revolve around “Action Sports”.
These 6 movies range from 1986 all the way up to 2001, and cover all facets of action sports. My enjoyment of these movies comes partly from nostalgia, but also from the fact that a couple of them are just so bad they are good. So lets jump into the list and see what we’ve got… (from oldest to newest)
Thrashin (1986) – Josh Brolin
One of Josh Brolin’s first movies! Brolin’s character, Corey, moves to Los Angeles with his friends hoping to compete in a huge downhill skateboard race. He ends up falling in love with a girl that happens to be the sister of the rival crew’s leader. This is just a ridiculously fun 80’s skateboarding flick. There’s absolutely nothing good about this movie, ha! The acting is sub-par, the plot is pretty dumb, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. It’s also the inspiration for another movie that will appear later on in our list called “Airborne”. In fact, “Airborne” and “Thrashin” are essentially the exact same movies, just replace skateboarding with rollerblading. Even though I was born in the 80’s, I was only 4 when “Thrashin” came out, so I relate a bit more to “Airborne” only for the fact that I remember the 90’s more than the 80’s, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check this one out before watchin “Airborne”. Plus it’s Josh Brolin’s follow-up to “The Goonies”! (imdb) (trailer)
This movie defines my childhood. Unlike “Thrashin”, which I didn’t see until a few years ago, I remember renting RAD when I was a kid. This movie is pure nostalgia for me and probably won’t play as well to people who didn’t see it as a kid… it’s pretty terrible. Cru Jones is a local kid who just wants to ride his BMX bike, so when a big-time BMX promoter decides to hold a race in his hometown he knows it’s his big shot. Qualifying races are held to give 1 local kid a shot at racing against the pros on “Hell Track”, the world’s most ridiculous BMX track. The only problem is the qualifying races are on the same day that Cru is supposed to take the SAT’s. So going against his mother’s wishes, he skips the SAT’s and tries to qualify. I don’t wan to ruin the whole movie, but it’s pretty obvious what happens throughout the rest of the flick, but what you are missing by not watching it for yourself are the ridiculous BMX dance scenes to “Send me an Angel”… Although you can easily find them on YouTube. Combine the BMX dancing with some terrible dancing by a couple of twin brothers and you’ve got yourself a party. I wrote a more in-depth rundown of this flick a few months back, but if you were into BMX in the 80’s/early 90’s, then RAD will bring back some pretty… Rad memories. (imdb) (trailer)
Gleaming the Cube (1989) – Christian Slater
This list would not be complete without an 80’s movie starring Christian Slater. “Gleaming The Cube” has gone by a few different titles of the years, “A Brothers Justice” and “Skate or Die” are the ones that come to mind. I’m not entirely sure why they changed the title when it replayed on TV, but either way, great movie. Christian Slater stars as Brian Kelly, a skateboarder who likes to give a middle finger to society. He is complimented by his adopted brother, a handsome, well-mannered, well-dressed, studious, Vietnamese boy named Vinh. When Vinh sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong and ends up dead, Brian sets out to find the people responsible. There’s not as much focus on the skateboarding in this one as there is in “Thrashin”, and a little more serious, but it’s still a guilty pleasure of mine. Tony Hawk does all of the stunts for Christian Slater, so it’s pretty amusing when you can clearly tell it’s not Slater doing the tricks… and on top of it Tony Hawk is actually in the movie as a character. The weirdest part of this flick I think is the fact that after his brother dies, Brian starts dating Vinh’s girlfriend… Oh Christian Slater, such a ladies man in the 80’s. (imdb) (trailer)
Airborne (1993) – Seth Green, Jack Black
“Airborne” is the exact same plot as “Thrashin” except on rollerblades instead of skateboards. Mitchell’s parents are heading off to Australia for 3 months to work on some scientific research, but instead of taking their son with them, they ship him off to live with his Aunt, Uncle and Cousin in Ohio. Ohio is a bit of a shock for Mitchell who is used to surfing and rollerblading in the California sun year round, so he quickly realizes that bringing his surfboard with him was probably a mistake. Mitchell’s aunt and uncle are a bit strange, but it’s his cousin Wiley that takes the cake. Played by Seth Green, Wiley claims to know all the hip, cool things to do in Cincinnati despite the fact that he doesn’t really have any friends and nobody likes him. The rest of the story plays out just like “Thrashin”, even down to the very end with a downhill race. Mitchell falls in love with Jack’s girlfriend and needs to somehow prove to him that he’s worthy enough to date his sister. It’s a fun movie featuring people like Seth Green and Jack Black in roles that they would never play at this point in their career, but it’s always cool to see where they started out. I can sit through this flick every time it comes on TV and really wish they would release it on Blu-Ray already! What’s the hold up?!? (imdb) (trailer)
Out Cold (2001) – AJ Cook, Jason London, Zach Galifianakis
Papa Munson would be proud to see this flick on our list of guilty pleasures. Just like with “Airborne”, there are a lot of people in this flick that have gone on to bigger and better things. “Out Cold” follows a group of snowboarders in Alaska as they work on a mountain resort that is about to be bought out and turned into a rich, upscale resort. The guys don’t want things to change and like their jobs and the place the way it is, so they set out to stop the mountain from being sold any way that they can. I mean, any movie that features Zach Galifianakis trying to have sex with a hot tub is a great movie in my book. People like Thomas Lennon, Lee Majors and Victoria Silvstedt all make appearances in this one as well. This is the only snowboarding movie on the list, but it’s definitely one of my favorite of the bunch. (imdb) (trailer)
So there you have it, my list of guilty pleasure “action sports” related flicks. I almost included “Grind” and “Brink” on here as well, but I haven’t seen them in so long that I honestly don’t even remember if I enjoyed them or not (yes, “Brink” as in the Disney rollerblading flick). It’s entertaining to go back and watch these old cheesy movies and see where some of the actors are today, plus they are just good clean fun.
What are your guilty pleasure action sports movies?