Friday, December 16, 2005

"Murderball" (2005)

Mark Zupan from Team USA

Not many movies are outstanding this year, in my opinion. It's more or less a "blah" kind of cinema year. I don't think I'm going to see "Brokeback Mountain"; it's not really my "cup o' cowboy coffee", if you catch my drift; although I die laughing whenever I hear the phrase "I wish I knew how to quit you," spoken in that backwoods cowboy frickin' slays me every time; not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. Replace the two guys with a couple of gals, and I'll get right in line and buy two for me, and one for my fully erect...ah, never mind.

When I first heard about "Murderball", I thought big deal, wheelchair rugby. Probably a real bore fest. So, I decided to check it out only after hearing about how great it was from several trusted sources.

Holy shit, these guys are completely insane! I should have suspected it wouldn't be a "normal" movie about people with disabilities...I'm aware that able-bodied rugby players tend to behave well outside of accepted social paradigms, and they have very liberal views when it comes to suffering or causing pain, bleeding, and grievious bodily harm. These guys are no different.

This documentary follows the national "Quad Rugby" teams from the USA and Canada, and features individual studies of members of both teams. The level of competition and intensity displayed is no less than in any other team sport; maybe moreso, seeing as how much they've all had to overcome to get on the teams. The photography and narrative captures this perfectly.

"Murderball" should be an easy consideration for an Academy Award, provided it can be nominated in the Documentary category (I'm being cautious here, because sometimes the rules for nomination are a little sketchy and obscure). But if "March of the Penguins" is also nominated in the Documentary category, it'll probably win, 'cause everybody loves "cute".

There's nothing "cute" about "Murderball".

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