Bloodsport (1988, 92m, 6.8, 33|74%) is a cult martial arts action film made in the typical American Hollywood style, where the lines delineating good and evil are simple and audiences gather to either watch the fight scenes or the cute hero. It portrays the now-tired storyline of the young Westerner trained by an exotic, mysterious Asian Read More →

A Patriotic Man (Isänmaallinen mies, 2013, 97m, 6.3) is a Finnish comedy-drama following one man’s journey in balancing morality with patriotism while complicit in a serious doping conspiracy, loosely based on a true true scandal. It centres on Finnish Nordic skiers’ doping strategy to come out on top after a few years of unsuccessful results Read More →

In the Mind of Plants (L’Esprit des plantes, 2010, 52m, 6.6, 8.83) is a French documentary on the controversial and fledgling field of plant neurobiology. Its central theme is that plants are much more active, complex, and evolved than previously thought. I remember hearing in a genetics lecture that we share upwards of 95% of our genetic Read More →

The Intouchables (1:48, 2010, 8.6, 75|93%) is a French drama based on the real events of a rich quadriplegic and his unlikely, tough immigrant caregiver. A strange name, but this is just because the original French title was left untranslated (meaning “untouchables”). This is a nod to how both the disabled and immigrants are often Read More →

Black Swan (1:48, 2010, 8.0, 87|84%) is an American psychological thriller about Nina, a New York ballerina working until she bleeds to first land — and then perform — the main role of Swan Queen in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. The film is very heavy and quite dark, and in the end you have trouble sifting Read More →

Hm, where to begin. When I first finished Daniel Quinn’s philosophical novel, Ishmael (1992, 3.94, 4.2), as an older teen, I spent four days in agnostic turmoil. My faith in God shaken, I somehow found my way back in the end. However, my life certainly wasn’t the same, and I would often remember this novel as Read More →

I recently revisited CS Lewis’ The Great Divorce (1945, 4.27, 4.6), probably one of the founding blocks on which my moral values rest. I read it first close to a decade ago — I forget on what whim — but remember it filling a deep longing for moral truth I didn’t know I had. Studying Read More →

The Big Blue (2:48, 1988, 7.7, 63|93%) is a heavily fictionalized account of the friendly rivalry between Frenchman Jacques Mayol and Italian Enzo Majorca (renamed “Molinari”) in the top tiers of free diving. The story focuses on Mayol’s life, and the sehnsucht he yearns for throughout it. The closest he feels to fulfilling this elusive desire Read More →

Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (3:44, 2001, 8.3, 95%) is an epic Bollywood sports drama telling the fictional story of Champaner, a small Indian village who barters with their British colonists to abolish their tax over a game of cricket. The Indians know nothing of the game and must learn it, while the Read More →

When We Were Kings (1:28, 1996, 8.0, 98|94%) is a documentary about the now classic 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight boxing championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. This film had me gripped right from the start: Ali’s eloquence, his constant smile — even in the face of sure defeat — the way Read More →

The Hustler (2:14, 1961, 8.1, 98|93%) is a drama about an emotionally unstable young man who has an exceptional talent for playing pool, which he uses to hustle money and drift through life. It also zooms in on the few close relationships he has, all of which prove to be destructive. Though filmed in the Read More →

I enjoy watching movies and reading books. Completing this sport psych degree, I’ve started reading more and more about the subject and have even gotten myself a projector, now watching sport psych-related movies often with friends from the program. I’ll be posting brief notes for items that merit it, using my own personal rating style. Read More →

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