Vancouver 2010 is upon us! NBC will cover the Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies February 12 at 6PM ET. If you're not quite ready to get your quadrennial kicks, here are some flicks to get you in the mood for luge (and curling?!)
Vancouver 2010 is upon us! NBC will cover the Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies Feb. 12 at 6PM ET. If you're not quite ready to get your quadrennial kicks, here are some flicks to get you in the mood for luge (and curling?!)
'The Cutting Edge' (1992)
The ultimate Olympic rom-com. Can an ice princess (played by Moira Kelly) finally earn figure skating gold by pairing up with a gruff hockey player (D.B. Sweeney)? The stars have never been more charming, and the pacing is faster than a Lindsay Vonn run. Rent it, or dust off that old VHS copy on the shelf -- we're onto you!
Kurt Russell might have as many Oscar snubs as Meryl Streep has nominations. Don't miss this overlooked performance as Russell embodies coaching great Herb Brooks. 'Miracle' keeps you on the edge of your seat, even though everyone from Minneapolis to Moscow knows who won 1980's Olympic hockey gold.
'Men With Brooms' (2002)
Anticipating Vancouver's chilly thrills, surely you'll find yourself saying: why not a movie about curling? Dude, where have you been? This Canadian comedy, premiering all the way back in the Olympic year of 2002, stars indispensable goofball Leslie Nielsen.
'Ice Castles' (1978)
A classic 70s weepy. Actual competitive skater Lynn-Holly Johnson isn't half bad as aspiring Olympian Alexis Winston. But the story's jumps in logic are bigger than Evan Lysacek's triple axel. A recent remake -- sporting a cameo by Michelle Kwan -- was just released on DVD.
'Blades of Glory' (2007)
Was Jon Heder's memorable Swan routine a take-off on American skating star Johnny Weir's signature skate? In the three years since 'Blades', Weir has ditched the feathers, but is more famous than ever (he's headed to Vancouver as the star of the Sundance Channel's 'Be Good Johnny Weir.') It's high time to revisit this farce, also starring Will Ferrell.
'Slap Shot' (1977)
After appearing in 'Winning' in the late 60s, Paul Newman became a force in auto racing. It seems 'Slap Shot' didn't instill the actor with an enduring love of the ice, but hockey fans adore him for this ribald movie. The "Hanson Brothers" -- who look like triplets, but aren't -- are an awesome hat trick of laughs.
'Cool Runnings' (1993)
Many stars were born at the 1988 Winter Olympics. Gold medalist Brian Boitano comes to mind, or how about hapless ski jumper Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards? But only the Jamaican bobsled team was immortalized in film. As a sad sack ex-Olympian, rotund genius John Candy maintains a cool distance from the sled.
'Mystery, Alaska' (1999)
What does this movie about an underdog hockey team have in common with current Oscar nominee 'Inglourious Basterds'? A sneaky cameo from Mike Myers. Co-written by former Princeton hockey standout David E. Kelley ('Boston Legal'), 'Alaska' was Russell Crowe's follow-up to 'LA Confidential' before 'The Insider' and 'Gladiator' made him a mega-star.
'Downhill Racer' (1969)
You have to be a little cocky and a little crazy to fly down a mountain at 70 MPH. Robert Redford is both in this moody movie about an Olympic skiing prospect. The film came out a full 15 years before outrageous U.S. skier Bill Johnson became a real-life downhill hero.
'Snow White and the Three Stooges' (1961)
No, really. Olympic champion Carol Heiss, the Dorothy Hamill of her day, lends her skating skills to this Larry, Moe and Curly caper (it's the post-Shemp era). No word on whether the Farrelly Brothers' long-awaited 'Three Stooges' movie will feature a 'Snow White' re-creation. Who could portray Heiss? One-time U.S. champ Nicole Bobek has the talent, if not the time -- Bobek is facing meth distribution charges after a 2009 arrest.
Once you've smelled the team spirit, catch nearly every event on the networks of NBC/Universal. There will be a staggering 835 hours of coverage available to fans. Homegrown athletes to watch include reigning Olympic snowboard champ Shaun White, the enigmatic skier Bode Miller and ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White (no relation to Shaun). The Vancouver Games come to an end with the closing ceremonies on Feb. 28.