July 12 – Three Strikes

Anything Can Happen

Oddly enough, summer is the time when I like to get into sports movies. Perhaps that makes sense, given it’s the off-season for most of the leagues out there. There were so many films I wanted to include on this list, that I’ve decided to split them over two articles, with one being family-friendly movies and the other to do with adult-themed releases. This week, we’ll check out the family options, while next week we’ll get a little raunchier and surpass the PG rating:

#5: Cool Runnings

How could you not get behind this ragtag group of Jamaicans as they try to compete in a sport they really have no business participating in and go on to earn the respect and admiration of their fellow athletes. While the film depicts the team being scoffed at in the beginning, in actuality, they were welcomed by their adversaries and were even lent a sled that helped them qualify. Creative liberties are okay, though. The casting of Doug E. Doug was a particularly brilliant choice, as the comedian-actor was popular at the time and broke up all the sports seriousness. Anything with John Candy is also worth a view.

Watched Cool Runnings

#4: Bad News Bears

This was your prototypical group of misfits coming together in the name of sports premise, before the genre ever existed. Some of the kids that make up the Bad News Bears are reason enough to never have children and the film should be used as a planned parenting advert. Walter Matthau as Morris Buttermaker was a great casting choice. He’s perfect for roles as a grouchy slob, who would rather drink a beer and catch a nap in a comfy recliner than do anything else in the world. That’s probably why he’s one of my favourite actors of all-time! Surprisingly, I’ve never seen either of the sequels to this classic and not the remake either.

#3: A League of Their Own

The story of women’s baseball and how it helped fill the sporting void left by men being shipped off to battle during World War II is so much better than it sounds on paper. Just kidding all you feminist sippers out there. Seriously, this is a fantastic movie, following a pair of sisters as the league tries to gain credibility during one of the roughest times in human history. With Tom Hanks playing the team’s oft-drunk manager and having to handle the issues of a girls’ team for the first time in his coaching career (there’s no crying in baseball… unless a modern male pitcher has a hangnail!), I can even forgive the casting of Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell.

league of their own

#2: The Sandlot

This is such a great movie, pushing folks to look back fondly on their days of neighbourhood sports. Every kid who ever played street hockey, or met at the nearest baseball diamond for a game of ball can relate to this film, which goes back in time to follow the adventures of the new kid in town as he gains friends and experiences the joys of childhood freedom. Roger Ebert compared the movie to a summertime version of A Christmas Story, which is high praise, as far as the Sip Advisor is concerned. The film has become a cult favourite and that’s exactly what it should be.

#1: Mighty Ducks

While the third installment might as well have been direct-to-video, the first two movies are childhood classics. As a young hockey player, it was inspiring to see a group of bad players be transformed into a skilled team… the downside was the mounting number of times we tried to execute the Flying-V play to little success. As if Emilio Estevez wasn’t a legend already, this series made his aura grow exponentially and no player out there didn’t want to have Gordon Bombay behind their bench. Disney even turned the success of the movie into its own NHL franchise, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (now just the Ducks), although they sold the team in 2005.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Three Strikes

Three Strikes Shot

  • 0.5 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • 0.5 oz Yukon Jack Perma Frost
  • Garnish with Big League Chew

I have to say that for some reason, I love baseball movies. I’m a steadfast non-supporter of the actual sport, but I love me a good baseball flick. Stay tuned next week for our look at the best adult sports movies and even more ball and bat goodness!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I’ve wanted to garnish a drink with Big League Chew for some time now and this was the perfect opportunity to finally do so, melding baseball and childhood all in one. Did I mention that the Big League Chew flavour was Ground Ball Grape! The actual name for this recipe is “Three Strikes, You’re Out,” but I chose to cut the title in half. The shot is quite strong with competing flavours of cinnamon, peppermint and other spices. It’s not bad, but it’s one that will sit in your gut for some time.

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May 3 – The Terminator

Robot Rage

I’m curious as to when in my lifetime the world will first enjoy a wave of robots completing much of our daily routines for us before they rebel against their human overlords and annihilate us from the planet. It is within these hopes and fears that we look at the Top 5 robots in history:

#5: AutoBots – Transformers

Take your pick, but my favourites include Bumble Bee, Optimus Prime, and the DinoBots. This wicked cartoon, which launched a line of even cooler toys, introduced the world to a fight over energon cubes that still exists today. And they always said knowledge was power… quite clearly, it is in fact energy. I even respected some of the baddies (Decepticons) in this franchise, although Star Scream’s voice still pisses me off to this day.

Transformers Work

#4: Rosie – The Jetsons

The sassy robotic maid that many youngsters grew up on, dreaming of the day when they’d have their own animatronic hired help. That future is still ways away and you could probably blame The Jetsons for giving false hope to an entire generation. I feel Rosie screwed up too much to keep her job, so she must have had something incriminating on George, the man of the house. Either that, or they were boinking behind Jane’s back!

#3: WALL-E – WALL-E

While WALL-E (an acronym for Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth-Class) is only capable of saying his own name, it’s very easy to fall in love with the little android, as he searches for fellow automaton EVE, who he has fallen in love with. Due to the popularity of the character and movie, real WALL-E robots have been designed and manufactured, including one which can be seen roving the Disneyland theme park. There’s an autograph I’d love to have!

Wall-E

#2: Johnny 5 – Short Circuit

This loveable piece of machinery went from a section of the manufacturing assembly line to becoming a sentient being, who loves to learn and needs to consume constant stimuli. While I agree with his stance on TV, movies, and even music, his enjoyment of books is something I don’t share. Still, I hold no ill-will towards the robot. Johnny 5 even out-acted Steve Guttenberg, which is no small feat.

#1: Bender Bending Rodriguez – Futurama

This chain-smoking, drink-guzzling hunk of metal uses his gruff exterior to hide… well, an even gruffer inside, really. Bender is always looking for a get-rich-quick scheme and will stop at nothing to achieve his debaucherous desires. Throughout the Planet Express adventures, we also met androids like Santa Claus (an evil gift-giver, of course), the robot devil, Calculon, Kwanzaa-Bot, Flexo, and the Epsilon Rho Rho fraternity.

Super Saturday Shot Day: The Terminator

The Terminator Shot

  • 0.5 oz Yukon Jack Perma Frost
  • 0.5 oz Sambuca
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister Spice
  • Garnish with Gummy Eye Candy

Some honourable mentions should be handed out to the likes of Kevin, Screech’s robot servant on Saved by the Bell, as well as the Fembots from Austin Powers… I’d let those ladies do whatever they wanted with me!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
While neither the T-800, T-1000, or Terminatrix (she could tie me down anyday!) managed to make this list’s cut, I did find a way to include the robot as today’s shot of choice. For garnish, I even found a Gummy Eye Candy from Halloween that worked with the theme of robots. I added a little Jagermeister Spice to the recipe to liven things up and the whole concoction was so good, I made it twice!