Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

'Rush,' '42,' headlined tepid year in sports flicks

A biography of Austrian Formula 1 champion driver Niki Lauda and the 1976 crash that almost claimed his life. Mere weeks after the accident, he got behind the wheel to challenge his British rival, James Hunt. In theaters September 27th.

The 2013 year in movies officially grinds to a halt Sunday night with the awarding of the Academy Awards, and none of them will be going to scripted sports flicks.

No surprise there. It was a rather tepid year for movies about sports.

My favorite based-on-truth film was “Rush,’’ about the mid-1970s F1 rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt, which left me with a man-crush on actor Chris Hemsworth and gave me the chance to tell director Ron Howard I was born the day “The Andy Griffith Show’’ premiered.

There also was some mighty good racing action.

By far the biggest moneymaker was “42,” the second-highest-grossing baseball movie ever (not inflation adjusted) – behind only “A League of Their Own.’’

It was an earnest, family-friendly take on Jackie Robinson’s story that many people liked more than I did.

The best overall sports film I saw in 2013: the HBO documentary “The Crash Reel,’’ about snowboarder Kevin Pearce.




Tags: Oscars , movies

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