Movie Reviews: ESPN’s “30 for 30” Series

As you probably already know from our prior outbursts, Kevin and I don’t think too highly of ESPN.  But every once in a while, they put out something brilliant that makes you say to yourself, “No one else could have pulled that off.”  Well their “30 for 30” series was one of those masterpieces.  I mean, it shouldn’t have been that hard for them to come up with the idea.  This is how I picture the board room conversation going:

ESPN Exec: “Well guys, we’ve pretty much drilled everything sports-related into the ground.  What’s left to do?”

ESPN’s top idiot: “We could put out another show that just involves a few idiots arguing with each other.  I hear Skip Bayless is unemployed again.”

Exec: “Hmmm.  That’s an idea.  Anyone else got anything?”

Only smart guy in the room: “What if instead of beating current events into the ground, we introduce the newer generation to a bunch of older sports stories they’ve never heard of?”

Exec: “Hmm, sports documentaries, that’s decent too.  But who’s going to direct these?  You know we couldn’t pull it off.”

Smart guy: “How about we get a bunch of famous Hollywood directors to do it?”

Exec: “Great idea, we’d just screw it up.  I’d say these ideas are equally good.  How about we flip a coin.  Heads is the Skip Bayless Show, tails is the old stories.”

Well, luckily for all of us, that coin came up tails.  And with that, possibly the greatest series of sports documentaries in history was spawned.  I’ve seen 20 of the 30 so far (don’t worry, I’m catching up on the rest) and to be quite honest, most of them were excellent.  There were many stories that I had never even heard of and the ones I did remember were presented extremely well.

With that said, I present to you my reviews of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series.  I’ve taken the 20 I’ve seen and ranked them from worst to first.  Here’s the rundown on which ones I’ll tell you about (in the order they were released):

  • “Kings Ransom” directed by Peter Berg
  • “Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?” directed by Mike Tollin
  • “Muhammad and Larry” directed by Albert Maysles
  • “Without Bias” directed by Kirk Fraser
  • “The U” directed by Billy Corben
  • “Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks” directed by Dan Klores
  • “Guru of Go” directed by Bill Couturie
  • “No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson” directed by Steve James
  • “Silly Little Game” directed by Adam Kurland and Lucas Jansen
  • “Run Ricky Run” directed by Sean Pamphilon and Royce Toni
  • “June 17th, 1994” directed by Brett Morgan
  • “The Two Escobars” directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist
  • “Jordan Rides the Bus” directed by Ron Shelton
  • “The House of Steinbrenner” directed by Barbara Kopple
  • “Into the Wind” directed by Steve Nash and Ezra Holland
  • “Four Days in October” directed by Major League Baseball Productions
  • “Once Brothers” directed by NBA Entertainment
  • “Fernando Nation” directed by Cruz Angeles
  • “The Best that Never Was” directed by Jonathan Hock
  • “Pony Excess” directed by Thaddeus D. Matula
  • “The Fab Five” directed by Jason Hehir

As you can see, I’ve even included “The Fab Five”, which wasn’t technically part of the series.  You’re welcome.  Keep an eye out for the first (worst) group coming either today or tomorrow!

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Gallery | This entry was posted in Lists, Movies, Sports, TV. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Movie Reviews: ESPN’s “30 for 30” Series

  1. kales says:

    Just discovered 30 For 30 and caught “the best that never was”
    I’m from OK – It was an amazing story and well told. Great re-enactment of the ESPN boardroom – LOL

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