Baldwin: Cinema craziness and March madness

Published 10:04 am Friday, March 23, 2018

Greetings, my fellow film fanatics and Wildcats of Winchester!

We are deep in the excitement and drama of March Madness as our beloved Cats, as of this edition hitting the streets this morning, were either victorious or were unfortunately bested in last night’s showdown with Kansas State.

As I write this, I forge ahead with faith the Big Blue Nation will be celebrating the win today. If not, then you will need an assist from me, Dr. R, to help recover from the loss. What better way than mending your wounds by taking a healthy dose of basketball swish-filled cinema.

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So lace up your kicks and hit the boards as we take this column downtown.

Comedy is the best medicine, and in order depending on your mental state from whatever last night’s outcome was, and “Semi-Pro” (2008) is sure to make the cut.

Will Ferrell portrays Jackie Moon, the zany owner-coach-player of the dismal Flint Michigan Tropics, as this team of oddities faces financial difficulties and survival while holding onto their dreams of making it to the NBA. Funny, enjoyable and at times a ref would call a foul on language, this one is for the pros and not for the youth league.

For the kids who love basketball or those who are still kids at heart, “Space Jam” (1996) is a sure shot.

When Bugs Bunny and his Looney Tunes friends are kidnapped by aliens, the classic cartoon characters challenge their captors to a game of round ball with the stakes being their freedom.

Bugs and company aim for nothing but net when they enlist NBA legend Michael Jordan with the hope his expertise of the game will ultimately lead the animated bunch to victory.

Last but not least, the contemporary sports classic, “Hoosiers” (1986) is a viewing must.

Like most sport movies, “Hoosiers” is a tale about redemption and hope of underdogs as a coach with a tarnished past, portrayed by Gene Hackman, leads a small-town high school basketball team through the victories and hardships on the court and off in the most challenging game of all, life.

If you still can’t get enough, here’s an alley-oop of b-ball infused honorable mentions: “Scooby-Doo Meets the Harlem Globetrotters” (1972), “Fast Break” (1979), “White Men Can’t Jump” (1992), “Blue Chips” (1994), “Coach Carter” (2005), and “Glory Road” (2006).

There are more titles out there to enjoy about the game, but I warn some are duds or should I say, airballs missing the entertainment backboard.

So win or lose, you have some possibilities if you are fighting the basketball blues or are still in your celebratory game gear.

Either way, the mentioned titles are sure to make you double dribble in delight.

Have a film-tastic day and, “Go CATS!”

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society ( Find more from Rick on Facebook at and online at He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79  and can be reached by email at