Champions is a 2023 American comedy/drama based on the film Campeones by Javier Fesser and David Marques. It features a screenplay by Mark Rizzo (Green Eggs and Ham (TV Series)) and is directed by Bobby Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal).
It is available now in the UK on Collector’s Edition DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of Mediumrare Entertainment.
“Look, Marcus, you know the game better than anybody I have ever played or coached with, but you got to learn to build relationships man.”
Marcus Marakovich (Woody Harrelson – Zombieland, Midway) is a talented but frustrated minor league assistant basketball coach. As the film opens, we see him falling out with his Tinder date because he is more interested in a basketball match than her (and also because he is very patronising). At the next match, in his frustration at not being listened to by head coach Phil (Ernie Hudson – The Crow, Ghostbusters) he pushes him over on camera.
Disgraced, he gets drunk then drives and has an accident with some cops watching. Phil bails him out but gives him the bad news, he’s been sacked. He’s looking at jail time for D.U.I but the judge has a better idea, he can do ninety days community service instead, coaching basketball at a local centre for the intellectually disabled.
He reluctantly heads for The Friends Association, where he meets the guy in charge, Julio (Cheech Marin – Tin Cup, From Dusk Till Dawn) and the team that he will be coaching for the Special Olympics. They’re a colourful bunch including Johnny (Kevin Iannucci – The Best of Enemies), who describes himself as a ‘homey with an extra chromey’, Showtime (Bradley Edens), who has a very interesting celebratory move and hypochondriac Marlon (Casey Metcalfe – Kids with Cameras) who has an encyclopedic knowledge of just about everything and loves to share.
He’s way out his depth and this only get worse when he discovers that Johnny has a sister, his failed Tinder date Alex (Kaitlin Olson – Arizona, The Heat). Can he learn to change his ways and help The Friends reach their goal, the regional finals in Winnipeg?
“I will offer you ninety days of community service, coaching adults with intellectual disabilities at The Friends Association in Capitol East.”
Champions is a very enjoyable film, well written and with plenty of excellent acting. Woody Harrelson is superb as the grouchy basketball coach who is forced to face his own ignorance and watching his evolution throughout the film is great. There is also a large roster of disabled actors, all of whom put in sterling performances.
It takes potentially tricky subject matter and manages to present it in a way that is hilarious without being exploitative (unlike some of Bobby Farrelly’s previous work which is well known for being offensive).
This is a feel good sports film that brings nothing new to the table but does exactly what it says on the tin. Very satisfying and well worth adding to your collection.
“Hell to the yeah. So wait, is this a friendship or mentorship type thing? Are we talking profesh or soche? Or…both.”
Credit : Shauna Townley/Focus Features
Champions available now to Download & Keep and on DVD & Blu-ray™ June 12
‘COLLECTOR’S EDITION’ EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENES AND BONUS FEATURES TO OWN ONLY ON DIGITAL★, BLU-RAY & DVD:
• 12 Deleted Scenes
• Keeping it Friendly – Director Bobby Farrelly, Woody Harrelson, and the rest of the cast share how they became involved in CHAMPIONS, as well as the importance of representation in the film.
• Woody and the Team – Every team needs a good leader – here we explore how Woody Harrelson filled that role on and off screen.
• Casting the Friends
• Feature Commentary with director Bobby Farrelly ★available via iTunes only
|Genre||Comedy, drama, sport|
|Starring||Woody Harrelson, Kaitlin Olson, Matt Cook, Cheech Marin|
|Available to buy on :|