Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Joe Soares, Keith Cavill, Mark Zupan, Joe Bishop, Andy Cohn
Directors: Dana Adam Shapiro, Henry Alex Rubin
A film about tough highly competitive athletes: quadriplegic rugby players. Whether by car wreck fist fight or gun shot these men were forced to live life sitting down. This is a film about family honor sex & the triumph o... more »
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Darwin H. (movienut) from BLOOMINGTON, MN
Reviewed on 3/19/2008...
I now see why this very well done documentary has gotten such high praise. The story chronicles the lives of the quadriplegic rugby athletes from Team USA as they prepare for the 2004 Paralympics. Here they plan to meet their arch rivals the Canadians in another fight for the gold medal.
These guys trash-talk, train hard, and are every bit as fierce competitors as any able-bodied amatuer or professional athlete - they just happen to all be confined to wheelchairs. The game action is very exciting and intense as the competitors race about in their wheelchairs often with predictably savage collisions and players being knocked over to the floor.
Yet the human story off the court is every bit as compelling if not more so than the event itself. These guys tell their stories about how they ended up in wheelchairs and about their tremendous struggles to relearn such seemingly simple tasks as getting dressed, feeding themselves, etc. Word of warning - a scene or two where they talk about their "love lives" as well so not a movie to bring children to without first screening to determine whether it is age appropriate.
In one scene, Mark Zupan the spokesman for the US team shows footage of a match and explains his sport to some newly injured men in a rehab center. The interest with which his presentation is received by a young former motocross racer is a wonderfully uplifting scene. This young man is dying to get into Mark's rugby chair and knock it around a little. You can just see his eyes light up as he realizes that he may still be able to compete, regardless of his tragic accident.
All in all a very well-made inspirational movie that I highly recommend.
This has been a Movienut "no spoilers" quick review.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Easily the best documentary I've ever seen
Kristopher Haines | Portland, OR United States | 08/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen my share of documentaries, and I've seen a few that have dealt with disability. "Murderball" easily eclipses them all.
Too often people with disabilites get thrust into the role of flawless inspirations, this principle has held true across both fictional and non-fictional films alike. It was because of this trend that I approached "Murderball" with cautious optimism.
It was very surprising indeed when "Murderball" was in fact a genuinely uplifting and inspiring film,a film that dared to really show its subjects complete with flaws. Two other disability-related documentaries I've seen are "Rolling" and "King Gimp" Both are probably extremely inspiring to an able-bodied audience, but speaking as someone who is in a wheelchair, some of the moments in those films were downright horrifying and depressing. For example in "Rolling", a woman falls out of bed while dressing herself and videotapes her barely censored nude rescue by an able-bodied friend and her husband. Able-bodied audences would say, "what grit and determination" I sat there and prayed that would never happen to me. "King Gimp" profiles a supremely talented artist and parts of his story are inspiring especially to someone like myself who wants to have a career in the arts. Yet, it too depressed me because much of the film concerns the subject's unrequited love for a female caregiver. He laments that he will never find anyone.
"Murderball" on the other hand avoids those pitfalls and showcases some of the nastiest, (...)ever to hit the screen and even though I most certainly do not fit into that category and wouldn't be caught dead playing the titular sport I enjoyed every minute of it. All of the people in this film have a level of independence that for the moment I can only dream of, and they are much more impaired than I am in certain respects. So seeing them doing something they love, and quite a few of them FINDING love is absolutely, unadulteratedly inspiring. It is the first documentary I've seen that left me happy through the end credits.
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 07/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Murderball" is ostensibly about quadriplegic wheelchair rugby and there are some truly thrilling scenes of play between archrivals the USA and Canada...to be sure.
But what "Murderball" is really about is the undeniable, unstoppable, fire-in-the-belly will to live and more specifically the drive to overcome adversity: both of spirit and of body.
Athletes Mark Zupan, Joe Soares, etc. all exhibit, really inhabit such a positive, go-for-broke take on life and living that you cannot help but be embarrassed when you start to think of your piddly problems.
One of the things a Documentary should do is enlighten and inform and "Murderball" has those two topics covered---no problem. But "Murderball" also gives you Hope and that is a quality to which most other films can only aspire.
An incredible sports documentary
David Bonesteel | Fresno, CA United States | 02/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This powerful documentary should serve as an antidote to anyone who ever felt uncomfortable around a person in a wheelchair. The individuals profiled, all participants in the full-contact sport of wheelchair rugby, are independent and demand to be regarded without pity. They are fierce competitors in a grueling sport, going for the gold in the Paralympics in a 12-country competition.
Although several people are featured, the central figures are Marc Zupan and Joe Soares. Marc is currently among the top players in the sport, a charismatic man whose zest for life will not be diminished. Joe, a former superstar, is at first bitter about the way age has robbed him of his skills; a dramatic and unexpected development midway through the film seems to transform the way he looks at life and his relationship with his son.
Like the best documentaries, "Murderball" offers a glimpse into the lives of people that have much to teach us. Recommended.