Saturday, July 08, 2006

Special Olympics Movie a dead Ringer

Why spend oogles of money at the movie theatre this weekend to see new releases like Superman or Pirates of the Carribaean? (sorry, I was first elimination in a spelling bee). I rented a movie full of comic highlights with a sports twist. A movie that will have viewers questioning how they treat people who are different from them. A funny feel good type movie that will have you thinking you're gonna burn in hell for laughing one minute and perform angelic deeds with compassion the next.

I'm talking about the movie "The Ringer" of course. I chose to watch this movie just from reading the story line on the back cover. I laughed myself to the video store checkout counter where the clerk confirmed that I'd chosen a winner.

So I kept myself up late unable to control the laughter this movie inspired. Every now and then I need a movie like this, not too too serious but not outrageously silly either. If you take your movies too seriously though, this one may not be for you. It's a silly comedy that deals with a sensitive subject in a most humorous way.

I stayed up even later watching the scenes that were deleted from the movie, a treat that continued to tickle my funny bone. One thing is for sure though, you'll question the type of person you are when it comes to how you view those with impaired physical or mental abilities. Here's the premise of the movie:

When Steve Barker finds himself running dead last in the corporate rat race, he sinks to an all time low...he attempts to rig the Special Olympics by pretending to be intellectually challenged. But, Barker is completely out-classed by his fellow Olympians, who are not only better athletes, they're just plain better people. And they're on to him.

In checking reviews for this movie I found many people felt oddly guilty and uncomfortable about laughing at the expense of the special olympics. I would like to think that any open minded person who watches this movie laughs not at them but with them and then learns from the experience. I know I've become more sensitive and aware of the talents of 'mentally challenged' people and their need for an arena where they can compete and win.

All any athlete asks for is an even playing field and a chance to try. The Special Olympics provides that for people with special needs. This movie may be a fictional comedy, but as with many lessons in life, if you can dream it then you can possibly achieve it.

Click here on Special Olympics to read an enlightening article praising the movie "The Ringer" and promoting it on their website.

Below is a review written by a person who was obviously touched in a different way by this movie. Oh boy, maybe I'm gonna burn in hell after all. Actually, I believe this review reveals more about the reviewer's shortcomings than it does about the movie's.

Author: sheiss321 from United States

You walk into the theater thinking you will laugh your butt off, but I came out judging my own moral values strongly(whether the director planned for that or not). The characters in the movie are stressed to breaking points over character strength and ethical moral values. It teaches(and shows) a side we rarely see in today's rude and unethical world(take the plot of this movie for example). I walked out and thought: Are mentally disabled any different than the rest of us? Since everyone is different, how can we call a select few...special? My friend walked out of the movie saying: One of the best comedies I've ever seen. Now, me, I'm trying to pretend I liked it for laughs, but I didn't. I sit here typing away my thoughts this movie made me think. I sit here thinking of the people I've hurt, the friends I've lost, and realize that there are just not enough good people in the world. This movie, whether you think it or not, has given me a whole new outlooks towards the disabled, a new outlook on virtues and a new outlook on my own character. I am very amazed of how I walked out of the theater and frankly I'm proud of myself. I hope that this movie helps you reflect yourself.

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