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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Murderball [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 28 September 2009
This is a must-watch in my view (just as the autobiography GIMP by Mark is a must-read).
I've been there too (accident, near-death, recovery & back to the real world) and the personal side of the story is as real as it gets. The whole wheelchair rugby side of it is entertaining - and some of the extras are good - ESPECIALLY WHERE THEY MEET-UP WITH THE JACKASS CREW :o))))))
You need these in your collection.
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VINE VOICEon 16 July 2006
Murderball is one of those films that I started watching a little reluctantly despite the positive reviews it has garnered. I mean who takes any notice of reviews .....Anyway watch I did and thank jimmine for that for it's the best film I've seen in awhile.

Muderball is a slightly hyped name for wheelchair rugby which is played by paraplegics in as signified earlier specially customised wheelchairs. Basically a member of the team has to cross the opposition's line in order to score a point. It's fast, skilful and unpredictably aggressive. The film centres on the implacable rivalry between the U.S.A. team and the Canadian team. This is almost exclusively down to the fact that the Canadian coach, Jeff Soares used to represent the U.S.A. (indeed he was their best player for a number of years) but when he was dropped he flounced off in a mighty huff and ended up coaching their rivals. The American team view Soares as a traitor to his Country while he ...well lets just say he hasn't taken rejection well and seems to be permanately on the verge of exploding or imploding ...it's kind of hard to tell.

We pick up their rivalry as they are preparing for the World championships in Sweden in 2002. The most outspoken member of the American team is Mark Zupan, a scary intense looking guy, and we are treated to him and Soares bad mouthing each other as they inevitably prepare to face each other in the final .The result only serves to intensify the depth of feelings between the sides and add, if ever it was needed, spice to the build up to the 2004 Paralympics where the two are expected to contest the final again.

This is all hugely entertaining and it's amazing how quickly you become caught up in the rivalry. What elevates Murderball above mere titillation though is the depth added to the film by the players back stories, their personalities and in one notable case a bit of personal growth. We learn that Soares, a sporty competitive individual contacted polio as a child and that his relationship with his son Robert is strained because the boy is a sensitive non-sporty type, a high achiever at school and a gifted musician. Soares is dismissive of his strengths and is a believer in tough love but eventually he softens and there are some touching scenes between the two. Zupan, we find out, was injured in an incident where he was thrown form a flat bed truck driven by a drunk driver. This person happened to be his best friend Chris Igoe and again we watch their understandably compromised relationship rehabilitate till they are inseparable. Again it's quite touching.

Talking of rehabilitation which I kind of was the film also introduces us to Keith , recently badly injured in a motor cross accident who is just starting out on the rocky road to independence and he , after meeting Zupan at one of many lectures about the sport the articulate but still scary Zupan gives , determines to take up wheelchair rugby. Potential sequel here?

The film is as much about how a seemingly disastrous debilitating tragedy can lead to something else, can open up avenues and become a positive. None emphasise this more than Bob Luciano, the most severely paraplegic of the U.S. team who is also the most positive and the most likable. There are terrific segments where the team discuss attitudes towards them (If you think you are being altruistic or kind you are usually being patronising) and most amusingly their approach to sex and masturbating. As one says about girls "The more pitiful I am, the more they like me". In that case why haven't I pulled as many women as Warren Beatty? A tremendous life affirming movie.
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VINE VOICEon 2 March 2006
"Murderball" is a documentary about wheelchair rugby athletes on the road to the Para-Olympics in Athens. We are introduced to Mark Zupan, the outspoken hot-shot of the team, Joe Soares, a former teammate who now coaches America's rival, the Canadian team, and several others. They all describe how they became quadriplegics, how their lives have been affected, and how much they love this sport (originally named "murderball"). Each man is absolutely consumed by the sport and their enthusiasm is contagious, even though it's a very, very rough and demanding sport. We also meet a young man in a rehab facility who has just lost the use of his legs in an accident and see the sadness that the athletes have worked hard to overcome.
This film opened a whole new world to me; it was exciting, surprising, and definitely inspiring. I'm glad that it was nominated for an Academy Award.
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on 15 February 2006
Murderball, the tale of 2 quadriplegic rugby teams - Team USA and Team Canada - is a top notch sports documentary with many similarities to Hoop Dreams. As well as being packed full of exciting and nail-biting sports scenes, it also tells the story of the players, and the fight each of them has gone through to become Olympic class atheletes. Do not be mistaken that this is a sentimental or depressing look at disability - it is anything but. Sure, you learn a lot about quadriplegia but the point of Murderball is that these people live lives to the full despite their injuries - in fact they live much fuller lives than the average able bodied person. The energy, passion and determination these quad rugby players display is truly inspirational. Murderball is truly unique, throughly deserving of its recent Oscar nomination, and with a great soundtrack to boot!
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on 4 July 2012
Having recently read the Mark Zupan autobiography You Gonna Play? How Murderball Saved My Life: The Sport That Saved My Life I really wanted to see the movie and was not disappointed.

The movie is about the rivalry between USA and Canada in the run up to the 2004 Athens Paralympics and the athletes taking part. It is both informative and fun and the added extras on the disc are just as entertaining.
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on 26 March 2013
Poor documentary, not what I had expected having read some previous reviews.
Don't know whether it is just me. Doesn't cost much so if you think you may be interested buy it.
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on 14 December 2013
Makes you feel ashamed that the able bodied are sometimes to lazy to get off their fat arses and do something, or all those feeble excuses one has for not exercising.
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on 6 March 2016
See how disability is as much a state of mind as a state of body.
These guys don't mess around, They have vaulting ambition
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on 25 June 2008
Ok, so i bought this after I got into the show Friday Night Lights where Jason Street takes up the sport. Wanting to find out more I gave this a go and I'm glad i did. What i liked most was that it wasn't just about the sport and rivalry, there was a lot in there about the disabilities too. It's refreshing and eye wateringly honest and the sex instruction tapes had me laughing. I mean, the poor guys that have to rely on those things?
Of course you have Mark Zupan in the sorta lead but the real star is the turncoat Canada coach Joe who is such an *ss but you wind up loving him anyway (well I did!) What an arrogant awful bloke! Funny though.
All in all I thought it was a good way of getting the idea across that they're still just guys who like guy stuff despite not being able to walk.
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on 10 September 2015
Not as good as I thought it would be given the reviews.
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