On the Big Board
||Excellent in every way.
||Brilliant documentary examines man's natural instinct toward aggression and the need for the handicapped to find like-bodied counterparts with whom they may hold a Fight Club. Simply extraordinary.
||This documentary has more engaging plot angles than almost any other 2005 release.
Director/producer Dana Adam Shapiro was able to convert an article he wrote about the growing popularity of a sport very few people know into a documentary that should draw a substantial amount of attention upon its release. Murderball, aka quad rugby, puts its quadriplegic players on wheelchairs that look like they might have come straight out of a Mad Max film. The players heave themselves across the court in a game of full-contact rugby, slamming their chairs into each other and thriving on the competition.
The goal for all of the players is ultimately to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, which has been dominated for years by Team USA. However, Joe Soares, one of the team's gold medalists from 1996, gets cut from the team and decides to cross ranks to coach Team Canada. His goal? Defeat Team USA at Athens in 2004.
Murderball was wildly popular at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Audience Award and Special Jury Prize for Documentary in addition to being a runner-up for the Grand Jury Prize. Its unique examination of exemplary athletes should make for an original movie-going experience on its release in theaters nationwide. (Kim Hollis/BOP)