Jonny Dub found this movie in the dollar bin and decided to give it a shot. He loved it. When I was over at his place he told me how great it was and compared it to the great documentary The King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters a movie about video gamers.
I waited about a week but I finally got around to watching this bowling movie and it was so depressing right from the start. The movie starts with people (some of them famous) talking about how great bowling used to be and how people have lost so much respect for the sport.
Apparently the PBA was televised on ABC for approx. 30 years and was more popular than football for a time. The bowlers were stars and earned money and respect for winning tournaments on television. In 1997 ABC stopped televising the PBA and everything went down hill. The PBA was in financial ruin and the bowlers themselves were left with nothing.
From what I saw in the movie, professional bowlers dedicated their life to bowling and it cost them their families, their money, their sobriety and their futures. Their lives appeared so depressing and it was so sad to seem them time and again have to win a game just to break even on their trip to the tournament. It's not an easy life.
The PBA was bought by three Microsoft Executives for $5 million a few years back and they hired a former Nike executive to be the CEO of the league. He's a straight shooting, foul mouthed, meat head, gym rat who is going to make the PBA successful and nobody is going to stand in his way. Love him or hate him, he's repairing the damage that was done to the PBA and taking the first steps to make it successful again.
The movie follows several bowlers all of which you feel sorry for except for Walter. Walter is the best bowler in the world, successful financially and has a happy family life. Walter is the one person who you don't dread seeing on screen. Everybody else has a world of problems.
I called Jon after about 20 minutes and I said, "I'm too depressed, I can't watch this anymore, is it going to get better?"
"Oh it's going to be so awesome! Just finish it, it's great!"
It wasn't, it was depressing from beginning to end. The final match between Walter and Pete (the bad boy of bowling) is the finale of the movie but it couldn't turn around the hours of sadness and hopelessness that the movie brought.
If you want to be bummed out then definitely see this movie. I can't believe it has such a high rating on IMDB.