THE WINNING SEASON (2004) would double bill well with The Ride as it has a similar nostalgia for some golden age of sport and a protagonist who learns money isn’t everything: the main point of the protagonist traveling back to 1909 to meet baseball legend Honus Wagner (Matthew Modine) is to enjoy the days when baseball players were all about loving the game and never imagined they could earn million dollar salaries, and an ordinary kid like the lead can wind up playing in the World Series. Didn’t grab me.“What’s a Rockefeller?”
THE FOUNTAIN (2006) plays like a wildly pretentious knockoff of 2001, following conquistador Hugh Jackman’s quest for the Fountain of Youth alternating with modern-day scientist Hugh Jackman’s attempt to find a miracle drug that will cure Great Love Rachel Weisz of brain cancer (judging from the ending the Jackmans not the same person, which makes even less sense). The ending might involve some sort of time-travel, but on the whole I think it’s best to count this as a Not (and not a good film either).“Death is a disease—it can be fought like any other.”
The winning film of the week was surprisingly PHINEAS AND FERB THE MOVIE ACROSS THE 2ND DIMENSION (2011). I’m not familiar with the source series this spun off from (though I may check it out sometime) so some of the humor gets lost on me, but it’s still remarkably entertaining as several cast members get trapped in an alternate-universe dystopia that threatens to ooze over into our world. This has fun sending up secret origins (“I lost my toy train!”) and including lots of jokes geared at adults (“I’ve become a Georgia O’Keefe painting.”). Two thumbs up. “Wait a second, I just realized—that was a conscious choice to pee on my couch!”
BATTLE GIRLS: Time Paradox was an enjoyable anime series in which a teenage girl is hurled back to feudal-era Japan as an ambitious general attempts to find the mystic armor that will let her unite the nation. Except in this timeline, everyone, from generals to kitchen servants, is women. This doesn’t make a lot of sense, even given it’s eventually established as a parallel world (where do new generations come from? Parthogenesis?) and the heavy cleavage and lesbian aspects undercut the fun of seeing the women kick butt. Still, definitely qualifies.