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Murderball

Overview

Better known as Wheelchair Rugby, Murderball is a game created by quadriplegic athletes that is every bit as aggressive as the name would lead one to expect; played with bone-breaking intensity, a typical game of Wheelchair Rugby involves plenty of trash-talking, a few head-on collisions, and the occasional player being thrown from his modified wheelchair. The game has become an official event at the Paralympics, a worldwide competition for handicapped athletes, and the United States and Canada have become fierce...
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Overview

Better known as Wheelchair Rugby, Murderball is a game created by quadriplegic athletes that is every bit as aggressive as the name would lead one to expect; played with bone-breaking intensity, a typical game of Wheelchair Rugby involves plenty of trash-talking, a few head-on collisions, and the occasional player being thrown from his modified wheelchair. The game has become an official event at the Paralympics, a worldwide competition for handicapped athletes, and the United States and Canada have become fierce rivals in the event. When Joe Soares was dropped from the top-seated American team, he angrily retaliated by signing on as coach for the Canadian team, which he led to an upset victory for Team Canada in the games. In 2004, filmmaker Henry Alex Rubin and journalist Dana Adam Shapiro followed both teams as they traveled to Athens, Greece, for the 2004 Paralympics, documenting the fierce competition between the two teams especially the Americans, bitterly stung by what they saw as Soares' betrayal. Murderball offers an up-close look at the 2004 Wheelchair Rugby tournament, as well as the personal stories of the athletes who are passionate, driven, and determined to win -- as one of them says, "I'm not here for a hug, I'm here for a medal." Murderball earned an enthusiastic reception in its premier screenings at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
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Special Features

Jackass Presents: Murderball featuring Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and Mark Zupan; CNN Larry King Live interview; Player commentary; Filmmaker commentary; Murderball: Behind the Game; Joe Soares update interview; New York City premiere - Keith receives his rugby chair; THINK MTV Disability Awareness; Deleted scenes
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Murderball works as a sports documentary, a study of how people recover psychologically from an accident that leaves them as a quadriplegic, and as an examination of how competitive, testosterone-filled guy's guys have to learn to let down their guard in order to experience the fullness of life. Before the age of ESPN, ABC's Wide World of Sports used to show athletic competitions, like elephant polo, that the average American viewer had never seen. The beginning of Murderball garners the same kind of interest. The rules of quad rugby are very simple, allowing the viewer to quickly appreciate the skill of the people playing and gain a rooting interest in the players who engage in this international sport. What elevates the documentary is that the filmmakers get deep into the lives of the two most interesting human subjects. Joe Soares and Mark Zupan are hard-nosed, aggressive men. The film makes no effort to make these two sympathetic just because they are quadriplegic, in large part because they themselves don't ask for it. As the filmmakers reveal the troubled history of Zupan's relationship with the friend who inadvertently caused the accident that led him to lose the full use of his limbs, and explore the strained yet rather typical relationship the intense Soares has with his mild-mannered young son, the audience learns to feel for these two as three-dimensional humans. These story threads are intertwined with personal stories from other players on the team, young men for whom discovering how to have a sex life after their respective accidents and illnesses was of the utmost importance. Murderball succeeds on all of these levels, making for a rich viewing experience.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/29/2005
  • UPC: 821575533652
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: Velocity / Thinkfilm
  • Time: 1:26:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 61,319

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Keith Cavill
Joe Soares
Mark Zupan
Technical Credits
Henry Alex Rubin Director, Cinematographer
Dana Adam Shapiro Director, Producer
Sara Alize Cross Associate Producer
Christian Ettinger Co-producer
Jeff Mandel Producer
Conor O'Neill Editor
Geoffrey Richman Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Murderball
1. Opening Credits [4:30]
2. The Players [3:58]
3. Joe Soares [3:31]
4. Canada vs. USA [4:11]
5. Training Camp [5:03]
6. Benedict Arnold [5:37]
7. A Jock [5:09]
8. Theory on Discipline [4:45]
9. High School Reunion [4:53]
10. Projected Anger [4:54]
11. Final Cuts [5:24]
12. Joe Returns Home [3:04]
13. The #1 Seed [3:28]
14. Robert's Concert [2:27]
15. Don't Feel Limited [4:54]
16. A Month Away [3:17]
17. Athens [1:48]
18. After Five Days [4:32]
19. The Medal Race [4:04]
20. End Credits [5:51]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Murderball
   Play Movie
   Set-Up
      Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
      Audio: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo
   Scene Index
   Special Features
      Player Commentary Featuring Mark Zupan, Scott Hogsett and Andy Cohn
      Filmmaker Commentary Featuring Jeff Mandel, Dana Adam Shapiro and Henry-Alex Rubin
      CNN Larry King Live Interview
      Jackass Presents: Murderball Featuring Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O
      Murderball: Behind the Game
      Joe Soares Update Interview
      NY City Premiere
      Deleted Scenes
         Food Fight
         Softball
         Frogs
         Keith Baking
         Joe Pool Ride
         Blue Doo Wop
         Play All
      THINK MTV Page
      Trailers
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I can't believe it's not fiction

    You might think that the most shocking thing about this film is the fact that there are so many people who want to play full-contact, paraplegic rugby. By the end, you come to see the players the same way as the guys you grew up with who always broke bones while attempting super-cool skateboard tricks. The real shocker here is how perfectly the story unfolds. A screenplay could not have captured such rounder characters and gripping suspense. Because it¿s not your cookie cutter Mighty Ducks flick, I was truly on the edge of my seat because I had no idea how things would turn out. I smiled the entire time while sitting in the theatre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Film

    Saw it for the first time in class. Excellent film, very inspiring. Had to buy it myself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews