Well, it’s January and in many parts of the country that means cold, ice, and snow. For myself and many other people across the United States and around the world, that means that it’s ski and snowboard season. With that, I’d like to review a handful of movies that have plots based around skiing and/or snowboarding. So love it or hate it, we’re going to list these out anyway.
Ok, so Extreme Days isn’t a snowboarding movie per se, but it’s a movie about four friends on an epic road trip doing extreme sports, one being snowboarding… while paintballing. This film is an early 2000s classic that I recall being notable for lacking a lot of the content typically seen in PG-13 movies such as swearing, sexual references, course jokes, etc. So if you’re of the more conservative nature, this could be a good one for the kids and family.
Regardless of how you feel about that kind of content, Extreme Days is a film about friends having fun doing all kinds of extreme sports and wild things that young men love to do, including snowboarding. If that isn’t enough to entice you, Extreme Days has Rufio in it in his first major appearance since Hook! Ok, maybe not technically Rufio, but the actor who played him, Dante Basco. Either way, it’s worth checking out the film.
Another ski/snowboard film from the 90s, Snowboard academy parlays the classic formula of skiers versus snowboarders into a winner-takes-all competition between two brothers with opposing winter sports viewpoints. The brothers duke it out on the slopes of their father’s ski resort to determine if snowboarders will be allowed to use the mountain forevermore.
A low-budget film through and through, this B-comedy stars Corey Haim, Jim Varney (of the Ernest movie fame), and Brigitte Nielsen. So if you’re into schlocky slapstick humor and winter sports, I’m not promising high-art here, but this could be the movie for you.
A lot of ski and snowboard movies are comedies about the main characters partying on the mountain, enjoying the snow, and getting into ridiculous hijinks, but Aspen Extreme is the exact opposite. It isn’t a comedy for one, but the story of two young skiers from Detroit who move out to Aspen to try to become ski instructors at the country’s most prestigious ski resort.
It’s a film filled with drama as the two friends adjust to a new lifestyle and how they and their friendship is changed by the rich and powerful people they meet while working at the resort. It has an actual fleshed-out plotline and perhaps because of this has developed somewhat of a cult following among the skiing community since the 90s.
Out Cold is one of those little-known comedies that some buddies and I stumbled upon and it just happened to be an absolute gem. It really is one of my favorite comedies in general, much less among films that are built around the premise of snowboarding. Out Cold tells the tale of a band of miscreant mountain resort employees that have to adjust to the new rules and preferences of their new resort owner after he buys the laid-back mountain resort and turns it into a posh, upscale ski destination. Of course that doesn’t go over too well the established employees and locals, so watch it to see the outlandish lengths that the gang goes to in an attempt to win back their mountain.
It’s a fantastic comedy that loosely follows some plot developments of Casablanca… on a North American snowboarding mountain. Additionally, you’ll see a young Zach Galifianakis, David Koechner, and Derek Hamilton, who also starred in the aforementioned Extreme Days.
I’m not even sure I need to say anything at all about perennial classic Dumb and Dumber. If there is anyone out there who hasn’t seen it, just go and watch it now. Even if you don’t think it’s hilarious, then at least you will be able to get 50% of the jokes from your friends who were born in the 80s (the other 50% will be references to Tommy Boy).
While the storyline is more about two idiots and their misadventures on a journey across the country while inadvertently fleeing the mob, the story culminates in Aspen, Colorado where the two fall for the same woman and spend time on the slopes with newly discovered riches. Seriously, do yourself a favor and pick-up Dumb and Dumber today if you have never seen it.
Last but not least, we have Hot Tub Time Machine. This goofy time-traveling film gets the dubious honor of being the only film on this list to have been released in the past 3 years, but really shines for showcasing ski resorts of then and now.
Featuring an all-star cast that includes John Cusack, Chevy Chase and Crispin Glover, Hot Tub Time Machine is a laugh a minute film about four friends who are unhappy with their lives and mysteriously travel back in time to an all-important ski trip they took back in the 80s and seemingly altered their lives forever. Will they fix their sad lives in the past, or just cause more harm than good?