Bowling is, as everyone knows, the greatest sport ever invented. With bowling doc A League of Ordinary Gentlemen opening this week (see our review on pg. 49), now's a great time to get reacquainted with the all-too-few appearances of bowling on film. (And no, Uncle Buck's brief time at the lanes doesn't count.)
• The Big Lebowski (1998)—You saw this one coming. The quintessential bowling movie and one of the Coen Brothers' best, you already love Lebowski. But since it's one of the rare films that gets better every time you watch it, here's your excuse to watch it again, White Russian in hand.
• Kingpin (1996)—Yep—you saw this one coming, too! One of the Farrelly Brothers' laziest, this less-than-essential flick relies on a mugging Woody Harrelson (is there any other kind?) and a stupid Randy Quaid (is there any other kind?) for laughs as Woody teaches the Amish Quaid about bowling and gambling. I'm all for making fun of Amish people, but this is just too easy. (You know you're in trouble when the highlight of your film is a Blues Traveler cameo.) That said, Bill Murray—as always—is great here, for the all-too-short time he's in the film.
• Jackass: The Movie (2002)—In one of Jackass' many ingenious stunts, the boys strap on helmets, lie down on skateboards, and roll down the lanes to take out pins. But it gets even better when some cruel bastard throws a bowling ball after one unlucky participant—who catches the 10-pound ball right in his balls. (Insert your own variation on "Now that's a seven-10 split!" here.)
• Bowling for Columbine (2002)—Hey Michael Moore—nice work tricking me into seeing your stupid movie, which was totally not about bowling. And I'd like to point out there's not a single Fahrenheit in that other movie, either. Ridiculous.