It’s hard to find a movie about something you’re passionate about. Each year tens of thousands of movies are made around the world, and each year we are burdened with the task of finding that elusive one, the one that rocks our boat. So we watch previews on top of previews, waiting for a glimpse of something interesting, a movie that we can relate to in some form or fashion. We here at PongUniverse are crazy about table tennis, let’s just say we eat, sleep and… You get my point. So when a movie is released about our sport, well let’s just say we are as happy as pig in the mud. We hope table tennis is your passion as well because we would like to tell you about 7 movies that are a must see, and if you’ve watched them already, watch them again!
As One is a 2012 South Korean sports drama film starring Ha Ji-won and Bae Doona. It is a cinematic retelling of the first ever post-war Unified Korea sports team which won the gold at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba, Japan. Director Moon Hyun-sung used the foundation of true events to tell the story of a team that united a divided nation for the first time in its painful history
This epic romantic comedy stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field. It took only 66 days to pass the $250 million marker at the box offices. Although this movie is not about table tennis we felt its iconic status among Ping Pong lovers warranted its entry. The highly realistic CGI screen where actor Tom Hanks plays table tennis is a must see. We decided to add the behind the sceen shot of how this segment was filmed. We hope that you enjoy Forrest Gump as much as we did.
Balls of Fury
Down-and-out former professional Ping-Pong phenom Randy Daytona is sucked into this maelstrom when FBI Agent Rodriguez recruits him for a secret mission. Randy is determined to bounce back and recapture his former glory, and to smoke out his father’s killer – one of the FBI’s Most Wanted, arch-fiend Feng.
Ping Pong Playa
Debuted in 2017, this wacky comedy tells the story of C-Dub, a want to be rapper who likes playing video games and reading comic books all day.
C-Dub wants to be a basketball star but comes from a family where table tennis rules. His brother is reigning champion of the National Golden Cock tournament, his mother teaches at a ping-pong clinic, and the family runs a store catering to ping-pong enthusiasts. He is forced to take over as lead instructor at the school and defend the family honor in a tournament when his mother and brother are injured in a car accident.
Although this anime is a tv series, it was added because we felt the storyline had much to offer. The characters are realistic, the plot hovers close to reality and and the cerci stances feels familiar. This is a fast and funky manga-based tale of table-tennis obsessives in a Japanese high school. The ultra-competitive ‘Peco’ Hoshino and the talented but retiring ‘Smile’ Tsukimoto are best friends and rivals in the high-powered sport of ping pong. Even if anime is not your style, this film promises to make you a fan.
Ping Pong (Documentry)
8 players with 703 years between them compete in the World over 80s Table Tennis Championships in Inner Mongolia. Terry (81) having been given a week to live, gets in sight of winning gold. Inge (89) has used table tennis to train her way out of the dementia ward she committed herself to. Australian legend Dorothy deLow is 100, and finds herself a mega celebrity in this rarefied world and Texan Lisa Modlich, a new-comer at 85 years old, is determined to do whatever it takes to win her first gold. This film is as much about the tenacity of the human spirit as it is a meditation on mortality.
Top Spin (Documentry)
This documentry peeks into the hidden world of competitive ping pong. Three fiercely committed teenagers battle their way through the world of elite table tennis. With devoted parents by their side, they have traded normal teenage life for a chance to represent their country on the world’s biggest athletic stage: the Olympics. An inside look at an offbeat sport, Top Spin turns one of America’s favorite pastimes on its head and reveals a coming-of-age story where success and failure come down to mere millimeters.
Let us know which is your favorite table tennis move?