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Snooker’s Big New Movie Break – “Rocky Style”…

New Break Film Quote: Remember, “Talent is a gift, don’t waste it…”

 

Break

And from the 1976 film Rocky, we had this line from the character Mickey describing boxer Rocky’s “wasted” talent…

From IMDB quote: “OK, I’m gonna tell ya! You had the talent to become a good fighter, but instead of that, you become a leg breaker to some cheap, second-rate loan shark!”

TheCrucible
The Crucible has been home to some talented real-life snooker stars…

In snooker flicks…

The plots are often about revenge, or the desire to break free away from something, or someone. The central character has an issue either struggling with his identity in the world, or with another.

Conflicts.

The new film Break will get its premiere release on the 22nd July in London and will air in Sheffield, the home of snooker at a drive-in as the first film to premiere at a drive-in.

 

Break

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak – the film’s release, which was due at the launch of the World Snooker Championships in April is now landing later on in the summer.

The DVD release is due in end of August.

Gangs. Knife crime. And drug violence all entwines into this new independent Brit flick, which has appearances by snooker stars such as Jack Lisowski, 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty, and Chinese star Liang Wenbo.

All stars in their own right.

This new snooker flick follows a troubled but talented young character Spencer Pryde (Sam Gittens), struggling to find himself in a world where he has been sucked into a life of crime and violence – but – a chance encounter with a Chinese pool player Vince Qlang and a club owner Ray mean Spencer has the chance to turn his life around. Actor Rutger Hauer starred in his last screen role before he died. But can the young gifted talent Spencer, break away from his current struggles and make good?

The new Break film has been described as “Rocky with a snooker cue…”

 

Snooker has produced very few films.

The Rack Pack…

A kind of docu-film on the life of Alex Higgins and snooker in the 1980s, is the most famous and came to fame a few years ago, and sought to entice a new audience to fall in love with snooker through learning about the controversial characters and personalities of yesteryear – especially the Hurricane.

Did it succeed?

[bctt tweet=”Break looks to be a raw Brit film, a bit like the films of Sexy Beast-cum-This is England. Gritty. Emotional. And tense.” username=”chrisgaynor2″]

On the Warrior Film Productions site it’s described as “Rocky with a snooker cue” and has that British stereotypical feel about it. It has the typical rags to riches theme with a British independent twist to it.

Terri Dwyer, the film’s producer wrote on her blog: “It’s the first feature film I’ve produced and I also have the pleasure of starring in it with a ridiculously talented cast and crew.”

Added on what made her want to be involved in the project, she said: “Well, something fell through and I found myself picking the script up the next day and I couldn’t put it down! I called him straight back and said ‘I Love it!’ We’ve been firm friends and business partners since. It wasn’t long after that moment that he asked me to produce it.

“The first thing I did was bring on board Dean Fisher. I’ve known Dean for 20 years and knew he’d teach me and not just produce it and let me watch. I’ve learnt a huge amount from him and Michael and I have every faith that Break will be the success it deserves to be.”

Your favourite snooker stars who’ve appeared and will appear on-screen…

 

Jack Lisowski
The young talent Jack Lisowski will make an on-screen appearance in Break…

Snooker players are no stranger to screen appearances. The people’s Champion Jimmy White and John Virgo starred in a comedy film Perfect Break in 2016, where the ten times ranking event winner and six-times World finalist starred as the ‘host’ of an amateur snooker event, the Jimmy White invitational.

Perfect Break…

What if you found out you had been conned out of a major title?

The central character Bobby Stevens (Joe Rainbow) had to face his demons and his nemesis Ray Carter (TJ Herbert) in a revenge match. (Ironically, TJ Herbert, the star of Perfect Break, also stars in Break as DCI Bly).

Ironic.

In Perfect Break, their previous televised championship match some years earlier had been supposedly fixed by a very manipulating girlfriend, who possessed “hypnotic” powers.

Bobby comes good both on the baize and off and falls for another girl, Kate, and the matchmaking “annoying” daughter Sophie.

Perfect Break

Snooker and its rawness on the screen…

Those involved in snooker films have always tried to bring rawness and a down to earthiness of the characters and worlds the characters portray. In Perfect Break, for example, Bobby has confidence issues but is just a normal guy trying to make an honest crust from something he loves, until his world is destroyed by a selfish and manipulative money-grabbing girlfriend.

Watch the trailer for Break below…

In the new film Break, the key slogan is “talent is a gift, don’t waste it.” This is a key theme running throughout past snooker films.

Wasted talent.

In the docu-film The Rat Pack, the talented Hurricane Alex Higgins was portrayed as having all the talent, but wasting it on drink and more.

In Perfect Break, Bobby makes the most of his talent by getting revenge on Carter in the Jimmy White amateur tournament final.

Break will be released on DVD in August and is available on Pre Order or Amazon Prime…

You can also watch Jimmy White in Perfect Break too.

Check out Prime Video below now…

 

 

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BBC to showcase some of snooker’s past best matches this month

You will get to see Alex Higgins, Steve Davis, Jimmy White and more – all past glories and heartaches…

The BBC this month, what would have been what snooker fans call World Championship month, will showcase some of snooker’s past best matches at the Crucible – 17 – from next weekend. 

Judd Trump
Judd Trump’s first World final appearance in 2011 will feature in 17 days of repeats of the best finals and matches in Crucible history…

The likes include Alex Higgins’s 1982 final between Ray Reardon, where Higgins was made famous by that emotive television shot at the end of him cradling his newborn after winning the title for a second time within 10 years apart.

Fans will also see Steve Davis’s loss to Joe Johnson in 1986, one of only two outsiders to have won at the Crucible.

That Black Ball Final

Dennis Taylor’s famous final frame with Steve Davis can be viewed on Youtube…and still gets over 220,000 views today…

Also, not forgetting that incredible final in 1985 that had everyone talking about snooker when Steve Davis lost to Dennis Taylor on the final black and had millions up past midnight to see Taylor win his one and only World title.

Others include for the modern fans the likes of Judd Trump and John Higgins’s first final in 2011 where Higgins won but it was the start of a new era in potting as Judd Trump burst onto the scene with his flamboyance and panache on the table. Of course, Judd is older now and wiser and scooped his first World title in 2019.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the 2020 World Championships were postponed until further notice, but Boss Barry Hearn is looking to try and make the date for July/August to resume the rest of the 2019/2020 season.

The Crucible

Trump won the last event before the Coronavirus forced the government to shut down the country to stop the spread of the disease. He made history in the Gibraltar Open by being the first player to win six ranking events in one season.

Saturday 18 April (15:00): Steve Davis v Tony Knowles – 1982, first round.

Sunday 19 April (14:00): Ray Reardon v Alex Higgins – 1982, final.

Monday 20 April (14:00): Steve Davis v Jimmy White – 1984, final.

Tuesday 21 April (14:00): Neil Robertson v Mark Selby – 2014, semi-final.

Wednesday 22 April (14:00): Steve Davis v Joe Johnson – 1986, final.

See the full line up on the BBC site now, here

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How snooker has evolved since Joe Davis and the 1960s…

Joe Davis was the Mr Snooker of the 1960s…

Joe Davis
Joe Davis was the player who made the first TV century break in 62.

He was the pioneer of snooker technique and all facets of the game. He could pot balls. In fact, he was the first player to make a TV century in 1962. He also could play very good safety.

In fact, Joe’s TV century was one of SnookerZone’s very early memories of snooker. He remembers it well. Watching Joe’s ton on a VHS video called Snooker’s Century Breakers. The greatest hits of some of snooker’s top tons. Joe Davis’s brother Fred, also appears on the video, described as the “grand old man.”

Before the snooker boom, there was a game called billiards. Joe was good at that too. But billiards was not a great spectacle for TV, so snooker became the go-to viewing for cue sports fans. The 70s brought it to the fore with a tournament called Pot Black. The boom had begun

The game has evolved a lot since the 1970s when it first became a craze. Everyone was going snooker loopy. Clubs were opening in their droves. Players were becoming huge celebrities. The World Championships then became televised in full at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield in 1977. Snooker was in a boom.

[bctt tweet=”Here, I will explain how playing snooker has developed since the 1960s. This includes:” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]

 

  • How the safety and tactical game has evolved

 

  • How the potting aspect of snooker has evolved

 

  • And a brief explanation on how basic snooker technique (mainly stance) has evolved.

 

Snooker in the 1970s – Safety and tactical play…

Although the aesthetics of snooker have not changed at all, the way the game is played has.

Safety and tactical play have evolved a little since the 1970s.

Former Six-times World Champion Ray Reardon understood the safety. He realized you could make opponents make mistakes. Through those mistakes, players like Ray could then open up the game and score more.

Through the era of the 70s/80s, the game continued in this vein. Safety was the bread and butter of a top snooker player’s diet. To be able to play good safety, you needed to get your opponent in big trouble. And then take your chance when you got it!

You achieve this by leaving the cue ball on the baulk cushion in a difficult spot, so your opponent can’t pot a ball! And then, leave you in.

 

How making very big breaks to win in one single visit has overtaken safety duels in the modern era…

Fast forward now, and there has been developments. What has evolved now is players’ and their long potting skills have become much better. Players are going for their shots more. The balls are being opened up much earlier so that players can win the frame quicker.

JuddTrump
Judd Trump has become the Mr snooker of the 2020s. A great potter and break-builder and can also play some top tactical snooker. He realized the key to success was having a good all-around game.

 

Top players like Judd Trump enjoy forging their own chances to win frames. But he also learned the art of great tactical play and shrewd safety.

The first player to put this idea into action was the young Stephen Hendry in the 1990s. Hendry was the youngest player to win the World Championships at 21. His way of playing aggressive snooker changed the face of the game. He was keen to open up the balls as early as possible and then win the frame.

Stephen Hendry was the player who went for the attack in frames. Got the balls open early so the frame could be won in one visit…

 

Safety and tactical play were not on his radar. He could play it, but he didn’t enjoy it.

The Modern Century Breakers: Watch Joe Davis’s first TV ton below…

Yesterday’s players could make century breaks. But only 8 centuries were recorded at the 1977 World Championships, though.

Now, after the 2019 World Championships, a record 100 centuries were made, beating the record of 86. This shows how potting and break-building has overtaken the importance of safety in the modern game.

World Champion Judd Trump made no less than 14 tons in the World Snooker Championships 2019. That’s just over double made in 1977!

NEILR_001
Robertson was the first player to break the century of centuries by making 103 in one one season. Only Judd has come near to that this season (despite the season hanging in the balance over Corona Virus.)

 

Neil Robertson of Australia is the only player so far to make over 100 tons in a season with 103.

Since the 1970s, there have been lots of great safety players who are terrific potters as well. These include names such as…

 

  • Welshman Ray Reardon

 

  • Welshman Mark Williams

 

  • Scotsman Alan McManus

 

  • Scotsman John Higgins

 

  • Englishman Ronnie O’Sullivan.

 

Ray Reardon was one teacher to the modern greats such as Ronnie O’Sullivan at safety and tactical play.

How snooker technique has evolved since Joe Davis…

We return now to Joe Davis and the final part of this article. Technique. Joe Davis even wrote his own books, and the most popular one is How I Play Snooker.

The book is the starting point for learning how to play snooker. Players such as Steve Davis swore by it, calling it the bible of snooker books.

Joe had a very textbook technique. Some today call it old-fashioned, but it is the foundation for playing the game. So, let’s go over the basics now.

Joe Davis’s Stance

Joe’s starting position was having a very short walk-in to the shot. Almost standing right behind it. He then placed his right leg onto the line of aim and got down with his left leg bent forward to the table. His right leg in front with a straight right leg. Joe also wanted to have his chin right down on the cue.

Nowadays, some coaches say that having the chin on the cue is NOT all that important. What is important, when delivering the shot, is you must keep dead still on the shot, with NO head movement at all. That’s still the philosophy now.

The modern snooker stance…

The modern player stands different. Most players stand square on to the shot, have a much longer walk-in to the shot (like Neil Robertson for example). They get down with a less straight bent right or left leg. It depends on how tall you are, but there is no right or wrong stance. Kyren Wilson, for example, bends both knees on the shot.

As long as your stance is comfortable and helps you deliver the cue in a straight line, then it’s fine. You will need to test your stance in practice.

Wrapping Up…

So, there you go! This article has explained how some key aspects of the game that have evolved since its early boom in the 1970s.

The game is now global. And there are more coaches around who can show you the basics and get you to improve your game so you can enjoy it more.

Find a coach and get playing.- see some great coaches here…

And most of all, enjoy it!