Table Tennis

'Top Spin' is table tennis' 'Hoop Dreams'

'Top Spin' is table tennis' 'Hoop Dreams'

Following three teenage American table-tennis players as they rigorously train and try to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, the documentary "Top Spin" grips, exhilarates and breaks hearts like the 1994 film "Hoop Dreams."

Unlike basketball, table tennis holds few prospects for career, celebrity or monetary reward. These young players sacrifice their formative years for little more than potential bragging rights. Recall Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz as portrayed by Channing Tatum in the beginning of "Foxcatcher," collecting meager appearance fees and eating instant noodles just to get by.

The subjects in "Top Spin" —...

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