Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Boy in Blue

The Boy in Blue is based on the life of Ned Hanlan, a champion sculler.  The movie chronicles his life and how he starts off as a wild child until he took control of his own career and teamed up with an inventor.

Release Year: 1986
Rating: R
Length: 100m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.







True Blue

True Blue (also known as Miracle at Oxford) is about the Oxford rowing team's rivalry with Cambridge.  After a tough loss, the team argues over how to band together to come back and win again.

Release Year: 1996
Rating: R
Length: 115m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.

Invictus

Invictus is the real story about the South African rugby team who became champions in 1995, when the Rugby World Cup was held in their own country. Good history about coaching, leadership, and how sports united the whole country, which was suffering from racial and political tensions.

Release Year: 2009
Rating: PG-13
Length: 134m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.



  • Teamwork: In the final game, against New Zealand. The rivalry and how the South African team won by uniting together.
  • Leadership: The position that the captain assumes in field and how he becomes the main worker within the team.
  • Going for your Dream: The influence of Nelson Mandela in the training and conversations with the captain / players.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a comedy that follows the career of NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby.  He grew up with the motto, "If you ain't first, you're last."  Ricky Bobby is in the race of his life when his career and motto are put to the test when French Formula One driver Jean Girard joins NASCAR.

Release Year: 2006
Rating: PG-13
Length: 108m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.


  • Anxiety: This theme is depicted throughout several portions of the movie. The most memorable scene is learning to "drive with the fear," or in Ricky Bobby's case, a cougar.
  • Career Issues: This is the overall theme of the movie. It is summed up best at the end with the unveiling of Ricky Bobby's new car.
  • Confidence: After Ricky Bobby's crash, his confidence is shaken. His anxiety and fear cripple him to a point where he cannot even drive a car. (He resorts to riding a bicycle around town). He slowly regains his confidence after training with his father.

McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice

McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice is a documentary that briefly follows the careers of tennis legends John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.  The movie focuses on their competitive rivalry and friendship, including the epic 1980 Wimbledon final.  Each player along with sports media personnel are interviewed throughout the film.

Release Year: 2011
Length: 61m

For more information, view its HBO page or purchase the 1980 match from Amazon.




  • Aggression: Throughout the film, shows highlights of McEnroe flipping out, including the famed "you cannot be serious" 36m in.
  • Burnout: About 44m in, Borg talks about how tired he was of playing and his loss of motivation to win.  At 55m, Borg sells his trophies.  About 50m in, McEnroe actually uses the word "burnout" to describe what he was feeling when he took some time off from tennis.
  • Intrinsic Motivation: A few minutes in, Borg discusses how he fell in love with tennis when he was young.
  • Parents/Family: About 9m in, McEnroe discusses his parents and how they pushed him the right amount.
  • Routines: Great example of Borg's pre-match routine about 20m in.  He traveled the same route, used the same towels, and had the exact same preparation before his matches at Wimbledon.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Touching the Void

Touching the Void is an incredible story of survival in the face of death.  This part documentary, part dramatic reenactment follows Joe Simpson and Simon Yates as they climb the previously unclimbed west face of Siula Grande.  The ascent goes well, but, as Joe states: "80% of accidents occur on the way down."

Release Year: 2003
Rating: R
Length: 106m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.


  • Confidence: at the beginning of the movie, they believed they would be the first ones to do it because they were better than the previous climbers; loss of confidence following the injury (felt "doomed" and "psychologically beaten")
  • Goal Setting: after injury, Joe repeatedly makes time-based goals for motivation as he crawls across the top of a glacier to get back to camp; occurs about two-thirds of the way into the movie
  • Injury: shortly into the descent, Joe falls and breaks his leg, rendering him crippled the rest of the climb, about a half-hour into the movie
  • Intrinsic Motivation: at the very beginning, Joe and Simon talk about how much they love climbing
  • Self-Talk: Joe and Simon discuss their thoughts throughout the entire documentary
  • Teamwork: in their style of climbing, were tied to each other, which requires great trust; after injury, Simon attempts to lower Joe down the mountain one rope length at a time

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Without Limits


Without Limits is a biography of Olympic runner Steve Prefontaine.

Release Year: 1998
Rating: PG-13
Length: 117m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Wildcats


Wildcats is about a white middle-class woman who becomes the head coach of a black inner-city football team.

Release Year: 1986
Rating: R
Length: 106m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.





When We Were Kings


When We Were Kings is a documentary about the 1974 heavyweight title bout "Rumble in the Jungle" between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali.

Release Year: 1996
Rating: PG
Length: 89m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.




Vision Quest


Vision Quest is about a high school wrestler (Louden) who attempts to drop two weight classes to beat the state's number one wrestler (Shute).

Release Year: 1985
Rating: R
Length: 105m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.




  • Confidence: Louden's confidence grows throughout his quest to face Shute.
  • Eating Disorders: Louden must cut weight to face Shute, so he eats sparingly and overtrains, causing nosebleeds.
  • Focus: Louden focuses on Shute every day, even when Shute shows up at a match to get in his head.
  • Imagery: He imagines the six minutes on the mat with Shute, but his friend tell him, "It's not the six minutes, its what happens in those six minutes that counts!"
  • Underdogs: Louden is the underdog because no one has beaten Shute and he is a monster.


Victory


Victory stars soccer legend Pele as he leads a team of prisoners in a soccer game against their German captors during World War II.

Release Year: 1981
Rating: PG
Length: 116m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Varsity Blues


Varsity Blues is about a high school football team in a small Texas town that is obsessed with football.

Release Year: 1999
Rating: R
Length: 106m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Tin Cup


Tin Cup is about a former pro golfer who tries to qualify for the US Open.

Release Year: 1996
Rating: R
Length: 135m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






This Sporting Life


This Sporting Life is about a coal miner who wants to become a professional rugby player.

Release Year: 1963
Length: 134m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.







Youngblood


Youngblood is about a young hockey star with no propensity towards fighting who must try to make it on a minor league team.

Release Year: 1986
Rating: R
Length: 110m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Star Wars Episode VI - Return of the Jedi


Star Wars Episode VI - Return of the Jedi is the final movie in the Star Wars trilogy where the Jedi finally overthrow the empire.

Release Year: 1983
Rating: PG
Length: 134m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back


Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back continues the story of the Jedi knights and their battle with the empire.

Release Year: 1980
Rating: PG
Length: 124m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope


Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope follows the story of the last Jedi knight as he teams up with rebels to take down the evil galactic empire.

Release Year: 1977
Rating: PG
Length: 121m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.





Space Jam


Space Jam is about Michael Jordan and a team of Looney Tunes who must defeat aliens in a game of basketball.

Release Year: 1996
Rating: PG
Length: 88m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Slap Shot


Slap Shot is about a failing hockey team that uses violence to create fan interest.

Release Year: 1977
Rating: R
Length: 123m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.







Searching for Bobby Fischer


Searching for Bobby Fischer is about a young chess protégé who struggles with the pressures of competition.

Release Year: 1993
Rating: PG
Length: 109m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.





Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Running Brave


Running Brave is the story of Sioux Indian Billy Mills who won gold at the 1964 Olympics.

Release Year: 1983
Rating: PG
Length: 106m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.

Rudy


Rudy is the story of a kid who is determined to fulfill his dream of playing football for Notre Dame

Release Year: 1993
Rating: PG
Length: 114m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Rookie of the Year


Rookie of the Year is about a 12 year old boy who suffers an accident that leaves him able to pitch amazingly well.

Release Year: 1993
Rating: PG
Length: 103m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.




Rollerball


Rollerball is about a futuristic sport that is brutal and violent.

Release Year: 1975, 2002
Rating: R
Length: 125m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database (1975 and 2002) and Rotten Tomatoes (1975 and 2002) or purchase it from Amazon.






Rocky IV


Rocky IV continues the story of Rocky, who boxes for his country against the Soviet Union's top fighter.

Release Year: 1985
Rating: PG
Length: 91m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Rocky III


Rocky III continues the story of Rocky, this time pitting him against a new foe.

Release Year: 1982
Rating: PG
Length: 99m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Rocky II


Rocky II continues the story of Rocky, where he receives another chance at the title.

Release Year: 1979
Rating: PG
Length: 119m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Rocky


Rocky is about an underdog boxer who receives a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fight the heavyweight champion.

Release Year: 1976
Rating: PG
Length: 119m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






The Replacements


The Replacements is about replacement players who provide some talent for a football team on strike.

Release Year: 2000
Rating: PG-13
Length: 118m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Remember the Titans


Remember the Titans is the story of a coach who unites a racially diverse football team and takes them to championships.

Release Year: 2000
Length: 113m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






The Program


The Program is the story of a college football team facing the pressure of winning and balancing life. The team has players from all walks of life, and they need a winning season so the program can survive.

Release Year: 1993
Rating: R
Length: 112m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.



  • Aggression: Shown through the desire to win and one player's use of steroids, which caused him to become very angry and aggressive.
  • Anxiety: There was a lot of pressure on the team to win, otherwise their program would be cut. Plus, the quarterback came from a family of alcoholics, so he was always on edge and nervous, and ultimately ended up going to rehab for drinking.
  • Parents/Families: Girlfriends and families played a big role. Alvin wanted to get his family out of poverty, the QB wanted his family to support his playing, and the running backs were battling for a girl's heart and approval.
  • Cultural Differences: The team was made of players with very different backgrounds and the team had to try and blend everyone together for their success.

Price of Glory


Price of Glory is about a father who pushes his three sons into boxing after he was cheated out of his own career.

Release Year: 2000
Rating: PG-13
Length: 118m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.




Oxford Blues


Oxford Blues is about an American competing for Oxford's prestigious rowing team.

Release Year: 1984
Rating: PG-13
Length: 97m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






The Natural


The Natural is about a man's invigorating return to a baseball team after a mysterious absence.  Great scene with a sport psychologist in it.

Release Year: 1984
Rating: PG
Length: 134m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Mystery, Alaska


Mystery, Alaska is about a small town hockey team that is chosen to play an NHL team.

Release Year: 1999
Rating: R
Length: 119m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Mr. Holland’s Opus


Mr. Holland's Opus is the story of a music teacher's life and the students he inspires.

Release Year: 1995
Rating: PG
Length: 143m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






The Mighty Ducks


The Mighty Ducks is about a lawyer who unwillingly coaches an inner city hockey team.

Release Year: 1992
Rating: PG
Length: 100m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.

You may view the trailer here.

The Matrix


The Matrix is about a computer hacker who learns about the true nature of reality.

Release Year: 1999
Rating: R
Length: 136m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Major League


Major League is a goofy comedy about a team of misfits who turn around their fortunes.

Release Year: 1989
Rating: R
Length: 107m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Monday, 20 June 2011

Love and Basketball


Love and Basketball is about two teenagers, a boy and a girl, who grow up with basketball and family problems.

Release Year: 2000
Rating: PG-13
Length: 124m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






The Loretta Claiborne Story


The Loretta Claiborne Story is a made-for-television movie about a mentally disabled woman who competes as a track athlete.

Release Year: 2000
Length: 100m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.

The Longest Yard


The Longest Yard is about former popular professional quarterback Paul Crewe who is sent to prison.  He decides to create a makeshift team of inmates to face off against a team of prison guards in a game of football.

Release Years: 1974, 2005
Rating: R (1974), PG-13 (2005)
Length: 121m (1974), 113m (2005)

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database (1974 and 2005) and Rotten Tomatoes (1974 and 2005) or purchase it from Amazon.


  • Aggression: Both the inmate and guard teams are extremely aggressive towards each other when playing.
  • Coaching: Paul (played by Adam Sandler) coaches the inmates despite many of them not knowing much about football.
  • Motivation: Paul uses a variety of tactics to motivate his team, but none is more motivating then the mean prison warden.
  • Substance Abuse: A major alcohol problem at the beginning of the movie was the reason the quarterback was imprisoned.
  • Teamwork: The inmates helped each other in many ways to pull off the win against the prison guards.
  • Underdogs: The inmates' football team is clearly the underdog in the movie; at first they don't even believe they have a chance at winning.

Little Girls in Pretty Boxes



Little Girls in Pretty Boxes is a made-for-television movie based on the book about gymnasts and the extreme difficulties they encounter at the upper echelons of competition.  Elite gymnastics results in many sacrifices for all involved, both physically and mentally, but how how much is too much?


Release Year: 1997
Length: 96m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase the book from Amazon.


Aggression: Aggression is depicted in a few ways throughout the movie: both in the parent-to-parent relationships with one another while viewing their daughters and in the coaching style with the athletes.

Anxiety: The coach tries to put them under constent anxiety so they will cope better with it, and some handle it better than others. The girls are constantly reminded of who is at the top and that if they are there, they may not be remain for long.

Commitment: The girls are reminded on a regular basis about how much effort that they need to put into their gymnastics to pursue their goal. Parents make a huge commitment to follow their children in their efforts.

Confidence: In one of the last scenes the coach yells at Katie for not attempting the Yurchenko. You can not bail out on skills; you must have the confidence or you will get hurt.

Eating Disorders: Katie reduces the amount she eats. She says that she won't eat her dinner and if she does, she will just throw it up because losing three pounds means gaining a foot in height in her tumbling.

Goal Setting: The coach puts a lot of outcome oriented goals on the athletes: win or else that's it.

Going for your Dream: All the girls hope to make it to the Olympics. They give up much to pursue their dream, including leaving behind their home and family.

Injury: In the end the star athlete has a career ending injury, which in turn leads to the thought that Katie was being pushed too hard.

Keeping Sport in Perspective: When they decide to go home Katie's mother realizes that her job is to be a mother. She does not want Katie to become hurt in order to be win in a sport. Her life is more important.

Parents/Family: In order for Katie to move her entire family must make a sacrifice and do so. However, her relationship with her family is part of the key to her success.

Substance Abuse: The girls put their bodies through so much and in turn suffer pain they must push through. Dana Parker, the star athlete, offers Katie prescription medicine to help her battle through pain.

Little Giants


Little Giants is about a nerdy coach who assembles a football team to play the city champions.

Release Year: 1994
Rating: PG
Length: 107m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






The Legend of Bagger Vance


The Legend of Bagger Vance is about a mystical caddie who helps a struggling golfer.

Release Year: 2000
Rating: PG-13
Length: 126m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






A League of Their Own


A League of Their Own is the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from the 1940s.

Release Year: 1992
Rating: PG
Length: 128m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Ladybugs


Ladybugs is about a salesman who must coach a girl's soccer team to try and earn a promotion.

Release Year: 1992
Rating: PG-13
Length: 90m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






The Karate Kid


The Karate Kid is about a young boy who learns from a master the physical and mental aspects of karate.

Release Year: 1984
Rating: PG
Length: 126m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.






Jerry Maguire


Jerry Maguire is a story about a sports agent and his only client learning what is really important in life.

Release Year: 1996
Rating: R
Length: 139m

For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.