Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Miracle is about a coach, Herb Brooks, who embarks on a mission to assemble the perfect hockey team to beat the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.  The team goes through some initial growing pains, but soon comes together to attempt the seemingly impossible task of beating the best hockey team in the world.  Based on a true story.

Release Year: 2004
Rating: PG
Length: 135m

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

  • Commitment: Herb Brooks addresses the team right after the team has been chosen and says, “take a good look gentleman, because they [the ones who did not make the team] are the ones getting off easy.  The final roster will have 20 names on it so more of you are going home."  (15m)
  • Leadership: Mike Eruzione shows his leadership when he tells Herb Brooks that he plays for the USA after they had been made to skate after an exhibition game in Europe.  Herb Brooks had been asking this question throughout the movie and the players kept giving their college names instead of saying they played for the USA.  (45m)  
  • Motivation: Herb Brooks uses a variety of motivational tactics throughout the movie.  He tells goaltender Jim Craig that he is thinking of benching him after the exhibition loss to the Soviet Union. (1h 16m)  During an intermission, Herb uses a player's bruised leg  as a way to fire the team up when they are losing by calling him a quitter and to be a hockey player.  Herb knows this will fire the rest of the team up because of how close they are to one another. (1h, 24m)  And finally, he gives his famous speech, starting with, "Great moments...are born from great opportunity." (1h 37m)
  • Politics:  Opening scenes show the Cold War problems, inflation, and around the Christmas party scene Jimmy Carter gives his famous speech discussing how there was a “question of confidence in America.” (65m)  It shows where the country was at this time and how the hockey game versus the Soviet Union meant everything.
  • Teamwork: Mike Eruzione and a few other players talk to Herb about bringing in an all-star college player three months before the Olympic Games and tell him that they are a “family” so Herb should send the all-star home even though he is an incredible talent. (61m)
  • Underdogs: Team USA are the underdogs in the Olympics, but primarily when they face the Soviet Union in the semi-final game, where they beat them.

  • Run, Fatboy, Run

    Run, Fatboy, Run is about Dennis Doyle, who left Libby at the alter due to mounting pressures of being a husband and father. Now Libby has a new boyfriend who is everything Dennis is not. Motivated to win back Libby's respect, his goal is to run a marathon alongside the antagonist Whit.

    Release Year: 2007
    Rating: PG-13
    Length: 100m

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

    • Attributions: Dennis attributes his failures to external, stable, and out-of-control variables.
    • Confidence: Dennis walks around the whole movie slumpy until the very end, while Whit is a very proud and confident person.
    • Goal Setting: Dennis sets his goal of finishing the marathon and earning back the respect of Libby and his son Jake.
    • Imagery: During the marathon, Dennis hits the "runner's wall" and envisions himself breaking through a real wall, recalling images of past moments.
    • Motivation: Dennis is motivated by various other characters throughout the movie, such as making a bet with friends, being chased with a spatula, betting his rent, and wanting to earn back the respect of his former fiancĂ©.

    The Rookie

    The Rookie is about Jim Morris, who pitched in the minors, but after injuring his arm and having multiple surgeries, he became a science teacher and baseball coach in a Texas high school. After a bet with his team he found himself at a MLB tryout and at 35 years old he attempts a childhood dream.

    Release Year: 2002
    Rating: G
    Length: 127m

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

    • Coaching: Jim Morris is a high school coach, so there are several examples of him coaching throughout the movie.
    • Confidence: Jim pitches batting practice to the team, and once they start hitting off him, they have the confidence to hit any pitcher they face.
    • Going for your Dream: His childhood dream was to pitch in the MLB, which is the dream he is now chasing again.
    • Injury: He was drafted young, but after injuring his arm, he had to give up his pitching career and his chance at making it in the big leagues.
    • Motivation: The bet between Jim and his team give the team extra motivation to win the championship, while Jim also turns to his family for motivation.

    The Waterboy

    The Waterboy is about the team waterboy (Bobby Boucher) who accidentally has his anger unleashed, turning him into a defensive maniac and a feared linebacker. However, if he wants to play football, he must keep it a secret from his mother who believes he is too delicate, while also overcoming academic adversity.

    Release Year: 1998
    Rating: PG-13
    Length: 90m

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

    • Aggression: Aggression is seen in nearly every scene of this movie. His aggressive is usually unlocked by opposing team members and even his coach. For example, Coach Klein tells Bobby that water sucks and gatorade is better to motivate him and make him angry, which leads Bobby to have a field goal block/return to win the game. (42m)
    • Confidence: Confidence plays a major role in the beginning of this film. Bobby was picked on by players from both teams he worked for but failed to redeem himself due to a lack of confidence. It is evident when he recalls a memory from his childhood where a past coach belittles him when he tries to stand up for himself. (13m)
    • Cultural Differences: Bobby has never considered playing football and when given the opportunity he is hesitant because of what his mother will say. Coach Klein attends dinner at Bobbies house where his mother rattles on about how bobby is to delicate and how she raised a sweet boy and he doesn't need to go to college. You can tell they have different standards and beliefs towards education. (16m)
    • Imagery: In several instances he recalls images from his past that contribute to his aggression. But a better reference for imagery is the scene where Bobby replaces the heads of the offensive line and field goal kicker with Coach Klein's face while having them sing a catchy tune. (43m)

    Like Mike

    Like Mike is about an orphan kid who encounters magic shoes that turn him into a great basketball player. He then gets the opportunity to play for an NBA team and faces several ups and downs along the way.

    Release Year: 2002
    Rating: PG
    Length: 99m

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

    • Confidence: When Calvin entered his first game, he was not confident at all and did not want the ball, but once he put on his MJ shoes he gained total confidence and won the game. (29m)
    • Parents/Families: This happens when Calvin is adopted by a teammate and he now has a real father and family. (1h 32m)
    • Teamwork: This happens throughout the whole movie but is specifically noticed when the announcer talks about the team having had teamwork since Calvin has been on the team. (42m)

    Stick It

    Stick It is about the sport of gymnastics and everything that comes along with it.  Haley is faced with the challenge of returning to the sport after she traumatically left it years ago.  She goes through many ups and downs along the way, and can attribute many of them to her coach.

    Release Year: 2006
    Rating: PG-13
    Length: 103m

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

    • Confidence:  When the girls have their first meet, Haley tells her teammates to throw harder skills because she knows they can do it.  The girls do throw the harder skills, showing they are confident in their abilities.
    • Eating Disorders: This theme is seen quite a lot in the sport of gymnastics.  It is evident in this movie when Joanne is looking at herself in a mirror in disgust, even though she is far from being overweight.
    • Leadership:  From the start, the other gymnasts looked up to Haley as a role model.  They decide to scratch their routines at Championships after Haley is the first one to do it and throw their harder skills at their first meet because Haley convinces them it is a good idea.
    • Sportsmanship: Joanne (a fellow gymnast) is very un-sportsmanlike, sarcastically telling another gymnast "nice stick" when she falls on her bar dismount and follows that up by saying, "it's not called gymn-NICE-stics" to Haley.
    • Teamwork: This theme is seen throughout the entire movie, especially when the four girls go to Championships.  Mina performed her vault flawlessly, but received only a 9.5 because her bra strap was showing.  All the other girls decided to blatantly pull out their bra straps during their vaults and scratch for that event so that Mina will win.