Rocky III

  • Directors: Sylvester Stallone
  • Producers: Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler
  • Writers: Sylvester Stallone
  • Genres: Action, Sport
  • Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Mr T, Tony Burton

Rocky III begins with the ending of the 15th round of the rematch between Rocky and Apollo Creed, with Rocky Balboa becoming the new heavyweight champion of the world. This is followed by an opening montage of scenes that explain what happened in the time between Rocky II and Rocky III. In the five years since winning the heavyweight title from Apollo, Rocky has a string of 10 successful title defenses. As his winning streak grows, so does his fame, wealth and celebrity, and soon Rocky is seen everywhere, from magazine covers to TV show guest star appearances. Rocky is also heavily merchandised, sponsoring varied products and services. At the same time, a ferocious new boxer named James “Clubber” Lang (Mr. T) is climbing the ranks, rapidly becoming the number one contender for Rocky’s title.

Rocky’s brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young) has grown jealous of Rocky’s accomplishments. After a night of heavy drinking, Paulie stumbles into a video arcade, destroys a ROCKY pinball machine in a rage and is arrested. Rocky bails him out of jail and, on the way to Rocky’s car to ride home, Paulie begins berating Rocky for forgetting him on his climb to the top. Paulie swallows his pride and asks Rocky for a job, which Rocky grants him.

Soon afterwards, Rocky and Apollo return to Mickey’s gym, with Apollo revealing the price of his training: a third fight with Rocky. However, this time it would only be a sparring match between two new friends, which Rocky accepts.

Rocky IV

  • Directors: Sylvester Stallone
  • Producers: Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler
  • Writers: Sylvester Stallone
  • Genres: Action, Sport
  • Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Tony Burton, Brigitte Nielsen, Dolph Lundgren

The story opens with “Eye of the Tiger” during the climax of Rocky Balboa’s rematch against Clubber Lang, where Rocky defeated Lang with a KO in the third round to regain his title. The picture then fades and we see Apollo Creed presenting his favor to Rocky shortly after the Lang fight for helping him train. Meanwhile, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), a highly intimidating 6´5ft, 260 pound Soviet boxer, arrives in America with his wife Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielsen), an Olympic gold medal swimmer, his manager, Nicolai Koloff (Michael Pataki), and a team of trainers headed by grizzled Russian coach Igor Rimsky (George Rogan), and the Cuban Manuel Vega (James “Cannonball” Green) to challenge the best American fighters. His manager takes great pride in showing off the hi-tech equipment which aids in improving Drago’s performance. As a demonstration, Drago throws punches at a machine that measures the hit’s strength, exceeding 1800 psi per punch.

Motivated by patriotism and a desire to prove himself, Apollo is desperate to step back into the ring in an exhibition bout against Drago. Rocky has reservations, but comes round to supporting his friend by helping to train him for the fight. Apollo sets the match between himself and Drago in Las Vegas. With Rocky in his corner, Apollo flamboyantly makes an even bigger show than when he first fought Rocky – including fireworks and a patriotic theme. Starting the fight in his trademark manner, Drago manages to catch him off-guard quickly and batters Apollo with a series of devasting punches. At the break, Rocky pleads with Apollo to quit the fight, but Apollo is determined to finish, which only leads to tragedy when he collapses and dies in Rocky’s arms from Drago’s continuous blows.

In the final round of the fight, Rocky and Drago trade punch after punch. Eventually, Balboa manages to overcome Drago knocking him out, to the shock of Soviet premier (who strongly resembles the then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev) and his aides who have no option but to applaud Rocky for fear of backlash. Following his victory, Rocky gives an impassioned speech to the crowd, acknowledging their initial and mutual disdain for each other, and how they’ve come to respect and admire each other during the fight.

The Waterboy

  • Directors: Frank Coraci
  • Producers: Jack Giarraputo, Robert Simonds, Adam Sandler
  • Writers: Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler
  • Genres: Comedy, Sport
  • Actors: Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Henry Winkler, Fairuza Balk, Jerry Reed

Adam Sandler plays Bobby Boucher (pronounced “Boo-SHAY”), a socially inept (but also intelligent), stuttering, water boy with anger issues due to constant teasing and his mother’s (Kathy Bates) excessive sheltering. He was the water boy for the fictitious University of Louisiana Cougars[2][3] (a name and mascot bearing a strong resemblance to the Louisiana State University Tigers) for the past 18 years (he joined sometime around the 1980-81 season), but the players tormented him, and the team’s head coach, Coach Red Beaulieu, (Jerry Reed) fired him for disrupting his team’s practices. His attempt to become the new waterboy of his favorite wrestler, Captain Insano (Paul Wight, aka The Big Show), is unsuccessful because he reveals that he is in fact 31 years old. As a result, Captain Insano and the TV presenter laugh and Bobby, offended, hangs up before they answer. He later goes to Coach Klein (Henry Winkler), coach of the fictitious “South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs” (a name and mascot strongly resembling the former University of Southwestern Louisiana Bulldogs), and volunteers to work as the team’s water boy for free after seeing the filthy water that the coach provides his players.

During his first few hours of being waterboy for the Mud Dogs, one of the players spits into the water can. A flashback is then seen when the waterboy was a young kid working for the Cougars. Coach Beaulieu refuses the right for the waterboy to retaliate against one of his players for spitting in the cooler. Coach Klein notices his anger problem and encourages Bobby to stand up for himself instead of letting the players walk all over him. After Gee Grenouille (Peter Dante), the team’s captain taunts him, Bobby then sees flashbacks of the people that also made his life a living hell (to name a few: Greg Meaney, Coach Red Beaulieu, Captain Insano and the TV host, Jim Simmonds). Bobby utters the phrase “Stop makin’ fun of me!” signaling that enough is enough.

The line “You can do it!” is referenced in “Original Prankster” by The Offspring. The line is used as a running gag in other Sandler movies, Little Nicky and The Longest Yard and both times was said by Rob Schneider. It was used again in Rob Schneider’s The Animal, this time spoken by Adam Sandler, as well as in Sandler’s Anger Management, but spoken by then-mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani.

Dodgeball A True Underdog Story

  • Directors: Rawson Marshall Thurber
  • Producers: Stuart Cornfeld, Ben Stiller
  • Writers: Rawson Marshall Thurber
  • Genres: Comedy, Sport
  • Actors: Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Justin Long, Jason Bateman, and Rip Torn

Peter LaFleur (Vaughn) is the laid-back, down-to-earth owner of Average Joe’s, a failing, decaying gym with a handful of loyal, but eccentric, members, including Steve the Pirate (Alan Tudyk), Justin (Justin Long), Gordon (Stephen Root), and employees Dwight (Chris Williams) and Owen (Joel Moore). His rival, White Goodman (Stiller), owner of the glamorous Globo-Gym located across the street, has purchased Average Joe’s defaulted mortgage. Therefore, Peter must raise $50,000 in 30 days in order to redeem the equity of redemption on the about-to-be-foreclosed mortgage, or else Goodman will successfully foreclose upon Average Joe’s Gym and demolish it for a parking garage. Working on this transaction is attorney Kate Veatch (Taylor), whom White attempts and fails to charm on multiple different occasions. However, Veatch and Peter develop a friendship despite her role in his business troubles. After various half-hearted attempts at money-raising fail, Gordon declares that they can win the money needed to pay the redemption costs by winning a dodgeball competition in Las Vegas, and begin to train to enter the tournament. The team watches a 1950s-style training film featuring legendary dodgeball star Patches O’Houlihan (played by Rip Torn) to learn about dodgeball.

The Average Joes become a success, Justin’s girlfriend Amber becomes pregnant, and White drowns his sorrows in junk food, becoming obese again as a result. After the end credits White is seen on the on his couch listening to the song Milkshake while rubbing his nipples together

Sugar

  • Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
  • Producers: Anna Boden, Paul Mezey, Jamie Patricof, Jeremy Kipp Walker
  • Writers: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
  • Genres: Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Algenis Perez Soto, Karl Bury, Michael Gaston

Miguel (Perez Soto) spends his weekends at home, passing from the landscaped gardens and manicured fields on one side of the guarded academy gate to the underdeveloped, more chaotic world beyond. In his small village outside San Pedro de Macoris, Miguel enjoys a kind of celebrity status. His neighbors gather to welcome him back for the weekend; the children ask him for extra baseballs or an old glove. To his family, who lost their father years before, Miguel is their hope and shining star. With the small bonus he earned when he signed with the academy some time ago, he has started to build his family a new house – one that has a bigger kitchen for his mom and a separate room for his grandmother.

Jorge (Rufino), the more veteran player and the only other Dominican on the team, also tries to help Miguel learn the ropes. However, despite the Higgins’ welcoming efforts and Jorge’s guidance, the challenge of Miguel’s acceptance into the community is exposed in small ways every day, from his struggle to communicate in English to an accident of casual bigotry at a local bar.

Miguel’s domination on the mound masks his underlying sense of isolation, until he injures himself during a routine play at first. While on the injured list, Jorge, his one familiar connection to home in this strange new place, is cut from the team, never fully regaining his ability following off-season knee surgery. The new vulnerability of Miguel’s injury, coupled with the loneliness of losing his closest friend, force Miguel to begin examining the world around him and his place within it. Pressure mounts when Salvador, a young pitching phenom who used to play with Miguel, is brought up from the Dominican Republic to join the team. Miguel’s play falters, and the increased isolation begins to take its toll on him. As his dream begins to fall apart, Miguel decides to leave baseball to follow another kind of American dream. His odyssey finally brings him to New York City, where he struggles to find community and make a new home for himself, like so many before him.

Rocky

  • Directors: John G Avildsen
  • Producers: Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler
  • Writers: Sylvester Stallone
  • Genres: Action, Sport
  • Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith

In November, 1975, Rocky Balboa is introduced as a small-time boxer and collector for Gazzo (Joe Spinell), a loan shark. The WBA World Heavyweight Championship bout is scheduled for New Year’s Day, 1976, the year of the United States Bicentennial. When the opponent of undefeated heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) is injured, Creed comes up with the idea of fighting a local Philadelphia underdog and, because he likes Rocky’s nickname, “The Italian Stallion,” he selects the unknown fighter. He puts it in light by proclaiming “Apollo Creed meets ‘The Italian Stallion.’

To prepare for the fight, Rocky trains with 1920s-era ex-bantamweight fighter Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith), while Rocky’s good friend, Paulie (Burt Young), a meat-packing plant worker, lets him practice his punches on the carcasses hanging in the freezers. During training, Rocky dates Paulie’s quiet sister, Adrian (Talia Shire). The night before the fight, Rocky confides in Adrian that he does not expect to beat Creed, and that all he wants is to go the distance with Creed (which no fighter has ever done), meaning that lasting 15 rounds (the typical scheduled length of championship fights at the time) against him would mean he “… wasn’t just another bum from the neighborhood.”

Creed does not initially take the fight seriously, but Rocky unexpectedly knocks him down in the first round and the match turns intense. The fight indeed lasts 15 rounds with each fighter suffering many injuries. After the fight, Rocky calls out for Adrian, who runs down to the ring. As the ring announcer declares the fight for Apollo Creed by virtue of a split decision, Adrian and Rocky embrace while they profess their love to one another, not caring about the results of the fight.

The Hustler

  • Directors: Robert Rossen
  • Producers: Robert Rossen
  • Writers: Walter Tevis, Sidney Carroll, Robert Rossen
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Sport
  • Actors: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C Scott

Small-time pool hustler “Fast Eddie” Felson (Paul Newman) travels cross-country with his partner Charlie (Myron McCormick) to challenge the legendary player “Minnesota Fats” (Jackie Gleason). Arriving at Ames, Fats’s home pool hall, Eddie declares he will win $10,000 that night. Fats arrives and he and Eddie agree to play for $200 a game. After initially falling behind, Eddie surges back to being $1,000 ahead, and suggests raising the bet to $1,000 a game; Fats agrees. He sends out a runner, Preacher (Stefan Gierasch) to Johnny’s Bar, ostensibly for a bottle of whiskey, but really to get professional gambler Bert Gordon (George C. Scott) to the hall. Eddie gets ahead $11,000 and Charlie tries to convince him to quit, but Eddie insists the game will end only when Fats says it is over. Fats agrees to continue after Bert labels Eddie a “loser.” After 25 hours and an entire bottle of bourbon, Eddie is ahead over $18,000, but loses it all along with all but $200 of his original stake. At their hotel later, Eddie leaves half of the remaining stake with a sleeping Charlie and leaves.

Eddie stashes his belongings at the local bus terminal, where he meets Sarah Packard (Piper Laurie), an alcoholic “college girl” who walks with a limp. He meets her again at a bar. They go back to her place but she refuses to let him in, saying he is “too hungry.” Eddie moves into a rooming house and starts hustling for small stakes. He finds Sarah again and this time she takes him in, but with reservations.

Eddie returns to challenge Fats again, putting up his entire $3,000 stake on a single game. He wins game after game, beating Fats so badly that Fats is forced to quit. Bert demands a share of Eddie’s winnings but Eddie, invoking the memory of Sarah, shames Bert into giving up his claim.

Million Dollar Baby

  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Producers: Clint Eastwood, Albert S Ruddy, Tom Rosenberg
  • Writers: Short stories, F X Toole, Screenplay, Paul 160 Haggis
  • Genres: Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman

Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), an amateur who aspires to prove herself by becoming a successful boxer, is reluctantly taken on by Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood), a brilliant but down-and-out boxing trainer who has been cast aside by his colleagues and relatives, including his estranged daughter, Katy. Dunn helps Maggie realize her goal while developing a stronger-than-blood bond with her. Initially, Dunn’s attitude towards Maggie is indifferent, because she is female and already 31 years old. Maggie, however, perseveres in her attempts to win Dunn’s favor by training each day in his gym, even when others discourage her. Frank’s friend and employee, ex-boxer Eddie “Scrap Iron” Dupris (Morgan Freeman) narrates the story in non-dialogue scenes.

Dunn writes to his estranged daughter every week but receives no replies. Dunn’s priest cannot fathom why Katy would not respond and instead doubts Dunn’s claims that he writes to her. Dunn himself, lacking a close relationship with his daughter, establishes a strong one with Maggie, whose own family cares little for her well-being. When Maggie buys her mother a house, she is not grateful and castigates Maggie for putting the welfare scam she and Maggie’s sister are running at risk. Dunn coaches Maggie and manages her professional career. With his expert help, she fights her way up to the women’s welterweight boxing division, and eventually ranks high enough for a match in Las Vegas against the WBA women’s welterweight champion, Billie the Blue Bear (played by real life boxer Lucia Rijker), who is known to get away with committing fouls.

Just before administering the injection, Dunn finally tells Maggie the meaning of the nickname by which he has called her; the phrase, Mo Chuisle, which he says is Irish for “My darling, my blood”, (although the actual meaning is “My pulse”). Afterwards, as Scrap explains, Dunn disappears. Scrap’s narration is revealed to be a letter to Dunn’s daughter, Katy, informing her of her father’s true character.

Raging Bull

  • Directors: Martin Scorsese
  • Producers: Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler
  • Writers: Book, Jake LaMotta, Joseph Carter, Peter Savage, Screenplay, Paul Schrader, Mardik Martin
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty

Beginning in 1964, where an older and fatter Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro) practices his stand-up comic routine, a flashback shifts to his boxing career in 1941 against his opponent, Jimmy Reeves, in the infamous Cleveland bout. Losing the fight by a fixed result causes a fight to break out at the end of the match.[1] His brother Joey LaMotta (Joe Pesci) is not only a sparring partner to him but also responsible for organizing his fights. Joey discusses a potential shot for the title with one of his mob connections, Salvy Batts (Frank Vincent), on the way to his brother’s house in their neighborhood in the Bronx. When they are finally settled in the house, Jake admits that he does not have much faith in his own abilities.[1] Accompanied by his brother to the local open-air swimming pool, a restless Jake spots a 15-year-old girl named Vickie at the edge of the pool (Cathy Moriarty). Although he has to be reminded by his brother he is already married, the opportunity to invite her out for the day very soon comes true when Joey gives in.[1]

Jake has two fights with Sugar Ray Robinson, set two years apart, and Jake loses the second when the judges rule in favor of Sugar Ray because he was leaving the sport temporarily for US ARMY conscription.[1] This does not deter Jake from winning six straight fights, but as his fears grow about his wife, Vickie, having feelings for other men, particularly Tony Janiro, the opponent for his forthcoming fight, he is keen enough to show off his sexual jealously when he beats him in front of the local Mob boss, Tommy Como (Nicholas Colosanto) and Vickie.[1] The recent triumph over Janiro is touted as a major boost for the belt as Joey discusses this with journalists, though Joey is briefly distracted by seeing Vickie approach a table with Salvy and his crew. Joey has a word with Vickie, who says she is giving up on his brother. Blaming Salvy, Joey viciously attacks him in a fight that spills outside of the club.[2] When Tommy Como hears that the two of them rose fists in a public place, he orders them to apologize and tells Joey that he means business. At the swimming pool, Joey tells Jake that if he really wants a shot, he will have to take a dive first.[2] In the fight against Billy Fox, Jake does not even bother to put up a fight. Jake is suspended from the board on suspicion of throwing the fight, though he realizes the error of his judgment when it is too late.[2] This does little to harm his career, when he finally wins the title against Marcel Cerdan at the open air Briggs Stadium.

Going back to the beginning sequence, Jake refers to the “I shoulda have been a contender” scene from On the Waterfront complaining that his brother should have been there for him but is also keen enough to give himself some slack. Darting across the room at the information of the crowded auditorium by the stage hand, the camera remains pivoted on the mirror. The film ends on an ambiguous note with a biblical quote and a dedication to the director’s film mentor at New York University, Haig P. Moonigan, who died of a heart attack before the film was released.[2][3][4]