Movie Madness: Race for the title in full gear - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Movie Madness: Race for the title in full gear

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Voting begins when stories are posted at approximately 10 a.m. ET each morning and will close after 24 hours. New polls are posted daily, Monday through Friday, until the championship matchup on Friday, April 4. You must click "Vote" after making each selection for your vote to count.

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(RNN) - Rocky, arguably the greatest sports movie ever made, is the No. 1 overall seed in the Movie Madness tournament to determine the greatest sports film of all time.

But will the "Italian Stallion" be the last man standing? He first has to get past his own sequel, Rocky IV, which won the play-in round.

Raging Bull is the No. 2 seed in this portion of the bracket, hence its designation as the Knockout Region. Ironically, Eight Men Out is the No. 8 seed. Its pairing with No. 9 The Program could prove tough.

Let the games begin.

No. 1 Rocky vs. No. 16 Rocky IV

Rocky, 1976

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers, Talia Shire

Synopsis: The first sports film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture features affable underdog Rocky Balboa (Stallone), who gets an unlikely title bout against heavyweight champ Apollo Creed. Stallone wrote the original screenplay in three days, though it went through extensive rewrites before it was shot in 28 days on a budget of $1.1 million.

Rocky IV, 1985

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Talia Shire

Synopsis: Russian bad guy Ivan Drago (Lundgren), kills Rocky's friend Apollo Creed in the ring, and Rocky relinquishes his title to fight Drago in Russia on Christmas Day. Drago trains using high-tech equipment while Rocky carries logs through deep snow and climbs a mountain. The fight goes the distance, Rocky wins, and draped in the American flag tells the crowd that all people must live in peace. Grossing $300 million at the box office, it was the most financially successful of the Rocky movies.

No. 2 Raging Bull vs. No. 15 Coach Carter

Raging Bull, 1980

Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci

Synopsis: Violent and self-destructive boxer Jake La Motta escapes his demons only long enough to become a top contender in the ring, and even then he is a haunted man. He destroys all his relationships, including with his brother Joey (Pesci) and teenage wife Vickie (Moriarty). This brutally honest picture of real-life boxer LaMotta won DeNiro an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Coach Carter, 2005

Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum, Rick Gonzalez

Synopsis: The film is based on the true-life story of Richmond High (CA) basketball coach Ken Carter. The coach is surrounded by controversy when he benches his entire basketball team for breaking a contract requiring them to keep their grades at a certain level. The situation heightens because the team has recently found success on the court, but Carter stands his ground in the belief that lessons in life are more important than lessons in basketball.

No. 3 The Natural vs. No. 14 Blue Chips

The Natural, 1984

Stars: Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Robert Duvall

Synopsis: With the help of dramatic music and cinematography, this movie tells the story of a great athlete getting a second chance. Teenage baseball prodigy Roy Hobbs (Redford) survives a brutal shooting by an alluring woman in a hotel room but does not return to the game until he is nearly middle-aged. With his trusty bat "Wonderboy" at his side, Hobbs makes the final inning of his career one to remember.

Blue Chips, 1994

Stars: Nick Nolte, Shaquille O'Neal, Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway

Synopsis: A successful college basketball coach (Nolte) already suspected of cheating feels pressured to break the rules to attract top-level talent into his struggling program. Considering many of the headliners were professional ball players and not professional actors, this movie is somewhat lacking in depth. But the star power and realism of the story-telling makes that easier to overlook.

No. 4 White Men Can't Jump vs. No. 13 Remember the Titans

White Men Can't Jump, 1992

Stars: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez

Synopsis: Billy Hoyle (Harrelson) and Sidney Deane (Snipes) are basketball hustlers who partner to play in a 2-on-2 basketball tournament. Many assume Billy, who is on the run from mobsters because of a gambling debt, can't play because he's white. Sidney constantly teases Billy about his inability to dunk, which turns into a bet between the two in a pivotal scene in the movie.

Remember the Titans, 2000

Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton

Synopsis: A very Disney-fied version of actual events featuring integration at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA, in which a successful black coach (Washington) from South Carolina is hired as head coach over a popular white coach (Patton), who stays on as assistant. The players and coaches work through the strife, become a symbol of unity and turn into an indomitable force on the field.

No. 5 A League of Their Own vs. No. 12 Miracle

A League of Their Own, 1992

Stars: Tom Hanks, Madonna, Geena Davis

Synopsis: "There's no crying in baseball!" Jimmy Dugan (Hanks), whose Hall of Fame career ends because of booze, delivers one of the most memorable lines in cinema history as the reluctant manager of the all-female Rockford Peaches. His star catcher Dottie Hinson (Davis) and her little sister Kit (Lori Petty), along with other colorful characters in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, keep baseball going while many Major League players are fighting World War II.

Miracle, 2004

Stars: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson

Synopsis: The true story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team is brought to the screen. The feared Russian squad is so dominant, they might as well have been handed the gold medal on Day 1. But coach Herb Brooks (Russell) and captain Mike Eruzione (Patrick O'Brien Demsey) leads a group of wide-eyed college kids to an upset of one of the greatest teams in history.

No. 6 The Sandlot vs. No. 11 Million Dollar Baby

The Sandlot, 1993

Stars: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Denis Leary, James Earl Jones

Synopsis: A new kid in town (Guiry) tries to make friends through baseball, but he's not good and is an outcast until bringing a ball so they can keep playing. The ball turns out to be autographed by Babe Ruth, but they hit it over the fence into a yard guarded by a mean dog known as "The Beast." The kids try various plans to retrieve the ball with no success and are forced to face The Beast and his owner, Mr. Mertle (Jones), who turns out to be nothing like the kids imagined.

Million Dollar Baby, 2004

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Hilary Swank

Synopsis: A young woman looking to escape her past (Swank) tries to win over a smart but unsuccessful boxing trainer (Eastwood). With no options left, he eventually relents and coaches her to a championship bout. During the fight, however, she is paralyzed and develops a paternal bond with the trainer who was reluctant to take her in due to a strained relationship with his biological daughter. Their relationship is tested when she asks him to kill her rather than live as a quadriplegic.

No. 7 The Bad News Bears vs. No. 10 The Waterboy

The Bad News Bears, 1976

Stars: Walter Matthau, Tatum O'Neal

Synopsis: Washed-up drunkard and ex-minor leaguer Morris Buttermaker (Matthau) is paid to coach a little league team of runts and misfits. Buttermaker brings along an ex-girlfriend's daughter (O'Neal) as the ace of the pitching staff, who happens to also be the town's "bad boy." With solid pieces in place, the Bears make their way to the championship to avenge a bitter loss to their overachieving rivals, the Yankees.

The Waterboy, 1998

Stars: Adam Sandler, Henry Winkler, Kathy Bates

Synopsis: Stuttering, shy, overprotected momma's boy Bobby Boucher (Sandler) is the "aquatic engineer" for a lowly college football team until someone provokes the pent-up anger he has been harboring for years. Encouraged by the team's head coach (Winkler), who has serious problems of his own, Boucher channels his anger, turns into a tackling machine and takes the team to the Bourbon Bowl to meet his coach's old nemesis.

No. 8 Eight Men Out vs. No. 9 The Program

Eight Men Out, 1988

Stars: John Cusack, Charlie Sheen, David Straithairn

Synopsis: Angry with owner Charlie Comiskey, the 1919 Chicago White Sox conspire with gamblers to lose the World Series on purpose. The plot is uncovered, and eight members of the team are permanently banned from baseball, though they were found not guilty in court. The movie is based on the book of the same name by Eliot Asinof. It focuses on pitcher Eddie Cicotte (Straithairn), who was integral to the plot, as well as Buck Weaver and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (Cusack). Their role in the scandal, especially that of Jackson, has been the source of heated debates in baseball circles ever since.

The Program, 1993

Stars: James Caan, Halle Berry, Omar Epps

Synopsis: A college football coach (Caan) is on the hot seat after several disappointing seasons, but is faced with as many off the field challenges as those on the field. His players struggle with their grades and substance abuse that lead to some reckless behavior.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • WSFX.com poll

  • No. 1 Rocky vs. No. 16 Rocky IV

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Rocky
    79%
    45 votes
    Rocky IV
    21%
    12 votes
  • WSFX.com poll

  • No. 2 Raging Bull vs. No. 15 Coach Carter

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Raging Bull
    72%
    33 votes
    Coach Carter
    28%
    13 votes
  • WSFX.com poll

  • No. 3 The Natural vs. No. 14 Blue Chips

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    The Natural
    87%
    40 votes
    Blue Chips
    13%
    6 votes
  • WSFX.com poll

  • No. 4 White Men Can't Jump vs. No. 13 Remember the Titans

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    White Men Can't Jump
    20%
    10 votes
    Remember the Titans
    80%
    41 votes
  • WSFX.com poll

  • No. 5 A League of Their Own vs. No. 12 Miracle

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    A League of Their Own
    69%
    35 votes
    Miracle
    31%
    16 votes
  • WSFX.com poll

  • No. 6 The Sandlot vs. No. 11 Million Dollar Baby

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    The Sandlot
    78%
    38 votes
    Million Dollar Baby
    22%
    11 votes
  • WSFX.com poll

  • No. 7 The Bad News Bears vs. No. 10 The Waterboy

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    The Bad News Bears
    56%
    28 votes
    The Waterboy
    44%
    22 votes
  • WSFX.com poll

  • No. 8 Eight Men Out vs. No. 9 The Program

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Eight Men Out
    68%
    32 votes
    The Program
    32%
    15 votes
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