Category: Sports Movies
Taglines: Survival. Resilience. Redemption.
Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis Louie Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII-only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s (Seabiscuit: An American Legend) enormously popular book, Unbroken brings to the big screen Zamperini’s unbelievable and inspiring true story about the resilient power of the human spirit.
Starring alongside O’Connell are Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock as Phil and Mac-the airmen with whom Zamperini endured perilous weeks adrift in the open Pacific-Garrett Hedlund and John Magaro as fellow POWs who find an unexpected camaraderie during their internment, Alex Russell as Zamperini’s brother, Pete, and in his English-language feature debut, Japanese actor Miyavi as the brutal camp guard known only to the men as The Bird.
Unbroken is an American historical biographic war-sports drama film, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, and based on the 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. The film revolves around the life of USA Olympian and athlete Louis “Louie” Zamperini, portrayed by Jack O’Connell. Zamperini survived in a raft for 47 days after his bomber was downed in World War II, then was sent to a series of prisoner of war camps.
The film had its world premiere in Sydney on November 17, 2014, and received a wide release in the United States on December 25, 2014. The film grossed $115.6 million in North America, with a worldwide total of over $161 million.
Directed by: Angelina Jolie
Starring: Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney, Domhnall Gleeson, Jack O’Connell, Morgan Griffin, Maddalena Ischiale
Screenplay by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Production Design by: Jon Hutman
Cinematography by: Roger Deakins
Film Editing by: William Goldenberg, Tim Squyres
Costume Design by: Louise Frogley
Set Decoration by: Lisa Thompson
Art Direction by: Bill Booth, Jacinta Leong, Charlie Revai
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for war violence including intense sequences of brutality, and for brief language.
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: December 25, 2014
Foxcatcher tells the gripping, true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Steve Carell), heir to the du Pont Chemical fortune that led to murder. Based on the true story of Mark Schultz, an Olympic wrestler whose relationship with sponsor John du Pont and brother Dave Schultz would lead to unlikely circumstances.
Foxcatcher is an American biographical drama film, directed by Bennett Miller, starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo. The screenplay was written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman. It competed for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where Miller won the Best Director Award.
About the Production
Based on true events, FOXCATCHER is a rich and moving story of brotherly love, misguided loyalty and the emotional bankruptcy that can accompany great wealth and power. Examining the perilous relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers, Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller’s fourth feature once again centers around complex characters with vivid personalities navigating unusual circumstances. As with his previous features, CAPOTE and MONEYBALL, large and often allegorical themes in society emerge through Miller’s meticulously imagined portraits of real people.
The mass of research collected during the years of preparation for FOXCATCHER yielded the stark facts from which the drama would be created, transforming the story into a wholly new incarnation. “It’s fact to fiction as a vehicle back to truth,” says Miller. “Some months after CAPOTE was released I received a letter from Harper Lee. She said the film was a demonstration of fiction as a means towards truth. There was, as she pointed out, a great deal in the film that we had invented, but that ‘The film told the truth about Truman.’ FOXCATCHER has a similar aim.”
Miller first heard about the story of eccentric multi-millionaire John Eleuthere du Pont (Steve Carell) and a pair of world champion wrestler brothers, Mark (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) when executive producers Michael Coleman and Tom Heller showed him a newspaper article about the story. “The circumstances seemed comical and absurd, but the outcome was horrible and real,” says Miller. “The deeply strange things that happened on the du Pont estate were unlike anything I had personally experienced, and yet they felt familiar. There was something about the story – or perhaps something beneath the story – that wasn’t strange at all. In fact, the opposite.”
At the heart of FOXCATCHER is a triangular dynamic between du Pont and the Schultz brothers that Miller found compelling- enough so to commit to making it his next film. But while his initial impulse to take on the project was immediate, the subsequent time and energy poured into it was expansive. “I needed to learn what hadn’t been known about the story and that takes time,” says Miller. “What compelled me was clear and convincing; I knew this was a story for me. But the process of summoning this film took years, involving relentless research and discovery that goes far beyond determining plot. My first undertaking was authoring and engineering the moments and sequencing that would become the film – a process that allowed the film to continue to reveal itself all the way through to the last detail in post-production.”
Miller traveled all over the country- to Iowa, California, Colorado, Missouri, and Pennsylvania – amassing materials, including video footage of both du Pont and the Schultz brothers, and interviewing dozens of people, including Mark Schultz, Dave’s widow Nancy, their friends and fellow wrestlers, people who had worked for du Pont, police officers, and anyone who had lived any part of the story. “This story harbors some uncomfortable truths,” says Miller. “Everyone I spoke with seemed to be guarding some aspect of what happened.”
The basics of the story revealed the following: Although Dave was slightly older than Mark, the siblings did not have a typical brotherly relationship growing up. After their parents split up when they were young, Dave assumed a paternal role as they moved between their parents’ homes, often fending for themselves. Over time, Mark developed a need for his brother, as wrestling partner or coach, or for emotional support. At the same time, he was jealous of Dave’s success. His inner turbulence only escalated as the years went by. “Mark was always that little brother that just couldn’t break out or figure out how to get by on his own,” says Tatum. “He always had to rely on Dave, and this kept him from having his own life, his own career, and the thing he wanted most-his own respect from people.” Mark’s confused vulnerability made him frequently turn his pent-up anger on himself as much as on his wrestling opponents. “I don’t think anybody could punish Mark more than he could himself and I think he hardens himself against the world by punishing himself,” says Tatum.
Directed by: Bennett Miller
Starring: Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Sienna Miller, Mark Ruffalo Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Michael Hall, Mark Schultz, Vanessa Redgrave, Tara Subkoff, Stephanie Garvin, Samara Lee
Screenplay by: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Production Design by: Jess Gonchor
Cinematography by: Greig Fraser
Film Editing by: Jay Cassidy, Stuart Levy, Conor O’Neill
Costume Design by: Kasia Walicka-Maimone
Set Decoration by: Frederick E. Kowalo, Kathy Lucas
Music by: Rob Simonsen
MPAA Rating: R for some drug use and a scene of violence.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: November 14, 2014
Taglines: Sometimes to win, you have change the game.
Based on a true story, Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” follows JB Bernstein, a once-successful sports agent who now finds himself edged out by bigger, slicker competitors. He and his partner Aash (Aasif Mandvi) will have to close their business down for good if JB doesn’t come up with something fast. Late one night, while watching cricket being played in India on TV, JB comes up with an idea so radical it just might work. Why not go to there and find the next baseball pitching sensation?
Setting off for Mumbai with nothing but a gifted but cantankerous scout (Alan Arkin) in tow, JB stages a televised, nationwide competition called “Million Dollar Arm” where 40,000 hopefuls compete before two 18-year-old finalists, Rinku and Dinesh (Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal), emerge as winners. JB brings them back to the United States to train with legendary pitching coach Tom House (Bill Paxton). The goal: get the boys signed to a major league team.
About the Story
American sports agent J.B. Bernstein and his partner Ash are struggling to acquire new talent. They learn of an Asian businessman, Chang, looking to invest in Asian-based athletes. In a moment of inspiration while watching Britain’s Got Talent and a cricket match, Bernstein comes up with an idea to tap into the Indian cricket market, through a contest called Million Dollar Arm, which will identify the best Cricket bowlers and bring them to the US for a chance to get a major League baseball contract. They pitch the idea to Chang, who buys it and gives them a year to deliver results.
Bernstein goes on a weeks long trip throughout India, during which he finds two young suitable candidates, and brings them back for training in the US, along with a prospective Indian coach. The young players struggle to learn the game, and initially fail at impressing Major League Baseball scouts during a try-out. Bernstein’s tenant and love interest, Brenda, convinces him that he owes the athletes another chance. He manages to arrange another try-out in which they pitch much better and are offered a contract by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Million Dollar Arm
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Jon Hamm, Lake Bell, Bill Paxton, Bar Paly, Alan Arkin, Autumn Dial, Suraj Sharma, Allyn Rachel, Bar Paly
Screenplay by: Thomas McCarthy
Production Design by: Barry Robison
Cinematography by: Gyula Pados
Film Editing by: Tatiana S. Riegel
Costume Design by: Kirston Leigh Mann
Set Decoration by: Jeanette Scott
Music by: A.R. Rahman
MPAA Rating: PG for mild language and some suggestive content.
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: May 16, 2014
Taglines: The greatest victories don’t always happen on the field.
Draft Day is an American sports drama film directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner. It was released on April 11, 2014. The premise revolves around the general manager of the Cleveland Browns (Kevin Costner) deciding what to do when his team acquires the number one draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. The film premiered in Los Angeles on April 7, 2014, with its United States release following on April 11.
On the morning of the 2014 NFL Draft in New York City, Chris Berman, Jon Gruden, Mel Kiper Jr., and other analysts discuss the consensus first overall pick: Wisconsin quarterback Bo Callahan, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver Jr., must decide how to use the seventh overall pick to improve his consistently losing team, but has other issues. He recently learned that his secret girlfriend Ali Parker, the team’s salary cap analyst, is pregnant with his child. His father, Sonny Weaver Sr., coached the Browns before Weaver Jr. fired him, and died a week before the draft. His mother is upset at him for missing the reading of Weaver Sr.’s will.
The Seattle Seahawks hold the first overall pick, which general manager Tom Michaels offers to trade to the Browns. Weaver declines, but before leaving for the draft team owner Anthony Molina—dissatisfied with current quarterback Brian Drew—orders him to accept. The Browns give their three first-round draft picks over the next three years for the top pick. Many Seahawks fans want Callahan, however, and express their displeasure with picket signs at CenturyLink Field and on social media, demanding Michaels’ firing.
The unexpected chance to obtain Callahan excites Browns fans. Most in the Browns’ front office agree despite the high price; Drew and head coach Vince Penn are the exceptions. Penn agrees that Callahan is excellent but does not want to teach a rookie quarterback his system offense, and prefers running back Ray Jennings of Florida State. Drew, who led the team to a 5–1 start the previous year before injury, fears losing his job. The trade leaks after a tweet by linebacker Vontae Mack of Ohio State, another possible choice for Weaver with the seventh pick. Mack wants to play for the Browns, and fears not being chosen in the first round. He advises Weaver to rewatch the game in which he sacked Callahan four times. Teams contact Weaver for possible transactions based on the trade; one from the Houston Texans implies that Mack may not remain available to the Browns in the second round.
The only flaws in Callahan are possible character issues: A report that none of his teammates attending his birthday party, and Callahan allegedly lying to the Washington Redskins about reading the team’s playbook. When the draft begins that evening at Radio City Music Hall, the Browns have ten minutes to make the first overall pick. Weaver abruptly chooses Mack; Roger Goodell’s announcement of the selection amazes the league and the front office. While a relieved Drew believes that his job is safe, Molina angrily flies back to Cleveland to confront Weaver. Callahan has an anxiety attack, and leaves the theater until his agent persuades him to return. The pick surprises Penn as much as it does the others, but he discovers that before dying Weaver Sr. advised his son to choose Mack “no matter what”.
Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Starring: Tom Welling, Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Terry Crews, Sam Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, Denis Leary, Chadwick Boseman, Sean Combs, Sarah Wright, Gillian Jacobs
Screenplay by: Scott Rothman, Rajiv Joseph
Production Design by: Perry Andelin Blake
Cinematography by: Jonathan Brown
Film Editing by: Patrick J. Don Vito
Costume Design by: Lindsay McKay
Set Decoration by: Karen O’Hara
Music by: John Debney
MPAA Rating: R for brief strong language.
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Release Date: April 11, 2014
DreamWorks Pictures’ “Need for Speed” marks an exciting return to the great car culture films of the 1960′s and 70′s, when the authenticity of the world brought a new level of intensity to the action on-screen. Tapping into what makes the American myth of the open road so appealing, the story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey for our heroes — one which begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption. Based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever with over 140 million copies sold, Need for Speed captures the freedom and excitement of the game in a real-world setting, while bringing to life the passion for the road that has made our love of cars so timeless.
The film centers around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle-cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, he reluctantly partners with the wealthy and arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey’s shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn’t commit, sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out west.
Two years later, Tobey is released and set on revenge — but he knows his only chance to take down his rival Dino is to defeat him in the high-stakes race known as De Leon—the Super Bowl of underground racing. However to get there in time, Tobey will have to run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet that includes dodging pursuing cops coast-to-coast as well as contending with a dangerous bounty Dino has put out on his car. With the help of his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first.
Need for Speed is an American action thriller film directed by Scott Waugh, written by George Gatins and John Gatins and produced by DreamWorks Pictures. Based on the series of video games by Electronic Arts, the film stars Aaron Paul as street racer Tobey Marshall, who sets off to race cross-country, as a way of avenging his friend’s death at the hands of a rival racer (Dominic Cooper).
Need for Speed was released by Touchstone Pictures on March 14, 2014, in 3D, IMAX, and conventional theaters. Despite receiving generally negative reviews from critics, the film went on to earn $203.3 million at the worldwide box office.
Need for Speed
Directed by: Scott Waugh
Starring: Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper, Michael Keaton, Kid Cudi, Rami Malek
Screenplay by: John Gatins, George Nolfi
Production Design by: Jon Hutman
Cinematography by: Shane Hurlbut
Film Editing by: Paul Rubell, Scott Waugh
Costume Design by: Ellen Mirojnick
Art Direction by: Christopher R. DeMuri
Music by: Nathan Furst
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of reckless street racing, disturbing crash scenes, nudity and crude language.
Studio: DreamWorks Pictures
Release Date: March 14, 2014