Welcome back to day two of the Sportcodex Sports Movies Brackets. Yesterday (can be found here) we looked at the first four seeds and their matchups with the bottom four seeds. As of this writing, there is currently one big upset in the works (but still time for Creed to make a comeback), so anything can happen. In fact, the only film that never looked in danger was the one I said was most likely to be upset (The Wrestler going against Blue Chips). Today, we look at seeds 5-8 and their matchups against seeds 60-57.
5. Million Dollar Baby vs 60. Space Jam
Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 movie directed by the legend himself, Clint Eastwood, who also stars, alongside Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman. It tells the story of female boxer Maggie Fitzgerald who wants to be trained by Frankie Dunn, who is hesitant due to his estrangement with his own daughter.
Space Jam is a masterpiece from 1996, directed by Joe Pytka and stars the greatest basketball player of all-time, Michael Jordan. MJ has retired and moved onto baseball, where he isn’t doing so great (although in real life, his baseball numbers weren’t as bad as history would have you think) but gets kidnapped by the Looney Tunes and must help them beat a team of aliens in a game of basketball.
Million Dollar Baby has an average Rotten Tomatoes score of 90%, whereas Space Jam has a criminally low average RT score of 53.5% because movie critics don’t know how to have fun. I said yesterday that I would mostly not play favourites, but this is one of those rare times where I will be biased as all hell. MDB is great, but Space Jam is a damn masterpiece and if it loses here, Ima be mad.
6. The Fighter vs 59. Hardball
The Fighter is a 2010 boxing film directed by David O. Russell (Three Kings, Silver Linings Playbook) and stars Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams. It follows the true story of ‘Irish’ Mickey Ward and his surprising rise to the Light Welterweight Title while being trained by his former drug-addicted brother, retired boxer Dicky Eklund.
Hardball is a 2001 movie directed by Brian Robbins (Good Burger, Norbit) and stars Keanu Reeves, Diane Lane and Michael B. Jordan. It follows Connor O’Neill, a bit of a deadbeat who spends his time drinking, gambling and scalping tickets. He agrees to coach a little league team from the projects in return for a loan from his friend. G-Baby forever.
The Fighter sports an average RT score of 90%, whereas Hardball has an average RT score of 55.5%. Two movies following two different sports but both know how to tug on the heart-strings. The difference is one is more critically acclaimed, while the other has achieved cult status.
7. Moneyball vs 58. Bloodsport
Moneyball is a 2011 film directed by Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher, Capote) that stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It is a biopic about Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane and his decision to rebuild a team on a budget, using computer-generated analysis to help build the team.
Bloodsport is a 1988 martial arts film directed by Newt Arnold and stars Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bolo Yeung Sze and a young Forest Whitaker. It is the story of the Kumite, an underground fighting tournament set in Hong Kong. Van Damme’s U.S. Soldier Frank Dux must navigate Hong Kong, battling in the Kumite while also avoiding military officers that are chasing him for going AWOL.
Moneyball has an average RT score of 90%, whereas Bloodsport has an average RT score of 57%. So far, this is the toughest first round matchup for me as I legitimately love both of these films. I will say, Bloodsport is another victim of critic’s not knowing how to have fun, with a low critic score of 40%, compared to an audience score of 74%.
8. Hoosiers vs 57. BASEketball
Hoosiers is a 1986 basketball film directed by David Anspaugh and stars Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper. Hackman plays Norman Dale, a high school basketball coach who must whip the talentless Hickory Huskers into shape, but his abrasive, controversial style isn’t to everybody’s liking.
BASEketball is a 1998 film directed by David Zucker (Airplane, Naked Gun) and stars Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park. The film follows Coop and Remer, two lifelong friends who, after discovering they lack athletic ability and talent in all the current sports, create a new sport called BASEketball. The sport grows in popularity but with that comes problems.
Hoosiers has an average RT score of 89.5%, whereas BASEketball has an average RT score of 58%. Sometimes it feels as though the impact of Hoosiers is forgotten but all those tropes you see in the majority of these sports movies came from that. On the flipside, BASEketball is yet another victim of low critic scores, but is quite popular amongst audiences with a 74% audience score.
There are our next four matchups. Keep an eye out on the Sportcodex Twitter account for the polls which will be up sometime later and vote for your favourites.
I’ll be back tomorrow, but until then, remember this; the dot over a lower case i is known as a tittle.
Catch you tomorrow. PEACE!