Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rock Bottom's Academy Awards: Sports Edition

It's Oscar Sunday and while I know most of you haven't even heard of half of the 9 movies nominated in this year's class, I figured I'd give you a list or 2 of nominees you have heard of!  These nominees were selected based on if their performance or film was Oscar nominated for any reason.  After the nominees will be Gainer's and Boomer's winner and runner-up.

Please tell us who you think should win or be nominated!
It's a butt!
Best Performance in a Sports Movie
Your 10 nominees are:
  • Matt Damon - Invictus
    • Playing Captain of South Africa's Rugby team, Matt Damon was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2010 in this film starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela.
  • Robert De Niro - Raging Bull
    • A triumph in the rink but a mess out of it, De Niro won Best Actor in a Leading Role for Jake La Motta in 1981.
  • Will Smith - Ali
    • Nominated in 2002 for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Smith plays the title character of the legendary boxer.
  • Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby
    • Swank nailed her second Oscar in 2005 for Best Actress in a Leading Role as a determined female boxer trying to establish herself.
  • Dennis Hopper - Hoosiers
    • Playing the drunk assistant coach, Hopper was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1987 in one of the greatest sports films of all time.
  • Christian Bale - The Fighter
    • Bale won the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in 2011 for playing the crack addicted Dicky Eklund, brother of Micky Ward.
  • Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
    • In 2010, Miss Bullock won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for playing the mother of Michael Oher, a homeless boy trying to become a football player.
  • Sylvester Stallone - Rocky
    • In 1977, Stallone was nominated for his epic Rocky persona as Best Actor in a Leading Role. He also was nominated for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).
  • Cuba Gooding, Jr. - Jerry Maguire
    • In one of the more memorable roles on screen for any genre, Cuba nailed WR Rod Tidwell and was "shown the money" by winning Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1997.
  • Brad Pitt - Moneyball
    • As unorthodox general manager of the Oakland Athletic's MLB team in the early 2000s Billy Beane, Pitt is nominated for today's (2012) Best Actor in a Leading Role.
And the Rock Bottom Award goes to:
Boomer - Christian Bale (The Fighter) and runner-up to Brad Pitt for Moneyball
Gainer - Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) and runner-up to Cuba Gooding, Jr. for Jerry Maguire

It's painfully obvious Boomer only lives in the present.  Gainer appreciates the finer performances of the past.  Stallone is boxing, BOOM!  Seriously though, you cannot go wrong with any of these 4.  If you haven't seen Pitt in Moneyball, do, now.

Best Sports Movie
Your 10 nominees are:
  • Million Dollar Baby
    • A hardened trainer/manager works with a determined woman in her attempt to establish herself as a boxer. Won Best Picture in 2005, directed by Clint Eastwood and starred Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman who ALL won Oscars that night.
  • Field of Dreams
    • An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago Black Sox come.  Nominated in 1990 for Best Picture, Original Score, and Original Screenplay but came up empty handed.  Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones really love baseball movies.
  • Rocky
    • A small time boxer gets a once in a lifetime chance to fight the heavyweight champ in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect. In 1977, this film won Best Picture and Director was nominated for 7 other categories including Actor, 2 Supporting Actors, Actress, Song, Sound, and Original Screenplay. Sylvester Stallone is boxing.
  • The Fighter
    • A look at the early years of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s. Bale and Melissa Leo each took home Oscars in Supporting Roles was the film was nominated for Directing, Editing, Picture of the Year, Another Supporting Actress, and Original Screenplay.  Mark Wahlberg's pet project of his career shows how diverse he really is with this film.
  • Chariots of Fire
    • The story of two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian who compete in the 1924 Olympics. This 1982 surprise won Best Picture, Best Writing Directly for the Screen, and Original Score. It was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Director and Film Editing.
  • Invictus
    • Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. In 2010, this film only landed 2 nominations, one for Matt Damon and one for Morgan Freeman for Supporting and Leading Actor respectively.
  • Jerry Maguire
    • When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete who stays with him.  Gooding, Jr. took home the only Oscar for this film in 1997 but it was nominated for Best Actor (Cruise losing was a crime for the ages!), Editing, Best Picture, and Writing Directly for the Screen.
  • The Blind Side
    • The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.  Sandra Bullock brought home Best Actress in 2010 and it was also nominated for Best Picture.
  • Moneyball
    • Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players. This 2012 Nominee is up for Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Best Picture of the Year, Best Actor in Pitt, Best Supporting Actor in Jonah Hill (Superbad, WTF?!), and Adapted Screenplay.
  • Seabiscuit
    • True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation. Starring Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges, this film was nominated for Best Art Direction in Set Decoration, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Best Picture, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Adapted Screenplay but came home completely empty handed in 2004.
And the Rock Bottom Award goes to:
Boomer - Jerry Maguire and runner-up to Moneyball
Gainer - Jerry Maguire and runner-up to Chariots of Fire

This was very difficult but we actually agreed on this one.  Cuba Gooding, Jr. steals every scene and this movie is arguably Tom Cruise's finest performance of his lengthy career.  The acting and writing in this movie is top notch but lost to the snooze fest that is the English Patient.  Boomer is in love with Moneyball obviously because he just saw it less than 6 months ago.  However if you love dramatic movies that happen to be about sports, check it out, it really is as good as its nominations suggest.  Chariots of Fire is a personal fave of Gainer because of the running and faith aspect of 2 Olympic athletes.  It somehow won over Raiders of the Lost Ark!

Welp, there you have it folks.  Enjoy the real Oscars tonight and hopefully Moneyball represents well!  I will be upset if the Artist wins multiple awards because it's stupid.  I haven't seen it but it is stupid.