Off the Black Reviews

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LWOODS04
Super Reviewer
July 27, 2010
Cast: Nick Nolte, Trevor Morgan, Marlyne Afflack, Timothy Hutton, Rosemarie DeWitt, Noah Fleiss, Sally Kirkland

Director: James Ponsoldt

Summary: An unlikely bond forms between high school baseball pitcher Dave Tibbel (Trevor Morgan) and reclusive, ailing umpire Ray Cook (Nick Nolte) after Ray catches the youngster vandalizing his home. Ray offers to forgive Dave's debt if he'll pose as Ray's estranged son at an upcoming class reunion. Meanwhile, Dave contends with his withdrawn father (Timothy Hutton), who's been a wreck since his wife left him.

My Thoughts: "It's a sad film about two people who form a special bond with each other. They are both missing something in their lives. Ray, a relationship with his son, and Dave, a relationship with his father. So the pair have these father and son moments and then the relationship ends. Dave is saddened and asks the question "does everyone leave?", which really makes you feel bad for his character. It's a bit of a slow drama, but it develops well. Haven't seen Nick Nolte in a movie in quite a long time. I thought he was really great, and Trevor Morgan was great as well. Their relationship and characters were believable, and to some of us, relatable. Good movie all around."
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]"Off the Black" starts with Dave(Trevor Morgan) walking in the winning run in a high school baseball game umpired by Ray(Nick Nolte), a 57-year old who works at a junkyard and lives with his bulldog. That night, Dave and two of his friends vandalize and toiletpaper Ray's house but Ray catches Dave in the act while his two friends get away.(But Dave is a good kid. Trust me. He lives with his father(Timothy Hutton) and younger sister, Ashley(Sonia Feigelson).) Ray promises to let the prank go on the condition that Dave accompany him to his 40th high school reunion and pretend that he is his son.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Off the Black" is an exploration of why umpires are some of the most vilified people around. To be serious, it is about how wrong it is to blame one's problems on other people(like blaming a lost game on an umpire's decision), instead of accepting responsibility for one's life. And we should all shut off the television, get out of the house more and live life to its fullest but I could think of plenty of better things to do than attend a reunion.(Both Ray and Dave's father sit around and consume an unholy amount of beer.) In the end, Ray does not realize what he is missing until he knows he is dying. But it is ironic that a movie about life is so lifeless and flat, despite another rich performance from Nick Nolte.[/font]
½ December 24, 2013
The leads are good, and Timothy Hutton is memorably off-putting as the pitcher's disengaged dad. But having created the aching umpire, Ponsoldt occupies him with some fairly shopworn situation.
August 29, 2013
ive become a big fan of james ponsoldt after seeing his latest 2 films smashed and the spectacular now, so i def wanted to check his other films out, while i didnt have the same emotional response to this one as i did the other 2, its still very solid, hes very good at directing relationships, and the one between nolte and morgan is great, neither go overboard or over dramamtic, it felt real and i enjoyed seeing them together, dewitt is good too, but i wouldve liked to know more about her or see more scenes with her, the girl that plays the sister is good too, while the story might not be the most original, its still a good watch
July 24, 2013
I sat through this dreck for almost an hour before I decided I just did not care. None of the characters are likable, there's nothing redeeming about the story, and it's in general just incredibly boring. I wish I could get that wasted hour back.
½ September 27, 2008
good but like madonna in desperately seeking susan nolte isn't really acting but rather being himself.
July 29, 2007
The more independent movies I watch, the more I want to see. Nothing spectacular here, just a good story. Very likable characters. I just wish Rosemarie could have had more screen time.
½ August 1, 2012
stupid. I hate nick nolte's stupid face and the story was boring and I hope this movie explodes into a million pieces. FUCK.
September 23, 2011
I don't think I will ever watch this.
½ May 22, 2011
Your mother left you with your sister and your father. You never heard from her anymore. Everybody is hurt. Nobody is willing to talk. And you get yourself in trouble with someone that is willing to have company and also to guide you. Two strangers that are building a friendship. Worth watching.
April 1, 2011
Great baseball motion picture that apparently no one has ever seen. Best performance of Nick Nolte's career!!!
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]"Off the Black" starts with Dave(Trevor Morgan) walking in the winning run in a high school baseball game umpired by Ray(Nick Nolte), a 57-year old who works at a junkyard and lives with his bulldog. That night, Dave and two of his friends vandalize and toiletpaper Ray's house but Ray catches Dave in the act while his two friends get away.(But Dave is a good kid. Trust me. He lives with his father(Timothy Hutton) and younger sister, Ashley(Sonia Feigelson).) Ray promises to let the prank go on the condition that Dave accompany him to his 40th high school reunion and pretend that he is his son.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Off the Black" is an exploration of why umpires are some of the most vilified people around. To be serious, it is about how wrong it is to blame one's problems on other people(like blaming a lost game on an umpire's decision), instead of accepting responsibility for one's life. And we should all shut off the television, get out of the house more and live life to its fullest but I could think of plenty of better things to do than attend a reunion.(Both Ray and Dave's father sit around and consume an unholy amount of beer.) In the end, Ray does not realize what he is missing until he knows he is dying. But it is ironic that a movie about life is so lifeless and flat, despite another rich performance from Nick Nolte.[/font]
July 12, 2007
Kind of an heart breaking movie. Not much story here, but what little it has it does it pretty well. Nolte is good.
½ May 30, 2007
[font=Comic Sans MS][size=4]A wonderful little Indie film with Nick Nolte, Timothy Hutton and Trevor Morgen.[/size][/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS][size=4]It's a story about an unlikely bond between a teenager and an ailing older man.[/size][/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS][size=4]It is a slow moving movie. Which takes it's time. I thought Nick Nolte was really great here. It's been awhile since he has been in anything. Timothy Hutton wasn't in it all that much. But he did really well. And new up and coming Trevor Morgan did very well with these top notched actors.[/size][/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS][size=4]I wasn't sure I was going to like this movie. I came away well satisfied.[/size][/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS][size=4]Donna A.[/size][/font]
April 12, 2007
[b]Off the Black (2006) - 5.5/10[/b]
Diector - James Ponsoldt
Starring - Nick Nolte, Trevor Morgan, Timothy Hutton, Sally Kirkland, Sonia Feigelson.

Nick Nolte stars as Ray, an aging small town baseball umpire with a drinking problem. When one of his calls costs a high school team a game, a few of the players decided to vandalize his home. One of the players, Dave (Trevor Morgan) is caught in the act. Instead of going to the police, Ray decides to make Dave repay him in a different way. He asks the young man to pose as his son at his 40 year High School reunion. An unlikely friendship ensues.

Typical indie fare here. Nothing groundbreaking, but the two lead characters do share some nice moments. It's a slow-moving film so your enjoyment, or even tolerance may depend on how you feel about Nolte. His character is gruff and barely comprehensible. For me it was just okay.
April 3, 2007
Slow moving but rewarding story, very nicely acted with well developed characters, a good score and thoughtfully written.
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