The Rookie Reviews
Heard a couple of good reviews about this film which I passed when it was showing in the cinemas. Sports movies are hardly my cup of tea.
As I was watching, the good feeling didn't come up soon, even after half-time. I was thinking, "Gosh! It is so smooth-sailing." I was waiting for a big emotional meltdown or some adversities to knock our hero out. Hardly and I am beginning to feel bored. Yeah right, if only all successes are that easy.
Now, included among the special features is a mini-documentary about the real guy. In real life, he is this simple down-to-earth guy who is grateful for that short-lived fortunes and yet he is more than willing to let it all go when age finally catches up with him. The latter was not shown in the film.
Well, maybe as I am waiting for the film to live up to the expectation of 'an inspiring sports movie', I should also realise that a simple success story should just be told simply. In fact, I got a feeling that by making a movie out of him is like giving the extra credits and recognition he didn't expect in the first place.
After you get past the Disney Channel movie about a Science teacher coaching high school baseball it's actually a very good look into Minor League Baseball. Dare I say the best look we have had since Bull Durham. The message is to never give up on your dreams, of course accomplishing that you have to have talent, no job and a forgiving wife!
Inspite of a powerful story and a considerable effort from the cast, this film fails due to the excessive adherence to feel good nature and an extremely lack of action or thrills.
I missed this movie the fist time round so I thought that I would give it a watch, even though it's one of those feel good Disney movies. I personally enjoyed this film, especially as its a true story and Dennis Quaid put in a realistic performance but it is quite corny and predictable from the beginning to the end. It's a about a promising baseball player whose career was shattered after damaging his shoulder and advice from his doctor, so he takes on a job as a teacher in his small town. He also takes on a job as a baseball coach for his district team but they haven't won that many games. In 1999, he makes a bet with his team to pursue his baseball career if they win the district championship and with determination and brilliant coaching, they manage to win. He then tries out for the majors and everyone is shocked that this near middle aged man can throw a 98mph fastball, so the offers start flowing in. He then makes the tough decision to leave his family and go on the road with a baseball team but he doesn't really gel with the other players because of his age. He soon starts to miss his family and there debts start to build up so he decides to give up his dreams and go back home to take on a ordinary job so they can pay there bills. Soon after that, he gets an offer from a major league baseball team and he becomes the oldest baseball player with a unique and amazing fastball. It's a basic zero to hero story which we have seen many times before but the real footage of Jim Morris makes the film a joy to watch. I'm not a big fan of baseball but films like Bill Durham, Field Of Dreams and Tin Cup have brought the sport too people around the world. I liked the relationship between Jim Morris and his son, who always believed that his dad had a special fastball but it took Jim Morris some time to convince his dad who always thought that he had to give up his dreams to put food on the table. It is an amazing achievement for a 35 year old rookie to make it in the majors so this feel-good movie is a emotional biopic about a baseball hero. Enjoyable!
Dennis Quaid, 61, really hit it big after starring in the Right Stuff in 1983 and then he had roles in major films like Innerspace, which I really enjoyed, Dreamscape, Enemy Mine, The Big Easy and Great Balls of Fire in the 80's. Since then his career was plagued with hit and misses but his professional acting style has never been questioned. He has some major blockbusters behind him like Wyatt Earp, Any Given Sunday, the brilliant Dragonheart and Flight Of The Phoenix but it's hard to see were his career will go from here. It's been a long time since he has starred as the lead in a big blockbuster but his old movies will always be a joy to watch. This movie was directed by John Lee Hancock who brought you films like the Alamo, the great Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks so he is known for his biopics. I would have liked to have seen the darker times of Jim Morris so it would have made it seem more real and not a typical happy go lucky Disney movie. With that aside, it is still an unique biopic which would be good if it was made for modern times. Judging by the movies takings, it obviously went down well with the audiences around the world so we are still suckers for the zero to hero concept. Anyway it's definitely worth a watch if your fed up with all the doom and gloom in everyday life but for entertainment and excitement, it's very average.
Worldwide Gross: $81million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their sports/drama/family movies about a rookie baseball player who pursues his dreams into the majors after taking a bet. 5/10