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To me, extremely powerful fantastic movie. I really enjoyed every aspect. The screenplay, direction and especially the acting makes this one of my all time favorites. I believe a movie is at its best when it makes you think, makes you feel. This movie does both. Bravo!
this movie fucking sucks, I would rather sit and stare at a wall than and let my imagination wander than watch this film again, the cinematographer must have had adhd because the angles and camera work could've have been done better by a quadruple amputee.
This was bad. It kept my attention for a while, but was a massive failure. Some good acting couldn't save it. The ending is terrible and ruins any good parts.
Terrible abrupt ending
Johnny Simmons was excellent. It's not your typical baseball movie. I didn't really like how the movie ended, it just seemed to end, if that makes any sense. It's not a movie I would recommend to a friend.
Johnny Simmons was not the right choice for a baseball movie, he can hardly throw the ball, let alone throw 98mph like his character is supposed to.
Strengths: The acting is the backbone of this movie. Johnny Simmons (Hopper) is the lead and, while I liked him in his smaller roles in Scott Pilgrim and Girlboss, this was easily his best work. His scenes with Paul Giamatti (Dr. Mobley) are emotionally powerful, while the stuff with his alcoholic dad (Ethan Hawke) keep you glued to the screen. I do think this was an interesting route to go with a sports film. Focusing on the mental aspect isn't often done, and what we got was solid. The scene between Simmons and Giamatti near the end featured great work from both men.
Weaknesses: For a baseball movie, there's almost no baseball. I get that it focused on the mental side of the game, but it would've been nice to include more of Hopper on the mound. Though Hawke gives a fine performance, his role is very clichéd. How often are we going to get the alcoholic, abusive father storyline? I know it happens a lot in real life, but it's been an on-screen thing far too often to always be a hit. The film also ends on somewhat of a lame note and feels abrupt. It seems like not enough was done to complete some of the character arcs.
Overall: If you're here to see a baseball movie, this isn't the film for you. It's more of a look at someone's psychological struggles. The acting is good, it's just missing a few things. With a bit more sports related scenes to spice it up and a strong ending, I'd rank this higher.
Hopper Gibson (Johnny Simmons) is in a position that every little boy dreams about. He is a star rookie pitcher in Major League Baseball. His numbers and talent are off the chart, when all of a sudden, he can't find the strike zone. There is nothing wrong with him physically, so the team sends him down to the minors and puts him to work with the top sports psychologist in the country. I really don't understand professional critics and what they look for when they rate a film. Take The Phenom for example, this film has got to be the slowest and most boring sports film I've ever seen, yet it has an 80 on Rotten Tomatoes. There was very little sports action in this film and the fast majority of it consisted of this guy sitting in a room talking to a shrink! Yes, the shrink was played by Paul Giamatti, who is an unbelievably talented actor, but why the hell would anyone want to watch some dudes therapy session? When he wasn't in therapy, he should be on the field, but no, he's dealing with his over barring father, who is fresh out of prison. Who plays this bad ass, bullying his pro-athlete son, who is in peak physical condition? A very old looking, very tattooed, Ethan Hawke and I really wasn't buying that for a second. There were some talented actors in this film, no doubt, but The Phenom was 88 minutes of talking and nothing more, what in the hell is so great about that? This film was as boring as movies get, so unless you're a die hard Paul Giamatti fan, I would absolutely let this one pass you by.
A plot that goes nowhere, and ends with absolutely zero entertainment value. Boring from beginning to end
Giamatti and Hawke really put up a terrific performance on this baseball flick without any game emphasis...