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(2002)

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Actually two one-hour movies, great inspirational stories.
TxMike28 August 2002
My favorite films are those which are based on an interesting true story, and are well made. "The Rookie" fits that bill, and I rate it very highly. At first glance it appears to be about getting to play baseball. In fact, it is about making your dreams come true, and the power of friendship. Baseball just happens to be the subject matter. The first one-hour movie is about a 10-member high school team in West Texas that barely manages to win one game each year. It is about their coach inspiring them to become the district champs and go to the state tournament in 1999.

The second one-hour movie comes about from a "deal" the kids made with the coach. "If we win district, then you have to go to a tryout with a professional baseball team." They do, so he does. And to his and everyone else's surprise, his 85-mph fastball as a 20-year-old has become a 98-mph one as a 35-year-old. The films hints that it might have been divine intervention, a prayer to St Rita, the patron of the impossible. Might have been!!

Dennis Quaid is a bit older than 35, but he does a good job and is believable as science teacher, coach, and finally a surprised big-league pitcher in Arlington, Tx stadium, where he strikes out his very first big-league batter. The real Jim played two seasons, not particularly distinguished, but that point is way secondary. The journey, and the way he made it, with support from family and his baseball kids is what this film is all about.

The DVD is very nice, with a great picture and decent use of the 5.1 Dolby surround sound. Extras include footage of the real Jim, some original footage of his playing days, and his narration and re-enactment of his first trip to a big-league mound. Great stuff! Plus a few, moderately interesting deleted scenes explained by the director.
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10/10
They Did This Sports Movie Right
ccthemovieman-117 March 2006
I love it when they actually do a sports story well. So many in the past have been so hokey it was embarrassing to watch. Not this one. It's just a genuinely nice movie, an old-fashioned type of story - and based on a real-life guy to did exactly what Dennis Quaid did in this film. He plays a high school coach who is talked into trying out, late in life athletically-speaking, to become a pitcher in professional baseball. Eventually, he reaches his goal of making it to the Major Leagues, even if it was a very brief stint.

All the characters in here are nice people, the kind you root for, from Quaid to the players on his high school team, to his little boy (Angus T. Jones, now somewhat of a star on television.)

Quaid is believable in playing Jim Morris because, unlike actors in the past in sports films, he knows how to throw a baseball. He looks like a pitcher, a guy who could fire it 90-plus miles per hour. And, most of this film is true, as testified by the real-life pitcher in one the documentaries on the DVD.

So, if you're looking for a nice, inspirational true life sports film, you can't wrong with this one.
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Respectable Movie Worth A Look
timberline_thunder1 April 2003
Usually I review a movie just after I've seen it, but the last time I saw this one was a full 2 weeks ago. Yet it still sticks in my mind and heart.

Baseball movies are inspirational by nature and seem to have all kinds of application to life (for example, my review of Field of Dreams). Jimmy Morris challenges the losing baseball team he's coaching to not give up on their dreams and has the challenge thrown right back at him. This wouldn't make for such drama if the majority of the movie up to that point hadn't been to show how Jimmy's own dream had been systematically dismantled. Such movies anyone can write, but when I found out it was a true story, it put the movie in a higher bracket altogether.

The conflict between Jimmy and his father is played very well by both Quaid and Cox. At one point or another, you can just feel coldness of the walls built up between them. They're reaching out (Hunter's baseball glove, Jimmy's asking advice), but can they ever connect?

While some might balk (sorry) at the presence of Hunter, Jimmy's son, I think the kid adds a lot to the film. Baseball is all about kids, anyway. And it's good to see a son who looks up to and believes in his dad. That phase is over far too soon for most fathers to enjoy it enough. I think the dream is as much Hunter's as it is his father's.

The theme of the Rookie is "never give up on your dreams." That's laudable. But the affirmation of the importance of families, even through broken relationships, as well as a clean script, makes this one that families can buy to watch every now and then. Disney surprised me with this believable, down-to-earth tale. I'm definitely picking this one up on DVD.
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excellent
mattkratz19 July 2002
This was one of the best bio-pics I have seen in years. Dennis Quaid is perfect as Jim Morris, a man who finally gets a shot at his lifelong dream-pitching in the big leagues. He is a high school science teacher/baseball coach whose players make a bet with him:if they win district, he tries out for the majors. You can probably guess what happens next. I found this story made even more powerful by the fact that it was based on a true story.

*** out of ****
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9/10
Believe!
Spikeopath18 May 2013
The Rookie is directed by John Lee Hancock and written by Mike Rich. It stars Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Jay Hernandez, Brian Cox, Angus T. Jones, Rick Gonzalez and Angelo Spizzirri. Music is by Carter Burwell and cinematography by John Schwartzman.

Out of Walt Disney Productions, The Rookie is based on the true story of 35 year old teacher and school baseball coach Jim Morris (Quaid). Who having thought his chance of making it to the major leagues in Baseball had long since gone, his minor league career curtailed by a shoulder injury, got that second chance and became the oldest rookie around.

What an absolute treat! A sports movie that inspires and uplifts whilst never resorting to cloying tactics or Hollywood sprucing story additions. First off the bat is that the film is unhurried in pace, time is afforded Morris and his family as well as the key issues that lead to his moment of fulfilment. Secondly is the bare honesty of the story, and that of the portrayals by a wonderful Quaid (at 47 here playing a 35 year old) and a likewise Griffiths. We are not going to be arriving at some monumental cliff-hanger finale (as per most other sports movies), history tells us that Morris made a minimal impact in his two years in the majors, this takes us to an earthy and achievable goal being attained.

Just prior to Morris making his bow at Arlington Stadium, we have seen the love of a husband and father who is separated from his family. He's out on the road playing ball, the emotional tug pulling him everywhere. There's money worries back home as well, really Jim would be better served back there, surely? All of this sounds like a recipe for sappy crappy time, but it's not, it's all beautifully handled by director and actors alike. The baseball scenes are smooth, the score and photography pristine in their execution (it's a Blu-ray must have), there is just no waste here. There's a rich human story to be told and wasting time on incidentals would be wrong, and Hancock knows this and never puts a foot wrong.

Heart warming and impeccably mounted, The Rookie is one of the greatest baseball films out there. But, and here's the thing, it's as much about life and its challenges as it is about fast balls and hot-dogs. 9/10
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8/10
A feel good movie!
leczorn11 November 2004
Walt Disney's "The Rookie" is based on the story of Jim Morris, a former minor league picher who made one of the most amazing comebacks in sports history, ending an almost 10 year retirement and making his Major League debut in 1999 at the age of 35.

The film opens with a brief synopsis of Morris' childhood, which included a series of re-locations - his father was a military man. And even when his family settled for good in football crazed Texas, Morris' passion for baseball remained strong.

The childhood segment then jumps ahead about 23 years to the adult Morris (played by Dennis Quaid) who is now a baseball coach and chemistry teacher at Big Lake High School (in real life it was Reagan County High School in Big Lake, Texas). It is mentioned that he attempted a career as a baseball player but that it didn't work out.

Morris's team is struggling and he lectures them about giving up on their dreams. They turn the table on him, telling him that he should try out for a Major League team. At several times when he pitches to them in practice, they express amazement at the speed with which he throws. Morris seems unconvinced but agrees to a deal with his players in which if they win district, he will try out for a Major League team.

Big Lake does win district and, adhering to his end of the deal, Morris attends a Tampa Bay Devil Rays try out. Phenomenally, he throws 98 miles an hour - faster than he threw during his minor league career and an outstanding speed even for a Major League pitcher. After another try out with the team, Morris is offered a contract with the Devil Rays.

This leaves him with a tough decision - stay in his comfortable life or once again pursue his Major League dream by going through the minor league grind of making little money and spending months at a time away from home. And the decision is even more agonizing than during his first minor league stint because he now has a wife and three children.

Morris signs with the Devil Rays, begins at the AA level and moves up quickly to the AAA level, one level below Major League Baseball. But as the season winds down, the chances of him getting "called up" grow increasingly slim.

For the most part, I love this movie. There are lots of great performances and likable characters and it's easy to find yourself really pulling for Morris. Also, the movie does a great job portraying professional baseball at both the major and minor league levels. And most of all, it teaches the timeless message of holding tight to your dreams even when they seem distant and almost impossible to achieve.

Still, the movie has some flaws. While generally accurate, it exaggerates and even fabricates a few things. Check out http://espn.go.com/page2/s/closer/020410.html for some examples. Also, except for one scene in which he prays with his players, the movie completely ignores Morris' Christian faith. But considering Disney's left wing zeal, that's not surprising.

Presumably, a lot of the exaggerations/fabrications were done to make the story more dramatic. Yet the 20 minute documentary on Morris that is included on the DVD features some information that makes his story more dramatic but is excluded from the movie.

For example, from birth until his family settled in Texas for good when he was 12, Morris re-located 14 times. And his initial minor league career ended after four surgeries through which he lost half of the muscle in his left (pitching) shoulder, thus making his throwing 98 mph even more inexplicable.

To fully appreciate and understand the story of Jim Morris, it's good to not only watch "The Rookie" but to watch the DVD's documentary, check out the aforementioned link to the movie's inaccuracies and probably also to read Morris' biography, also titled "The Rookie." I haven't read the book but I hope to one of these days.

But overall, "The Rookie" is a very good portrayal of a miraculous story and is a powerful testament to the power of dreams and the triumph of the common man. 8/10
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8/10
Very good, and true, too...
gazzo-28 January 2003
A fine story about following your dreams and actually taking a stab at Doing something about them when the chance strikes. Nothing was easy for Morris either-he had a family, job, job opps elsewheres, a mortgage, etc-it wasn't like he could just drop what he was doing and blithely hop on the greyhound to play AAA ball for 4 months. It took guts. I am glad that they showed his indecision, almost up 'til he got the callup to the majors.

I can remember seeing him pitch against the Red Sox(I think...), it was a great story. Though Morris actually looks more like John Kruk or a Mills Watson than Quaid-that's okay.

Quaid does a very good job playing the man, the teacher, coach and 'oldest rookie'.... As someone who is in the the same age group, I certainly can ID with his plight. You're not Quite too old to do what you had dreamed of as a kid, but it's getting there. You have to do it sooner than lator.

Believably told, nicely edited, paced, acted, good to see the familiar faces of the late Royce Applegate, Brian Cox and Rachel Griffiths here.

Good job all around, glad to see it hit.

*** outta ****...who woulda thought that the Tampa Devil Rays woulda been the subject of such a good movie early on?
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10/10
You are never too old to chase your dreams
john c griffin5 February 2004
One of the best films I have ever seen! An inspirational true story of a man who gave up his dream of making the "Big Leagues" many years ago due to a severe shoulder injury who coached his high school team and was also teaching science. His shoulder had healed over the years and he was able to throw batting practice without pain and his team was amazed at how hard he could throw. They made a deal with him that if they won their conference and went to State, he would have to pursue his dream (long ago given up) by going to a major league tryout. He thought this was a safe bet, since the team had started the season off on a losing note. The team got hot, won the conference and he reluctantly followed thru on his end of the bet. The amazing fact was how much harder he was able to throw now, as compared with how he threw many years ago. The movie left out the fact that when his shoulder was operated on many years earlier, a large bone spur was removed and he no longer had shoulder pain (although he had already retired from baseball) The movie made his new founded ability to throw 98 miles per hour (he could only throw 85 in his prime) seem miraculous in nature. Even though it is remarkable, the real Jimmy Morris was a muscular athlete who probably was limited by this large bone spur in his shoulder that wasn't removed till after he retired. Other than that, the movie follows his true life quite accurately and Dennis Quaid was excellent playing Jimmy Morris. The fact that he was the oldest major league rookie since Satchel Paige makes for an interesting story and it is truly a remarkable, uplifing movie.---definitely 4 stars out of 4 in my opinion
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Not a 'rookie' in entertainment
smla0213 January 2003
****

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, and Angus T. Jones.

A science teacher in his late thirties decides to follow his dream...playing professional baseball. The team that he coaches makes a bet that if they win the championship, then he must try out for pro baseball. Well guess what happens? Yep, you guessed it. I can't exactly tell you the rest, but you'll love it.

The film has a lot of heart that keeps this movie going and going. Quaid portrays a wonderful performance as Jimmy Morris. Everyone else is perfect, and his is definitely on the top 10 of 2002. It's Oscar material all the way and deserves whatever it gets.

What's also good about this is that it can be a great movie with no bad language or anything. That's a sign of great writing.

Highly recommended to everyone, but very highly recommended to families.
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8/10
A Believable and True Underdog Story
mOVIemAN564 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The Rookie is based on the true story of a 40+ year old school teacher in Big Lake, Texas reaching the majors. Jimmy Morris (Dennis Quaid) is a small-town high school science teacher and baseball coach. His team is losing terribly until the team discovers that their coach played in minor leagues and can throw a pitch 98 mph.

After throwing batting practice and a wager is made, Jim agrees that if his team wins regional's, he'll try out for the Major Leagues. The movie tells the story from Jimmy being boy to playing in his first game in the majors. It is a great underdog story and a very friendly family movie. Dennis Quaid makes the movie worth while, giving an emotional performance and is supported by an excellent supporting cast which includes: Brian Cox, Rachel Griffiths, and Angus T. Jones.

The story takes a little while to develop and some scenes are a bit slow but it all works in well by the end. The baseball scenes are fun, well-filmed, and portrayed excellently. The movie really isn't about baseball but about one man's quest to reach his dream. It's inspiring, it's emotional, and it's funny. I liked it, I hope you do.

The Rookie. Starring: Dennis Quaid, Brian Cox, Rachel Griffiths, and Angus T. Jones.

4 out of 5 Stars.
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another sentimental baseball fable
Roland E. Zwick23 November 2002
When women feel the need for a `good cry' at the movies, they usually seek out some tragic tale of unrequited love to do the trick. When men feel the same need, they turn to a film about baseball. And what could be more guaranteed to convert a grown man into a shamelessly blubbering fool than a true-life account of a middle-aged baseball fanatic who gets to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing in the major leagues? How many men can fail to identify with that? Indeed, most men may not want to admit this, but the baseball movie genre has, in many ways, become the male equivalent of that category of film known, derisively by many men, as the `chick flick,' for they both serve roughly the same purpose. Apparently, even we stoic males have the need to clear out the tear ducts every now and then - for purely medical reasons of course.

Because baseball has long enjoyed the reputation of being `America's National Pastime,' moviemakers have often treated it less as a sport than as an iconic institution. From `Pride of the Yankees' to `Brian's Song' to `Bang the Drum Slowly' to `The Natural' to `Field of Dreams,' movies about baseball have been so concerned with all the mythic implications of the sport that they have rarely managed to convey the sense of carefree fun that comes along with it (`Bull Durham' has been one of the few obvious exceptions to this rule). The tone in these films is sometimes so sentimental and so reverential that one begins to view baseball more as a type of pseudo religion - with the stadium functioning as a sort of temple where people gather to participate in a communal spiritual experience - than as a form of entertainment.

`The Rookie' certainly falls into this category, yet the film itself has such an air of comforting familiarity about it that it manages to override much of the conventionality of the storyline. Although we always know where the movie is headed, the easy assuredness with which it charts its course keeps us interested and absorbed for most of the duration. The majority of the credit goes to Dennis Quaid who, as Jim Morris, the high-school-teacher-turned-big-league-ballplayer, does a first rate job portraying a man torn between responsibility to his family and this golden, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of realizing a childhood dream. Quaid underplays the role so nicely that we never doubt for a moment the authenticity of all we are seeing on screen. The screenplay by Mike Rich, though filled with overly familiar scenes and characters, nevertheless manages to avoid many of the potential lapses into overwrought melodrama that could conceivably have robbed it of much of its credibility (the dark hints early on in the film as to Morris' problematic physical condition happily never come to fruition). Director John Lee Hancock establishes an almost elegiac tone, pacing the film in such a way as to match the unhectic lifestyle of both Morris and the small Texas town in which he lives.

`The Rookie,' like Disney's previous sports opus `Remember the Titans,' eschews violence, sexuality and bad language completely, thereby garnering the film a `G' rating and making it first class entertainment for the entire family. There may be nothing much new in it for adults, but `The Rookie' has the skill to make what was old seem somehow new again. Not unlike what happens to the hero himself in fact.
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10/10
The Best Pitcher of the Year!!!
zardoz-1329 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Once upon a time Hollywood produced live-action, G-rated movies without foul language, immorality, and gore-splattered violence. These movies neither insulted your intelligence no manipulated your emotions. The heroes differed little from the crowd. They shared the same feelings and bore the same burdens. Since the 1970s, the film industry has pretty much written off G-rated movies for adults. Basically, modern mature audiences demand large doses of embellished realism for their cinematic diet, laced heavily with vile profanity, mattress-thumping sex, and knuckle-bruising fisticuffs. These ingredients constitute the difference between G-rated movies and those rated either PG or PG-13.

Miraculously, director John Lee Hancock, who penned scripts for Clint Eastwood's "A Perfect World" (1993) and "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (1997), hits a home run with this G-rated, feel-good, four-bagger of a baseball epic that not only celebrates America's favorite summer time sport, but also extols the competitive spirit of the game. Essentially, "The Rookie" resembles the 1984 Robert Redford saga "The Natural" about an old-time slugger who makes a comeback. Unlike "The Natural," "The Rookie" shuns swearing, sex, and violence.

Moreover, rugged Dennis Quaid plays a real-life individual. Jim Morris' autobiography, "The Oldest Rookie: Big-League Dreams from a Small-Town Guy," served as the basis for Mike "Finding Forrester") Rich's unpretentious, Norman Rockwell-style screenplay about white, middle-class aspirations. Morris attained his dream when he debuted on the mound as a relief pitcher in 1999. Although it doesn't belong in the same league with the inspirational James Stewart classic "The Stratton Story" (1949), "The Rookie" qualifies as the kind of movie that Hollywood rarely makes anymore because audiences find them antiquated.

Hancock and Rich encapsulate their entertaining oddball biography in a halo of mysticism. A wildcat oil prospector convinces two Catholic nuns back in the 1920s to bankroll a West Texas well. Fearing they have blown their bucks on an ill-advised fantasy, the sisters blanket the arid terrain with rose petals and entreat St. Rita's patron saint of hopeless causes' to intervene. The well gushes! The Town of Big Lake emerges, and roughnecks swat at baseballs when they aren't drilling holes in the terrain. The spirit of baseball oozes from the earth like petroleum. Meanwhile, years later, the U.S. Navy doesn't keep Jim Morris, Sr., (Brian Cos of "Manhunter") and his family in one place long before uprooting them. The constant moving takes a toll on Jim Junior. Jim's dad shows little sympathy and berates baseball.

Nevertheless, Jim has baseball in his blood, enough so that when he accepts a high school chemistry teacher's job in his Texas hometown, he organizes a baseball team. Like the foul-mouthed "Bad News Bears," "The Rookie" chronicles Jim's triumph at turning losers into winners. Morris promises the team if they reach the divisional playoffs, he will try out for a professional baseball team. Predictably, Morris' students maintain their end of the bargain. At age 35, Jim stuns the big league scouts when he hurls fastballs at 98 miles-per-hour! "The Rookie" never fouls out.
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10/10
Great, Great, Great.
mayerproductions28 September 2007
This was truly a great movie. I loved Dennis Quaid and the entire baseball team. Jay Hernandez is also a very likable actor that is very enjoyable to watch. The chemistry the team had once they got things together was spectacular, it just goes to show what you what can accomplish when minds unite as one with one goal. This team came back from the brink, having multiple losing seasons to winning just about everything. I love movies like this as they really are very inspirational.

On top of that, Dennis Quaid's character getting a place in the major leagues. You can't do anything, but root for this guy. It just seems like when someone is supposed to do something, they are going to do that. Things just happen to fall into place and makes everything click.

Based on a true story, this film will really make you think about the fact that "nothing is impossible."
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10/10
Classy
lnaccm23 May 2003
Wow, for the most part this was a great movie. With the exception of too many errors in the scene shot at The Ballpark in Arlington, this was a great all-around movie. I expected Disney Cheese, but instead it was just a great story that was presented beautifully.
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6/10
Follow that dream.
Michael O'Keefe22 February 2003
Wholesome determination makes for a film for the entire family to watch. A former minor league pitcher Jimmy Morris(Dennis Quaid)turns to teaching and coaching in Big Lake, Texas and bargains with his formerly hapless high school players that if they go to the state championships he will try out for the big leagues again. In 1999, Morris becomes the "Oldest Rookie" when he lands a job with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as a 98 mph throwing lefty from the bullpen. Morris' dream is short, but sweet. And his story seems to have spawned from a Hollywood script. Although this is based on fact the movie could have been much better if filmed with a more "mature" approach. My favorite scene is where Morris is at the tryouts camp and he wipes his nose holding a soiled diaper. Also in the cast are Rachel Griffiths, Rick Gonzales, Russell Richardson and Blue Deckert.
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A real natural
george.schmidt4 April 2002
THE ROOKIE (2002) **1/2 Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Brian Cox, Jay Hernandez, Beth Grant, Angus T. Jones, Rick Gonzalez, Chad Lindberg. Better-than-anticipated yet predictable ‘true life' account of Texas chemistry high school teacher/baseball coach Jim Morris (Quaid at his most amiable/vulnerable) whose lifetime ambition to play professional ball returns in the form of his dormant fastball and love of his family to fulfill his dreams. Corny in the best ways and fun all around make up for the by-the-numbers connections that ultimately lead to the hero's quest. (Dir: John Lee Hancock)
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10/10
So this is the last great thing made by Disney, huh?????
Seth Nelson8 September 2006
An end of an era was released here in the States in Spring 2002 with "The Rookie," a Disney live action film that seemed to be the "best for last!!!!!" It took place right here in Texas! Actually, the story began in West Texas, as evidenced by an area code found on a sign over there. It was about a high school coach who was so convinced by his high class baseball team that he decided to go professional!!!!!

What I liked about this movie: It was sooo nice!!!!! It was a very good sports movie, ala "The Mighty Ducks" trilogy. It had also taken moviegoers across Texas, from somewhere between the Panhandle and El Paso all the way to the Metroplex (where I live). I can tell because I recognize that ballpark (was "The Ballpark in Arlington;" now it's "Ameriquest Field")! It was nice to see Disney's "Golden Age" end here in my area!!!!!

R.I.P.

Golden Age of Disney

1920s-Spring 2002

"It all started with a mouse...and it ended with baseball." (sobs)

10/10
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2/10
Overlong and Unoriginal
noralee22 December 2005
I wanted to like "The Rookie." I like sports romances. I like director John Lee Hancock's other work. The soundtrack included the likes of John Hiatt, one of my faves (thoughthere wasn't much in original songs and the songs weren't very illustrative).

I like Dennis Quaid (nice to see that smile again) and Rachel Griffiths (who is given almost nothing to do except prove that she's not always crazy "Brenda" from "Six Feet Under").

But I was bored silly and simply lost concentration by the time the end finally came.

Overlong and unoriginal.

(originally written 5/19/2002)
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9/10
Wonderful movie....
scholara213 August 2006
I first saw this movie 3 years ago, and it was introduced by then Disney chief Eisner and the real Jim Morris.

About a month ago, it came back on TV, and this time I taped it. Since then I must've watched it at least three times.

This is a wonderful, inspirational, feel good movie that is intelligently written and believably acted by everyone concerned. It resists going for every sentimental trick in the book, as well as all of the other clichés.

It is refreshing to see a movie where the kids aren't jerks and have a whole slew of behavioral issues, and the jocks aren't portrayed as testosterone driven muscleheads.

These are just normal people who have dreams like you and I.

In my opinion, Hollywood as gone the other extreme to what they term "gritty realism", making movies where everyone curses, and has problems with aggression.

This movie is about a man who has a dream, and is encouraged by friends and family to pursue that dream. The people in Big Lake TX seem so personable that I want to move there.

As I said b4, the film doesn't try to go overboard with sentimentality. Dennis Quaid, as usual, never disappoints. I've watched him from the late 70's, and he is so underrated.

But this movie has excellent performances from EVERYONE concerned, and kudos to the writers.

A gem in the movie is near the end when Jim is practicing in the dugout before the big game, and his wife calls out to him from the stands. He rushes over and reaches out to his family. The look on the faces of the three other pitchers sitting on the bench in the dugout is priceless.

If you're looking for a change of pace, then pick this movie up.
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9/10
One of the best of this genre
caa8219 August 2006
This movie has several things going for it. It is a "feel good" story. The characters and actors are likable, realistic and present fine performances. Most important, I believe, is that Dennis Quaid knows how to grip and throw a baseball. Robert Redford looked good both throwing and swinging a bat in "The Natural, and so did Kevin Costner in "For Love of the Game" and "Bull Durham." In "Major League," Tom Berenger and Charlie Sheen looked like they knew what they were doing, but many of the others did not, and that picture was pure silliness - and not very funny.

So many earlier baseball movies, even where the stories might be interesting, presented such a lack of baseball ability on the part of the leads, they were ludicrous in this respect. In "The Stratton Story" and "Strategic Air Command," Jimmy Stewart looked about as believable as a professional baseball player, as your overweight, non-athletic, elderly uncle in the softball game at the family reunion. Other virile and physically robust stars (e.g., Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig; Robald Reagan as Grover Cleveland Alexander; and Dan Dailey as Dizzy Dean) also exhibited a degree of baseball ability that would put them in the late rounds while "choosing-up" for a game at the Sunday picnic (even if coed, and even if your uncle were involved).

The scenes of Quaid's high school team he coached, the ones where he attends his tryout with the Devil Rays, and those with him playing in two minor leagues and in the American League, all ring true. The participants are believable and capable. In addition, he is an engaging actor who always delivers a talented and appropriate characterization (except, to a degree, some of his "over-the-top" scenes, and his forced accent, in his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis). But he's definitely on-target here, and this movie is a "9," as good, or better, as any others of this genre, except for "The Natural."
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Real-life things in the movie
joshuabperry20 November 2004
I don't know if a lot of people know this, but the Rangers P.A. Announcer and the Radio Announcer are the actual announcers for the Rangers. Eric Nadel actually does the Ranger Broadcasts on KRLD NewsRadio 1080 in Dallas-Fort Worth with Victor Rojas. Eric Nadel has been broadcasting Rangers' baseball for 26 seasons.Eric Nadel is in his ninth year as the lead voice for the Rangers' radio broadcasts. This marks his 25th season broadcasting Rangers' baseball, the longest tenure of any announcer in the history of the franchise. Nadel worked on television and radio from 1979-81, then teamed with Mark Holtz for the next 13 years on radio while also doing televised games in 1984. One of his most memorable calls was Nolan Ryan's 5,000th career strikeout on August 22, 1989. He is a two-time selection (1999 and 2001) as Texas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Nadel, who taught himself to speak fluent Spanish, has called several games in Spanish during his frequent off-season visits to Latin America. Prior to joining the Rangers, he was the play-by-play announcer for the Dallas Black Hawks of the Central Hockey League and the Dallas Diamonds of the Women's Professional Basketball League. For the last 19 years, he has done "A Page From Baseball's Past" radio features that run on the Rangers' radio network. His latest book, "Texas Rangers: The Authorized History" was released in 1997. Elected to the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991, Nadel and his wife Jeannie reside in Dallas.
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9/10
Great excellent sportsdrama, wanna cry go for it!!!!!
mario_desoet13 November 2004
Well, tonight I saw this movie for the third time being the first 2 times sometime ago and I had to dry my eyes more than once!

This movie gives me a boost every time I see it, if it happens to be on cable when I turn on the TV to look a new bought CD/DVD I cant stop looking to start the movie until it is finished.

After seeing it tonight I just wanna check its rating but then my eye was caught by some fool(Filmjack3 from New Jersey) commenting on this flick that it was bad and Dennis Quaid was ill-casted, well sorry but that got me going to remove this comment being the current one with this great movie.

I my opinion all players are great in this movie, I must say I don't know the true story but as far as just seeing this movie, its great. In particular the first time with his own team when he throws a fast one and when he has his first appearance in the majors being asked by the coach to throw 3 fast ones, which he does when a dangerous player starts hitting, striking him out!

Again, great movie, I rate it 9 out of 10!

Mario de Soet
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8/10
Inspiring, touching, and Dennis Quaid.
dmturner2 September 2004
This is one of my favorite sports movies. Dennis Quaid is moving and convincing in the part of a man who gave up his dream of being a baseball pitcher when his arm gave out on him. As a high school coach, he challenges his players to win the division championship by telling them he'll try out for a baseball team if they do. They win (partly because of all the batting practice they take with a coach who can pitch over 90 miles an hour), and he keeps his side of the bargain--and is signed!

If you have ever decided to try something new and terrifying as an adult, Jim Morris's story will resonate with you. It is moving and inspiring, and the man's relationships ring true.

Inspiration is not the only reason I rent this one, though. Dennis Quaid is just downright purdy in the part, and a baseball movie with a good-looking man changing a diaper is my idea of heaven. Ladies, if you feel the way I do, check this one out.
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9/10
If you're a dad, this one touches the heart
hallier2319 February 2004
This movie, to me, is about family. Jimmy Morris lived his dream not just for himself, but for his family. I can't begin to tell you how I would be able to tell my little girl that daddy was going to Kansas City to cover Priest Holmes and the Kansas City Chiefs. She'd think it was the coolest thing, like Morris' son did. Living dreams with the family is what this one is about. I think only a father who has a close relationship with his family can truly appreciate what Jimmy Morris did.
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8/10
Solid film, with excellent moments
boomcoach11 August 2003
I liked the director's comment (on the DVD) that "you couldn't make this movie if it wasn't true". He is absolutely right. It is an unbelievable story, especially for anyone who wishes to have "just one more chance" at their youth.

Quaid gives an excellent restrained performance. An Army brat raised all over the place, but finally in Texas, he has charm and humor and a solid cowboy-like presence. The boy who played his oldest child was wonderful, if at the cost of making the other children cardboard characters.

Surrounding Quaid and his son are a wealth of characters, from Brian Cox (becoming one of my favorite character actors) as his father (as someone who lost several years with his father through mutual bullheadedness this was tough to watch), to the townspeople (especially the guy at the general store), to Rachel Griffiths as his believably attractive wife, all playing against the beautiful background of west Texas, we have a finely crafted piece of cinema.

While bordering on maudlin, it never crosses over, Quaid plays stolid enough that the flashes of his smile are welcomed and his face as he pitches show the fastballer who only knows one way to throw.
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