The best thing about this movie is that it truly doesn't focus on baseball, even though the title might suggest that. It's a movie about life, not baseball. I think the movie's title represents the movie well, but is still very misleading and sounds silly. "Ball" because there is the baseball element, "hard", because that's how life is for the main character, gambling addict, and the kids in the team.
Overall, I liked this movie. When I first saw the title & read the plot summary, I thought it was going to suck majorly, but I thought I'd watch it because it was a Keanu Reeves-movie and I like any film with him at least a little, because he's a pleasure to watch on screen. Then I read some of the user comments here & was pleasantly surprised. When I watched the film, I was even more surprised of the humor in it, the sense of rough reality. It most certainly wasn't a fun kids' film like Mighty Ducks... A lot more cursing, a lot more violence. Don't get me wrong, the violence wasn't THAT bad. There was only like 2 scenes of it.
I really liked the drama in this movie. I like Keanu Reeves' character. His life is a complete mess with all his debts & associations with bookies. Naturally, with the story, he evolves, changes. Keanu Reeves did a good job. He doesn't usually get to act much, because I guess the directors a. Don't find him a good actor or/and b. Only want him to look pretty on-screen. This has got to be my favorite movie with him so far alongside the first Matrix. Absolutely. He gets to act, he does a good job at it. A good break for Keanu.
The kids were great actors & very funny. I liked their input a lot on this movie. None of them really stood out, but as a group they worked well and did a good job on the film.
Then onto the parts that weren't all that.. great. First of all, it's really disturbing to hear Keanu Reeves sing Notorious B.I.G's "Big Poppa". Now matter how drunk his character is, he just shouldn't sing that. Second of all, the love affair between Connor [Keanu's character] and Diane Lane's character, Elizabeth, seemed a little forced. It brought some pretty funny moments to the movie & Diane Lane was a good, emotional actress, as usual, but it didn't give the story much & didn't seem very essential. Her character was necessary, but the romance seemed slightly forced.
If you get to watch it on DVD, watch the deleted scenes as well. Some pretty nice scenes there.
All in all, in my pretty loose rating scale [I could give lots of movies 9, very little movies a 1], I'd rate this one 7+/10. Or perhaps even an 8. Watch it if you want to see a decent drama film. Watch it if you want to see some really tragic things happening in the ghetto. Watch it if you want to see Keanu Reeves really act for once.
2 out of 4 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.