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Hardball Blu-ray Review

“Hardball” is no homerun.

Based on the novel by Daniel Coyle, “Hardball” (which is celebrating its 20th anniversary) is a drama about a selfish drinker and gambler (Conor) who owes a lot of money to bookies. In desperate need of money to pay back his debts, his pal Jimmy offers to pay him, but there’s a catch- he wants Conor to coach a Chicago inner-city youth baseball team. Conor reluctantly accepts the job and he soon finds that this coaching gig might impact his life for the better

If director Brian Robbins’ “Hardball” sounds similar to “The Mighty Ducks,” well, that’s because it is. It’s another story about a reluctant coach and a rag-tag team teaching one another. Writer John Gatins clearly opted to create an uplifting baseball drama with some messages about class, personal growth, selflessness, teamwork, and all manner of sports movie cliches. It’s all very generic stuff, but it’s watchable despite some rough dialogue. And then there’s the ending. While it’s certainly emotional, it feels tacked on to add drama. Yes, it has a purpose and is meant to show the dangers of the city, but it feels more than a little manipulative.

The cast is stacked with talent like D.B. Sweeney, a young Michael B. Jordan in one of his first roles, Michael McGlone, John Hawkes (in a nothing role), Diane Lane as the teacher Sister Wilkes and, of course, star Keanu Reeves. This is a strange role for Reeves as he was in his peak Matrix era at this point. While he’s decent in the role, it often feels like he’s taking it all a bit too seriously in that it tends to seem like he’s ACTING. The real scene stealer here though is DeWayne Warren as G-Baby. He has the most memorable moments and is the heart of the movie too.


Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. How does it look? The Blu-ray does provide an upgrade but the colors aren’t as crisp as could be and there is noticeable print damage via flickers and scratches.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A soft but decent track.

* “Hardball” theatrical trailer.
* 3 deleted scenes
* A music video for Lil’ Bow Wow, Lil’ Wayne, Lil’ Zane and Sammie’s “Hardball.”
* 3 interstitials for the characters of Kofi and Andre
* “The Making Of Hardball”- A basic archival 12 minute making of with interviews, set footage, film clips, story and character discussions. 

September 22, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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