Hardball – one of the worst movies I have seen in recent years

by admin on May 27, 2009

I was going to a Detroit Tigers game over the weekend and was feeling nostalgic for old Tiger Stadium. Having read up on a lot of the history of Tiger Stadium and being a fan of baseball movies I remembered that a scene from the movie Hardball (starring Keanu Reeves – ugh!) was filmed at Tiger Stadium.

This was my main interest in seeing the movie. A secondary interest was the plot to the movie. A down on his luck gambler (Reeves) hits rock bottom and to make some money coaches a kid’s baseball team in the ghetto of Chicago. As the team learns from good old Keanu, Keanu in turn learns from the kids and it makes him a better man.

Well, that’s about the jist of what was on the back of the DVD case anyway. I came away with a differing opinion.

Mr. Keanu’s character was too shallow and thinly developed that I didn’t care whether he became a better person or ended up having his thumbs broke courtesy of the bookies he owed thousands of dollars. The kids were foul-mouthed which I can only assume the director wants us to think that all kids growing up in the ghetto are potty-mouths as soon as they learn to talk.

The kids swore at Keanu and Keanu swore at the kids. Sure did tug at the heart-strings.

The movie was filled with the typical theme and characters from this genre. There was the standard fat kid, tough guy know-it-all, local tough who took up with a gang after being kicked off the team, tiny kid who was too young to play but batted in the winning run to get to the championship game, and just to try one last time to get you to tear up they kill off the aforementioned little pipsqueak via a gang shootout.

Oh, and I nearly forgot (for good reason) that they threw in a contrived romance between coach Keanu and the kid’s teacher played by Diane Lane. The old – I’m not interested in you I just want you to make sure my kids’ grades improve while they play baseball and oh now you have won my heart because you are the coach of some of my kids so yes lets date – scenario. Blech!

Ah yes, surely something was amiss when this was not named the “feel good” movie of 2001 when it was in theaters.

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