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***Official "HARDBALL" Review Thread (1 Viewer)

Robert Crawford

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This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Hardball". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread. Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning! If you need to discuss those type of issues, I have designated an Official Discussion Thread which can be found at this link .
Again, without warning, I will delete all posts that are not a HTF member review!
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Crawdaddy
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[Edited last by Robert Crawford on September 14, 2001 at 03:12 PM]
 

Robert Crawford

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Usually, I wait for other member reviews before I post my personal take on a new film, however today, I wanted to post my thoughts regarding "Hardball". This film starring Keanu Reeves and Diane Lane is not a clone of "The Mighty Ducks" nor a remake of another personal favorite of mine "The Bad News Bears". Sure, "Hardball" has it's humorous moments but this film deals with a lost soul finding personal redemption and children longing to be kids playing the simple game of baseball in a very violent world in which they live in. The film has it's cliches and sentimentalities but it hit a homerun with me because it didn't just present a fairy tale in which no pain or sorrow was experienced while presenting a story that was both credible and heart-warming. Keanu Reeves gave one of his best performances in this film which judging from his past performances in other films isn't really saying much but in this film he really did a very good job. Diane Lane is still a hottie and it's too bad she never achieved more prominent roles in other films. The young boys who were in the film were very good and I read that most of them were not professional actors but just regular kids from the city of Chicago. My personal rating for this film is three and a half
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Crawdaddy
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Alphonse Brown

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I got to see the sneak preview of this on Saturday evening and I really liked it.
If anyone is not familiar with the story. It is "inspired" on a true story about a compulsive gambler that is forced to coach a Chicago inner-city Little League team to help pay off some of his debts.
I'm sure if you've seen any of the "Bad News Bears" movies or "Mighty Ducks" movies, you will see similarities in the first half or so with the coach caring less about his unorganized team and so on, but this movie adds a layer of raw grittiness that is unseen in those films and shows the effects of the ghetto lifestyle on the kids that must live in such an environment.
The film has some problems, but overall it was an interesting movie.
-Alphonse
P.S. - Even though the filmmakers edited the movie to a PG-13, it's a very hard PG-13 - it still has lots of cussing and you will tell just about every time they substituted the "F" word. It becomes spoken as "friggin" or "freakin'" or some other creative "F" substitute.
 

Mark Pfeiffer

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I really wasn't expecting to go for this and skipped advance screenings twice in favor of other films. So surprise, surprise, I liked it. Hard edged enough and not done in an overly sentimental manner. Keanu's generally vacant screen presence works well for the role. The baseball is true, more so than this summer's ridiculous Summer Catch. The filmmakers don't play up the romance angle more than it needs to be, and while villains appear, they don't overshadow what the story is about. Hardball keeps its focus on the team and the coach and is the better for it.
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[Edited last by Mark Pfeiffer on September 15, 2001 at 06:18 AM]
 

Patrick Sun

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Given this past week's events at the WTC in NYC, I found myself comparing the scary similarities of "Hardball" on a micro-level with this past week's macro-level of the terrorist actions against our country, and by the end of the film, if you don't have lump in your throat by the story of overcoming obstables and loss, you weren't paying attention.
The beginning of the film is a bit unsure, but by the end, we see good character development among many of the principal characters, and yes, the resolution hits the ball out of the park. I, too, was very surprised by this film, and recommend it.
Keanu Reeves was okay, and got better by the end of the film. Diane Lane still exudes classiness on screen (though her character is underdeveloped). The kids on the baseball team were very good, even with their potty mouths and antics.
If you think you'd enjoy "Bad News Bears in the projects" with an urban edge, then I think you'd enjoy this film.
I give is a 3 stars or a grade of B.
 

JohnS

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First before I say anything about the film. I'm glad that other people loved this movie!
Ok, now on with my review.
The movie was better than what I expected.
I had very low expectations for this film.
I thought the story played out very well and that Keeanu was better in this movie, then in some of his other recent movies.
The kids didn't come off as annoying or cutesie.
I actually believed they were kids with problems and wanting to play baseball.
Diane Lane is likeable/attractive as always!
I'm really glad that I didn't get a Mighty Ducks type of movie. and was glad to see a harder edge movie with kids.
But, I would have really liked to see the Original R rating.
The only problem I had with the movie was, I felt like there were a scene or scenes, cut out of the movie, dealing with one of the kids quitting baseball and then getting involved with a gang.
Anybody who hasn't seen this movie yet, give it a try, you just might like it!
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