DOASKDOTELL MOVIE REVIEWs of The Rookie, Sugar, The Perfect Game

 

Title:  The Rookie

Release Date:  2002

Nationality and Language: USA English

Running time:  120 minutes

MPAA Rating:  G

Distributor and Production Company:  Touchstone/Walt Disney/Buena Vista

Director; Writer: John Lee Hancock

Producer:

Cast:   Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Jay Hernandez and Brian Cox.

Technical: Panavision

Relevance to doaskdotell site:  self-ownership

Review:

 “It’s alright to think about what you want to do until the day comes that you have to do what you were meant to do.”

  Jum Morris  (Dennis Quaid) hears this from his Army brat father when trying out for minor league baseball at age 36, twelve years after a shoulder injury, when he finds he can pitch (as a southpaw) at 98 mph.   He had settled in Big Lake, Texas after his fatehr’s last move, and had to be inventive to play baseball as a kid at all (football was much more the macho sport). But when the time comes to try, the support of his wife is essential: he will make $600 a month in the minors, give up a teaching job and better job in Fort Worth.  He has a family to raise, and this is supposed to restrict his choices, but somehow family justifies his following his own dream.

    Quaid looks older than 36—too much Texas ultraviolet light—and the teammates call him “the old guy” (we had a 36 year old recruit in Army Basic whom they called “Paps”).
But there is plenty of “unit cohesion” shown on these baseball teams—both in high school and in the minors. Perhaps at the Big House, where it is so professional, less so. The climax for the film is at The Ballpark in Arlington, after Morris is called up by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays playing on the road at Texas (George W. Bush’s Rangers(. He strikes out the batter with three fastballs, in a 8-1 ho-hum loss.

   Well, Morris’s breaking into baseball as a relief pitcher at 36 is no more improbable than my breaking into the movies.  But have I earned this analogy?  I haven’t raised a family.

    As for the title, well, rookie is an antonym for professional—usually. Computer programmers can be rookies. But sometimes beginners beat out the old timers.

 

Sugar (2009. Sony Pictures Classics/HBO, dir. Anna Bowden and Ryan Fleck) Blogger.

The Perfect Game (2010, High Road, dir. William Dear). Blogger.

Related reviews:   Field of Dreams; The Natural

 

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