Dewayne Warren

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Hardball Review


Bad
Brian Robbins' Hardball is quite the cinematic achievement. In about two hours, we get a glancing examination of ghetto life, a funeral with a heartfelt eulogy, speeches about never giving up, a cache of cute kids (including a fat one with asthma), a hard-luck gambler who finds salvation in a good woman and a climactic "big game," where the underdogs prove to have a bigger bite than anyone ever imagined.

All that's needed is a guy getting hit in the nuts and a food fight to have the first film solely based on cinematic clichés. I can't wait to see the deleted scenes when it comes out on DVD.

Continue reading: Hardball Review

Hardball Review


Good

Surprisingly, the redemption-by-baseball picture "Hardball" is not some warm-fuzzy "Bad News Bears" clone transplanted to the projects. It's considerably better than that.

Yes, it is about a drunk, gambling-addicted ticket scalper who spitefully agrees to coach a ghetto little league team for $500 a week to pay off a two angry bookies. Yes, the scalper is played by the historically vacuous Keanu Reeves, and yes, he's going to learn What's Really Important In Life from endearingly foul-mouthed street kids who live cautionary-tale type lives of inner city strife.

But as fast as "Hardball" sets up such eye-rolling clichés, director Brian Robbins knocks them down. There are no inspirational montages of the squad pulling together and honing their skills. The well-financed rival team? Present and accounted for, but not a major subplot. Ditto for the schoolteacher romantic interest (Diane Lane) and the headstrong tenement mom whose respect Reeves must earn.

Continue reading: Hardball Review

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DeWayne Warren Movies

Hardball Movie Review

Hardball Movie Review

Brian Robbins' Hardball is quite the cinematic achievement. In about two hours, we get...

Hardball Movie Review

Hardball Movie Review

Surprisingly, the redemption-by-baseball picture "Hardball" is not some warm-fuzzy "Bad News Bears" clone transplanted to...

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