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Hardball

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Caught this one night on cable.

The story is vaguely similar to Bad News Bears and The Mighty Ducks.  A rich guy is supposed to coach a team.  He hires a down-and-out buddy (brother in this movie?) to do it for him.   The coach takes the job only because he needs the money, despite the fact that he has no real interest in the kids.

Among the big differences is that this movie has far less comedy, and no slapstick. It's aimed at an older audience than Bad New Bears, maybe?  I guess I can't really tell who this movie is really aimed at.  It's not a juvenile adult film, but I don't really see it appealing to the adult crowd, either.  It's set in the ghetto instead of the burbs.  The story included some adult themes, including some gang activity.

Albeit, one draw for all ages is that the love interest is Diane Lane.  She plays a teacher at the Catholic school the boys attend.  I think it turns out she's not a nun, though?  Don't really remember.

In this movie, Keanu is a gambling addict.  We see him just as he's gotten himself deep into debt.  The job gives him just enough to keep from getting bones broken.   Meanwhile he places one more large bet on margin, hoping to clear his debt in one fell swoop.

While all this is going on, there are the kids.  One thing that I found kind of interesting is that they sounded almost exactly like Tammy's son.  Their word choice, their overdramatic delivery, their bravado.  It was kind of interesting just for that.

Similar to the audience quandry, I'm not really sure I can recognize a coherent theme in this movie.  Pretty obviously, those two problems are tied together.

I don't think it's gonna be much of a spoiler to say that he turns a new leaf, sees the value of committing to others, the errors of his ways, everything's peachy (almost) and he gets the girl.

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Cable with Dinner.  Not as slapstick as Mighty Ducks or Bad News Bears, but largely the same story.


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Last modified: June 14, 2004
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