Monday, April 22, 2013

"Home Run" gets far too "religious" for the good of baseball


I drove out to the far exurbs (Ashburn, VA, in Loudoun County, at a new Regal) to see “Home Run” because it is a baseball movie. And the film, from director David Boyd, is, not surprisingly, a Christian film, that the theater owners prefer to exhibit in more rural and “conservative” and often religious communities.
  
If you’re going to make a faith-based and socially conservative movie, fine.  Please build characters that you can like. Have a real plot and suspense.  “Abel’s Field”, a few weeks ago, did that. 
  
But this film turned preachy toward the end as a lot of people, whom some people would see as “losers”, stood up and announced their submission to “Him” in what was supposed to be a faith-based twelve-step program.  No problem with that – I don’t think that’s what happens. The film isn't just "religious" or faith-based; as Bill Maher says, it's "Religulous".  

The film opens as a young Cory is bullied by his father on the family farm by the “six strikes” rule.  He does learn to be a good left-handed hitter.  Cut to the modern day, and Cory hits what should be an inside-the-park home run but misses third base because he is drunk and is called out on appeal.  That one scene in the film was technically effective. 

He throws a tantrum, injures a batboy, and is suspended on condition of completing a twelve-step program.  But he keeps drinking during the program, and even causes injury in an auto DWI wreck. 

Cory is played by Scott Elrod, who looks appealing enough, until the high-definition digital images in Regal’s outstanding new projection system show that he shaves his forearms.  Justin Timberlake seems to have done that.

The film does convey the intimacy and dynamics of young family life at times, and suggests the idea that it can draw others in.

The setting of the film, Oklahoma, in and around Tulsa, looks appealing enough. 
  
But the filmmakers had to “greek” all the MLB team names.  Apparently MLB wouldn’t license their trademark use in this film for any reasonable price.  Was that because of the “religious” purpose? 
  
The official site (Samuel Goldwyn Films) is here

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