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The Rookie /

Rated: G

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Brian Cox, Beth Grant, Jay Hernandez 

Directed by: John Lee Hancock 

Produced by: Mark Ciardi, Mark Johnson, Gordon Gray 

Written by: Mike Rich 

Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures


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WARNING: Spoilers, I give away the ending, though it’s nothing you don’t see on the commercials / trailers / previews / etc...

     There is something that really aggravates me about Disney sports movies, and that’s that they all end in the same way, leaving on an incredibly positive and cheerful note. This does let them qualify as “feel-good” flicks, though over the years it has become annoying. This fact does remain true in The Rookie but, I still liked it for what it is, and if you’re wondering, it did make me feel good.

     The film tells the true story of Jim Morris, a high school science teacher, who becomes a major league baseball player. When Morris was young he was highly involved in baseball, but because of his dad’s career in the Navy, the family was forced to move around a lot, hence he was never able to complete a full season with any one little-league team. When he finally was able to settle down in Texas, where his father was able to steadily maintain a job, he found that there were no organized baseball leagues to play in. Though he was able to later play in the minor leagues, when injuring his shoulder during a game, he was forced to call it quits and give up his dream – to play with the big guys in the majors.

     Later in his life, when teaching at the school he worked at, he was informed that a high school baseball team was being formed and was asked to coach it. He willingly said “Yes” and started working with the players right away. Though it was a treat for to be a part of the game he loved, the team wasn’t very good and after half of a season, very unmotivated; but he kept at it.

     One day, after practice, the catcher of the team dared him to throw a couple of pitches. He uneasily accepted, despite what the doctors had told him about possibly blowing out his shoulder once again after any strenuous training. After the first pitch, the catcher could not believe his eyes…A man in his thirties had thrown almost as fast as any professional ball player; Mr. Morris still had his old technique with him. The next day, everyone knew (besides Morris’ wife) and the team made a deal with their new monster pitcher. If they by chance made it to the playoffs, he would have to try out for a major league team.

     Good fortune took its toll, and the team greatly improved in hopes of seeing their coach become a major league baseball player. They ended up making the playoffs by one game! When a tryout becomes available, Morris takes it and throws a pitch that reads in at ninety-eight miles miles-per-hour, something some veteran pitchers can’t even do. He ends up making a call back, and starts to play for the Devil Rays Triple-A team, but considers quitting when money becomes tight because of the low-revenue that playing on an unprofessional team generates. But in the end, all of his work pays off when Tampa Bay’s MLB team calls him up, and suggests that he plays for their team. This is a great ending, to a great story that makes you feel tremendously about yourself. In real-life, Morris was able to play two years of ball for the Devil Rays.

     Even though it was predictable, I still loved this wonderfully put together film and all of the features that came along with it. Many critics explained the movies prologue as an unnecessary waste of time, though I thought it was a creative beginning to a magically amusing story. The Disney name lives on yet another time!

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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