9 September 2012 | leanna-5
Cheesy, but good messages for youth
The direct-to-video film, "Home Run Showdown," was recently released on DVD. The film stars Matthew Lillard ("Without a Paddle") and Dean Cain (television's "Lois & Clark"). The director is Oz Scott, whose last film was Disney's 2004 flick, "The Cheetah Girls." Scott has also directed several television shows in the meantime, including many episodes of "CSI: NY" and "The District." The film is not rated, but is marketed toward families. A few elements could have easily been omitted to make the movie completely suitable for younger children. The film most likely fits into the Motion Picture Association of America's PG rating category due to its use of mild profanity.
Joey Deluca (Lillard) is an ex-minor league baseball player working in his dad's sports bar. Since he left baseball, he's bounced from hobby to hobby, but hasn't stuck with anything long enough to find his new niche. Joey's brother, Rico (Cain), was a more successful and popular professional ball player. He owns the local Chevrolet dealership and coaches one of the town's little league baseball teams. When their father, Al, learns that the league needs one more coach, he insists that Joey take the job. The heart and soul of Joey's team, the Cubs, is a new kid in town named Lori. His mother died, and his father is in prison. Lori's goal is to take the field shagging balls at the upcoming Home Run Showdown. He desperately wants to be on television so his dad can see him from jail. However, only the league's top three teams can participate. He works diligently to ensure the Cubs' success, but Joey isn't as motivated. Al soon sweetens the deal for Joey by proposing that he'll leave his bar to the son whose team collects the most balls at the Home Run Showdown. Game on!
Some films that never go to theaters have a real low-budget feel. They may have hokey action sequences or poor special effects. The main issue with "Home Run Showdown" is simply its level of "cheesiness." Specifically, the film contains poor dialog and lacks plot depth. A few randomly placed political references just seem bizarre. However, the cinematography is decent and the acting is as good as can be expected for second tier actors, given the script. The film is predictable, but does produce some good laughs throughout. And though the movie is somewhat silly, it does offer several valuable lessons for youth. It directly addresses issues such as sportsmanship, cheating, bullying, loyalty, and fairness. The rivalry between Joey and Rico parallels Lori's journey, and viewers can take something away from both story lines. Though "Home Run Showdown" may not be a hit, it's fairly enjoyable to watch and reinforces positive values and sportsmanship for PG audiences.