The Final Season

The Final Season

DVD - 2008
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A small-town high school baseball team and their underdog coach must defend their legacy against insurmountable odds.
Publisher: Culver City, Calif. : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, [2008]
ISBN: 9781424895472
1424895472
Branch Call Number: DVD Drama / Final 6939
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 119 min.) :,sd., col. ;,12 cm., in container

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joseph
Sep 07, 2008

Good - For a movie void of big names, this is a good sports movie about a small town (Norway, Iowa) losing their high school because of a state initiative to merge small town high schools to the bigger state run schools. In the process, one high school in particular (Norway High School) will also lose their famous baseball team which had won 19 state baseball champions. It should be noted that baseball means everything to this town – given their impressive record. The main coach retires and leaves the coaching job to the young and inexperienced Kent Stock, played by Sean Astin. I was having a difficult time getting through the first half hour of the film because the film lacked the magic that good baseball movies possess. There was one scene in particular that the director could’ve easily got our juices flowing and that was the one where Kent Stock had to prove himself as a leader to his sceptical young team. There was very little fan fair as he predicatively hit the ball out of the park winning their respect.

The first half was dedicated to providing the viewer with the background of why the team was disbanding – this may have taken a little too long to unfurl. A magical moment came half way into the film when Kent Stock takes a strategic move out of the former coach’s play book and practices in front of the opposing team to showing how good they are (i.e. getting in their heads, so to speak). The scene was over-laid with a song from Tom Cochraine “Big League” – nice touch. At this point, I thought to myself – we’ve got a real movie about baseball. And the film doesn’t let up. Though the director was not hitting the strike zone in the first half of the picture, he certainly aced every pitch from that moment onwards. Characters were fully developed and the scene was set for the big game.

Another favourable point about The Final Season was how realistic the film looked – there was one scene in particular that the pitcher was distracted because a train was going by (another nice touch). The last hour of the movie is pure magic – the other team has an ace picture throwing 95 MPH fast balls against a young Norway team. Great stuff. I won’t spoil if for you but you’ll really get into the game. This film was directed by David Evans, who directed the wonderfully charming “Sandlot (1993)”. Though “The Final Season” doesn’t have the feel of Sandlot, it’s still enjoyable and well worth watching.

m
Michael
Jul 22, 2008

II loved this movie! It looked like it was going to be a sleeper... but from the moment Powers Booth told his younger charge Sean Astin to always run his team's warm-up drills with a stop-watch and under nine minutes... you knew this was going to be something more than just another feel-good minor opus. You were going to learn something... about how baseball is played at the high school level in America. It still achieves the "feel-good "status... Sean Astin seems to make that his forte in anything he does on screen (remember "Rudy"?). But it builds beyond just that to give us a nicely packaged bit of goods on one of the most successful high school baseball program in the U.S. and the coaches that helped bring their personal grit and self-discipline onto and into the lives of some impressionable youngsters - turning them into young men.

If you and your loved-ones want to come away feeling inspired while learning a bit about youth baseball the way it's played States-side, this is a perfect family movie for everyone.

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m
Michael
Jul 22, 2008

Michael thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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