Friday, December 10, 2010

MOVIE RANT: Summer Catch

*I'd like to preface this post by saying that "Summer Catch" is just an awful movie. The Boston accents make me cringe, the baseball scenes make me wonder if anyone on set has ever played a sport, and the acting has me firmly believing that I could head to Hollywood right now, star in a movie, and become the nation's next heart-throb young actor..

Equipment is an area where a lot of movies lose their authenticity. For example, Freddie Prinze, Jr.'s glove in Summer Catch is too big. Way too big. He's supposed to be a bigshot pitching prospect and he's walking around with a slow-pitch softball outfielder's mitt. It's no wonder he got kicked off his college team with that Rick Vaughn replica glove. He walks off the field one out shy of a no-hitter to chase a girl (granted it was Jessica Biel, probably not a bad move), yet the size of his glove is the aspect of the movie that I find unrealistic. Attention to detail, Hollywood. You can have the most far-fetched plot in the world and I'll eat it up, unless you have a pitcher sportin' a 15-inch Rawlings. Clean it up.

In the same movie Matthew Lillard, who tries so hard to be funny it hurts, plays a catcher from USC who has some trouble adjusting to the wood bats of the Cape League. Sure, he's having a tough go but I think he gets a raw deal when in the FIRST GAME, after maybe two at-bats, he walks to the plate to the announcer saying, "Brubaker's really struggled with these wooden bats this year, he's had a real difficult time here on the Cape." He's 0 for 2 on the season! Ten seconds later he could've been batting .333. I would've turned around and flipped the announcer the bird right then and there. 

Lillard later breaks a bat over his knee in a tirade after striking out (1:32 mark). This is ridiculously hard to do. I mean really hard. I tried once and not only did I not succeed but I thought I broke my thigh in two. A Dominican on my team this summer did it, a brand new Maple M110. I'm still in awe. Forget stats, shit like that gets you to the Bigs.

One more critique: Freddie Prinze, Jr.'s character says "Come on Blue! Get off your knees your blowin' the game" under his breath on the mound after a questionable call. I mean come on. I thought that line was reserved for 12 year-old spectators trying to get a cheap laugh out of their buddies at the ball game, and even then the kids he's with are like "yeah yeah, good one dude..."

Some Hollywood nerd who's never played baseball definitely heard that line and thought it was pure gold, doing his best to force it into the movie with no regard for credibility. And then when the coach goes out for a mound visit, Prinze serves up that line's soulmate: "Does his wife know he's screwin' us?" I don't think I've ever heard one of those lines without the other being uttered immediately 2 seconds after, at most. Both just awful in-game chatter, laughable really.

(Check out the "Tip Drill" at the beginning of the movie's trailer. Are you kidding me? When have you ever heard of a baseball team- high school? little league? tee ball? wiffle ball?- tip a ball behind their heads and up to each other? What does that work on? How does that make you better? Was the only sports consultant available for this movie a former high school football defensive back? I can assure you every Chatam A would laugh in Coach Schiffner's face if he pulled that drill out of his ass for the team's first practice. Stuff like that gets you laughed out of the Hawaii League, never mind the Cape.)


  1. gotta love the Hank Aaron cameo

  2. Can't forget the worst line in the history of sports film...

    Brother- "Locate your fastball, don't try to blow it by everyone who steps in there"

    FPJ- "But I can throw way over 90!"