The Final Season (2007)
Directed by: David M. Evans
Written by: Art D'Allessandro, James Grayford
Starring: Sean Astin, Powers Boothe, Rachel Leigh Cook, Tom Arnold, Michael Angarano, Larry Miller
My rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars!
Quick story. My girlfriend (whom I love, very much) told me that she loves to read my writing, so you now all have her to thank for all of my incessant published nonsense.. :) but enough about that. Let's continue.
Last night after I finished watching Fever Pitch and my brother Joshua finished his homework (well, most of it), we, being in a baseball mood after the aformentioned movie and our Cincinnati Reds brought home yet another W, we decided to watch this movie! Great story, I know...
Anyway, I came into this movie for really cheap at some Blockbuster or Hollywood Video that was going out of business. I could tell you if I found the case somewhere, but I honestly don't remember at the moment. Needless to say, I've had it for awhile, as both of those have been out of business in Columbus for years now....
Anyway. I liked this movie a lot. The premise was a feel-good, family friendly movie, and it sure did deliver. It tells the true story of a high school baseball team in 1990-91, whose school was going to be merged into a bigger district, for a "better opportunity" for the kids. The town of Norway, Iowa disagrees and everyone is in an uproar. The baseball team has won 19 state championships against huge schools even though they are small, and the coach, Jim Van Scoyoc (Powers Boothe; The Avengers) is a legend. He takes a former girls volleyball coach, Kent Stock (Sean Astin; Lord of the Rings) as an assistant before his last season was over, and Stock takes over for the "final season" (LOL, get it?).
Coach Stock faced certain issues, aside from falling for one of the women on the school board side of the merger, Polly Hudson (Rachael Leigh Cook; She's All That), which included replacing graduated players and earning the respect of the current ones. One of the players recruited by Stock was big-city cool-guy transfer student Mitch Akers (Michael Angarano; Sky High), who is the son of former Norway legend Burt Akers (Tom Arnold; True Lies), who is now a big city realtor, and a widower who has trouble with his son.
They are also followed around by Des Moines journalist Roger Dempsey (Larry Miller; 10 Things I Hate About You) who seems like a nuisance at first....but redeems himself in the strangest, quirkiest way.
I don't want to reveal how the plot turns out (though, since it's a true story it isn't hard to find) but it is a bit of a feel good story. I thought some of the acting was cheesy and the story started out a little slow, but it picked up towards the end and, though less inspirational, still had some serious Remember the Titans type moments. I thought Sean Astin brough a strong presence to his role, Michael Angarano shows some serious promise, Rachael Leigh Cook is nothing more than Shawn Spencer's high school girlfriend to me now, and Powers Boothe was strong but expected to be that way. The standouts to me (acting wise) in this movie were Tom Arnold and Larry Miller. Tom Arnold showed some serious vulnerability (though it was hard to pick out at first) and Larry Miller just stole the show for me. He's always fantastic as any role he has played, but this character was one of my favorites for him (Next to Jindraike from Max Keeble's Big Move).
Anyway, especially in family friendly vein, baseball fans, anyone who is looking for a feel good film with some pretty solid talent in it, (and some that will make you say "they're still alive?") I would see this movie. It's a cheap find anywhere and I'm sure it's available at the library.
I don't have much more to say because it's late and once again, I have a real job to get to. But hopefully I've plenty more stuff to bring you after Labor Day weekend. Stay strong and be safe, y'all. I love you all!!