Sometimes you just want to sit back and enjoy something light with actors you love and can rely on, say like Keanu Reeves and Diane Lane. Well Paramount Canada has you covered with the blu-release of the 2001 film, Hardball.
Based loosely on a true story (and the book about it by Daniel Coyle) the film follows Conor O’Neill (Reeves), who is friendly and smart enough, but not brilliant enough to avoid getting in too deep with some loan sharks. Hard up for cash, he agrees to help out a friend, who will help him out with the problem, if he takes on the position of little league coach in the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago.
Conor, while less than thrilled, is a little more engaged when he meets the teacher of some of his players, Elizabeth Wilkes (Lane, and believe me Keanu, I get it, I crushed on her since I was a kid and saw her in Six Pack!). The story comes together on the ball field as the characters interact with some wonderfully cast younger actors, which provides some drama and comedy to fill out the blossoming romance between Conor and Elizabeth.
This is just a fun, light, charming movie, that had some of its swearing tuned down (by dubbing over some of it) so they could walk away with a PG-13 rating instead of an R. And honestly who doesn’t like a baseball movie, and thowing in Lane and Reeves? That’s all icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned.
And watch for Micheal B. Jordan in one of his first film roles!
Movies featuring kids playing baseball, even with more adult language puts you in mind of the classics of the genre, the original Bad News Bears, The Sandlot, and this one can easily share the bench with those players, despite being a lesser known film, and it has Keanu! Who wouldn’t want to have him coaching you and your baseball team?06
See what I mean? Just fun.
The new blu-ray release from Paramount includes the original extras, including a commentary by director Brian Robbins (who knows his sports movies, having directed for Paramount Varisty Blues, and produced Coach Carter), and writer John Gatins (who wrote Coach Carter), a making of featurette, some deleted scenes, and a music video for the film.
Hardball swings for the fences today on blu-ray from Paramount Canada!