The Perfect Game: Movie Review
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Sure to be a favorite among kids and parents alike, The Perfect Game, from director William Dear (Angels in the Outfield), chronicles the incredible story of poor boys from Monterey, Mexico. Inspired by their love of baseball, and backed by their faith in God, these kids beat the odds -- and every other little league team as they played their way into the championship game in 1957.
THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE
Angel Macias (Jake T. Austin) and his hometown friends want nothing more than to play their beloved game -- baseball. Without equipment, a proper field, and even a coach, they eventually form the biggest underdog team in little league history. During a time of racial intolerance, their rag-tag team, the Monterey Industrials, take to the field in the hopes of winning in the playoffs and gaining the respect of their neighbors to the north.
The Bounty Hunter Rundown
Story. Right off the bat, this based-on-a true-story film hits home the amazing journey these little leaguers traveled to get to WIlliamsport, PA's coveted championship field. Ever present in the well-directed sports movie is their faith, through the mentorship of Father Estaban, the town's Catholic priest (played by Cheech Marin). Desperate for divine intervention, Father Estaban prays that God will bring the kids hope. Part of that answer to prayer comes in the form of a new guy in town, Cesar Faz of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Acting. A heavy hitter on the roster is Clifton Collins Jr., who plays no-nonsense Coach Faz. Collins meld into his role perfectly, never letting his "acting" to outshine the man he's portraying.
The child actors in The Perfect Game also stepped up to the plate. Jake T. Austin (Hotel for Dogs) hits it out of the park, as Angel Macias, a young boy caught between his love for baseball and his desire for his depressed father's approval. We'll definitely be seeing some of these faces on the big screen again.
Surprisingly enough, Cheech Marin, who is most famous for his drug-laced movies with comedian Tommy Chong, does well in the role of Father Estaban. Audiences will likely need a few moments to wrap their heads around seeing Cheech as a padre, but they should come around once they experience the warmth his character adds to the story.
Offensive content. To show the hostility of the time, secondary characters expose their racism through a few cringe-worthy slurs. It's important to the story that these scenes not shy away from the real-life hatred these Mexican kids experienced. Parents should make it clear to their kids of the vileness of these attitudes and words, re-enforcing the scene when Father Estaban explains why they are being ostracized - "Some people don't believe we are all His children."
The Final Score
Packaged in a well-made sports movie, The Perfect Game touches on the hope we have in God, making it a film worthy of our box office dollars.
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