Directed by John Lee Hancock. USA. 2002.
you veteran Star
Wars fans out there have started chortling already.
arrived at the theatre thinking to ourselves that it was just twenty
after nine. We could leisurely purchase out tickets, meander over to
concession counter to be gouged, and take our seats. Unfortunately, as
we hadn’t taken the shrewd precaution of acquiring our tickets at a
of Star Wars Episode
I two years ago, we were out of luck.
It was then
piped up ‘insert ominous type music here’ “Let’s go see The Rookie!.
not had the
best luck with selecting movies at group outings that everyone will
My Dad began teasing Janine mercilessly about her taste in films when
forced a group showing of The Deep End of the Ocean. Dad had
about run out of snappy comments about that particular Michelle
film when Janine rearmed him by making her next cinematic decision; Vanilla
Sky. I personally think it was because every other offering in the
theatre was sold out that we actually went to see Janine’s choice:
true story of Jim Morris. Jim started out life as a military brat, who
was moved from post to post, and baseball team to baseball team, until
his father gets a permanent placement in a town with no league to call
it’s own. Flash forward to a middle aged man, teaching high school
coaching, and with no sign of his major league dreams. Until a flippant
bet forces him to try out for the big time again.
Easy, Frequency) stars as the title baseball player and
him to life vibrantly. In his science teacher, you see a man trying to
be enthusiastic about something that is not his passion. In his
coach you see a man confused by how someone couldn’t possibly love the
sport as much as he. Also though, you can genuinely sense his gusto
attempting to be a mentor to those he trains. His interactions with the
young players portraying his students are executed beautifully. He is
rock of his family, willing to take on a job that he doesn’t want in
to take care of them. Quaid is a natural at the role of the big hearted
softie with an exterior of mischievous charm. Perfect casting.
I have only
with The Rookie:
Jim and his father could have been left out of the film entirely. From
the audiences’ first introduction to his dad it is made crystal clear
we are not supposed to like him. The dad does not appear to be
in the slightest, doesn’t listen to anything that his son has to say,
doesn’t appear to have influenced Jim in the slightest in terms of his
values, loves, or parenting. Yet for some reason, the script throws the
dad in when showing Jim as an adult. Now divorced, the dad seems to be
attempting to grandparent as ineffectively as he parented. He doesn’t
any attempt at a character change until the final five minutes of the
which is much too late for the audience to develop any sort of
for him. This story would have been just as effective if the role of
father had been restricted to the scenes of his childhood.
2) When Jim
up in his baseball-less new home, he wanders into the local general
looking for anything remotely baseball related.
As the shopkeep tells him that they don’t actually carry baseball
bats, he launches into a story “that’s important to the folks
As the shopkeep tells him that they don’t actually carry baseball bats, he launches into a story “that’s important to the folks ‘round here.”Something involving two nuns. Sadly, we don’t get to hear the story about the nuns. At all. The extent that’s known about the nuns is that there is a story about two nuns. That’s it. This could have been forgotten were it not for the fact that in the concluding moments of The Rookie you are shown two nuns dancing off into the sunset. Walking out, the conversations heard didn’t focus on the story, or the beautiful scenery. They were all variations on “Why were those nuns dancing?” In the interests of ending all debates, post-viewing I am going to announce in my professional opinion that the story that was very important to folks ‘round there was all about dancing nuns. As you only see the nuns for a fraction of a second you may conclude that the story was very short.
The Rookie had many wonderful elements. The acting was above par, the supporting players in the film were hysterical, the cinematography was exquisite. The one thing that I found myself really identifying with was the beautifully captured pride a small town has in it’s own. When it’s announced that Jim will be playing in the major leagues, scores of people from his community make posters announcing that fact, spread them all over town, close up shop for the day, and drive for hours to be an extra voice in the stands cheering him on. Out my way, we embrace the same spirit of togetherness and support. We may not have any major leaguers but we do have our local penny auction. This would be where you go through the door, purchase as many tickets as you want for a penny apiece, and then use your tickets to bid on your favourite person’s baked goods. The more tickets bid on your cookies/pie/cakes the more friends you have in the audience. Support for your culinary outing. A neighbourhood spirit. My Dad extends that spirit by giving Mom support when working around our horses. Dad extends that spirit by giving Paul tips on how to barbeque a superior hamburger. And, most notably, Dad has extended that community arm to Janine, by not teasing her quite as much anymore about her taste in films. Dennis, should you ever acquire a pet that needs looking after I suspect Janine will be happy to help at no charge.
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