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TV & Film


Eric Gilde June 1, 2022

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This week on Take Me In to the Ballgame:

Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 2001 movie “Hardball.” They introduce the film (1:34), with an overview of the story, the cast, and filmmakers, and review the 20-80 baseball scouting grades for rating the film, with a new metaphor (8:14). In Amount of Baseball (17:50), the scouts initially disagree, but slightly convince each other. Ellen has two potential player comps. Baseball Accuracy (25:26) compares this Little League play to other films, with just a couple of editorial / geographical issues. Ellen defends Frank Thomas’s honor and digs in on Sammy Sosa’s consecutive homers, and records by Ken Griffey Jr, Don Mattingly, and Kevin Mench. That is not Wrigley. Those are not NBA games. Luis Garcia’s dance step is considered. Storytelling (39:23) is a real challenge, when the entire inveterate gambler storyline does not work. Plus, white savior problems, a very confusing moral, and a complete lack of necessary exposition. There are so many unanswered questions. How does he earn their trust? Why does G-Baby have to die? Eulogy issues, uniform issues. At long last, the Score Tool (1:24:13) is only a partial respite, with some small problems of its own. They consider some of the soundtrack songs, including “Ghetto,” “Hardball,” “Big Poppa,” “Where the Party At,” and R. Kelly. Acting (1:30:21) considers the ceiling and floor of a slightly mis-cast Keanu Reeves. Diane Lane was trying, John Hawkes had an impossible task, D.B. Sweeney deserves better. Young actors Michael B. Jordan, Bryan Hearne, Julian Griffith, and DeWayne Warren almost save the movie. Neither Delightfulness of Catcher (1:39:26) or Delightfulness of Announcer (1:40:27) offer much. In Lack of Misogyny (1:41:00), they discuss the insipidity of the lame romantic subplot. No spoilers on the following segments: Yes or No (1:45:06), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:48:56), Favorite Moment (1:50:43) Least Favorite Moment (1:53:00), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:54:54), Dreamiest Player (1:56:50), Favorite Performance (1:57:09), and Next Time (2:00:32).


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