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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Movie Review # 20 Calvin Marshall (2008)

Writer: Gary Lundgren
Alex Frost
Michelle Lombardo
Steve Zahn
Diedrich Bader

Rotten Tomatoes: 63% Fresh Critics 38% Audience
IMDB: 5.5/10
Netflix: 2.8 Stars

Independent movies fall into two categories it seems. Those being horror or coming of age stories like Calvin Marshall. Sadly it is about as cookie cutter as most others of this ilk. Never really stepping up to the plate instead choosing to play it safe with everything. Except for the few f-bombs and pg-13 sex scene this movie really and truthfully reminded me of a made for TV special for one of the major networks.

Not saying that this baseball movie was bad. It wasn't it just seemed to be plugging along at a moderate snails pace. All the while never really engaging the viewing audience. Which I found really sad as I really never grew to like Calvin Marshall the character that the movie is named after. He is a never was baseball player who gives his hardest just like Rudy Ruettiger in the film Rudy played by Sean Astin.

But unlike Rudy this film does not carry over the emotional impact. Nor does it carry over him playing in any game instead it shows him quiting and going to work in construction. Not unlike the steel mill in Rudy. Seriously this movie just ripped parts from Rudy and missed the point of what made Rudy good. It was a feel good story of a hard nosed kid that wanted to be play for Notre Dame.

I could have grown to accept a full blown clone of Rudy on the baseball diamond. Instead what get is a half assed attempt instead. Even as I say that is not unwatchable. It is just a movie that you rent or cue up on Netflix and watch once then forget about. As I surely will it has no staying power in your mind. With no key plot points to make you think, no characters that make you want to re-watch it. Instead it is as perishable as a bag of forgotten produce just with out the stinky moldy mess.

Now for Gary Lundgren the writer/director I have to give kudos for. For this is where this movies real story is as he kept his dream alive by having Steve Zahn agree to role of Coach Little. If it was not for Steve Zahn's star power and sticking with the director. This film would never have been made as studio after studio and backer after backer backed out. Only to finally land a studio who would help make this film happen. This is art imitating fiction here.

As the director in all honesty was Calvin Marshall an it would have made a better film. Than what we got. So Gary Lundgren if you ever read this. Write a script about your struggle to get this movie made. It would have been more interesting and a lot more pleasing than what you gave us. Which was a stock movie with different characters.

My Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

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