on August 16, 2002
...In the theatres, that is. But I'm not sure if anyone even knew this movie existed because the commercials just featured quick clips with barely any real dialogue. When the movie went to cable, there were most likely two types of people who watched it: teenage girls, because the movie featured heart-throbs (they're all there: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Christian Kane, Matthew Lillard); and ANY-age guys, because the commercial showed Jessica Biel in a bikini (by the way, that scene's not even in the movie).
Basically the movie is about a rich girl named Tenley Parrish (Biel) who ends up falling in love with a "poor" boy named Ryan Dunne (Prinze), who has ambitions to become a professional baseball pitcher. His life seems to be jaded due to his dull older brother Mike (Jason Gedrick), his father (Fred Ward), who seems to be pleased with failure, and the memories of his dead mother, who apparently was the only other person in the family that was normal. Tenley is afraid to tell her father about going after a boy who isn't rich, and that makes Ryan feel rather insecure and cheated.
The storyline isn't all that bad, but there were some things that needed heavy-duty work. Several of the characters seemed just plain useless. Ryan's sometimes-crazy best friend Billy Brubaker (Matthew Lillard) is featured in several scenes that don't seem to have a point, and it feels like the scenes are there only because Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Matthew Lillard are real-life best friends, and there are few movies they don't do together nowadays. Also, the scenes with Mickey Dominguez (Wilmer Valderrama) seem like they're there just to get him in the movie. His scenes basically revolve around him being a virgin and getting close to actually losing his virginity but chickening out (doesn't that remind you of another, more POPULAR character Valderrama plays?), and it is a very big diversion from the focus of the movie, if you can even tell what that is any more. If you actually see a scene with Prinze or Biel in it, it'll be about ten to fifteen minutes before you see another one.
Another problem is something that Freddie Prinze, Jr. does in many of his movies. Just when you start to wonder why the movie is rated PG-13, Prinze starts yelling the F word. The problem with that is that he doesn't make it sound believable. Instead, it sounds more like a sixth-grader who says it just to get attention.
This movie would have been better if the plot was more focused. Also, someone should tell the director (and the writer) that the supporting cast should be there because they're actually supporting the main cast and not just because they want paychecks.
on July 9, 2002
when i had first seen a preview for this movie i thought it had looked dumb...... but i wanted to see it for who else Jessi Biel..... i did not see it in the movies but i had rented the dvd when it came out. i gave it three stars beause it was missing some stuff that would have made it great, also because the whole part with freddie in a thong that lost a whole star there..... they did not need to have that in there it would have been A LOT btter if Jessi was the one in the thong also i think that the team they put freddie on? come on now i live in philly but why the hell would he even choose to go with the phillies? come on now last time they were in the playoffs was when they went to the world series and lost to the toronto blue jays. now the ending i can say is good (when the credits start to roll) i think that is good they do not make him strike out the best in baseball Ken Griffey Jr. and also it didnt look like much was really between Jessi and Freddie they didnt have much chemistry together in this movie so it did make it look crappy but i would watch this movie any time an i tink it is a good movie to watch..... and some other reviewer said that when the kid jumed over the fence to get the ball and it was called ou but it should not have been that is false because if you have controle of the ball before you go over the fence it is an out and he got it before it went over and he had controle of the ball so it is believable but with the in the park homerun i believe that he was tagged before he hit home plate because he did not hit home plate until after he was tagged with the ball but it is only a movie so oh well
on March 20, 2002
A pinch of baseball. Three heaping tablespoons of a predictable teenage love story. One half teaspoon of For Love of the Game. Two teen heartthrobs. Shake well. Serve.
So goes the recipe for Summer Catch, Hollywood's latest love story disguised as a baseball movie, starring Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jessica Biel, Jason Gedrick, and Matthew Lillard. Drawing straight from the scripts of past baseball flicks, the love interest of a certain baseball player takes the foreground, while his ultimate success as a player coincides with his eventual realization of true love.
Summer Catch, directed by Michael Tollin, spans a summer in the Cape Cod League, an amateur league for top college baseball players, and follows the on and off-field tribulations of left-handed pitcher Ryan Dunne (Prinze), a local boy with a troubled past. When Dunne meets Tenley Parrish (Biel), a rich girl in town for the summer, a relationship slowly takes shape. But as problems with his temper and focus give him problems between the lines, his social status gives him trouble off the field, and the question becomes whether or not Dunne will be able to salvage either part of his life.
While Summer Catch was an entertaining way to spend a couple hours, it has its share of problems. As is common to nearly all baseball movies, hitters were swinging wildly at mediocre fastballs and hanging breaking balls, and diving catches in the field were commonplace. Casting was questionable at times as well; Billy Brubake (Lillard) is far too tall and skinny to make a believable catcher, and Prinze struggles in the role of "boy with troubled past." His flashes of temper were always short lived, and came across as more spoiled whining than bitter anger. Such scenes usually seemed to come out of nowhere, as he spent most of the movie playing his typical wide-eyed mama's boy character. John C. McGinley turns in a strong performance as a clean-cut scout for the Phillies, however, and is joined in one scene by former major league slugger Hank Aaron, who plays himself in a brief cameo. Lillard provides easy-going comic relief in his role as well, helping to give the team a realistic feel.
Prinze and Biel also lack a basic chemistry, making many of their scenes together seem forced and unnatural. The relationship is made even harder to swallow as Tenley Parrish originally comes across as relentlessly interested in Dunne, despite their first meeting consisting of Dunne being publicly humiliated. Subsequent dates depict Dunne as largely indifferent toward Parrish, until, on one rainy night, they abruptly fall in love.
Summer Catch does do a few things right. The players' mechanics are generally sound, and the film manages to capture at least a hint of the basic camaraderie, vulgarity, and sexual depravity of a typical baseball locker room. And the opening scene, in which Dunne arrives late to the team's first meeting wearing only a woman's thong, makes for an amusing start.
And amusing is truly what Summer Catch is, and even what it is going for. It is not going to win any awards, but that is clearly not the intention of this easy-going flick. It should not even go down as one of the better baseball movies of our time, but nobody really expected it to be on a level with Field of Dreams or Bull Durham. But if you are a baseball fan or a romantic with low expectations, a thick slice of Summer Catch will make for a pleasant dessert on a slow evening.
on January 19, 2002
"Summer Catch" gets points for trying hard, but it is saddled with so many liabilities that it crashes and burns without getting much altitude. The script is a mish mash of tired themes. Small town boy makes good meets boy from the wrong side of the tracks meets baseball underdog gets big break. The film tries to bill itself as another "Bull Durham" but it has none of the subtlety, comedy or insider perspective of that film. Mostly this is just another lightweight Freddie Prinze, Jr. romantic comedy where Jessica Biel is the catch of the day.
Prinze plays his standard romantic hero role and tries to throw in some baseball. He is fair at both but keeps getting outshined by his supporting cast. I've never really understood the big sensation over Jessica Biel. She shows in this film that her acting is far inferior to her looks. Biel and Prinze interact like marble statues, nice to look at but no chemistry whatever.
The best performances were given by supporting cast members. Fred Ward does a terrific job as Ryan's dad. Brian Dennehy is always fabulous in supporting roles and does not disappoint as the coach of the A's. Brittany Murphy does a fantastic wild thing, with a provocative earthiness that is simultaneously seductive and cute.
There is not much substance here. The baseball scenes are weak and the romance is tepid. The film has some endearing moments but fails to distinguish itself except that it gets goofy far too often. I rated it a 5/10. Fans of Prinze and Biel will enjoy seeing them look sexy for an hour and three quarters. Others might want to miss it.
on January 9, 2002
I give it 4 stars, due to the fact I thought it was overall a good flick, and one I'd watch again. A 3 star flick would be a movie I felt was good, but probably would not watch again. One of the best things about this typical Saturday afternoon TNT type movie is the supporting cast. A nice choice of actors: Fred Ward, Matthew Lillard, Brian Dennehy, Bruce Davison, Beverly D'Angelo (in a non-credited role), Brittany Murphy, and some unknown people who are all very believable. Fred Ward and Davison were excellent, while I felt Dennehy should have been given more things to say and do. Jason Gedrick was annoying as most of his lines were mumbled and after skipping the DVD back several times, I still couldn't understand what he was saying during one speech, and actually had to turn on the English subtitles to find out what the heck he said?!?!? I don't think it's necessarily Gedrick's fault, as someone on the movie crew should have picked up that his lines weren't audible enough.
Jessica Biel is on the commentary track, which it does not indicate on the DVD itself. Some very funny jokes, while there are also your typical flat ones. The subplot about one of they guys on the team's fetish with heavy, voluptuous women is very funny. I am from New England and been to the Cape several times, and I am a huge baseball fan, but I never even knew about this Cape Cod league, so I am glad for the film shedding new light on this for me. Most of the film was shot in North Carolina though, and not Cape Cod.
Biel and Prinze do a decent job, and I'd have to say Biel's performance was a little better. Matthew Lillard steals the show in just about every movie he's in and this one is no exception. Also, the young girl who plays Biel's sister does a great job. One more note is Biel's character's name, Tenley. Come on, that's just a ridiculous name.
See this flick. It's good.
on January 7, 2002
O.K. I hate Freddie Prinze Jr.'s movies. My girlfriend like most 13-21 old females loves them. So since we alway watch the stupid comedies that I'm into I decided to please her for the night and give this one a try. Stupid writing-as expected. Freddie Prinze Jr. doing something for all the girls that paid $9.00 to see this one when it was out-as expected(running around in a thong) It had a very pretty girl to co-star with him-as expected(Jessica Biel was her name and being the first time I've seen her I feel in love with her, geourgeus girl) It was a bad movie-as expected but not horrible-complete surprise. I thought I was going to completly detest this film which I did not. Like I said it wasn't good but it wasn't unwatchable. I guess if you don't have anything better to do it won't be a waste of time. After telling my girlfriend how I felt she immediately took advantage of the situation and conviced me into renting another Freddie Prinze Jr. movie, this time "She's all that" Hopefully it would be like this one or even better(yeah right like Freddie Prinze Jr. can actually pick a good script) Freddie Prinze Jr. fan you will love this film otherwise rent it first and see what you think. My opinion rentable yes, owning it well not quite.
on December 28, 2001
This movie is not good by any stretch of the imagination. Some of the lines, including, "You mow her lawn and you want to mow her lawn?" and "If I cut my left arm off do you think they'd let me be in the Special Olympics" are just terrible. The baseball action is far from realistic, with players diving over fences to save homeruns, and two guys on the same team batting in the low .400's in July.
What this movie does do well is bring exposure to the famed Cape Cod Baseball League, a veritable breeding ground for big leaguers including Frank Thomas, Barry Zito, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Nomar, and many more. Now every game is not the drunken fiesta as portrayed in the movie, but a more subdued atmosphere with knowledgeable baseball fans and the nation's best players. Many of the dilemmas facing the players in the movie are real life issues facing America's up and coming crop of minor leaguers.
Regardless you should "Catch" this movie at some point, if simply to educate yourself on the league (and the authentic uniforms used in the movie). Even better yet, come watch a Cape League came. Before you come though please learn to drive first, especially around rotaries, because that is a very blatant issue facing Chatham's tourists.
on December 16, 2001
Growing up in Cape cod, I've been to many of the college league games. However, the baseball games played in summer Catch are almost entirely "unrealistic."
Freddie Prinze, Jr plays Ryan Dunne an emplowee for his fathers gardening business. As it turns out Prinze is a very gifted athlete. He befriends Billy BruBaker who is the comic relief as well as the most comical in the Movie. He also falls in love with Jessica Biel, She is very glamerous. I was not satasfied at all with the movie. In one scene Biels sister ask Lillard and Prinze to sign her baseball card. If I recall, the only time that the Cape league made cards was in the summer of 1988. but enough of the technical stuff. I was definitely embarassed when I saw a 7 year old girl. There are many sexual scenes in the movie which are not even suitable for kids of 13. I suggest you rent the movie. you'll get some laughs and somewhat of a taste of Cape Cod.
on September 7, 2002
This is a cute one! Here you have Ryan Dunne (Freddie Prinze Jr), a guy who enjoys playing baseball and is looking to play for the big leagues. Tenley Parrish (Jessica Biel) is rich and has a humongous house and a lawn, that Ryan cuts everyday. One day, both of them met by chance at a bar. Tenley and another girl were introduced to Ryan by their friend (Matthew Lillard)....
If Ryan and Tenley didn't end up together at the end of the movie, and Tenley ended up going to San Francisco, I would have been so disappointed. That would have ruined in for me.
This DVD includes: 10 deleted scenes and filmography on the cast. There is also a feature you can turn on where you can hear commentary by Biel and this other dude throughout the movie.
Freddie Prinze Jr and Jessica Biel make a pretty good couple, but I think him and Sarah Michelle Gellar make a better one.
on September 8, 2002
Most people watch this fine film for the two leads, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jessica Biel. That's fine--it's not like you'll be disappointed.
However, the REAL reason this movie deserves to be a classic is that it's another entry in the filmography of Mr. Bruce Davison.
Probably most recognizable for his portrayal of Senator Robert Kelley in "X-Men," I've been a fan of this awesome supporting actor since "Spies Like Us." He plays a terrific everyman, with all the strengths and flaws of any regular guy. Usually, he plays a jerk.
In this instance, he plays a snooty father who's unhappy that Freddie Prinze Jr. is hooking up with his hottie-pants daughter. Anyone else would play this character as a blustering buffoon, but Mr. Davison chooses a different path: a sniffy, calculating weenie.
Any movie with Bruce Davison's talents gets a "home run" in my scorecard.