This is a Disney production based on the true story of Jim Morris, a father, teacher, and high school coach who played baseball but injured his shoulder before he could realize his dream to make it to the big leagues. Jim was coaching a perpetually losing team when the students challenged him to try again to fulfil his dream, and they would guarantee to start doing better.
Without spoiling the outcome, I'll say that this story is challenging to anyone who has an unfulfilled dream, no matter how old he/she is. Jim Morris was a fantastic role model for his own children, but for all of us who are willing to try again. We enjoyed this movie very much, and we recommend it for family viewing.
on November 14, 2003
The Rookie is the real life story of Jim Morris, a science teacher who doubles as the coach of the high school baseball team. Football is the sport of choice in those parts of Texas, where he lived, so the baseball team has to play on a substandard field with second hand equipment. He used to be a minor league pitcher with potential, but had to quit due to numerous injuries and a fastball that just wasn't very fast, only in the mid 80 mile per hour range (below average for major league pitchers)
However, when he starts pitching batting practice for his team, he somehow has the ability to throw in the mid to upper 90 mile per hour range. He has no idea, of course that the pitches are so fast. He tells the kids that they are not really that fast and that it just seems faster. The players on the team get used to batting practice against major league fastballs and as a result are able to hit high school pitching easily.
Success has not come easily to this bunch, and after a particularly tough loss, he rallies the team to tell them they can do whatever they want if they only dare to dream. They respond that he should do the same--that he should try out for a major league team. He makes a deal with them. If they win the district championship, he will find an open tryout with some team and show what he can do. They win, of course, and he goes for the tryout. This starts a chain of events which eventually leads him to a pitcher's mound in Arlington, Tx and a major league game against the Rangers.
What makes the movie so great is the warmth of the characters and the story. The story is wonderful, especially because it's basically 100% true. But Dennis Quaid is great as Jim Morris. He is believable as a small town teacher who realizes just how lucky he is. Rachel Griffiths does very well as his wife who has to support him through the low times on the way up the ladder. The DVD is a nice package. There are some very good deleted scenes which really round out the story nicely and a 20 minute documentary piece featuring the real Jim Morris who shows exactly what happened when he made his debut on that September night.
Finally, because this is a G rated movie, it will be a favorite among all members of the family. It is just one of those stories which comes around every few decades. You don't have to be a sports fan to love the story of the underdog coming out on top. Jim Morris is the ultimate underdog. Great movie!
on September 17, 2007
this a great Disney flick.it is the story of an aging high school
baseball coach(Dennis Quaid),who was once on his way to the big leagues
as a pitcher,but suffered a career ending injury.but through series of
events,Jimmy Morris(Quaid)gets a second chance.you can probably guess
the rest.this is a great family film.it is inspirational,but doesn't
pour it on too thick.it's fun and entertaining.adults will enjoy this
movie as well as kids.it is based upon a true story,though i'm sure the
filmmakers took some liberties in telling the story.Quaid is
sensational as the title character,very convincing.if you're looking
for a film the whole family can enjoy,look no further. 4.5/5
on October 21, 2002
The Rookie is about a young boy who grows up, plays baseball, gets hurt and becomes a high school teacher who then finds out that he can throw 98 mph. And un-like My Dog Skip, the person who is the star opf the movie is still alive. As the movie opens, a young Jimmy Morris (Morgan) loves the game of baseball, but because of his father's (Brain Cox) job, he has to move and move and move. Until they move once again to Texas. And to a town where baseball is not a big sport, but football is. As an adult, Jimmy Morris (Dennis Quaid) is a high school teacher and also coaches the school's baseball team. They start out as losers until a player strikes a deal, that if the team starts winning again and wins at discrit, that Jimmy Morris will have to try out again. Now as a warning, this movie runs 2 hours and 7 minutes long. Also has an adult, Jimmy is married and has a young son (Angus T. Jones). So before watching this movie try to take a bathroom break, or get something to eat, and move around for a while. The real Jimmy Morris appears as an umpire.
on October 7, 2002
This is undoubtedly one of the best baseball movies ever made and one that will be enjoyed by anyone who has dreams and believes that you should never lose hope. As is well known to baseball fans, at age 35 Jim Morris became one of the oldest rookies in recent history to break into the major leagues when he became a relief pitcher with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. (Several players from the Negro Leagues were older when the color line in the majors was finally broken.) This is his story.
Due to bad luck and arm surgery, Jim had given up on his dreams and was teaching and coaching high school ball in Texas but continued to throw because he loved the game. He was also married with three small children. As motivation to his team, he agreed that if they fulfilled their dream of making the state playoffs after several losing seasons in a town where football was king, he would go to tryout camp one more time. Much to his amazement, they turned their season around; he tried out, threw the ball at 98 MPH despite the disbelief of the professional scouts, and as they say, the rest is history.
Dennis Quaid is perfect as Morris, and Rachel Griffiths conveys her ambivalence at seeing her husband put his life on hold and leave his family to ride around the country on minor league busses despite his father's advice that it was time to get on with his life rather than pursue his dream. The high school kids and townspeople are all memorable characters who become as familiar as our neighbors during the movie, and Morris' son is a real scene stealer.
Finally the pace of the movie is appropriate to the sport, rather than being hurried the story is allowed to unfold in the same enjoyable way a game can be watched on a sunny afternoon (even the grass on the field has a place in the story). Thus, the suspense is not about what will eventually happen, but rather how it happens. You get to enjoy watching the character development and the many interesting incidents that lend color to the story along the way. And the pitching sequences are vintage baseball for the true fans.
I saw this several times in the theatre. The DVD has additional material, including comments by the real Jim Morris. While it is enjoyable even on a screen as small as those at airline seats, I recommend watching it on as large a TV screen as possible because the baseball scenes themselves are much more lifelike.
on October 7, 2002
Dennis Quaid turns in yet another fine performance (I've yet to see him turn in a stinker) as Jim Morris in this biopic that has a lot of heart, a lot of humor, and some moments that are genuinely moving as a result both of the director's restraint and of the performances by Quaid and Australian actress Rachel Griffiths, who seems, like Quaid, genetically unable to turn in anything less than her best. In this film, she is utterly authentic as a Texan, and offers a believably conflicted portrayal of a wife who wants more for her family but also doesn't have the heart or conscience to deprive her husband of a second chance at the major leagues in baseball.
This is one of the year's "nicer" films, in that it doesn't beat up the audience with the points it wants to make but, rather, assumes that the general public has functioning intelligence; so we're allowed to determine the subtext for ourselves.
British actor Brian Cox (the best Hannibal ever; see Manhunter) turns in a solid performance as Quaid's military father; the supporting cast is uniformly good. Overall, this is a film that leaves you feeling satisfied--not all gooey over false sentiment, but glad to know that every now and then someone who deserves it actually has his/her dream come true.
on October 11, 2002
A great, believable, based-on-a-true-story, baseball film......pure corporate Disney, right? Well, this one has all that but the acting of Dennis Quaid manages to pull the entire film above the corporate hero-sob-story formula. This one actually works on a number of levels....you choose....great kid's film with an inspirational stick-to-it theme, adult underdog mid-life crisis film, or psychological interpersonal reaction maturity dealing with mortality lesson.
There are certainly better baseball films, certainly better baseball stories to tell, but this one is out, it works wonderfully, and you should not miss the thrill of watching it unfold, the drama of the underdog run, re-run, and re-run again, and the heat, the dust, and the sweat play out.
This is a good one....don't miss it......and don't read those reviews that give away the story line either.
on February 3, 2014
I received the product, but the whole 'get it within the next 48 hours using Prime' was a bogus as one could endure. Days turned into well over a week and some.
The only reason I made the order was to get the products in time before I departed. I was actually delayed in going and still did not get some of the overall shipment, and what did arrive was a nightmare to actually get.
So ... Prime was a waste and I hate, Hate, HATE ... I LLOOOOOOOAAAATHHHHeeeeee UPS.
Otherwise, the products were as advertised.
on September 4, 2003
What was interesting about this movie to me, is I live in San Angelo, TX, and lived in Big Lake, TX(named after a big hole in the ground that fills up with water when it rains, which is rare!) until first grade. I also saw Jim Morris at a local grocery store I worked at in San Angelo several times after his stint in the Majors was over. While a great movie, they didn't do a good job of re-creating the area. Not sure why they filmed in another part of Texas instead of this area because everything was too green, and Big Lake is a dry Oil town without cotton gins and all the other stuff shown in Big Lake in the movie. Also the distance sign as he's leaving Big Lake for the tryout in San Angelo lists the distance at something like 100 miles, while it's really 59 miles. Why make up that distance?? Also this would have made the story less interesting so understand why they changed it, but he didn't live in Big Lake, he actually commuted from San Angelo while teaching/coaching in Big Lake. What they did do well is capture the 'spirit' of the area and people..great movie.
on July 29, 2003
I love this movie. I saw Jim Morris being interviewed back around 1999 or 2000 while he was playing. A couple of years later I found out they did a movie about his story and I had to see it. I wasn't disappointed.
The plot of the movie is simple. A high school teacher accepts the challenge from his baseball team to try out for the big leagues if they win the district championship. They do, and he does.
What makes this story so great is that it really happened, and what makes this DVD so great is that in addition to a great movie it provides you with a short documentary on the real Jim Morris who relives the day he became a big league pitcher. Also, the screen writer gives you some context about the high school baseball team, revealing that the real reason they were able to win district is that their coach was pitching to them, which means they were essentially practicing against major league pitching and then competing against high school pitching. They scored 30 runs in a couple of games, but the writers left that out of the film thinking the viewers wouldn't believe it. For anybody who likes to believe in second chances this film is a true inspiration.