This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.
If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web. Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.
June 12, 2011
When it's over, Hardball may be hard for some children to watch, but worth a sit through, because it opens up opportunities to talk to children about gambling, violence, drugs, education, and what it really means to win and lose. In Canada, it's rated as PG, in the United States, it's PG-13, but personally, I'd say it's borderline R for language, violence, and disturbing scenes. This well-crafted story's about a washed up gambler and drinker named Conor O'Neill, played by Keanu Reeves, who's forced into coaching a Little League baseball team from a housing project in Chicago in return for a loan to pay off his debts. The kids who live in the project have mouths as foul as sweaty unwashed socks, and their housing complex is filled with criminals, thugs, and gang shootings. The film does a realistic job at showing the dangers the children face each day, and how they struggle to survive in a world where violence begets violence and in the midst of their dark reality, the children cling to one joy - baseball. It's through baseball that Conor and the children learn the importance of teamwork, faith, and not giving up. This film's a bit of a tearjerker in some parts, but not all the tears are sad, they're happy, too.