4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Hardball (DVD)In general I find Keanu Reeves to be stiff, wooden and lacking in acting skills. This is one of only 4 movies I really liked and appreciated him in. (Speed, The Watcher and The Gift are the others). In Hardball which is based on a true story Reeves plays a ne-er do well gambler with a big debt to pay off and ends up coaching an inner city little league team. The kids on the team are coping with all of the ills of project living you can imagine - random shootings, death, drugs, gangs, intimidation. Baseball offers them some respite from their reality. One of the sweetest scenes of this movie is when Reeves takes the kids to see their first major league baseball game and they yell to Sammy Sosa who acknowledges them...sweet, sweet, sweet. Watching the kids and spectators start singing Big Poppa by Biggie Smalls during a game is a hoot and a half. The ending is such a tear jerker that it is almost embarrassing to feel so moved by such a small story. And realize that it's a true story.
All in all this is a terrific little movie. Reeves and the children are truly a joy to watch. The story jerks your emotions all over the place but it never feels cloying or fake - just a bit manipulated. It's a shame this movie had very little support and was only in theaters for a few minutes. Consequently I often give this as a gift to people so they'll have the opportunity to see such a lovely moving film.