Reviewer's grade: C-
Who writes letters to Hollywood producers asking for, maybe demanding, that a new inspirational sports movie "based on a true story" be released to theaters every other month? This glut of sappy heart-tuggers has gotten so bad, we're now faced with an equal overload of movies parodying them.
This tale of high school baseball in Iowa is not the least of these flicks, but that's mainly because the actors playing the two coaches "? the old legend and the new kid "? are Powers Boothe at his most genial and Sean Astin, an amiable young guy. Astin really seems to know the game, which helps, and he goes a long way toward making the formulaic tale of a team wanting to win the state championship before their school winds up on the bottom of a consolidation merger as watchable as it is. Rachael Leigh Cook is along for looks.
There are no hugely dramatic moments, which is just as well for Cook and Astin. If you're trapped into seeing it, you'll survive with your brain cells intact "? but avoid the trap if you can. PG