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Hardball (Blu-ray) review

Hardball (Blu-ray) review
« on: September 24, 2021, 05:06:54 PM »


Studio: Paramount
Release Date: September 21, 2021
Rating: PG-13
Film: 3.5/5

Plot
Desperate for cash, Conor (Keanu Reeves) reluctantly takes a job coaching a youth baseball team.  The “team” turns out to be a ragtag group of tough-talking kids from Chicago’s inner city.  Secretly, Conor plans to desert the team after he wins a big bet.  But the stakes are higher than Conor imagined: the kids need someone to believe in.  As Conor wrestles with his past, the kids start to teach him some lessons that will forever change his future – that responsibility and trust must be earned and hope can appear in the most unlikely places.

My Thoughts
This is the type of film that typically draws me in but somehow I missed it when it hit theaters back in 2001. It probably is due to the fact that I had young kids at the time and the only way we went to the theaters was to see something animated as a family outing. Regardless, when I saw the press release in my inbox it intrigued me enough to make the request.

I’ll say this up front—I’ve never considered Reeves to be a very good actor. His delivery is a bit wooden and he always seems to play the same type of character. That isn’t necessarily the case here. He actually shows a range of emotions and his character has a lot more depth than I’ve seen from his other roles. What I really like is how is character isn’t really preachy, but empowers the kids to do better and the film has a very good message for anyone watching—especially kids. 

The presentation is about what you’d expect from a 20-year-old film of this genre, but the encode seems to come from a good source. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is better than expected and exhibits good ambience, decent dynamics and intelligible dialog.


Video 4/5

Audio 4/5 DTS-HD MA 5.1

Special Features:

  • Commentary by director Brian Robbins and writer John Gatins
  • The Making of Hardball
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Music Video
  • Interstitials
  • Theatrical Trailer





Conclusion
I wouldn’t say this film breaks any new ground, but I enjoyed it for what it is. The presentation is good on Blu-ray and I enjoyed the performance by Reeves. If you’ve never seen it before, be sure to check it out. If you’re a fan, definitely pick up a copy of the Blu-ray.

Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High-Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 110” 2.35:1 Fixed Screen
Trinnov Altitude 16 Audio/Video Processor
ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels
ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: URC MX-990
M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
JL Audio Dominion F110 Subwoofer x 2
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

AVSCraig

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Re: Hardball (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2021, 05:13:25 PM »
I've never seen this - thanks for the review!
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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bmoney

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Re: Hardball (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2021, 06:36:02 PM »
So many if your reviews are films I’ve never heard of. And are old. Do you request them? Or are they just sent?

Thanks tho. Opens me up to a whole bunch of new/old movies 
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Re: Hardball (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2021, 08:01:46 PM »
So many if your reviews are films I’ve never heard of. And are old. Do you request them? Or are they just sent?

Thanks tho. Opens me up to a whole bunch of new/old movies
Most of them are requests. There are a lot of films that I get solicitations on that I never request because I don't have unlimited time to review them. In this case I got the press release and the story looked interesting so I put the request in. Sometimes they end up being a dud but in some cases you find a good movie. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

bmoney

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Re: Hardball (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2021, 01:47:35 PM »
Most of them are requests. There are a lot of films that I get solicitations on that I never request because I don't have unlimited time to review them. In this case I got the press release and the story looked interesting so I put the request in. Sometimes they end up being a dud but in some cases you find a good movie.
Very cool. Well I for one am glad you get them :)
SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
Nvidia shield pro
Emby NAS media player

Re: Hardball (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2021, 02:24:24 PM »
Very cool. Well I for one am glad you get them :)
Thanks!
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

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