Hardball arrives on Blu-ray for the first time in honor of the film marking its 20th anniversary since being released in theaters.
This film is known for being one of the few films to open following the 9/11 attacks earlier in the week. It is certainly a coincidence that the film’s arrival on Blu-ray comes days after the film’s director, Brian Robbins, was promoted as president of Paramount. Meanwhile, we didn’t realize it at the time but this is one of Michael B. Jordan’s earliest roles. He stars in the film as Jamal, one of the players on the baseball team. Overall, there are some moments in the film but they are not enough to get over the genre.
While Sammy Sosa was a member of the Chicago Cubs at the time, this appearance does not age well. But this is another story for another day.
Hardball follows Conor O’Neill (Keanu Reeves), a down-on-his-luck gambler in debt to dangerous loan sharks. Desperate for cash, Conor 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.
- Commentary by director Brian Robbins and writer John Gatins
- The Making of Hardball
- Deleted Scenes
- Music Video – “Hardball” by Lil’ Bow Wow, Lil’ Wayne, Lil’ Zane and Sammie
- Theatrical Trailer
DIRECTOR: Brian Robbins
SCREENWRITER: John Gatins
CAST: Keanu Reeves, Diane Lane, John Hawkes, D.B. Sweeney, Mike McGlone, Graham Beckel