Summer Catch (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Freddie Prinze, Jr has really assumed the mantle of negative responsibility from the all-but-retired Pauly Shore. Has this guy ever been in a good movie?

This one is bad even by his standards. He plays a Cape Cod local who plays in the prestigious Cape Cod Summer Baseball League. In the context of the story, kind of a Bull Durham North, this represents the first time a local has ever been invited to participate in this league. He is also the son of the local landscaper/gardener, and the snooty upper crust locals don't want their daughters to hang with him.

So imagine every baseball movie cliché.

Add every "rich girl in love with a guy from the wrong side of the tracks" cliché, especially the evil, scheming father.


none, but a really fat woman wears a thong

Jessica Biel appears in a wet shirt and in a swimsuit.

Freddie Prinze shows his buns when he's wearing a woman's thong

And then add in all the trite stylistic clichés, like the repeated lines in his thoughts. He starts to pitch, and hears his dad's or brother's or girlfriend's words from the previous scene.

Even the casting is ludicrous. The baseball coach, a former left-handed pitcher, is played by Brian Dennehy. How many pitchers do you know who are 6'2", 350?  On the other hand, the team catcher is played by Prinze's fellow member of the Young Shakespeare Society, Matthew Lillard. Have you seen many catchers who are 6'5", 125, with no muscles at all? And he swings about the way Truman Capote would have swung if he had tried baseball.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • full-length commentary

  • about 10 minutes worth of deleted scenes

I love baseball and will watch almost any baseball movie, but this is just plain lame.

Look for a major role played by superannuated sportscaster Curt Gowdy, and cameo appearances from Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr, and Dick Allen. There is also a brief, uncredited cameo from Bev D'Angelo, who took over the role Sarandon played in Bull Durham, the older woman seducing local rookies. (She looked terrific)

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: one and a half stars . Berardinelli 1.5/4, Apollo 51/100, 2/5

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. 8% positive overall (what were those people thinking of?), and a perfect 0% from the top critics.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDB readers say 4.1 of 10, Apollo voters 51/100. Rated almost as low by young girls as by older men
  • with their dollars ... unbelievably, this film grossed a fairly respectable $19 million, on a budget of 417 million


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an E. Very weak in all elements except photography.

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