Plot: What’s it about?
Cesar (Clifton Collins, Jr.) has just returned to his home in Monterrey, Mexico after a run in the major leagues, as part of the Saint Louis Cardinals. While baseball is a passion for Cesar, he was greeted by discrimination and as a result, he has lost some of that passion for the sport. But as he soon learns, baseball isn’t done with him just yet. Once he returns home, he is asked to coach a band of eager, but rough around the edges children. He is hesitant, but soon agrees and under his leadership, the team improves by leaps and bounds. As Cesar teaches the children about baseball, he is given some lessons himself, which help him become a better person and leave the past behind him. Soon enough, the team has done so well it earns an invitation to the Little League World Series. While that should be a cause for celebration, the group meets with some obstacles that threaten to derail not only their game, but Cesar’s recent new leaf. Can the squad overcome these obstacles and live their dreams, or will this truly be the end of baseball for Cesar?
A well worn premise doesn’t signal instant death for a movie, but it doesn’t often inspire confidence either. The premise of a scrappy underdog sports team has been done countless times, so does The Perfect Game manage to stand out? Based on real life events, the film aims to entertain families and impart some moral lessons at the same time. This is sometimes a recipe for disaster, but The Perfect Game isn’t too heavy handed with the morals. I am always glad to see family friendly content that is well made and this movie falls into that category. The story might be one we’ve seen time and again, but the movie still makes you root for the kids and does so in an earnest, natural fashion. Even so, no new ground is broken here and the religious aspect might scare some folks off, even in this mild dose. So if you want a fresh take on the premise, you won’t find it here, but if you want well made, family friendly entertainment, this is a solid choice.
Video: How does it look?
The Perfect Game is presented in 2.40:1 widescreen. This is a great looking transfer, as the visuals are clean and sharp from start to finish. The image shows natural, warm colors, stark contrast, and consistent black levels. As far as detail, depth is rock solid and a step above the DVD, but not eye popping stuff. Even so, the visuals look terrific and you’ll be able to tell a sizable difference over the standard release.
Audio: How does it sound?
A DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack is present and while not explosive, it sounds quite good. The baseball scenes seem to have the most presence, with the crowd noise and in-game elements. The surrounds don’t do much outside of those segments, but that’s fine given the nature of the movie. The vocals sound clear and no volume issues arise, which is important. This might not be a memorable audio presentation, but it is a more than solid one. This disc also includes English and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a director’s commentary track, a behind the scenes featurette, and the film’s trailer.