If there’s one thing Disney can do well, it’s sports movies. The underdog sports movie where we know the outcome, yet we still cheer as though the hero may not attain his goal. While we may know that everything ends happily ever after, what really matters is how the protagonist got there. How did this person go from “zero” to hero? What was his motivation? What kept him going? Addressing such questions is what makes The Rookie a true sports classic.
Based on the true story of Jimmy Morris (Dennis Quaid), The Rookie tells the story of a high school teacher and baseball coach who makes a deal with his team. If they make the district playoffs, he will have to try out for a team. The reason the students believe that he can make it is because of his strong pitching arm that seems to have gotten stronger with age. Injured during a minor league game, Jim Morris’ dreams of making the majors were shattered instantly. Now, thinking nothing of his tryout, Jim’s phone won’t stop ringing. Managers are calling non-stop, wanting Jim for their team. Confusion sets in as Jim doesn’t know what to do. Stay home and continue on as he has done since his injury or chase down the dream that got away from him?
Led by Dennis Quaid, The Rookie’s cast is spot on with no odd casting choices. Often times casts are too “pretty” to be taken seriously. Taking place in a small, quiet town, the cast resembles what you would expect a small town of people to look like. No Brad Pitts working at the local Hardware store. No Charlize Therons making eggs at the local diner.
Visually, The Rookie shines in high-definition. Colors are just right. There aren’t any noticeable artifacts or film grain. Disney obviously took the time to give The Rookie the high-def transfer it deserved. As far as sound goes, The Rookie is presented in English Uncompressed PCM 5.1 Surround, English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
Bonus features include audio commentary by director John Lee Hancock and Dennis Quaid along with The Inspirational Story of Jim Morris which is a 22 minute documentary on the real Jim Morris. Unfortunately, its not in high-def. Also included are baseball tips, deleted scenes and trailers for other Disney Blu-ray Discs.
Overall, The Rookie easily ranks among the best sports films ever made due to its unlikely hero and truly inspirational message of perseverance and believing in yourself and others. Great story, acting and superb Blu-ray quality makes The Rookie a great addition to any Blu-ray library.