Off the Black

( 1 )

Overview

When the growing divide between a troubled teen and his emotionally distant father finds the boy seeking the friendship of a disheveled and temperamental high-school umpire, the bond shared between the unlikely pair leads both to realize things about themselves that they never knew in an affecting coming-of-age tale starring Nick Nolte, Timothy Hutton, Trevor Morgan, and Sally Kirkland. Ray Cook Nolte is a gruff, hard-drinking ump whose questionable call has recently cost a high-school baseball team one of the ...
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Overview

When the growing divide between a troubled teen and his emotionally distant father finds the boy seeking the friendship of a disheveled and temperamental high-school umpire, the bond shared between the unlikely pair leads both to realize things about themselves that they never knew in an affecting coming-of-age tale starring Nick Nolte, Timothy Hutton, Trevor Morgan, and Sally Kirkland. Ray Cook Nolte is a gruff, hard-drinking ump whose questionable call has recently cost a high-school baseball team one of the season's most crucial games. When Ray discovers his house being vandalized one evening and manages to capture vengeful young baseball player Dave Morgan in the act, the fundamentally decent boy agrees to return to the house and repair the damage. A lonely and terminally ill teen whose relationship with his father Timothy Hutton has gradually disintegrated following the death of his mother, Dave is offered the option of foregoing his daily clean-up sessions if he will agree to pose as Ray's son for the grizzled elder's upcoming 40th high-school reunion. Despite Dave's initial hesitation to take part in the plan, he soon agrees, and what was once a simple business plan gradually blossoms into something much more meaningful.
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Special Features

16x9 widescreen presentation (2:35:1); Filmmaker commentary with writer/director James Ponsoldt; The making of Off the Black; Theatrical trailer; Trailer gallery ; 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround; Closed captioned; Spanish subtitles
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/17/2007
  • UPC: 821575549653
  • Original Release: 2006
  • Rating:

  • Source: Velocity / Thinkfilm
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:31:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nick Nolte Ray
Trevor Morgan Dave
Sonia Feigelson , Ashley
Rosemarie DeWitt , Debra
Sally Kirkland , Marianne
Timothy Hutton Tom,
Noah Fleiss Todd Hunter
Michael Higgins , Al Cook
Jonathan Tchaikovsky Paul Michaels
Technical Credits
James Ponsoldt Director, Screenwriter
Claire Campbell Score Composer
Caroline Duncan Costumes/Costume Designer
Carrie Fix Co-producer
Anthony Gasparro Production Designer
Bob Hariri Executive Producer
Sabine Hoffman Editor
Steve Kalafer Executive Producer
Avy Kaufman Casting
Scott Macaulay Producer
Tracy McKnight Musical Direction/Supervision
Maggie Meade Executive Producer
Meg Mortimer Executive Producer
Alex Neville Score Composer
Robin O'Hara Producer
Tim Orr Cinematographer
Brian Petway Score Composer
Chuck Renaud Art Director
Curtis Smith Asst. Director
Noah Vivekanand Timan Sound/Sound Designer
Matt Tromans Associate Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Off the Black
1. Opening Sequence [3:12]
2. Hell of a Game [7:32]
3. Get Up [4:58]
4. Responsibility [8:06]
5. Big Decisions [3:53]
6. A Proposition [6:16]
7. I'll Do It [7:02]
8. Sing It [4:42]
9. Hangin' Out With the Ump [3:18]
10. Debra [5:34]
11. My Son [7:01]
12. The Reunion [9:58]
13. A Rumor [5:52]
14. All Square [6:40]
15. The Video [4:43]
16. End Credits [5:12]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Off the Black
   Play Movie
   Set Up
      Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
      Audio: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: Off
   Special Features
      Filmmaker Commentary With Writer/Director James Ponsoldt
      The Making of Off the Black
      Theatrical Trailer
      Trailer Gallery
   Scene Index
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fugitive Souls Connecting

    James Ponsoldt is an impressive new talent whose gifts are well displayed in this very excellent small film, OFF THE BLACK. Ponsoldt is that rare combination of writer/director who has something unusual and significant to say and has the skills to tell his story with genuine sensitivity and with amazingly polished skill for one so new on the scene. In a small town anywhere in the US aging alcoholic Ray Cook (Nick Nolte) lives alone, spends his time making videotapes of himself in conversation with his son from whom he has been separated for years. He also is the umpire for the local baseball team, the pitcher for whom is a teenage lad Dave Tibbel (Trevor Morgan), a boy whose mother deserted her family leaving Dave and his younger sister Ashley (Sonia Feigelson) in the care of functionless distant father (Timothy Hutton), a man who would rather avoid any conversation or emotional support with his confused kids. Dave and two friends visit Ray Cook's house one night, empty trash on his lawn, scratch graffiti on his driveway and throw toilet paper streaming from the tree and TV antennae. Ray is sober enough to catch one of them - Dave - and makes a pact with the boy that he will not call the cops if Dave promises to clean up Ray's cluttered yard. Dave keeps his promise and gradually Ray and Dave warm to each other, each finding in the other the desperate needs to fill their empty lives - a 'son' and a 'father'. Ray convinces Dave to pose as his son at his high school reunion and the results of that experience coupled with numerous other incidents bond the two in one of the more tender love relationships ever captured on film. No, this film is not about physical attraction: it is about the kind of love that is a basic need in each of us and one that sadly is lacking in so very many lives today. Nick Nolte delivers a superb performance and it is refreshing to see him once again prove that he is a fine character actor. Trevor Morgan (at age 20!) is a revelation, that kind of actor who apparently excels in his craft intuitively. The supporting cast is likewise first class and the musical score by Claire Campbell, Alex Neville, and Brian Petway fits the film like a glove. Tim Orr's cinematography is so attuned to the story that it feels like the camera is another character. OFF THE BLACK is yet another little Indie film that came in under the radar and deserves so much greater an audience than it has had. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews