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The Rookie

4.9 10
Director: John Lee Hancock, Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Jay Hernandez

Cast: John Lee Hancock, Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Jay Hernandez


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The Rookie, the inspirational story of Jim Morris, a high school teacher who realized his dream of becoming a big-league baseball player, makes its way to DVD. Picture and sound on this disc are top notch. The image, framed at 2.35:1, and anamorphic, is nearly perfect. Skin tones are well balanced, while the darker scenes are solid with no signs of breakdown.


The Rookie, the inspirational story of Jim Morris, a high school teacher who realized his dream of becoming a big-league baseball player, makes its way to DVD. Picture and sound on this disc are top notch. The image, framed at 2.35:1, and anamorphic, is nearly perfect. Skin tones are well balanced, while the darker scenes are solid with no signs of breakdown. Colors are quite vivid, re-creating the theatrical experience nicely. The audio elements, 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks in English and French, are surprisingly strong. While the majority of the sound is located up front, there are some very effective moments where the Surrounds take control. Though not labeled a special edition, this disc does contain some nice extra features. For starters, there is a scene-specific commentary track from director John Lee Hancock and Dennis Quaid. Though a bit dry at times, and lacking much enthusiasm, this is made up by their obvious love for the project and their knowledge of the subject. A definite plus is a 20-minute featurette on the real Jim Morris with cast, crew, and Morris interviews, that is really so good it seems too short. Though they will probably appeal only to a specific part of the audience, there are also some baseball tips aimed at younger viewers. Finally, along with seven deleted scenes, hosted by Hancock, are a number of previews for additional Disney titles that round out this exceptional disc.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
While based on a true story, The Rookie treads well-worn cinematic paths and will doubtless induce feelings of déjà vu in many viewers. Luckily, this family-friendly drama is so skillfully made, its lack of originality is easy to forgive. The story takes place in the West Texas town of Big Lake, where high school coach Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid), having long since forgotten his dream of pitching in the majors, struggles to keep his lackluster baseball team motivated. After startling the players during batting practice with the speed of his fastball, Jim makes the boys a promise: He’ll try out for the majors if they qualify for the district finals. As directed by John Lee Hancock (Falcone), The Rookie progresses along fairly predictable lines; the big game is won, and Morris trudges off to the tryouts (with his eight-year-old son in tow), although you’ll have to see for yourself if he makes the grade. Hancock bolsters a rather predictable narrative with solid, believable characterizations. Quaid, Rachel Griffiths (as his patient, understanding wife), Jay Hernandez (as the team captain), and Brian Cox (as Jim’s father) all turn in excellent portrayals. Their fine work reinforces the movie’s credibility, which in turn strengthens its message: Never give up on your dreams. The DVD edition includes a full-length commentary by Hancock and Quaid, along with deleted scenes, a featurette on the real Jim Morris, and spring-training tips from real-life baseball pros.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Stylish and well-crafted, this sports melodrama doesn't offer up much that is new in its oft-clichéd milieu, but the well-traveled paths down which it trods are reliable ones. If not for the film's badly distended running time it might have ended up, despite its lack of originality, in a genuinely affecting place. It's too bad that director John Lee Hancock and screenwriter Mike Rich don't get that their project is fundamentally G-rated schmaltz that's been road-tested and sanitized for Middle American bourgeois viewing. There's nothing wrong with candy corn cinema when it's self-aware, but the filmmakers seem to be laboring under the delusion that they're crafting a 21st century Field of Dreams (1989) instead of the latest family-friendly Disney concoction. The bloated two-hours-plus length betrays their pretensions, with nearly every scene slogging on long past the point where it should have been cut. The Rookie is definitely not a bad film; it benefits from its factual origins enough that the third-act payoff is genuinely affecting, and the performance by Dennis Quaid is thankfully free of irony or self-pity. It's just that the art of editing at either the script or at the final cut stage could have helped tremendously to disguise the artificiality that's being employed to manipulate viewers.
Entertainment Weekly
Something particularly clean shines in this American fairy tale, a quality of simplicity that's almost as hard to achieve in such movies as a middle-aged man's boyhood dreams. Lisa Schwarzbaum
New York Times - Stephen Holden
As averse as I usually am to feel-good, follow-your-dream Hollywood fantasies, this one got to me.
Washington Post
A rarity to be cheered: a smart, engaging family film that stands firmly in the best of the Disney tradition. Ann Hornaday

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary by Dennis Quaid and John Lee Hancock; Deleted scenes introduced by John Lee Hancock; "The Inspirational Story of Jim Morris" featurette; Spring Training: Tips from the Pros

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dennis Quaid Jim Morris
Rachel Griffiths Lorri Morris
Jay Hernandez Joaquin "Wack" Campos
Beth Grant Olline Morris
Angus T. Jones Hunter
Brian Cox Jim Morris, Sr.
Rick Gonzalez Rudy Bonilla
Chad Lindberg Joe David West
Angelo Spizzirri Joel De La Garza
Royce D. Applegate Henry
Russell Richardson Brooks
Raynor Scheine Frank
David Blackwell Cal
Blue Deckert Dave Patterson
Dan Kamin Mac
Trevor Morgan Young Jim

Technical Credits
John Lee Hancock Director
John Bissell Musical Direction/Supervision
Carter Burwell Score Composer
Mark Ciardi Producer
Bruce Finlayson Costumes/Costume Designer
Gordon Gray Producer
Mark Johnson Producer
Mike Rich Screenwriter
Barry Robison Production Designer
John Schwartzman Cinematographer
Philip Steuer Executive Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits/The Investment
2. "Welcome to Big Lake"
3. Coach's Arm
4. The Deal
5. Speed Limit 35
6. A Winning Season
7. "It's Your Turn, Coach!"
8. On the Mound
9. Family Concerns
10. Southern League
11. Brook's Confession
12. Jimmy's Dream
13. The Major Leagues
14. "Morris, You're IN!"
15. "Thanks for Coming"
16. The Investment Paid Off/End Credits

Customer Reviews

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The Rookie 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
VinodPalSingh More than 1 year ago
It's difficult to be simple and yet be effective, inspirational & real good and this what ROOKIE is all about. A simple teacher in a far flung school, encouraged by his students and with the support of the family ... reversing the fortune by following his passion for the game ... Starting looked boring but the film turned out to be a good one ...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just love this movie and what it means. The movie is about a high school baseball team that well has not done so well,but when te team makes a bet with thier coach that if they make it to the finnals and win more games that he would have to go out for the major leages. So the caretor that dennis quaid playes makes the bet and at the end the owls win and thier coach has to try out for the majior leges and makes it and just like the coach belived in his players the players and the small town come to see him in a majior leage baseball game this movie will have you both laghing ,cheering and yes you will cry to .a movie for all ages.joanna
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great movie about baseball, boys, and dreams! Chad Lindberg(as Joe David Werst #5) is really good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this movie. I watch it every summer. I bought it on VHS for Christmas The same year it came out on the shelf. It's a must see weather you're a Baseball fan or not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Despite what the "professional" reviewer-cynics say, this is a good movie. Yes, maybe it is predictable, but that's okay. It's well written and the acting is great. Perhaps the movie critics prefer agenda genres such as Michael Moore's films or "intellectual" forgien films with sub-titles. "The Rookie" is an excelent film and it is refreshing to see more quality family entertainment out there these days, no matter how "sappy" it is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent movie. Something for everyone in the family, young and old! I wish there were more like this one!