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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Rookie of the Year (1993)

Doctor: Ow! Funky, butt-loving!
George: Did he say, "funky butt-loving"?

- Ross Lehman, Patrick LaBrecque

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: January 07, 2002

Stars: Thomas Ian Nicholas
Other Stars: Gary Busey, Dan Hadaya, Daniel Stern
Director: Daniel Stern

MPAA Rating: PG for (mild language)
Run Time: 01h:43m:31s
Release Date: January 15, 2002
UPC: 024543029205
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- B-BB D+

DVD Review

To really enjoy Rookie of the Year, I think you have to have been a kid like me. Namely, a kid who was really, really bad at sports. It's not that I didn't like them. I was in little league; I enjoyed gym. I just stunk at anything resembling organized play (except maybe H.O.R.S.E.). Baseball was a particular embarrassment. I got stuck in left field, which everyone knows is the place they stick the kids who can't really play (since little kids rarely hit fly balls). You know, I wasn't that bad, in retrospect. I could catch OK, even if my arm was bad. And I hit a double. Once. Maybe all I needed was a little encouragement. Too bad I quit the team before Rookie of the Year came out, because this movie is pure wish fulfillment.

Henry (Nicholas) is the worst player on his little league team, but the constant ridicule doesn't dampen his love of the sport. When he has an accident during a game of catch and breaks his arm, he thinks of nothing but getting the cast off and going back to the game. When he finally does, his arm has magically healed with a slingshot joint; he can now throw a baseball at 100 miles and hour. The Chicago Cubs, ensconced in a losing streak (no, really?), recruit Henry for the PR, but he soon becomes a star player, successfully leading the team.

The adventure of a wide-eyed kid into the big leagues makes this movie a lot of fun, and I remember enjoying it when I was about 12. Why not? What kid doesn't wish for overnight fame? But the script loses its charm when it tacks on "important" sub-plots and cliché obstacles for the hero to overcome, including Henry's discomfort at his divorced mom's dating and the trials of an aged former star-pitcher for the Cubs (played by Gary Busey), who still isn't ready to give up the mound.

This is a sports movie, and it follows the usual pattern, from the bumbling losers to the team that pulls together, makes it to the finish, and overcomes every crisis to win both the game and a better understanding of friendship and blah blah blah. Urp. Yes, you've seen it all before, but this is made for little kids like I was, weenies whose only chance at sports success is to live vicariously through a movie. So what if the premise is a little ridiculous and unbelievable? After all, this is a movie where the Cubs are successful.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesno

Image Transfer Review: This is a rare Fox disc that includes both a widescreen 1.85:1 transfer and an open matte version, presented on a two-sided disc. Both transfers feature about the same image quality. Colors appear rich and saturated. Fine detail is only fair (the image is a bit soft overall), though black level and shadow delineation are good. I noticed some edge enhancement here and there, as well as a bit of aliasing, and some evident digital artifacting. The source material shows no signs of scratches or marks and just a bit of grain.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: All you can really ask for in a comedy track is a strong front soundstage; few feature much in the way of surround action. This mix is expectedly front heavy, with the front mains filling out the soundstage, providing support for the score and crowd noise. Dialogue is anchored mostly in the center, but there is some bleed through into the mains. Surrounds are only active during the baseball games, where they carry some of the cheering crowd.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
3 Original Trailer(s)
8 TV Spots/Teasers
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Who knew they promoted this movie so much? Included are three theatrical trailers, eight TV spots, and a brief promo featurette with fluff interviews with the cast and crew.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

A diverting, wish-fulfillment comedy that should amuse any sports-loving kid, Rookie of the Year makes for harmless family amusement.


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