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"THE FINAL SEASON"
(2007) (Sean Astin, Michael Angarano) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Heavy Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A new coach tries to lead a high school baseball team to the championship one last time before their school is folded into another.
PLOT:
It's 1990 and the Tigers of Norway High School have just won yet another baseball title thanks to the guidance of legendary coach Jim Van Scoyoc (POWERS BOOTHE). Yet, things don't look good for the prospect of any future championships in that small Iowan town. That's because school board official Harvey Makepeace (MARSHALL BELL) and state school official Polly Hudson (RACHAEL LEIGH COOK) have decided to fold the school into another in a neighboring jurisdiction, due to lack of enough enrollment at Norway H.S. to justify the cost of keeping it open.

That doesn't sit will with the locals who unite to protest, but the best that Makepeace can offer is just one more season, but without Van Scoyoc as the head coach. And that's because he believes that replacement coach Kent Stock (SEAN AUSTIN) -- who briefly assisted Jim before leaving for a job in St. Louis only to return -- doesn't stand a chance at returning the team to glory, thus demoralizing them, their school, and the community into accepting the decision.

Nevertheless, Kent is determined to do his best, and he has some decent returning players including Patrick Iverson (BRETT CLAYWELL) and pitcher Sammy (ROSCOE MYRICK). The unknown wild card is Chicago teen rebel Mitch Akers (MICHAEL ANGARANO) who's been sent by his widowed father Burt (TOM ARNOLD) to live with his grandparents, Jared (JAMES GAMMON) and Ann (ANGELA PATON), in hopes that they and Van Scoyoc might induce a change in the boy.

With the latter gone, however, and Mitch clashing with Patrick while falling for his sister, Cindy (DANIELLE SAVRE), sports reporter Roger Dempsey (LARRY MILLER) doesn't see much hope for the team. From that point on, and as he falls for Polly, Kent does what he can to whip the team back into shape and take them to the championship one last time.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or are into baseball movies, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For language, thematic elements and some teen smoking.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SEAN AUSTIN plays a young man who agrees to coach the high school baseball team in its last season. He tries to inspire his players to greatness, uses a little profanity, and falls for Polly.
  • POWERS BOOTHE plays the legendary coach he replaces who's full of baseball wisdom and philosophy, and isn't happy that he's forced out of his job. He uses some profanity.
  • MICHAEL ANGARANO plays a teen rebel who's sent to live with his grandparents in hopes that the change of scenery might inspire a change in him. He clashes with his dad and others, smokes, falls for Cindy, and eventually changes his ways.
  • RACHAEL LEIGH COOK plays the school system official who eventually supports the folding of Norway High into another school, but has a change of heart once she meets Kent and the others.
  • TOM ARNOLD plays Mitch's widowed dad who's desperate to change his teen son out of his rebellious ways and thus ships him off to live with the boy's grandparents.
  • MARSHALL BELL plays the school board director who doesn't like it when the locals oppose his plan to fold Norway High into another school, and thus schemes to demoralize the players, school, and local community by replacing Jim with Kent in the belief that doing so will lead to a losing season.
  • BRETT CLAYWELL plays one of the returning players who initially isn't happy with Kent as his new coach or Mitch as the new kid at school.
  • LARRY MILLER plays a local sports reporter who follows the team, reports on their success, and must contend with jokes about his baldness. He drinks a bit.
  • ROSCOE MYRICK plays one of the team's pitchers who develops a defeatist bad attitude about their chances.
  • DANIELLE SAVRE plays Patrick's sister who's sweet on Mitch.
  • JAMES GAMMON and ANGELA PATON play Mitch's grandparents who take him in and hope to help him change his ways and attitude through homespun advice and hard work.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 3 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some male teens are seen shirtless, and there's a brief kiss (and placement of hands on clothed hips) between a man and woman.

    There's some physical contact between characters, but nothing more severe than brief pushing, struggling and a little hitting (while others are hit by baseballs). Tense family material is present, including a strained father/son relationship partially due to the death of the mother of the family (that occurs before the story starts).

    Various bad attitudes are present, a bus driver has a heart attack (but lives), and a teen is seen shoveling pig excrement. There's brief drinking and smoking (and related talk for both), while a teen inquires about where he can buy marijuana, and some other behavior may be enticing to imitate.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some swift camera panning following baseball throws during practice, while handheld camerawork is also present.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Mitch asks Patrick and his brother where he can get some "weed," but Patrick gets mad and says they don't do that around there. That creates some tension between them, some brief shoving, and Mitch saying, "You stupid hick."
  • Jim pours some whiskey for Kent and himself, but we don't see them drink any.
  • After a rained-out game, Kent announces that he's getting a beer (we don't see the latter).
  • Polly has a glass of wine.
  • Mitch tells a pitcher that if he can deliver three strikes, he'll buy him a pack of cigarettes. When the guy says he doesn't smoke, Mitch offers a six-pack (presumably of beer), and the pitcher replies, "Done" (but we don't see any).
  • After having an apparent heart attack, a bus driver is told no more beer or cigars.
  • When Roger says he has a feeling about a game, another reporter asks if that's a whiskey or vodka feeling. Roger then drinks from his flask, and the other reporter asks for a hit from it.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Mitch shoveling pig excrement as punishment for taking Jared's truck without permission.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Burt and Mitch have a strained relationship, with the dad upset the son is smoking (after "what those things did to your mother's health" -- meaning she's dead), and about his bad and defiant attitude in general (Burt even grabs his son by his jacket).
  • Harvey develops a bad attitude toward the townsfolk when they turn defiant against his idea to fold their school into another. To try to get rid of the team, he allows it to play one more season, but with Kent as the coach rather than Jim, thinking that will result in a losing season and thus break the town and school's united spirit.
  • Mitch tries to buy cigarettes from a store, but Cindy won't sell them to him without an I.D. showing him of age. Some local boys laugh at him about that.
  • Burt states, "I'm in bum-fart Iowa" (but he's from there originally).
  • Mitch asks Patrick and his brother where he can get some "weed," but Patrick gets mad and says they don't do that around there. That creates some tension between them, some brief shoving, and Mitch saying, "You stupid hick."
  • The school board informs the citizens that their petition to keep their school open is invalid since they missed the deadline and filed it with the wrong group (with the accusation being the school board purposefully misinformed them of when and where to file it).
  • Mitch takes Jared's truck without permission, resulting in the local sheriff pulling him over.
  • There's a comment that a baseball player swings "like a girl."
  • Not in a game, Mitch purposefully pitches a baseball into Patrick who then rushes Mitch, but is held away by others.
  • Some of the players have bad attitudes toward Kent as their new coach and don't give it their all.
  • A barber has a bad attitude toward the team now that Jim no longer is coaching them.
  • Sammy the pitcher develops a bad, defeatist attitude.
  • Some players playfully make fun of Roger's partial baldness, with a younger boy adding that his grandfather was bald like him, but not as fat.
  • About a batter crowding the plate, a pitcher mutters to himself, "You're gonna get hurt, stupid."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A bus driver appears to have a heart attack and drives off the road into a cornfield (he and all onboard are okay).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • An inactive tank is seen outside the memorial stadium.
  • In shop class, one boy is fashioning what looks like a wooden rifle.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Don't you bullsh*t me," "How much sh*t he'd catch for that," "That's chicken-sh*t," "B-S" (said just like that), "Puss" (possibly short for "p*ssy"), "Why the hell not?" "Whatever," "I'm in bum-fart Iowa," "Big freaking whoop," "McNuts," "Shut up," "Give 'em hell," "We don't do that crap around here," "You stupid hick," "What the hell /is with these guys/took you so long?" "Half-assed," "Swing like a girl," "City crap," "Pissed and moaned," "Damn good player," "Fall flat on his ass," "You wouldn't want to piss them off, now would you?" "Now we're screwed," "Bring it," "Sit down and shut up," "Head up your ass," what sounded like "Big stones" (possibly slang for testicles), "Sucker" and "Holy Toledo."
  • Mitch spits in defiance of his father.
  • There's talk of Burt spending a night in jail in his youth for streaking (not seen).
  • Mitch takes Jared's truck without permission, resulting in the local sheriff pulling him over.
  • To deal with a pitcher's bad attitude, Patrick and others grab the boy on a bus, and Patrick hits and pulls on him.
  • Sammy purposefully takes a pitch to the back (briefly hurting him) to get on base.
  • We see some shirtless male fans with letters painted on their chests.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A little bit of suspenseful and some dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "s" words (and another 3 said as "B-S"), 1 possible abbreviated slang term using female genitals ("puss"), 6 hells, 5 asses, 4 craps, 3 damns and 1 use of "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Kent in just a towel as he answers the door (to Polly).
  • As Kent stands and Polly sits on something elevated, she takes his hands and places them on her clothed hips (while trying to motivate him, but not sexually), and they briefly kiss.
  • We see Patrick shirtless while working on the farm.
  • We see some shirtless male fans with letters painted on their chests.
  • SMOKING
  • Mitch smokes at least twice and Jared smokes a cigar once.
  • Jim may have a cigarette over his ear, although later there's a pencil there, so perhaps that's what it was the first time.
  • After Burt removes a cigarette from Mitch's mouth, the teen tries to smoke again.
  • Mitch tries to buy cigarettes from a store, but Cindy won't sell them to him without an I.D. showing him of age. Some local boys laugh at him about that.
  • Mitch tells a pitcher that if he can deliver three strikes, he'll buy him a pack of cigarettes. When the guy says he doesn't smoke, Mitch offers a six-pack (presumably of beer), and the pitcher replies, "Done" (but we don't see any).
  • After having an apparent heart attack, a bus driver is told no more beer or cigars.
  • Mitch asks Roger for a cigarette, but the reporter doesn't have any.
  • Burt announces that he brought cigars for his dad.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Burt and Mitch have a strained relationship, with the dad upset the son is smoking (after "what those things did to your mother's health" -- meaning she's dead), and about his bad and defiant attitude in general (Burt even grabs his son by his jacket). Burt then delivers Mitch to live with Burt's parents in Norway.
  • When Burt says that maybe Mitch will learn something from Jim, Jared sarcastically says that the boy should be learning that from him (Burt).
  • As Cindy visits her grandmother's grave, Mitch mentions that his mom died last year.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy and/or artistic license taken with the true story.
  • Coaches and how they try to inspire their players.
  • Parents sending kids off to live with relatives in hopes that it will cause a change in the child.
  • There's talk of Burt spending a night in jail in his youth for streaking (not seen).
  • The comment that baseball is the only sport where the objective is to get home.
  • About being spotted in the stands watching the boy's practice, Roger yells out that it's okay since he's married (a pedophile joke) and a sports reporter.
  • Teen smoking.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Burt grabs Mitch by the jacket while upset with him.
  • Mitch asks Patrick and his brother where he can get some "weed," but Patrick gets mad and says they don't do that around there. That creates some tension between them, some brief shoving, and Mitch saying, "You stupid hick."
  • Not in a game, Mitch purposefully pitches a baseball into Patrick who then rushes Mitch, but is held away by others.
  • A baseball bounces and hits a player in the face.
  • A wild pitch seems to hit a catcher on the leg, but we then see that it was his hand that was injured.
  • To deal with a pitcher's bad attitude, Patrick and others grab the boy on a bus, and Patrick hits and pulls on him.
  • Mitch hops up onto the back of Cindy's horse, but then falls off (he's okay).
  • Sammy purposefully takes a pitch to the back (briefly hurting him) to get on base.



  • Reviewed September 27, 2007 / Posted October 12, 2007

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