Home Run Showdown

Home Run Showdown was filmed in metro Detroit in summer 2010, and it has some decent stars in it so I was excited to review it. They filmed it mostly in Milford, Taylor, and in Toledo, Ohio, and at the beginning of the movie Matthew Lillard's character is wearing a Groves (High School) t-shirt. The film had a red carpet premiere at Star Southfield on July 27, and Lillard was in attendance; both Lillard and Dean Cain, the other main adult star, were born in Michigan as well. Unfortunately, none of the jokes in the film turned out to be funny, and even the baseball storyline was a little convoluted as well.

Synopsis from CoveringMedia.com: Three kids, LORI, FASSI and TANKER, are desperate to get on a little league team so they can field balls for major leaguers at the Home Run Showdown -- the annual big league hitting competition. Tanker wants to get to the showdown and meet his baseball idol; Fassi just wants to play hard; and Lori wants his imprisoned dad to see him on TV. They form a team, coached by underachieving JOEY, a former minor leaguer in the shadow of his big league star brother RICO.

But each of the kids has a problem. Lori accidentally makes a powerful enemy of SIMPSON, the league commissioner; Fassi gets in hot water for her aggressive playing; and Tanker's overprotective mother MICHELLE doesn't want him to play. Meanwhile, Joey and Rico's rivalry boils over into a struggle to take over the bar owned by their father BIG AL. The brothers use the their teams to one-up each other, and Big Al sets a challenge: Whoever collects the most official Major League balls at the Showdown will get the bar.

As the kids struggle to get to the Showdown, and Michelle and Joey strike up a tentative romance, the stage is set for one of the strangest baseball competitions of all: a contest where big leaguers, kids and grownups all struggle to master the national pastime.

First off, I didn't even realize until midway through the movie that the Home Run Showdown itself was a competition where you want to get the most outs; I thought it was just a regular baseball game. Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo) and Dean Cain (TV's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) are two actors I really like, but neither of them really did well in this film, which is probably not their fault since the script was so awful. Lillard brings a little comedy to some of his parts, but it's still very infrequent. The kids in the film are cute, and apparently some of them are Michigan kids as well, but they still can't save this movie.

No, don't see this movie. It was only in theaters for a limited engagement, but it will be on DVD/Blu-Ray starting August 21st. They try to stuff in a sibling rivalry, a cheater, a dad who is in jail, and many more themes into this film, but they might have been better off just sticking to the baseball story and trying to improve that instead. I do have to say that there's a Channel 7 Action News segment in there that was done exactly like they do the news in Michigan, and for a second I thought my Blu-Ray player had turned itself off or something, which was pretty funny; they even have Vic Faust as the reporter in it, who is a real Channel 7 employee. I liked all the Michigan references in the film, which might bump up the rating for me - I would have given it 1/5 stars otherwise - and I wish all made-in-Michigan movies well, but unfortunately this one is not the best example of one to see.

Home Run Showdown will be on DVD/Blu-Ray on August 21, and is not rated with a runtime of 93 minutes. 1.5 stars out of 5.

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