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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Lionsgate's 'Perfect Game': Bumped to season's end?

Perfect_game_2 Ever since I took my baseball-crazed 10-year-old and his pals to see a screening of Lionsgate's "The Perfect Game," he's been urging all his Little League buddies to see the movie, which does a nice job of telling the soul-stirring story of a ragtag bunch of kids from Monterrey, Mexico who assemble a Little League team that--shockingly--wins the 1957 Little League World Series. It feels like a fable, but it's actually a true story, with the poverty-stricken kids overcoming all sorts of obstacles and blatant prejudice to win 13 consecutive games, the last one a perfect game, hence the title.

There's only one problem: Lionsgate has suddenly bumped the movie from its Aug. 8 release date and won't say when the film will be released. It's rarely a good sign when a studio bails out of a release date at the last moment, especially when it won't say why. All I could get out of a high-level Lionsgate exec was a terse: "The studio expects to have news about a new date soon."

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if Lionsgate is going to release the movie, it will have to do so by mid-October, which would be the height of major league playoff time. It may be that Lionsgate is experiencing some growing pains as it has ramped up its release schedule, which seems to have another "Saw" sequel and a new Tyler Perry project every other month. (The studio just signed a new deal with Perry, who's been a consistent box-office performer.) Before moving "The Perfect Game," the studio had three movies in August, four movies in September and three more scheduled for release in October, including Oliver Stone's much-anticipated "W." For a small-sized studio like Lionsgate, three or four movies in a month is quite a crowd.

I'm hoping Lionsgate will do right by "The Perfect Game." It's a movie with a lot of heart and a great young cast of kids, whom my son's friends all somehow recognized from their appearances on various Disney Channel shows. For us oldsters, it has Cheech Marin as a twinkly-eyed Monterrey parish priest who makes sure the boys always have a guardian angel watching over their shoulders.

For baseball purists, here's an extended trailer from the film that features some great vintage footage from the glory days of '50s baseball:

       

 
Comments () | Archives (25)

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More movies should be made like this. I hope the movie is released soon and it helps slow down all the hate out there. I'm very suspicious of why it was suddenly delayed.

Three possibilities that you haven't mentioned:

Angel Macias and others on the Monterey team were several years older than they had reported to Little League Officials; and older than any other Little Leaguers.

Several of the La Mesa, California team were hospitalized in Williamsport PA for Asian Flu just prior to the final game and were forced to Play or Forfeit. They were sneaked (in some cased) from the hospital and played the game.

8/8/8 is a tough day to open with the Olympics (and all).

Elle: I agree with you on the Olympics point - this is the main reason I think they've delayed the release, personally. But I hardly think they would refrain from releasing a movie they've entirely paid for, filmed, and produced simply because they got sudden cold feet about some facts that would take from the story's glory; as such, I'm not entirely sure why you brought those up, unless you simply meant to rain on a good film's parade.

I have waited fourty eight years for this film, I was ten ten when it was shown on TV. The original was deffonaltly an insperation for me as a child . I hope this wil do the same for todays youth.

I have waited forty eight years for this film, I saw the original on TV when I was ten. I was definitely inspired by this movie as a child I hope this will do the same for todays youth.

All interesting comments. However, it should be noted that Angel Macias turned 63 this year. That would have made him 12 in 1957. I know a majority of the team personally and have spent time with all of the surviving members of the La Mesa team. No one was forced to play and no one was over age. You can confirm this with the Little League Association.

America always love a great underdog story, especially when it's about
baseball! I hope they release it soon because it will inspire a lot of kids,
inclulding 3 of my own, to always look at the possibilities in life without
any obstacles holding them back. Release the film soon-do it for the kids
and those of us that still hold on to our childhood dreams!

Another very insprational baseball movie that hasn't gotten much publicity was The Final Season. It came out last fall and stars Sean Astin, Powers Boothe and Tom Arnold.

It was actually recommended by Little League Baseball, and I know many kids really loved the movie.

Hope this one gets out soon!

Its sad that a movie based on a true story that portrays latino kids as heroes and in a positive light has to be yanked so easily. Maybe if it was a movie about kids in a latin gang gang with some killings, drugs,etc. and made latinos look stereotypical as always, it might have seen the light of day. Latino wave crashes yet again....we haven't progressed....not a bit....

Well, I saw a screening of this film, and... I wanted to walk out after about 20 minutes. It was awful. Every little sports cliche you can think of was squeezed in. It was like someone with no baseball knowledge read a book about baseball, and made a movie. It was that bad.

 
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