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Summer Catch

Summer Catch on DVD

Surprise! No Surprises!

The problem with movies like Summer Catch is that we all know exactly how it's going to end.

The protagonist (in this case, Ryan Dunne, played by Freddie Prinze, Jr.) always starts at the bottom and ends up on top.


Ryan is a young baseball player who dreams of making it in the majors. He's managed to get into the Cape Cod summer league, which has been a career-starting job for many major leaguers.

The first question that springs to mind when you watch this movie is how Ryan ever managed to get there. He proves for most of the summer that he's a really bad pitcher, yet his coach and several major league scouts seem to think he's great; just not playing to his full potential.

How would they know?

But anyway, Ryan ends up proving himself (after the team's starting pitcher gets kicked off the team) and getting a shot with a farm club. I feel okay saying that, since we all know it will happen anyway.

There's also the love interest, played by Jessica Biel. We can also figure out how their love affair goes: they meet, they hit it off, someone screws up and they break up, then they realize they're in love, and they live happily ever after.

Summer Catch is nothing, and I mean nothing, but a formula movie. Nothing about it is remotely original, and everything about it is completely predictable. Prinze and Biel are likable enough and give decent performances, but most of the supporting cast is just there for laughable inspirational speeches, or to get involved in completely inane subplots.

The script is bad, the story is formulaic, and there isn't an entertaining bone in its body.

Summer Catch should be renamed "Summer Missed-by-a-Mile."

Warner's disc is about as average as a DVD can be as well. The picture is okay at best, looking grainy and unremastered. The sound is worse. It seems like they took a stereo track, and just spread it over five speakers, rather than putting any sort of effort into actually defining surround channels, low frequency effects channel etc. Too bad.

Extras include a commentary by director/producer Michael Tollin and writer John Gatins, and some additional scenes. The deleted/additional scenes from a bad movie are always a treat to watch.

If you liked the movie, this disc is probably still not worth it, since it's such an average and plain vanilla example of the DVD species.

Summer Catch, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
104 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) 16X9 enhanced, 5.1 Dolby Digital
Starring Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jessica Biel, Fred Ward, Matthew Lillard and Brian Dennehy
Produced by Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins, Sam Weisman
Screenplay by Kevin Falls and John Gatins, Directed by Mike Tollin


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Updated May 13, 2006