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Review: 'Home Run Showdown' an amiable sports-as-life throwback

The family film about a sibling rivalry set in the baseball world is a solid if overly familiar drama that feels plucked from another era.

August 29, 2012|By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
  • Lori (Kyle Kirk) and teammates at the Home Run Showdown in a scene from the movie "Home Run Showdown."
Lori (Kyle Kirk) and teammates at the Home Run Showdown in a scene from the… (Shoreline Entertainment )

The cross-generational appeal of baseball is the backdrop for "Home Run Showdown," a pleasant if somewhat by-the-numbers family film that lacks any real crack-of-the-bat energy.

The story concerns two grown brothers (Matthew Lillard, Dean Cain). Each has a failed bid at professional baseball under his belt, and now their long-standing sibling rivalry is lapping over to the Little League teams they coach.

In a scene-stealing turn, their father (Barry Bostwick) sets their competition into overdrive when he declares that the outcome of a baseball contest will determine which son will take over his local bar and grill.

Directed by Oz Scott and written by John Bella and Tim Cavanaugh, "Home Run Showdown" is sort of amiably square, recalling 1960s live-action Disney films.

Although baseball as a movie metaphor — the lessons gleaned from Little League carry over through the rest of our lives — is well-trod ground, the film, at least, seems to understand that, even if it offers nothing especially new.

mark.olsen@latimes.com

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