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American Pastime (DVD)

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Caffeinated Clint
@http://www.twitter.com/clintmoviehole

Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

It isn’t a universal sentiment, I know, but me, I like my films to be like my music – if it doesn’t grab you by the time it’s a quarter-way through, it’s failed. And while I won’t say the new wartime drama “American Pastime” is a complete misfire, I will say it definitely should’ve start to boil earlier on – because it simmers for far too long.


Aaron Yoo, Gary Cole, Sarah Drew, John Gries

It isn’t a universal sentiment, I know, but me, I like my films to be like my music – if it doesn’t grab you by the time it’s a quarter-way through, it’s failed. And while I won’t say the new wartime drama “American Pastime” is a complete misfire, I will say it definitely should’ve start to boil earlier on – because it simmers for far too long.

Starring Gary Cole (he’s the main star of the thing), the film has a good story to tell, but unfortunately co-writer–director Desmond Nakano doesn’t seem to know how to execute it effectively. So much of the film is trite and clichéd, when it could easily have been a fresh and heart-warming tale of history. Since Nakan’s own parents lived through the events of the picture, you’d think he would’ve restrained from painting in such broad strokes. Heck, even if he pulled off a “baseball version of Paradise Road”, that would’ve been OK.

Set around the time of World War II, the film tells of a close L.A-based family that’s uprooted to a camp in Utah. It’s there that the youngest member of the clan (Aaron Yoo) gets up to mischief by romancing the daughter (Sarah Drew of “Everwood”) of an embittered guard (Cole). Much of the movie has to do with the young man’s love of baseball, and how he eventually plays a part in getting the Japanese to take on the Americans in a game of it (maybe they should’ve fought the war this way, hey?).

Watchable, but too patchy to applaud.

Making-of and theatrical trailer.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris

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Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

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