Monarch Home Entertainment // 2013 // 103 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 21st, 2013
It's a long season. Anything can happen.
Rip (J. Richey Nash) is former star baseball player in the twilight of his career. Though he's still a decent draw for his team and can produce here and there, the upcoming new blood is making him expendable. Sure enough, he's given the news: he's no longer part of the team.
Now, suddenly without a career and no prospect of a resurgence, Rip slinks back to his hometown to try and salvage something. Anything. He's resistant, though, with a boatload of family issues to navigate, including a skeptical brother and a hard-ass dad currently tethered to a hospital bed. Rip's biggest antagonist is his poor attitude and outsized ego. Can he put the past behind him and maybe build up a new life?
That's the big question this low-budget melodrama attempts to answer, with middling results. If I'm grading Hitting the Cycle on a curve -- and considering its tiny budget, I feel like I really should -- then I'm going to give it passing marks. While far from a clinic in high-end acting, the performances in the film are earnest and sentimental and actually prove to be appropriate for the overall feel of the production. Nash runs point with all of it and does a nice enough job conveying the tough transition from pro baseball sort-of-stud to washed-up older brother looking to restart. There aren't a ton of stand-out emotional moments but the few that work feature Nash doing the heavy lifting, and he holds serve.
The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 Surround, and no extras.
That's about all I can muster about the film, which, in the end, doesn't quite do enough to surprise or delight to mandate an addition to the library. The story just can't quite elevate itself beyond Above-Average-Episode-of-Touched-by-an-Angel quality.
Check swing...but he went around. Strike 3.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Monarch Home Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 103 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
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