Welcome to the first installment of movie reviews here at the DP. It has been a section that yours truly has had brewing for a long time, but wanted to make sure the time, creativity, format, effort, and most importantly, zeal was right in doing so. For years films have garnered a variety of criticism, praise, hype, and disregard. Despite a sure definition, yours truly plans to contribute (by clarity or disagreement) to the area of gray regarding movies, films and documentaries. With that said, let's dive right in and look at the section's initial review: The Final Season.
What it's about?
The True story about Kent Stock, and the 1991 season of the Norway High School baseball team. After politics and envy force the school to merge with a nearby (and larger) district, Stock replaces his mentor, Coach Jim Van Scoyoc, a move to ensure the team's failure, and to break the spirit and tradition in Norway. After winning 19 titles in 23 years, Stock must overcome the doubt and fractured spirit of the town, the loss of faith in its own players, and is saddled with the pressure of continuing and most of all, preserving Norway's winning tradition in it's final season.
Who is in it?
Sean Astin - Kent Stock
Powers Boothe - Jim Van Scoyoc
Rachel Leigh Cook - Polly Hudson
Larry Miller - Roger Dempsey
The final scene following the team's twentieth state title in twenty-four years as the camera pans by every state title in the hall until the recent twentieth title, where Stock is signing the ball and closing the glass.
"How do you want to be remembered?"
The Final Season felt like a hybrid of Field of Dreams and Friday Night Lights. The development of the importance of baseball and the high school to the town was done very well. The many subplots that surround the season helped create a true underdog feel for the town of Norway, Iowa and their historic baseball team. From the shots of stores closed with signs stating "Gone to the game" and the infatuation with baseball and the high school; Norway, Iowa resembled that of Odessa, Texas and Odessa-Permian High School in Friday Niight Lights.
However, The Final Season differs from most sports movies in that it presents a slight twist of the small town losing its baseball-rich culture, it's high school, it's way of life, and inevitably it's existence due to politics and economics. This raises the moral of the true story in, "How do you want to be remembered?", as the Norway High School baseball team attempts to win. They chase the Iowa State title not to be proclaimed champions, but to protect and preserve what it already has - tradition.