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Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Final Season

Posted on Thu, Oct 11, 2007 at 4:00 AM

***
The Final Season
Studio: Yari Film Group
Rated: PG
Cast: Sean Astin, Larry Miller
Director: David Mickey Evans
WorkNameSort: Final Season, The
Our Rating: 3.00
The Final Season is the rose-colored flipside to the more cynical high-school sports movie of recent times, Friday Night Lights. Both assert that the game is tantamount to life itself, and in this case it defines the entire Midwestern town of Norway, Iowa. But where Friday Night Lights sought to critique high school sports’ hyper-competitiveness, The Final Season presents an optimistic view of the young sporting life, schmaltz dripping from the frame like tobacco juice from ballplayers’ chins. Norway High’s team boasts a 19-year history of winning the States, even though the school boasts just 101 students. When an evil school board threatens to merge Norway with a larger school and eliminate the baseball dynasty, the town protests, buying time for one last season to cement their legacy. Character actor Sean Astin is strong as the coach, and little-used Powers Boothe is even better as the weathered former coach driven out by the bureaucracy. Director David M. Evans generates nerve-racking suspense, but the idyllic shots of farm-fueled small towns as the utopia of the American heartland are just a John Mellencamp song away from being a political ad.

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