09 March 2009

DVD: "Pitcher and the Pin-Up"

Pitcher and the Pin-Up
Directed by Drew Johnson
Written by Drew Johnson & David A. Burr
Starring: Drew Johnson, Corinna Harney-Jones, Donald Turner, Stephen Bishop, Paul Kent, Bo Hopkins with Wilford Brimley and John Saxon
DVD Release Date: 7 June 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For Some Violence, Sensuality and Brief Strong Language)
List Price: $5.98

The Film
Part Jerry Maguire, part Forrest Gump and part For Love of the Game, Pitcher and the Pin-Up traces Danny (Drew) and Melissa (Harney-Jones) from their first meeting at age eight through their respective rises to fame in their respective worlds.  Danny discovers he is a baseball phenom, while Melissa dreams of writing poetry.  What Danny discovers is that, like baseball, neither life nor love can be scripted.

The DVD menu options are "Play movie" and "Chapters."  Suffice it to say, this is not a features-laden release.  There is a trailer for a Paul Hogan flick, Strange Bedfellows, that plays once you start the film.  Not the DVD, mind you; the film itself.  Screen Media Films must have been afraid that you might skip that if they let you.

The Recommendation
There are several cliches in this film, and had this been a studio film it would have suffered more from them.  Being an indie project, though, the nearly documentarian feel (coupled with the convincing performances of a nearly unrecognizable cast) overcome these moments that we've seen in other films.  In fact, what drives Pitcher and the Pin-Up is the idea that while these challenges and moments of triumph might be the climax of another film, they are simply moments in the lives of these characters.  It is greatly disappointing that Drew Johnson, who co-wrote, co-produced, starred in and directed this film, does not have a commentary track for the DVD release.  This is not so much a story about a baseball player as it is about relationships, and that is what is at the heart of nearly every great story.

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