There have been plenty of sports related "inspiration" films, but few have been good, and even fewer, great. "THE ROOKIE" is one of those rare exceptions. While almost completely overlooked in theaters, "THE ROOKIE" never even found its rightful audience on dvd. Now, in a great looking blu-ray, hopefully, a larger audience can be found. The based on a true story, follows "JIMMY MORRIS," a minor league pitcher, forced to retire after injuring his shoulder. Years have passed, and after becoming a teacher at a Texas high school, he keeps a bet that he'll try for the Majors again. Without giving away anything, what follows is more realistic than most sports films, and no less inspiring. Dennis Quaid is perfectly cast here, and proves again that he's one of the most underrated actors in the business, bringing a restrained, but powerful authenticity to every role he takes.
Director John Lee Hancock provides a steady, but deliberate pace to the film, which may require a little more patience than some family films, but it's well worth the time. While some of the film feels semi-predictable, there are plenty of moments wherein the film moves in surprising directions.
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio with 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encoding for this blu-ray release. It's a great looking transfer, but especially when considering it's a catalogue title! Colors are rich throughout and while contrast isn't perfect, it still provides deeper blacks and grays than on the previous dvd image. Fleshtones are perfect. There are only a few instances wherein the image is flat. Otherwise, the image has the "pop off the screen" look one expects on blu-ray releases.
BUENA VISTA has provided a PCM 5.1 mix. Surrounds are rarely utilized to full capability, other than in enhancing the score, until the latter half of the film. The front soundstage makes full use of separation effects, creating an engaging, if not energetic atmosphere. Fidelity is also quite good, but not up there with the best of BUENA VISTA blu-ray releases.
All of the extras from the standard dvd have been carried over in standard resolution. Deleted scenes, featurettes and a "ho-hum" commentary are included. Trailers for other SONY blu-ray titles are provided in full HD.