Saturday, May 30, 2009

DVD: Everyone's Hero

Starz Home Entertainment

Directed by Christopher Reeve, Dan St. Pierre, Colin Brady
Written by Robert Kurtz (screenplay), Jeff Hand (screenplay), Howard Jones (story)
Starring William H. Macy, Whoopi Goldberg, Jake T. Austin, Robin Williams, Rob Reiner, Brian Dennehy

The core subject matter of 'Everyone's Hero' somewhat precluded it from both recognition and popularity in the UK and Europe, meaning until now it was only available in the US, and only saw cinematic release there as well. That subject matter is baseball, a sport only played in North America and of very little interest elsewhere.

So, despite an all-star cast of internationally popular actors including William H. Macy, Whoopi Goldberg, Rob Reiner and an uncredited Robin Williams, plus fleeting appearances by Forrest Whittaker, Robert Wagner and Richard Kind, it has taken two years to finally see DVD release here. The film began life under the directorial eye of 'Superman' legend Christopher Reeve, who died of a heart attack in 2004, and it would be another two years before Colin Brady and Dan St. Pierre would complete the movie with Reeve's wife Dana, amongst others, serving as Executive Producer. Dana also died, from lung cancer, in 2006 and the movie is dedicated to both her and Christopher.

A CGi animation in the style of Gil Kenan's 'Monster House', released in the same year, 'Everyone's Hero' revolves around Yankee Irving, a New York Yankees fan who idolises star player George 'Babe' Ruth. Ahead of the World Series against Napoleon Cross' (Williams) Chicago, Ruth's famous bat Darlin' (Goldberg) is stolen by Chicago pitcher Lefty Maginnis (Macy) and Yankee sets off across America to get the bat back and return it to Ruth in time for the final, deciding game of the Series, with the help of Screwy (Reiner), a talking foul ball.

Definitely one for the kids, the idea of a talking ball and a talking bat is probably enough to put most adults off (it certainly strikes as an unexpected turn of silliness), and while there are a few well-timed one-liners, mostly from Reiner, the majority of the humour is centred around the mishaps which befall Macy's Maginnis (usually getting hit by things or falling over).

The animation is smooth, if a little cartoon-like and unrealistic, but since the movie is squarely aimed at children, that's not much of an issue, and the script is pretty stock children's adventure stuff, with a slightly predictable ending, but this is all from the point of view of an adult watching the movie with other adults and no target-audience-children. It has all of the necessary, if somewhat standard, elements of an enjoyable children's movie, so while it doesn't set itself apart from the rest of the field, it does fit in without causing offense.

And finally a small point of trivia: additional children's voices were provided by Tyler James Williams, now most famous for playing a young Chris Rock in 'Everybody Hates Chris'.

“ Definitely one for the kids ”

Release Date: September 15, 2006 (USA)
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2008
Studio: Feel Anime Studios
Feature Running Time: 88 mins
Certificate: U
Language(s): English
Subtitles: English
Other Format(s): None