“Home Run” is a very satisfying film, and it is refreshing to see a film that not only presents problems (and more than one is presented here), but also gives solutions to these problems (and where to go to find them). Refreshing indeed.
We first meet our protagonist professional baseball player Cory Brand (played winningly by Scott Elrod) in the midst of a ballgame, a typical game filled with what he is becoming more and more famous for: drama fueled by alcohol-abuse and uncontrollable anger. The film dives right into our society’s obsession with stardom and the cult of personality: our celebrities can get away with more and more indiscretions, and our forgiveness (forgetfulness?) is more easily given – unless crossing what is left of our boundaries.
In Cory’s case, he injures a young fan because of his anger and alcohol issues. His PR expert and agent (Vivica A. Fox in a great role for her) hauls him out of the lineup and into some much needed ballyhooed community service work in his hometown – along with sobriety and a twelve-step program. Ah, easier said than done for a spoiled sports star, and our film is off and running as he struggles with his past, his present, and where his future will end, along the way dealing with his father and mother, his brother and sister-in-law, an old girlfriend, and a little league baseball team he is forced to coach as part of his community service (and public relations damage control).
In “Home Run,” the acting is superb all-around, evident of the great direction by David Boyd. And this is a gorgeous picture that makes fantastic use of the available images surrounding a ball diamond, a country home and barn, and the many wonderful landscapes we see throughout the film. And as I said, the film provides plenty of solutions for problems: how the community can help, how family and friends can be a strong support system, and the importance of these one-on-one relationships. “Home Run” showcases heavily “Celebrate Recovery,” a successful Christian program with a proven track record of helping those struggling with many different addictions, disorders, and abuses.
It bogs down about three fourths of the way through, but then “Home Run” picks up again as it cruises to its conclusion. Is change possible for everyone? The film claims you won’t know unless you try.
I thoroughly enjoyed “Home Run” and recommend you see it. The biggest fault of the film is its predictability. There are no real surprises in the story. That said, if things would have ended up differently, I don’t know how pleasing that would have been – so you do get a sense of satisfactions as things wrap up.
This is a good film: not a home run, but a solid triple anyway.
The Christian Worldview:
“Home Run” has a strong Christian, moral worldview. Cory Brand is shown getting angry and the resulting injuries. There is frequent alcohol abuse depicted, including the flashbacks to his father’s drinking problem, as well as Cory’s own abuses. Other characters talk about their various addictions and abuses, including pornography and sexual abuse. A major theme in the film is that change if possible if you are willing to try, and give it over to Christ. And the logline is “Freedom Is Possible.” God can and will forgive us, and change us in the process.
“Home Run” explores how we all have our skeletons in our closets. And because of this, our empathy to others should be great. But htat is not always the case. Sometimes in looking at others, we fail to see our own problems. Jesus addresses this in Matthew 7:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
He expands on this in Luke 6:
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Are their certain sins that each of us look heavily on with great disdain? “I would never do that,” we say, but is one person’s indiscretion worse than the sins we commit? Perhaps our “little” sin is one that someone else looks at with much contempt. “How dare they,” we think. But Paul reminds us in Romans 3:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
But thankfully God’s Word does not stop there, but it goes on in verse 24: and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.
As Cory discovers in “Home Run,” freedom is possible through Christ Jesus. And not only for Cory, but for all of us.
Click here to watch the official movie trailer for Home Run
Learn more about the movie critic and filmmaker Dale Ward
To get more details about Home Run visit Christian Film Database