What Went Wrong for The Perfect Game

I took three of my grandchildren to see The Perfect Game yesterday.  My daughter is a manager at a mall theater and she had told me that the movie opened Friday and no one went to see it. I knew it was unlikely that it would stay past the weekend without a major change.

I did what I could.  I sent an email blast out to dozens of my correspondents and I told my local friends where it was playing. I pleaded with those further away to please check their local listings and see where it might be playing. I even talked to my priest before the Spanish Mass so he would alert them about this movie.

The kids and I comprised over half of the audience in the showing we went to.

When we left, I asked my 10-year-old grandson what he liked best about the movie. “I liked it when the coach told them that they would rise or fall together,” he said.  “That’s how it is when you are on a team.”

Right on.

Are we on a team? I think so. I think we are on the Catholic team. We will rise or fall together.  Together we suffer the damage done to our faith by an entertainment industry unmoored from any moral standards. We suffer the coarsening of our culture, the sexualization of ever-younger children, ubiquitous pornography, and a movie industry that once chafed under guidelines from the Catholic bishops but that now thumbs its nose at every aspect of our faith.

And oh how we moan and groan about it.  We deplore the media fare our kids consume.  We don’t want to pay good money for movies that ambush us with some gratuitous comment about Catholicism.  We are sick of this happening in our homes with television shows. We are disgusted with the way the sleaze factor in everything – from the news to fiction to comedy – inches up year by year, as though carrying out a massive experiment in how to desensitize a population to the cinematic presentation of every kind of obscenity.

And what is the justification?

Money.  We complain and Hollywood laughs because Catholics seem as eager to spend money gawking at things the apostle said should not even be named by holy people as the world does (Eph 5: 1-5).  Then an opportunity comes along to support a film that portrays our faith in a positive light, shows a truly manly priest being a spiritual father, and shows a Catholic victory – an actual historical event! — won by those who are willing to pray as though it all depends on God while they work as though it all depends on them. And where are we?

Missing in action.  Letting the team down.  Falling together.

I don’t know why the word got out so late about this film. I don’t know who dropped the ball.  I do know that the producers of this film created a treasure and that it is very likely that the only way we will be able to salvage it will be by making it a DVD blockbuster.

That’s sad, team. We should do better.

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  • cbcavnar

    Where was the advertising for this film? The TV commercials and trailers? I saw NOTHING promoting this movie. If I didn’t read Catholic web sites I would never know that “The Perfect Game” existed. Don’t blame the lack of ticket sales on us failing to support a good movie.

    The producers had probably already decided that this one would make its money on TV and DVD sales, so they didn’t spend money advertising the theatrical release.

    A team can’t show up if they don’t know about the game!

  • bambushka

    Maybe it’s the $10 tickets and the lack of work. Maybe the team had to prioritize what money it has left.

    God bless you for trying.

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  • http://schefter.org PrairieHawk

    I almost never go to the movies anymore. Can I make a pitch for my own entertainment solution? For $9 a month you can subscribe to Netflix, which I call “poor man’s cable.” For $80 you can get a Roku box that lets you stream Netflix movies to your TV on-demand. There are no extra charges for streaming above the $9, and you’re not paying $50+ per month for a lot of garbage on cable.

    There are many family-friendly gems in Netflix’s database; to name a few that I’ve seen lately, there are “Forever Strong,” about character and rugby players, “Shiloh,” about justice and a boy and his dog, and the “Trial of Old Drum,” which is, strangely, about justice and a boy and his dog (there’s something about the boy-and-dog combination that I find irresistible!)

    You also get their DVD-by-mail service included for the $9, and since they have about everything that’s ever been released on DVD, there are many family-friendly choices. I just returned “Fireproof,” and enjoyed it thoroughly. I’ll be seeing “The Perfect Game” as soon as it comes out.

    In short, the Netflix/Roku combination is a great solution for Catholic families on a budget. You don’t even need the Roku box if you already have a PS3, a Wii, or an Xbox; these units can stream already. You do need a 1.5 MBps or faster Internet connection, and a router (about $40-$50 if you don’t have one already). Get your local 10-year-old to hook it all up for you, and you’ll be set.

  • KMc

    Mary – I saw the trailer for this movie LAST year and thought it had just died due to lack of support – I only knew about it from CE’s article on Friday! i called my hubby and told him that me and the older boys were going to see that movie THAT day!!! We need to support the good stuff on OPENING weekend especially – were we ever surprised when we arrived and were the ONLY people in the audience – my teen boys and I had a long talk about what it means to defend our faith – and this past Friday it meant saying our $$ goes to the good stuff. We loved this movie!!! We loved when the kids would not play ball – at all – without their pre-game blessing! Good humor – great story – GO SEE IT!!! I sent the trailer to our whole homeschool group and many folks at church. Thanks to CE for doing the front page write up (two days in a row!!) – KMC

  • Kathryn

    Pretty much Ditto’s here. No advertising, tight family budgets.

    My husband and I rarely watch TV. I was only vaguely aware of Percy Jackson (a so-so movie) and Clash of the Titans (a relative said it was awful) and it seems that they were much better promoted. Heck, I only heard about Avatar about 1 month before it came out.

    If my kids don’t tell me what they want to see at the theater, we don’t go. And even if they do tell me, chances are we still are not going, which may be the reason they don’t ask much to go often. They know I’ll probably say no. Then too, they know if they wait long enough, chances are someone out there will put it on YouTube.

  • belaustin

    You should be aware that a company called Medical Capital ownes 40% interest in this film. Medical Capital is being sued by the SEC for securities fraud and carrying on a Ponzi scheme which has bilked investors out of millions of money. The CEO of Medical Capital is SIDNEY M. FIELD; and the CFO is JOSEPH J. LAMPARIELLO.

    View this website to read many of the ugly facts about this company and its executive management: