Discs Are Rated
Click above to purchase "The Scout" at amazon.com
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 101 minutes
Starring Albert Brooks, Brendan Fraser, Diane
Screenplay by Andrew Bergman and Albert Brooks &
Based upon The New Yorker article by Roger Angell
Directed by Michael Ritchie
Retail Price: $19.98
Features: Featurette, Baseball Strike Newscap,
Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots
Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby
Surround 4.0, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround,
English Closed Captions, English Subtitles, Spanish
Subtitles, Scene Selection
Released: October 2nd, 2001
Albert Brooks plays Al Percolo, a baseball scout for the
New York Yankees who's been down on his luck lately. After
thinking he has a great player who is a devout Catholic (a
really young Michael Rappaport without his usual way of
speaking), the player flops on the field (after he has
jitters), much to the dismay of Precolos' boss. However,
Percolo is sent to Mexico now to scout, and comes across
Steve Nebraska (Brendan Fraser). Percolo finally thinks he's
found the one, as Nebraska is an incredible player. However,
while it all seems okay, Nebraska has some problems of his
own that need to be worked out.
Ah, "The Scout" a movie that bombed and panned way back
in the fall of 1994. Personally, I think this movie is
overbashed. It's not a great sports movie or a great movie
at all, but it does have its moments and it really can be
fun. While Brooks co-wrote it with his usual partner Monica
Johnson, with additional writing from Andrew Bergman, this
is one of his "lesser" films. Brooks didn't direct though,
though he stars. Personally, I think he does carry this
movie quite well with the material and his acting skills.
Some comedic moments are pure Brooks with snappy one-liners
and fine dialogue tailored toward him, but much of the
script as far as plot could be better. Still, Brooks'
comedic timing and acting are worth watching.
A younger Brendan Fraser is good and has good chemistry
with Brooks, so they do carry the movie there too. But I
just found that the story could have been a bit more
believable, and have a little bit more focus on the
background of Percolo. Bill Conti's score is pretty good,
while the late Michael Ritchie's directing is decent, but he
makes it feel too much like a standard comedy.
Unfortunately, this movie does not live up to what it has
and what it's given. This, if more work was put in, could
have been a real classic sports comedy. Still, it's standard
and it's left to be ignored... but if you're interested, go
"scout" (HAHAHAHHAHAHA) "The Scout."
The transfer for "The Scout" is pretty good. Colors are
well saturated and fleshtones seem to be on par with pretty
good colors that don't go overboard and don't seem to be
underwhelming. However, I felt some exterior shots could
have looked a bit more natural, most notably, baseball
fields. Still, detail is pretty good and black levels are
fine, though there is edge enhancement. There's some slight
shimmering and noise now and again, plus blemishes, pieces
of dirt, grains and scratches, but this 1.85:1 anamorphic
transfer is fine for what it is.
"The Scout" has a Dolby Surround 4.0 track that's a tiny
bit above average. The sound elements here are good, but
this movie could have benefited from a more full Dolby
Digital 5.1 mix. Dialogue is clear and not distorted, but I
felt there could have been more surround activity,
especially from the baseball games (as far as cheers and
crowds as well as bats cracking). Sometimes I felt the
background sounds overpowered what was going on, but you can
still make things out okay. Nothing ground breaking, but it
could have been better. English and French Dolby Surround
tracks are on this release, plus English closed captions,
English subtitles and Spanish subtitles.
The usual Fox Featurette is included, it's all
promotional, and has clips from the movie, a cheesy
announcer and interviews with George Steinbrenner, Albert
Brooks, Wiest, Fraser, Ritchie and others. All fluff that is
pulled right from EPK materials.
There's also a Baseball Strike Newscap that has
clips from the movies, and has interviews with actors
joining the film and recaps a little about why strikes
happen. There's a promo feel to it.
Rounding it all out are eight TV Spots, the
Theatrical Trailer and other Fraser movies under the
"Fox Flix" banner:
"The Scout" isn't one of Albert Brooks' greatest films
that he has had the pleasure of starring in and contributing
to the script, but it's a decent watch for what it is.
Still, the price is right, so fans of the movie will want to
pick this up.
(3.5/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)