onehitDon’t Quit Five Minutes Before The Miracle

Stars: Dave Stone, Johnny Miller, Chris Ann Brunsmann, Tacoma Zach, Kat Garcia, John Mitchell, P. J. Quarequio, Rob Edwards and John Armstrong

Director: Stone Meier
Scriptwriter: Johnny Meier
Composer: Brian Whitman
Intrigue Films/PureFlix Entertainment
Rating: Unrated but could be PG 13 for scenes of alcohol use and themed material
Running Length: 90 minutes
Dove Seal Of Approval
Just in time for the baseball season is this DVD concerning what happens behind the scenes in a sport. Fans cheer for their heroes not knowing the private battles they face. One Hit From Home tells the story of such a private battle and the collateral effect it has on those around this person. Dave Stone plays Jimmy Easton, a baseball player who goes from school to the majors. An injury to his knee gives him a reason to slide downhill in life, give up faith and dwell in his own pity party. Blaming God is easier than living.
The story is told through flashbacks that are disconcerting at times, as it takes the audience a few seconds to catch up. In the past, Jimmy is clean-shaven and in the present he has a beard. We learn that his father strongly encouraged him to play ball and the incident that changes his life is in a flashback. Piece by piece, we learn of Jimmy’s past life. In the present, he drinks, but always has a friend in his uncle, James. Jimmy gets into trouble with the law and his uncle intervenes, so it is either coach a losing college baseball team (Grand Canyon U.) or go to jail. Reluctantly, and that really is reluctantly, Jimmy takes the job, but his idea of coaching is to sleep through the games. Of course, the team continues losing, though there are two talented players. One in particular, Brandon (Johnny Meier looking like Luke Perry in his beginning career) wants to go to pro-ball, but his Dad is not a positive influence. When James is fired because of Jimmy’s indifference, this is the wake-up call he needs. He pulls himself together, Brandon together, and the team follows. From the bottom, they rise to near the top. Who knew these kids could actually play baseball?  In the meantime, Jimmy’s old girlfriend, Jen (Chris Ann Brunsmann) who teaches at the college, is there as a friend and Brandon has Allison (Kat Garcia) as a friend. You just know that when all is going good, something will happen and their belief system will be tested.
“Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle,” is quite a scripted catch phrase and it doesn’t have to relate to baseball, it can be applied anywhere. This film shows what it is like to be at the top and then have the rug pulled out from under you. Faith is there to help, but sometimes it is the last place you look. Jimmy drives a muscle car, a Ford Torino (after all, if Clint Eastwood can have one in a film, why not a baseball player) and has a cross necklace given to him by his father. The necklace has its own journey and watch where it turns up.
Production values are good, including sports shots on the field. The baseball teams look like athletes, which certainly helps because if you are going to pitch or swing a bat or run, having muscles is a positive. As with many independent films, some actors do act, while others recite dialogue. As a whole, the film does come together. The founders of Intrigue Films are actually the stars, Dave Stone as Jimmy Easton and Johnny Meier as Brandon. Their camaraderie shows on-screen and this aids in tying the sports theme together with personal life. Rob Edwards as Brandon’s father gives us a man who is living on his own personal grief treadmill and then P.. J. Quarequio as the super-positive assistant coach is the comic relief. He steals his scenes. Music is by Brian Whitman from Audio Adrenaline, and is especially appropriate for certain scenes, though a bit loud.
All in all, One Hit From Home is an energetic look at personal grief, sports and dealing with tragedy. Everyone does it in their own way and there are small miracles, even in baseball. This film is family entertainment and good for discussion.
Copyright 2012 Marie Asner
A complimentary copy of this DVD was provided by Intrigue Films