Summer Catch (2001) (NTSC)

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Released 13-Aug-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary-Michael Tollin (Producer/Director) & John Gatina (Writer)
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 103:35
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,4 Directed By Michael Tollin

Warner Home Video
Starring Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Jessica Biel
Brittany Murphy
Matthew Lillard
Brian Dennehy
Fred Ward
Courtney Driver
Jason Gedrick
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music George Fenton

Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Summer Catch is directed by Michael Tollin, who incidentally was the producer of Varsity Blues, a similar film to this one. Summer Catch is basically Varsity Blues all over again, only instead of American Gridiron we now have baseball as the main theme of this movie. To be honest with you, I preferred Varsity Blues to Summer Catch - the sports action sequences are more realistic and Varsity Blues is also a little more daring than this fairly predictable story.

    Summer Catch tells the story of Ryan Dunne (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), a local to the Cape Cod area. Dunne has watched for years as hopefuls would come every summer to the prestigious Cape Cod summer camp with the hope of making the big time in the major league. This summer it is Dunne's turn to try and impress the many major league talent scouts who show up each year looking for the next big thing. Dunne has had a few personal dramas of late; the untimely death of his Mother was not so long ago, and his father also has a drinking problem. Dunne does not want to be late for his first day of Summer Camp so he decides the only way he won't be late is to get his sleeping bag and stay out on the pitching mound in anticipation of his first day of training. I think we all know what is going to happen next... Dunne sleeps in, and hurries to training in only a g-string, which already puts him on the back foot with the coach. Dunne also works for his father's small landscaping business and it is here where he falls for the beautiful Tenley Parish (Jessica Biel from 7th Heaven). Tenley is from a very wealthy family. Dunne is mowing their lawn when he notices her coming out of the swimming pool and he instantly falls for the stunning brunette. This of course creates another problem for Dunne, because Tenley's father does not approve of his wealthy daughter going out with the lawn boy. He threatens Dunne's father with the loss of his business if the romance continues.

    What is poor Dunne going to do now? Should he continue to see Tenley and put his father's business at risk? Will he be good enough to pitch a great game and catch the eye of the talent scouts? All these questions and many more will be answered if you watch the movie for yourself.

    Summer Catch also stars Brian Dennehy, Brittany Murphy, Jason Gedrick, Courtney Driver, Fred Ward and Matthew Lillard.

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Transfer Quality


    This disc is another from the increasingly long list of NTSC Warner Home Video titles and after a quick check on my DVD-ROM I can also confirm that this disc is dual encoded for both Region 1 and Region 4. The good news is that although this disc is NTSC, I can report that the picture quality is very good.

    The transfer of this movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is also 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely good and exhibits many fine details. I watched the movie in both interlaced and in progressive scan modes and can confirm that watching this movie in progressive scan mode is the preferred option, particularly in regards to the elimination of 3:2 pull-down artefact. I know that at this moment in time not that many people have progressive scan available, but as time goes on and high definition televisions become more readily available (and cheaper) more people will have this facility available to them. At the moment, I will only comment on the line doubled interlaced picture as most people will be watching this disc in interlaced mode.

    The sharpness of this disc was very good and fine details were highly visible. Shadow detail was also first rate in this transfer. There was a very small amount of low level noise but nothing that should distract from an otherwise fine presentation.

    The colours on this DVD looked very good. The many greens throughout of the trees and the grass of the baseball fields looked excellent and the colour rendition could not be faulted.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing was present in only a few scenes but was not distracting. There were also a couple of film artefacts seen appearing as small white dots but thankfully they were also quite rare and not too distracting at all.

    This disc is a single layered disc and therefore there is no layer change to negotiate.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality of this disc is quite good but falls a fair bit short of the best sounding DVDs. Most of the movie is only heard through the three front main channels and therefore lacks any sort of enveloping sound.

    There are three audio tracks on this DVD. The first is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Next, we have a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and finally we have a screen-specific audio commentary by Director Michael Tollin, writer John Gatins and actress Jessica Biel.

    The dialogue quality on this DVD was very good. Voices sounded very natural and were easy to understand. Audio sync was also not a problem on this disc.

    The musical score by George Fenton was very lacklustre and did not really add a great deal to the presentation of the movie.

    The surround channels were used very sparingly throughout this movie. Other than the odd occasion here and there, the surrounds were absent throughout the movie. The subwoofer was also used very little throughout the movie but the few times it was used the bass was fairly deep and powerful.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Screen specific audio commentary

    This screen specific audio commentary is by Director Michael Tollin, writer John Gatins and actress Jessica Biel and is a fairly informative commentary. When you select this audio commentary from the main menu, a baseball icon appears throughout the movie and if you press enter on your remote control you are taken to a deleted scene. This is similar to the "follow the white rabbit" feature on The Matrix. The only problem with this feature is that if you are watching the movie in 16x9 mode, the deleted scenes only come up in letterbox and the picture quality is somewhat lower than that of the movie.

Cast and Crew Biographies

Extended Scenes (11.36)

    This collection of ten extended scenes are the same scenes you can view when you follow the baseball icon. The extended scenes are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced. They also carry a Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 and Region 4 disc are identical in every way so therefore there would be no reason to prefer one over the other.


    Summer Catch was, for me, an above average movie although it was fairly predictable. There are certainly a lot worse films out there. This movie won't win any Academy Awards but also it does not pretend to be anything more than a no-brainer. You might want to check it out as a rental before you purchase this movie to determine if it is your cup of tea.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is above average.

    The extras are barely adequate.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Stephen Wilson (read my bio)
Thursday, June 27, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplayBarco 708mm CRT front projector (line doubled) onto a 2.5m wide 16x9 aspect screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderMeridian 568.
AmplificationAdcom 555 mk2 x3
Speakers3 Klipsch La-Scala speakers (left, centre and right); 2 Infinity sm122 speakers (rear); 2 Mirage bps 400 subwoofers with 400w built in amps

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