Cliffy C.The first time I was introduced to Clifton Collins Jr. was through the abomination of Mindhunters, which is too bad. Man, that crap was terrible and man if I didn’t think Clifton was the worst of the lot. I’ve been reassured I can lay all that hate at the feet of Renny Harlin, because Clifton just needs a chance to flex his chops a bit, ala Capote.

Clifton’s getting quite a few chances to prove himself over the latter part of 2007 and into 2008 thanks to no less than four projects
(does having that many projects actually prove it out anyway?), the latter of which is called The Perfect Game. Clifton has officially been cast as the star of the indie film based on the Little League success of former Big Leaguer and Mexican legend Cesar Faz. The story follows the usual sports motif – a skilled coach is faced with challenges, but bucks the odds by creating a team that goes all the way to championship. In this case, it’s a local Mexican little league team who goes on to defeat their corn-fed neighbors to the north in 1957.

The Perfect Game will be directed by baseball pic vet William Dear (Angels in the Outfield, Sandlot 3… FTW? There was a Sandlot 2?) Since the film features Mexico, you can also count on Cheech Marin being involved. Mix it all up with a little Louis Gossett Jr. (FTW? There’s a living Louis Gossett Jr.?) and you’ve got magic– Little League style.

Actually, despite the absolute glut of sport movies (which has thankfully taken a breather – bless you, diminishing sport movie returns), I’ll still pay hard-earned coin to see a good one. The cultural timing is certainly appropriate (Mexicans moving into the US to kick some ass and show people how it’s done) and could make for some topically charged relevance. I wish Clifton all kinds of luck.

In the mean time, shooting has already wrapped in Mexico and will begin in LA next week. If you’re interested and like your sports films with young kids and a side of hot peppers, look for The Perfect Game sometime in 2008.