Spaceman is a biopic film released in 2016, directed by Brett Rapkin, that chronicles the life of Bill "Spaceman" Lee, a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. The film is a touching and humorous portrayal of one of baseball's most unconventional characters, and how he persevered through the ups and downs of life. Josh Duhamel stars as the titular character, embodying the free-spirited and eccentric personality of Lee. The movie revolves around his life after he was released by the Montreal Expos for speaking out against the administration, and his subsequent attempt at making a comeback in his mid-40s. It also explores his struggles with addiction, relationships, and his passion for politics and activism.
The story starts with Lee, now in his 60s, being shown the door by his long-time wife Pamela, played by actress Emma Rose Kenney, after a heated argument. He begins to reflect on his life and career, opening up to his therapist, played by sci-fi veteran Ernie Hudson, about his regrets and insecurities. He looks back on his wild days in the 1970s, when he first entered the league, and his relationship with his mentor and friend Rosarita LeBanks, who is played by the soulful Lois Smith.
We witness Lee's evolution from a young talented player whose unorthodox approach to the game -- he once smoked marijuana in the bullpen during a game -- made him a fan favorite, to a disgruntled and disillusioned athlete, who felt betrayed by the system. After being released by the Expos, he became a moonshiner and a house painter, but continued to play semi-professional baseball with the San Rafael Pacifics.
Eventually, after a decade of retirement, Lee gets an opportunity to pitch for the San Rafael Pacifics once again, at the age of 58. The film takes us along on this journey as we see Lee's unique style of pitching that still generates interest, and his colorful personality that continues to attract attention. W. Earl Brown who plays Dick Dennis, the Pacifics' owner, is impressed with Lee's performance and decides to give him a shot.
The movie does an excellent job in portraying Lee's struggle to keep up with the younger players and the different physical and mental challenges of the game. The commentary provided by the Pacifics' coach played by Sterling K. Brown, often expressing his amusement at Lee's behavior and strategies, adds to the humor and charm of the movie.
The film also touches on the theme of redemption, as we see Lee's attempt to reconcile with his family and his past mistakes. He becomes involved in the local community and uses his celebrity status to speak out against injustice and push for social change.
Spaceman is not simply a baseball movie, but a story of a charismatic and unconventional figure who refused to conform to the norms of society and the game. It presents the human side of a man who is often misunderstood and overlooked, as well as the humanity in others around him. The performances by the cast are remarkable, particularly Duhamel who portrays Lee's quirky yet authentic persona in a convincing and engaging manner.
Overall, Spaceman is an entertaining and inspiring movie that can be enjoyed by both sports fans and non-sports fans alike. It has an underlying message of following your dreams, staying true to yourself, and the power of second chances.
Spaceman is a 2016 comedy. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.2 and a MetaScore of 35.