GLOVE A successful male sports flick has to pull double duty: It has to be inspirational in reinscribing traditional values of hard work, sacrifice, discipline and a stiff-upper-lip approach to loss, while paradoxically providing a space for men and boys (onscreen and in the audience) to unashamedly shed tears. The Korean film Glove, directed by Kang Woo-suk, is pure template — and wonderfully so. When arrogant, fiery-tempered baseball superstar Sang-nam Kim (Jung Jae-young) begrudgingly agrees to coach a Catholic high school baseball team of hearing-impaired players in order to make amends for his most recent assault charge, he finds that the lineup includes a gifted hot-head (Joo-won Na, wonderfully acted by Yoo Sun) who reminds him of himself (natch). The team needs a lot of work, of course. Plus, their path to glory is thwarted by well-meaning but patronizing teachers, a principal who doesn't fully support them and — biggest hurdle of all — self-doubt. Aside from a nice twist in the way "the big game" plays out, there are almost no surprises in the plot, but director and cast hit their marks so perfectly that you don't mind being shamelessly manipulated. Bring Kleenex. (Ernest Hardy) (CGV Cinemas)
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