DVD of the Week – Four Baseball Movies for Baseball Fans

by HELEN GEIB

Some baseball movies transcend their genre to reach beyond their natural fanbase. Some baseball movies are just plain bad movies. This post is given to four that occupy the middle ground of good baseball movies made for baseball fans.

Rhubarb (1951)

Ray Milland plays the press agent for a major league baseball team whose new owner is the recently deceased prior owner’s pet cat in this charming family comedy.

Taking Care of Business (1990)

A true Cubs fan will break out of prison to see his team play in a World Series game at Wrigley Field. Some might describe Taking Care of Business as a fantasy; diehard baseball fans know better. Jim Belushi plays the Cubs fan con artist and Charles Grodin co-stars as the stuffy businessman whose identity he steals.

For Love of the Game (1999)

Here’s how to watch For Love of the Game: Treat every on-screen appearance by Kelly Preston as an inning break. Go to the kitchen for a beer, chat with friends, sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” what have you. That way you can enjoy the story of a once-great pitcher’s last game, and his reflections on what the game has meant to him, without suffering through the dead-weight romantic subplot. Kevin Costner reaffirms his status as the greatest baseball movie star and Sam Raimi’s direction beautifully renders the on-field action from the player’s perspective.

Mr. 3000 (2004)

In this amusing comedy, Bernie Mac plays an arrogant slugger who built up his post-baseball businesses on the strength of being “Mr. 3000”, only to discover that because of a newly detected clerical error, he’s actually three hits short. When he comes out of retirement to regain his title, he gets a lesson in humility and rediscovers his lost love of the game.

New releases this week: Fast Five, Scream 4

15 responses to “DVD of the Week – Four Baseball Movies for Baseball Fans

  1. Richard Winters

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention ‘Bull Durham’. I consider that the best baseball movie ever. ‘Field of Dreams’ is pretty good too.

    • The theme of the post is good-not-great baseball movies. Chosen because it’s playoffs time and because I just saw “Moneyball”, good-not-great but regardless a must-see for all true baseball fans.

  2. Richard Winters

    So, I am to presume you consider ‘Bull Durham’ a great baseball movie? I certainly liked it, but I haven’t seen it in quite a while. I will have to catch ‘Moneyball’ this weekend, it sounds interesting. The new place I moved to is right by The Movie Buff theater. I’m glad to hear you are a baseball fan because so many members of the movie buff group aren’t sports fans. What is your favorite team? Don’t tell me it is the Cubs. I used to go for them when I lived up there, but I washed my hands of them when I moved here because I couldn’t take being disappointed year after year.

    • Who doesn’t? Same goes for “Field of Dreams”. Those aren’t my favorites though; that would be “The Natural” and “The Sandlot”.

      I love the game but I don’t follow a team. It’s the only sport I like; however, I enjoy sports movies in general, even when I don’t understand what’s going on on the field (like in football movies).

  3. I suppose that Major League is in the “Great Baseball Movies” list because it is great and it’s not mentioned here. :O)
    I dislike most sports (baseball, basketball, and hockey included) but Major League is an awesome movie.

  4. Richard Winters

    @Helen ‘Sandlot’ is a good one that I had forgotten. Good choice.

    @Nir. A Canadian that says he does NOT like hockey?! I don’t think I can believe what I read. However, as bad as the Maple Leafs perenially are you are not missing anything that’s for sure.

    • lol
      I am actually Israeli, born and raised there ’till I was 10. I have been living Canada for 20 years now but sports were never much to my liking. Somehow, hockey is the sport that I dislike the most. To me, it’s as boring as MMA. 0_<

  5. Richard Winters

    I’m not sure what MMA means. My Brother, who also lives in Canada in Calgary. says he does not like hockey either. He says it is like a religion up there and it is all they talk about.

  6. @Nir: “Major League” is on my great list and a favorite too. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it, partly because for a lot of years it seemed like every time I turned on the TV it was showing on some cable station or other so I’d watch a scene here and a scene there.

    @Richard: MMA = Mixed Martial Arts (see “Redbelt”, “Warrior”)

  7. Richard Winters

    I gotta be honest with you both, I am not a fan of ‘Major League’. Of course I haven’t seen it since 1988 when it came out, so my tastes might have changed. At the time though it seemed rather juvenile, crude, and unimaginative with no bearing in reality. I’ll watch it again in the near future and give it a review, but I’m not gauranteing that I’ll like it. It was written and directed by David S. Ward who also did ‘The Sting’, which was a lot better.

  8. Richard Winters

    Another great baseball movie that came to mind is the original ‘Bad News Bears’ with Walter Matthau. Now that is funny and realistic. I remember when it came out in 1976 the people in the movie theater were really shocked at the crude language that the kids said and it was actually considered controversial at the time because of it. The screenplay was written, believe it or not, by Burt Lancaster’s son.

  9. I kind of grew up with Major League and I don’t hate the sequel, either.

    @Richard, the way you phrased it it sounded like you said that David S. Ward wrote AND directed The Sting. I was thinking, “Gee, I could have sworn that it was directed by Walter Hill…” Then I remembered that it was and then I remembered that I reviewed it for this website as part of the Paul Newman month. lol

    @Helen, redbelt is a terrific film. It doesn’t focus much on MMA as it is a Mamet film, and therefore is more of a con film, which it is. And a damn good one. A couple more great con films from Mamet are Heist and The Spanish Prisoner. And believe it or not, I’m not a huge fan of House of Games. I predicted its twist from early on…

    • “Redbelt” is a great film. I said so in my review. :D And I know you don’t like watching MMA, but you have to admit the movie does have MMA _in_ it. ^_^

      It’s true that “Redbelt” is not a fight movie or about MMA per se, although Mamet is a jiu jitsu practitioner himself. No doubt that factors into the respect he accords the discipline in the portrayal of Ejiofor’s character and his moral dilemma.

  10. Richard Winters

    Actually ‘The Sting’ was directed by George Roy Hill not Walter. I remember seeing ‘House of Games’, but I don’t remember much about it. I don’t think I ended up too impressed with it either. ‘Heist’ is good, but gets a bit convoluted.

    • I don’t find it convoluted at all. The movie needs to be watched more than once: on the first viewing, you watch it for the story and heist itself and on the second viewing you watch for the character dialogue and in order to make sure who`s on whose side.

      @Richard, you`re right about George Roy Hill. He`s also directed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and it also starred Paul Newman. My mistake (but I knew that it was a Hill)! :O)

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