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.
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