After finishing with our International Tour of Animation, we come back to America and the real world (kind of) with our second double review of the challenge: Field of Dreams!
I have very little to say about this movie, partly because it’s all been said before and partly because I’m not here to repeat what others have already said (not to mention the fact that there just isn’t much to say. Sorry.) Here’s my opinion: I liked it enough. It was a good (if bland) movie that provided some wholesome, fun entertainment for just under two hours. It’s the epitome of a “good” movie. Any criticisms I level at this film are rendered moot because despite any flaws it might have, it still accomplishes its goal of providing harmless entertainment that doesn’t cause you to have any serious conflict with any of the characters or themes because it’s so wholesome. Even people who aren’t fans of baseball probably still wouldn’t mind this movie since it addresses universal themes about family and redemption. Here are some highlights:
– James Earl Jones (BECAUSE HE’S JAMES EARL F—ING JONES! THAT’S WHY!)
– Kevin Costner’s wife who, while she does have reservations about what her husband is doing, talks through these things with him and they work out their uncertainties together. (A married couple who communicate with each other in a reasonable, adult manner? What a novel concept!)
– Good performances all around.
There was one serious problem I had which is a pet peeve of mine that happens a lot in movies. It’s the one douchebag, the nay-sayer, who flatly disbelieves the heroes for the sole purpose to create an antagonistic force in the script. Those characters always bug the crap out of me, not because they’re doggedly trying to stop the heroes, but because their characters are so weak and one-dimensional. I’m tired of seeing that character in movies who’s only purpose is to nay-say. It’s a cliche that needs to stop. The one original thing they did with his character that worked was (SPOILER ALERT!!) he came to see the light at the end instead of sulking away because the good guys won. (END SPOILERS!!)
That’s about all I have to say about the film.
Final Rating: 7/10
Now let’s talk about baseball movies!
Um… hmm… I’m realizing that I haven’t seen a lot of the “classic” baseball movies. And the ones that I have seen… I’m not really crazy about. Bull Durham, The Natural, and Eight Men Out are the main ones I’ve seen and I think they’re okay. Eight Men Out is the one I like best out of those I mentioned because it deals with a period of history which I find interesting. The only other baseball movie I truly like is The Sandlot and, well, I don’t think I need to explain why that movie is awesome.
But other than that, I don’t really care about baseball movies. This might have something to do with the fact that I don’t care about baseball… at all. I’ve lately come to appreciate the intricacies of the team and game dynamics that go on, but as far as the actual game, I just don’t care. And when movies completely romanticize baseball and go on and on about how its the greatest game in American History and how its all about giving an opportunity to the common man to rise above or whatever (it’s like the sports equivalent of Hollywood now that I think about it), I’ve never bought it. I can buy it in the Hollywood context because that’s what I relate to even though the message is just as BS as it is in the baseball context. I just can’t relate to baseball. Therefore, I’m not that crazy about baseball movies.
And that’s that. Coming next is another of our double reviews from the challenge which explores another, albeit darker, aspect of American Heritage and History: the Vietnam War.