Posted Tuesday, April 05, 2005 2:03:40 PM by Chris Flick
Holy Web Horrors, Batman! Can you believe what's happening with Bill and that "special lady" friend of his? Whew boy! Well, let's see if we can make him forget about his troubles for just a bit as I finish up my long promised second part of my "Baseball Movie" blog.
This time, as promised, are the baseball movies I consider to be the worst. Now remember, we're not talking about the acting or even the overall entertainment of the movies themselves. Instead, I'm judging them foremost on the baseball SKILLS depicted in these movies. Then comes the acting, the plot, the actors, etc., etc., etc.
Also, they aren't listed in any particular order either. Anyway, for your enjoyment (and debate if you'd like):
1) The Slugger's Wife
I managed to make it through this entire movie thanks to Rebecca DeMornay but there wasn't any "Risky Business" to be had here, that's for sure.
2) The Babe
Liked the story. Liked the movie, even but John Goodman playing baseball? The best thing in this movie was that he's been the only one that seems to have been able to imitate The Babe's unique running style.
3) Bang the drum slowly (remake)
As I mentioned in my previous blog, as long as the actors weren't anywhere near an actual baseball field or ACTING like they were professional ballplayers, this movie's alright.
5) Little Big League
Angels in the Outfield
Rookie of the Year
All of these are, essentially, "kids films" so you can't be too harsh with them - but still...the actors that played "pro ballplayers" in these movies are hard to watch. With a possible exception to Timothy Busfield who still plays in an amateur baseball league in California.
6) Major League II and III:
Even though a lot of the cast returns in these sequels, for some reason, the baseball playing skills just got weaker and weaker - even if they were trying to play it up for laughs.
Okay... with Major League II, I still hold a grudge because I wasn't selected as a ball playing extra on that movie. But it was still fun trying out as an extra for three days - got to hit and (almost) field on a ex-major league baseball field (Baltimore's old Memorial Baseball Stadium). We never got to take ground balls on the field because the last two days of try-outs, it rained.
Anyway, though... these are the handful of terrible baseball movies that stand out in my mind. This list is far from complete as I'm sure you all have memories or opinions of what you consider to be THE absolute worst baseball movie.
These days though, it seems that for the most part, producers in Hollywood are keen on the idea that it's important for the actors to not only ACT but when portraying baseball players, they actually have to LOOK like they have played the game before! That was one of the nice things about some of the extra bonus features on the DVD, "61*" starring Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane. Thomas Jane had never actually played baseball before so Billy Crystal sent him to a baseball camp run by ex-pros to teach him how to hit - and how to hit LIKE Mickey Mantle. Same thing with Barry Pepper - they worked with him to perfect not HIS swing but Roger Maris' swing.
Why is this so important? Well, in the greater scheme of things, it's not but as a baseball fan - a TRUE baseball fan - it can be hard to watch a movie even as great as "Field of Dreams" is when you see Ray Liotta on screen and keep thinking to yourself "but... Shoeless Joe Jackson batted LEFT handed...why's Ray batting RIGHT handed???".
I'm such a baseball geek.