Thursday, December 9, 2010

MOVIE RANT: Field of Dreams

The most important thing about a baseball movie is its authenticity. The plot can be as far-fetched as you want - 12-year olds managing Major League teams, ghosts walking out of cornfields starting pick-up games, home runs breaking light-towers, pre-teens closing out games for the Cubs - it's all great. As long as it's entertaining and relevant to the story, I'm all for it.

BUT, it's the little things that bother me. While other people gripe about the unrealistic plots and storylines, I'm driven crazy by the lack of attention to detail in sports movies.

Field of Dreams, I love you but come on! I know Ray Liotta was perfect for the role but you're messing with history here. Shoeless Joe was one of the best hitters to ever live - (statistically that is- I think any good college player today could've been a Hall of Famer back then but that's an argument I don't want to start right now) - and he was a LEFTY. Consequently, as great as Ray Liotta was for the part, the second you found out he hits Righty you should have shown him the door. Eh eh, no way. Would have been great to have you, but we can't mess with that - we need a Lefty to play Shoeless Joe.

Or at least come up with a way to show a mirror image or something - God, make an effort. Don't just carry on and hope no one notices. Wait, what's that? Really, not one person actually noticed? Um ok, nevermind I guess. (Oddly enough, Liotta throws Lefty while Jackson threw Righty.)

But you're not off the hook yet, Field of Dreams. I hate to pick on it, because it really is one of my favorites, but the whole movie leads up to this epic Father-Son moment when Ray channels his inner boy and asks his father to "have a catch" - quite possibly the only moment in cinema history where it's acceptable for a grown man to cry - and whadda ya know? Ray's Dad has a dogshit arm! He's supposed to be this great catcher who played professional baseball for years, and Costner, being the actor-who-totally-wishes-he-was-an-athlete that he is, completely shows him up. The guy throws like a robot. I didn't even notice at first and then I peeked at how natural and fluid Costner was in comparison - what a joke.

What were the casting credentials for this character? He literally says four words in the whole movie - anyone who played high school baseball could have nailed that role - and they get a guy who throws like he's two weeks off Tommy John? "Hey, let's get that guy who was incapable of doing the only requirement necessary for this part! Oh boy, when it comes to ideas on how to possibly ruin the climax, that's a doozy!" That kinda stuff wouldn't fly on my set.

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