Wednesday, January 4, 2012

MOVIE RANT (by Chet Steadman): Bull Durham

I don’t care for Bull Durham.

Maybe I should have waited for my death bed confession but I couldn’t live in secrecy anymore. I rewatched this baseball classic the other night hoping that being a few years wiser, I might have a different opinion. Often we watch ‘classic’ movies when we are too young to fully appreciate them. And on the contrary, we might watch a movie now that we once loved when we were younger and realize it sucks. I didn’t fully appreciate The Big Lebowski when I was twelve and in high school I thought The Boondock Saints was a good movie.

After this recent viewing, my new found appreciation for Bull Durham proved to be wishful thinking. For those of you who might think this is merely a personal vendetta against Kevin Costner for making For Love of the Game, I can assure you it’s not. Field of Dreams is still my favorite baseball movie. Unfortunately, Bull Durham is low on the depth chart for me. It has a few great lines and Costner drops some gold nuggets of baseball wisdom. I’m not trying to say the whole movie is useless. The problem is that all the baseball aspects of this movie are totally unrealistic for what is supposed to be one of, if not the greatest baseball/sports movies ever. Yes, Major League is terribly unrealistic but it is for the means of comedy. Bull Durham was written by a former minor league player and I’m disappointed that it didn’t draw more from the real lives of ballplayers.

Here are some issues for me:

Tim Robbins is a 30 year old ‘young’ sensation who gets promoted from A-ball to the Big Leagues.

Nuke is the only pitcher on the team apparently.

Crash is the only hitter.

Players don't automatically hit homeruns because they know what pitch is coming.

Crash hits his record breaking homerun with a Wilson bat. Really?

Crash talking about his 21 days in the Bigs is one of the cheesiest scenes ever.

Susan Sarandon isn’t good looking.

Crash states that he believes Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone (for those of you who have seen JFK.)

Like For Love of the Game and Summer Catch, Bull Durham is a love story with baseball as a plot tool. Nothing about this movie actually speaks to the true culture of the game. The minor league life has great stories to tell (see Sugar). So to end this rant, I’ll say it’s not a bad movie. I actually think it’s a very good movie. But it isn’t a good baseball movie.

(long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last 3 days...?)

*Who is Chet Steadman?


  1. that whole speech always bothered me. Did he have that saved up for years for when someone finally asked him what he believes in?

    I actually really like the movie, but yeah maybe not the best "baseball" film.

  2. I thought the scene with the guys walking into the cornfield was cool. Huge Tigers fan too.