Thursday, June 4, 2009

First 5 Friday-Put Me in Coach

There are two things the summer is known for other than beaches and heat. It is the time where the movies start bringing in their blockbuster hits and it is a time that baseball starts heating up. Maybe it's because my beloved Rangers are in first place in their division for the first time in over a decade, but the Sneaky household is all about baseball right now.

So, I decided to talk about probably the best sports genre

The great thing about this genre is that there are literally five or six movies that didn't make the list that are pretty dang good. So, without further adieu...

First 5 Baseball Movies

Okay, this is one category where I have to mention an honorable mention.

Honorable Mention: I remember watching Major League in the theatres when it came out. The scene at the end of the movie where Ricky Vaughn comes out to Wild Thing was truly electric in that theatre. It was like all of us were at the game and at least half the audience was singing 'Wild Thing' with the movie. One of my greatest movie experiences of all time.

But, while this movie was pure genius and would be good enough to make any list, the ones ranked above it are spectacular.

5. Field of Dreams. 'If you build it, he will come.' The foundation of perhaps one of the greatest sports fantasies of any movie. A ghostly voice finally convinces Ray to build a park for the great Shoeless Joe Jackson. In a way, it is a pennance for the distance he had with his own father who passed away before things could be fixed. Their is pain and absolution along with the baseball theme. Probably would be ranked higher if there was actually more baseball in the movie.

4. For the Love of the Game. As far as fiction stories go, an aging pitcher about five years past his prime, pitching in his last game at the formidible Yankee stadium. He is not only in the moment while on the mound pitching his finest game, he also has his entire life flash before his eyes as the game is going. Just an amazing movie.

3. Bull Durham. To finish out the Kevin Costner triology of baseball flicks is this gem about a minor league legend Crash Davis who has finally bounced his way to the Durham Bulls to help Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' Laloosh. The ever annoying but in this movie, tolerable, Susan Sarandon narrates the action of this movie. It is humorous and the action is pretty realistic. Plus, the lines of this movie are so repeatable. For instance, Annie Savoy the Susan Sarandon character has this gem, "The world is made for those who aren't cursed with self awareness."

2. The Natural. Gosh the music at the end is awesome. It's the music the Rangers play when one of their guys go yard. But, this movie is way more than the music, it is the ideal. A guy with amazing talent as a kid is grieviously injured and is out of the sport for years. He then turns up as a thirty something year old rookie. During this time, he and his bat, 'Wonderboy' terrorizes the pitching. There is definitely a surreal feel to this movie as it does border on fantasy. A great story.

1. 61*. You know a movie would have to be good if it was about the Yankees and it's number one on my list. This movie is the haunting story of the 1961 season. This was the hunt to break Babe Ruth's record by a fairly unassuming player by the name of Roger Maris.

It focuses mostly on what Roger had to go through from the press and the fans during this ordeal of a season. If you like baseball at all, you simply have to watch this movie. The scenes are amazing. Barry Pepper is identical to Roger Maris and Thomas Jane looks a whole lot like Micky Mantle. The visuals, the music, the acting, heck, the whole picture is a work of art. It was a labor of love by Billy Crystal and it works.

1 comment:

Sneaky Momma said...

Well done, hon! I love your picks. Of course, I would have to put Field of Dreams up at the top. For Love of the Game (book) was so incredibly well-written that I just couldn't get into the movie. You should read it sometime. :)