The entire country is buried under a blanket of disheartening snow, but there is hope. Baseball is right around the corner. Pitchers and catchers are slowly making their way to Florida and Arizona for spring training. To help ward off the chill, here are the original trailers of some classic (and some not-so-classic) baseball movies. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Field of Dreams
To commemorate baseball’s Opening Day (which really should be a national holiday), Todd at Forgotten Films is hosting the Big League Blogathon- a series of articles by multiple contributors, all themed around baseball in cinema. If you know me at all, then you know there’s no way I could pass up the opportunity to contribute. Since I used to work for a minor league baseball team that played where A League of Their Own (1992) was filmed, it seemed like a natural fit to focus on filming locations for baseball movies. Specifically, I’ve created a map visualization showing where baseball films have been made through the years. Enjoy! Continue reading
Spring is right around the corner. And that means that the best sport in the world, baseball, is right around the corner. Over the next few weeks, baseball movies will flood your TV. To enhance your enjoyment of those movies and to put it all in perspective, here’s a timeline of baseball movie events. Enjoy! Continue reading
Every film genre has a series of tropes, or clichés. That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with the films. It just means that they like to employ some relatively predictable devices from time to time. Baseball movies are no exception. When you’ve seen as many baseball movies as I have, it’s impossible not to notice the clichés piling up. Here are nine. Because the number nine is pretty sacred when it comes to the game of baseball:
The coarse, grouchy, elderly manager
Seemingly every baseball team in Hollywood is helmed by multiple variations of the same guy. He’s almost (but not) always old. He swears a lot. He’s always grouchy about everything. In the parlance of people in the game, the manager “has the red ass”. He’s pissed off and you’re always going to know it.
Examples: Morris Buttermaker (The Bad News Bears); “Skip” Joe Riggins (Bull Durham); Lou Brown (Major League); Pop Fisher (The Natural); George O’Farrell (Little Big League); Jimmy Dugan (A League of Their Own)
We’ve reached Father’s Day and it’s time for all of us to start thinking of dear old Dad. Each year around Father’s Day, children tip their cap to their fathers by performing an annual rite of passage: handing over bad gifts to Dad, such as gaudy ties or “cute” coffee mugs that say things that your dad probably thought was stupid. In short, you honor him with something completely meaningless that somehow still honors the guy. And in that vein, I present to you my gift to my own father- a list of movie dads whose asses my dad could kick.
John Kinsella, Field of Dreams (1989)
He’s a ghost, for crying out loud. If I know one thing for certain about my dad, it’s that he could beat the crap out of a dead guy. And my dad doesn’t throw like a girl, either. Seriously, that’s the only thing that even remotely bugged me about that movie. John Kinsella threw like a girl. Watch the clip here. Just try not to cry.
It’s amazing what can set a plot in motion. For instance, as was detailed recently at filmhaze, The Godfather was set in motion by Sonny’s question during the meeting with “The Turk” Solozzo. “You mean to tell me the Tattaglias will guarantee our investment?”, he asks. This sets everything else in motion that leads Michael, the protagonist, into becoming Don Michael Corleone. But these events don’t just happen for the protagonist. Most (all?) primary characters have a character arc that takes them from point A to point B and then point C. And in several cases, food is what sparks them along in their character arc. Here are some examples: Continue reading
The violent cat and mouse from The Simpsons, Itchy and Scratchy, have been a favorite part of the show ever since their first appearance in the debut season. The cartoon-within-a-cartoon structure is brilliant- using a very violent cartoon show, on a cartoon show, to spoof other violent cartoon shows. As The Simpsons and Itchy and Scratchy grew in popularity, it opened up the possibility to spoof pop culture. Here are ten movies that have been spoofed by Itchy and Scratchy:
1. JFK (1991)
Simple but effective, it pops up in an untitled Itchy and Scratchy episode that’s “directed by guest director Oliver Stone”. It features Scratchy, in black and white footage, being led Lee Harvey Oswald-style through a room full of reporters before Itchy appears just in time to shoot him. It fades to black and someone is overheard saying, “Oh God! Get his gun!” before the end credits are heard. Sadly, Bart can’t be bothered with it because he’s reading Johnny Tremain.
Personalized plates of some famous movie characters, including a handful of this year’s Best Picture nominees.
Dicky Eklund, The Fighter
I can’t say that ghostly fathers come back very often, either in film OR television. But it does happen. Here are five such instances. To tell the truth, I just wanted an excuse to compare Bill Cosby to Hamlet. Continue reading
Recently, I’ve been labeled the Monarch of Muppet by my friend Marty. “Nobody likes the Muppets as much as you do”, he says. And I really don’t deny it. I’ve already mentioned that when I was a kid, I wanted to be Kermit when I grew up (which is part of why I love Hot Fuzz so much- Nicholas Angel/Simon Pegg confesses to the same thing). All of this Muppet talk has served as my madeleine, prompting my very own Remembrance of Things Past. I’m sure Freud would have a field day with this. Here are some of my earliest TV and movie memories. Continue reading