|Page 15 of 16:||      |
|Index||153 reviews in total|
A great movie. A bit predictable but I still love to watch this movie. Very much like Ronald Reagan as Grover Cleveland Alexander in "The Winning Team" (which you should also watch if you like this). One of the great baseball movies.
A magical film, in part because of Randy Newman's electrifying score. Redford is pitch perfect, and the story is totally original for the time. The Natural is a sports classic. Many film buffs, including myself, feel it's the best sports film ever made.
Robert Redford pulls off an amazing performance as a baseball player in
relaxing film. His character seems headed for baseball stardom at the
of the movie (when he is in his early twenties or so) before circumstances
beyond his control sidetrack him. He resurfaces years later at the age of
to help his new team win games. If you are a baseball fan, this movie is
*** out of ****
Malamud based his book, The Natural, on the Parcival Myth (search for the
holy grail). That is why the team is the Knights, the manager is Pops
Fisher, and the assistant manager is "red". Note the similarities with the
movie, The Fisher King. Same theme, new players and setting. The grail did
not work in either case. Being the "best that ever was" is not an answer
what we need in life. Glenn Close was poetic in saying that we have two
lives, one that we learn with and one that we live after that. It is
interesting that in the Fisher King Jeff Bridges risked his life for a
baseball trophy that he thought was the grail. Some real irony that the
All in all, a great movie, for lots of reasons. Lots of good and evil. Very little violence. It is about all of us.
You know you are in for a great movie when you have Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close and Kim Basinger in the same movie. This is one of those heroic type movies where the main character is somewhat of an outsider in the beginning. People tell him he is not gonna make it because he is old and slow. Rather then talking back, he just goes out and does his work, and does it well. In this movie they use the classical slow motion to capture the last hit of the game etc and it is masterfully done. You pretty much know how this movie is going to end, but that doesn't matter cause it is so beautifully choreographed that you will enjoy it no matter what. I rate this movie 7/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a comparative rarity, a film that can satisfy the popcorn set at the Multiplexes yet offer more substantial food for thought to the more discerning. There's a fine period - late nineteen thirties - 'feel', a complementary period 'sound' via the background music (Levinson is clearly a Duke Ellington buff as both Sophisticated Lady and In A Sentimental Mood can be heard in the background if you know where to listen), excellent photography and fine ensemble acting. The symbolic references don't need to register and/or get in the way of an entertaining story that ticks so many boxes in both lower and upper case - second chance if you're an average Joe, REDEMPTION, if you're a college graduate; I could go on but you get the picture. Robert Redford is just about ideal casting as Roy Hobbs, with his natural handsomeness played down - unlike, say, The Way We Were, where it was exploited much more - and manages to pull off the idea of a slightly tarnished idealist to a fare-thee-well. Glenn Close discards her natural femme fatale comfort zone and is able to do 'pure' and 'sincerity' to perfection. And so it goes; good and evil, black and white, a movie for all seasons.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't know why I enjoy this movie as much as I do. I haven't cared
about baseball much since I was ten years old and this isn't Redford's
best performance by any means.
The story is an ur-sports one. Act One: Prodigy is discovered. Act Two: Tragedy leads to slump. Act Three: Protagonist overcomes demons and wins the game (or bout, or chukkar, or whatever). Subordinate characters are largely stereotypes.
There is an overobvious mythological overlay that's more pretentious than anything else. During dramatic moments, the score swells to heroic proportions to an extent that we almost expect a cut to Moses's parting of the Red Sea. The slow-motion not only signals a triumph in the making but allows us to relish it for a few seconds longer.
Let's see. I guess that about covers most of the reasons not to like the film. But these flaws are pretty much overcome by its virtues. When the score isn't casting us as worshipers it has a nice slangy period feel to it. During the periods of defeat the score never becomes maudlin. It retains a kind of tinkly offhand quality but sounds a bit slower in tempo, imbued with a hardly noticeable melancholy. The photography is first rate. It has the same tawny quality that has cropped up in lesser works like "The Fortune" or "W. C. Fields and Me." Everyone seems burnished by the sun. There is an early scene, shot late in the afternoon, in which tiny, white, feathery pappus drift slowly in the air like motes, and each figure wears a golden nimbus. When Glenn Close needs to be inspirational, she stands upright and is engulfed in a mandriole of gilded flame, a little overdone.And the period detail is evocative without being obtrusive. A slow-motion shot of a dying flashbulb signals the beginning of Redford's career slump. The light-bulb-as-career works well, as it did for Scorcese and for Orson Welles in "Citizen Kane." The lighting and photography are warm and welcoming.
The story follows the three-act pattern, except that it doubles it by giving us two tragedies instead of one, so you get twice as much for your money, and Hobbs has double the number of demons to cope with. (First he gets shot -- in a theme I must say I didn't completely understand -- then he falls for Lillith instead of whoever the muse of the game of baseball is.)
The acting? As I say, Redford in the central role is a bit too minimized, or maybe it's the wrong kind of role for him, although he looks the part of the fit athlete perfectly -- sinuously muscled instead of bulging all over with sarcomeres. Of course his background in baseball must have helped his physical performance. He looks right. I wish he had projected a little more concern about his slump. He's pretty casual about the whole thing. "Whatever's wrong, it's not the bat," he shrugs.
Glenn Close is good, as usual, although surely such companions don't exist. Kim Basinger, later to be my co-star, looks ravishing. Duval turns in his usual superior performance, laughing, smiling, his mouth open, villainous. The other players are equally good, locked as some are into one-dimensional roles. I particularly enjoy the pizazz that Darren McGavin brings to his part of the antagonistic gambler. It's his best role in years. He's philosophical about losing, charming, full of casual jokes. The restaurant scene in which he pops out his eye is amusing and slightly frightening at the same time. The judge, despite his greed and underhandedness, is amusing too. He speaks in the pompous Gongoristic prose you'd expect from someone who used to sit on the bench and is accustomed to demonstrating how superior he is to most mortals. "A canard -- a pure canard." Brimley and Farnsworth are a pair of aces as they try to deal with the newly arrived middle-aged rookie, or sit together on the bench while each tries to name the song the other is humming. (This was a touch added by Levinson when he noticed the two of them doing it between takes.)
Yes, it has all those weaknesses. But it's the kind of movie that doesn't repay much analysis. Anybody up for deconstructing "Duck Soup"? It's extremely easy to sit back and be drawn into this story because it is, in so many ways, admirably done.
The Natural is Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford), who after being dealt a
major setback after being shot when he's on his way to the big-time as
a pitching prospect, returns to the game he loves as a middle aged man
to hit for the New York Knights. Sure the film is syrupy and conforms
to certain Hollywood stereotypes, but it's still an all-around great
film..In my mind, this is Redford's shining moment, his best film and
quite possibly the best 'baseball' film out there. (the baseball is in
quotations because the movie isn't really about the sport) I'm not even
going to quibble and say that Roy is kinda dense for not knowing what
Glenn Close's character had to tell him WAY in advance. Those who
follow my reviews know I don't give out accolades easily, so you know
this film deserves the kudos bestowed upon it.
My Grade: A
DVD Extras: 45 minute documentary with Carl Ripkin Jr; Talent files; Theatrical Trailer; Trailers for "Bugsy", and "The Way we Were"
Yet another feel good sports movie. Overwrought and too full of itself
to be meaningful. Over-rated.
Worthy on effort, but realization falls short.
Much better sports movie and specifically baseball themed is "Bang the Drum Slowly" Much better performances, that don't try so hard to melodramatic.
Robert DeNiro in a under-rated performance that seems quite genuine and very believable.
the Natural is quite artificial, and not worthy of the heaping of praise it receives.
For those of you who didn't know, The Natural is based of a book by the same name, by author Bernard Malamud. The book was already mediocre, and the film found a way to sink lower. The story is about an aspiring baseball player named Roy Hobbs (Redford) who dreams of being the best ball player in history. In the first few minutes of the movie, Roy is shot in the belly as a teen and cannot go on and fulfill his goal for the next 16 years, which to me is just lazy writing. He then reemerges as a 35-year old man to try for his dream again. You would think that the star-studded cast would make the movie seem at least watchable, but even that doesn't help. Robert Redford gives the main character, Roy Hobbs, the personality of a block of wood. Even Glenn Close and Robert Duvall, who are great actors, still give boring and bland performances in this adaption of the novel. The only redeeming qualities of the film are that this movie features Michael Madsen in one of his very first movie roles and Joe Don Baker. Unfortunately, Madsen and Baker's roles are extremely short lived. I would not recommend this film to anyone and would happily pick Gigli or Hard Cash anytime over this embarrassment to novel-based movies.
|Page 15 of 16:||      |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||Newsgroup reviews||External reviews|
|Parents Guide||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|