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I remember the first time I saw this film. I had won tickets from a local radio station and I saw it at a private screening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I remember as I was watching it that it was one of the greatest experiences I had in a movie in a long time. This film is not only a great sports film, but it is one of the great all around films I have ever seen. This film has it all from romance to comedy to witty dialogue. Susan Sarandon, Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins all brought Ron Shelton's script to life and the three of them displayed some of the greatest chemistry ever captured on film. This film is a timeless classic.
It is nice to see a movie that attracts more than one kind of audience. This is a comedy, then again a love story. This can be placed in the baseball genre as well as a coming of age drama. Most movies claim to be one or the other and sometimes fail to be. Then again, when a good movie hits a homerun it can not only become a money maker and a box office smash, it can also become timeless. Before they became giants of Hollywood, Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins stars in this great movie as some of the most interesting, yet simple characters. Costner plays an aging baseball player who meets with rookie, soon to be great major league pitcher Tim Robbins. Out of the rafters comes Susan Surandon who, in her own may, is a Muse of the religion of baseball. Together, the three introduce three different worlds upon the audience. Each are believable characters even though they are in a way, fantasy like. A great story with a perfect ending, Bull Durham is one of those hard to find movies that is a crowd pleaser with just about every audience out there.
Crash Davis loves baseball more than it loves him. He believes in the
game. He deserves to be in the show, but he isn't and never will be.
But still he plays on, dutifully and to a certain extent, joyfully.
Better to play crappy A-ball than sell shoes.
That for me is the central theme of this film. It is all summed up when Crash tells Nuke, the wild young star pitcher "You don't respect yourself. That's your problem. You don't respect the game. That's my problem."
Take a player that passionate, and a youngster that annoying, add in a sexy yet maternal fan and you have great comedy. Bull Durham works scene after scene, because the film never forgets that baseball is what binds all the characters together.
Tim Robbins is nothing short of brilliant and Nuke Laloosh, the rising star youngster who walks 18 batters and strikes out 18 batters in his first minor league appearance - both league records. But Nuke is caught up in his fat contract, his Porsche, and his endless parade of women. Baseball is a sideline. Eventually, Crash's mentoring begins to pay off until he finally realizes that winning is "like, you know, better than losing!"
The love triangle between Annie (Susan Sarandon), Crash and Nuke is wonderful and funny, but it mainly provides us with set up for the baseball scenes, like when Sarandon convinces Nuke to wear women's underwear while he pitches. Or my favourite scene, when Annie and Crash take batting practise together, Annie dressed like she is ready for a wedding, but determined to correct Crash's swing. Crash is determined to take Annie home. They flirt and practice batting in one of the best prolonged foreplay scenes ever filmed.
The ending is satisfying but the real depth of this film is harmony that the game brings to the characters. **** out of ****.
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I thought I read the book, or at least I dreamed it, but this is NOT adapted from something by Larry McMurtry, although it sure seems like it oughta be. It is one hell of a funny, crafty, too real for life, kind of movie. The brilliant script, full of clever one-liners, was written by Ron Shelton (White Men Can't Jump (1992)), who actually played minor league ball in the Orioles farm system. Shelton also directed and did a bang-up job. This is a funny movie that is really funny.
What I recalled (when I found out this wasn't from Larry McMurtry) was a baseball novel for juniors that I had read when I was a kid about a crafty, veteran minor league catcher who had once made it to the big leagues but got beaned and never got over it, always bailing out from an inside curve ball. (This was in the days before batting helmets.) He fell back to the minors and went from team to team and town to town, hitting a ton until somebody figured out that his knees would buckle if you brushed him back a bit, and then he'd have to move on. Kevin Costner's part reminds me of that guy (without the beaning phobia).
Susan Sarandon plays Annie Savoy, a baseball groupie in her sexual prime who likes to read poetry and give the players hitting advice. She is just wonderful as she plays sexy mom to the boys, a new one every summer, just so she can avoid any kind of real relationship or commitment. And so along comes Crash Davis (Kevin Costner, one of the more underrated and less flashy stars of our time), playing an itinerant catcher who has managed to hit nearly 300 minor league home runs. He is tough and savvy and once made it to the Show for 21 days. Tim Robbins plays Ebby Calvin "Nuke" "Meat" LaLoosh, a not too bright, wild-armed phenom who needs more than a little guidance. He gets a lot from both Crash and Annie, who are intent on schooling him in their differing expertise. Nuke is just the hunk Annie needs to keep her from falling in love with Crash, but...well, this is a romantic comedy, so you can be sure that love will find a way.
The baseball shtick and the interior dialogues of Robbins and Costner during the games ("Why's he want the heat? I wanna throw the deuce..." And, "Don't think, ... Get that...woman out of your head--Time out!") are really funny, and the bit where Robbins shakes him off and Costner, as an object lesson for his young pitcher, tells the batter what's coming next allowing the batter to hit it out of the park (or onto the Bull Durham sign to win a free steak dinner--is this genuine Americana or what?) are a crack up. But also great are the scenes with Sarandon as she philosophizes ("I believe in the Church of Baseball") and wise-cracks her way through the boys of summer, especially the scene where she ties Nuke up in bed and reads him some Walt Whitman. Now THAT really tires the boy out! Another great scene is on the bus when Crash lets the other players know that he once made it to the bigs where "...you hit white balls for batting practice and the ballparks are like cathedrals." Beautiful.
Best dead-pan one-liner is when Crash catches Nuke in the locker room trying to adjust the panty hose girdle that Annie has talked him into wearing under his uniform: "The rose goes in the front, big guy."
By the way, the great rock and roll soundtrack includes the galvanizing baseball song, "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man" by John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame. (Or maybe the title's "In Center Field": "Put me in coach. I'm ready to play, today, in center field.")
It's a shame that Shelton did not win the Oscar for this script, it's really that good. (Ronald Bass won for Rain Man.) The characters are just fascinating and full of life, and not just the three leads. The bit players are funny too, including the hard-talking, middle-brained manager, the mindless pattering coaches, the sweet young groupie girl who makes it with all the players as fast as she can. Even the team clown is good.
The irreverent characterizations, the sweet story, the realistic atmosphere of baseball in small town America (only slightly burlesqued), and some fine acting all rolled together make this one highly diverting little film, actually one of the best baseball films ever made. See this with your best babe. She'll like it as much as you.
"Bull Durham" is one of those engaging sports films that can be enjoyed
no matter if one isn't a fan of the sport in question - in this case,
baseball. There's all the love in the world for this great American
pastime, but there's also some interesting and literate discussions
going on all the time in this smart and witty comedy, as well as some
memorable characters whom we like and find easy to watch.
Kevin Costner plays "Crash" Davis, a veteran minor league catcher who's hired by the Durham Bulls to act as a mentor to their new pitcher Ebby LaLoosh (Tim Robbins). Ebby is in need of some direction, as he may be truly talented but has ego and discipline problems. At the same time, sexy Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon), the Bulls' loyal groupie, takes an interest in Ebby as she makes a habit of hooking up with one young player every season and helping the man to mature. Naturally, some sparks fly as the two guys both get attracted to Annie.
Writer / director Ron Shelton truly knows the territory, having been a minor league baseball player himself, although he doesn't in truth feature a lot of game action. His dialogue is often very funny and often very profane. A lot of humour comes from Annies' manipulation of the naive Ebby, whom she nicknames "Nuke" and has him do things like wear a garter, thinking this will improve his game. And while the film does get serious at times, it never becomes too maudlin. As was said previously, the attraction comes from watching three intriguing characters and three fine performances. With fine support by Trey Wilson and Robert Wuhl, Costner, Sarandon, and Robbins make the most of the material. There's also some endearing goofiness from the real-life "Clown Prince of Baseball", a man named Max Patkin. And to top it all off, there are some very sexy scenes in this thing, especially towards the end. All in all, this likable story has a little something for everybody, and is well worth a viewing.
Eight out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You often wonder why certain guys never make it in baseball given the
fact that they have potential. We see this in the film.
Kevin Costner is absolutely wonderful as such a player. An experienced catcher, he has what it takes, but only lasted in the major leagues for a brief period. He is resigned to the Durham minor league team where he meets up with fan and announcer Susan Sarandon who acquires a great southern accent for her role.
Tim Robbins is the pitcher that Costner is assigned to work with. His appearances are memorable. Strikeouts and walks are the same high amount. Watch out when he throws, anyone there is vulnerable. That's what happens to the film-the vulnerability of the Sarandon-Costner- Robbins relationship comes into question.
First of I have to say i'm from the UK, i've never played baseball seen
a baseball game or have any ideas to the finer rules of baseball but
this will not stop you enjoying this film. This film is about a way of
life and you can enjoy it in the same way as you can watch a film about
a great explorer without ever having left your own country. For Crash,
Nuke, Annie and all the other characters in here baseball is a way of
life not a sport and it is to be respected and in some cases
worshipped. For me the best scene in this movie comes in the pool hall
at the end with three generations of baseball player we know that one
day nuke, will be in crash's position and that crash will eventually be
in the old guys position it's the baseball way of life. Howevever it's
a way of life that's changing and this is shown in the almost forlorn
at times shot's of the ballpark and main characters, like the lady says
you have to respect the ball player who's just trying to finish out the
Direction, script and performances (Costner's best performance ever I think even over Field of Dreams and the Untouchables) are superb see this movie you wont regret it. 8/10
A comical story about baseball and sex. How can it miss? The minor league
Durham Bull's have had their share of loses and looney characters. Raw
talent sometimes is more plentiful than brains.
Tim Robbins is a young pitcher, "Nuke" LaLoosh, needing a lot of instruction
if he is to make it to the "bigs". Aging catcher, Crash Davis, played by
Kevin Costner, is assigned to the team to whip the youngster into shape. The
team's number one groupie, played by Susan Sarandon, wraps both players
around her little finger.
Hilarious situations and the lighter side of baseball. This movie made me a Sarandon fan. Robert Wuhl and Trey Wilson provide backup.
It's the professional pitching debut of Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh (Tim
Robbins) for the A ball Durham Bulls. He has a million dollar arm and a
five cents head. They bring in veteran catcher Crash Davis (Kevin
Costner) to mentor the young pitcher. Only he's too old for this stuff.
Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) is a baseball philosopher and team super
fan. Every year, she picks one player to hook up with and guide. Much
to Crash's dismay, she picks Nuke.
This is a funny and charming baseball movie. It's got Kevin Costner's great "I believe in..." speech. It's also got all the inside baseball interior-voice and behind-the-glove fun. It loves baseball both in its grandness and the little things. It romanticizes the game as well as its sad lowly grind. It's probably the best comedy movie about professional baseball.
Bull Durham is a sports film which boasts a great cast, comedy throughout and actually some good bits of baseball. With a variety of characters also seen in this piece, you can't help but feel good when watching this and with Romantic themes also coming thorough, it makes just a little bit better than it already is. Whatever sport movie fans may think of the sport, you should enjoy this and I felt that this was firmly a good movie.
The story is a fun film about a minor league baseball who hire a veteran batsman and a young promising pitcher who may make it big one day, both the characters work together well and the story always lets the two express there polar opinions and feelings. It can be funny at time, not really laugh out loud but it still raises some chuckles and if anything it is very much feel good and smile like entertainment.
Kevin Costner in the main role is good and really shows his wise face as the wise old veteran batsman Crash Davis. Susan Sarandon as the love interest of the film Annie Savoy is good, maybe slightly crazy at times and over the top but she is fun and makes the film much more passionate. Tim Robbins for me is truly a star turn as Nuke the young pitcher as although Costner leads the film, Robbins is very good in his young testosterone filled role, he is fun and enjoyable.
Ron Shelton writes and directs this well and really does a good job here to create the characters on paper and bring them out well whilst directing, shows he really had the vision and performed it out well. I enjoyed the dialogue which really sets this film up nicely and is the whole reason it is funny, the sport side is fun and the scenes that actually contain Baseball are truly quite thrilling but also keeping the comedic and romantic side within it.
It isn't always so funny and so maybe that could be a criticism but the film is still good, could also be said that the romance side coupled with the serious sport scenes are just too soppy, that is up to you if you see it. Sarandon is also not at her best in this, doesn't affect it's rating but when she is in it, I felt she can annoy at times.
Sport movie fans should like this as it contains enough sport to actually be considered a sport film, it has the romance dabbled in so be aware if you hate a rom com. If you want a fun comedy then this if for you, it isn't out and out laughter as said previously but it raises a quick smile and a laugh but can also warm the heart when it wants to.
Overall I give this a 7/10, it is a Firmly Good movie, not near being Very Good but breaks away from just being KIND of Good. With this you should watch it with a little warm heart going into it and it will be hugely enjoyable, If it doesn't make you laugh then look to the romance part as it really can be fun and hugely entertaining.
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