Three-times MVP baseball player Bobby Rayburn joins the San Francisco Giants, and obsessive fan, whose profession is selling hunting knives, Gil Renard is excited over that. But Rayburn plays the worst season of his career and Renard tries to do everything to help him, but goes too far. Written by
Several times, the announcer says "Now batting, Bobby Rayburn", and Rayburn gets off the bench to approach home plate and begin the at-bat. In a real baseball game, he would come from the "On-Deck" circle as he was announced. See more »
[Gil narrating his poem]
Excited and anxious, I await my dream / To escape, applaud and embrace my team / Opening day I always can trust / It's just for this high that I crazily lust / Return of our hero does brighten the days / Just briefly my troubles get lost in the haze / The grace from the field arouses the crowd / Reflects on the days when I was quite proud / I'm more entranced than the average fan / I used to play, you see, and I know I still can / That time I drove the ball ...
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The Worst Baseball Movie of All-Time? I don't know how anyone can say this with a straight face if they have also seen Major League.
It's true that the ending of this film is pretty bad, but when a film can do so much right for the first two hours that certainly makes it worthwhile, because the first two hours were truly entertaining. De Niro stole the show, he had to because this move was about "The Fan", but each character was played well.
Most of the criticisms I've seen are a case of people being way too picky. Wrong uniforms, wrong stadiums...I didn't even notice stuff like this and I am a baseball fan too. The film got a lot of the much more important stuff right, which is good performances from the actors and good, no great, character development and insight into these characters.
The film took us into deep the mind of the obsessed fan (De Niro) and that obsession grows in a logical fashion as the movie progresses. It was very easy to believe De Niro's obsession with Rayburn and the game of baseball, and the rationale for it, because of his unstable and violent nature which is often shown in his personal life. When things in the baseball world weren't going as he wanted them, it's not surprising to see him take action. His passion and intensity were on the front burner all movie long and made his character truly believeable and consistent.
The film takes us into the baseball player culture in the lockeroom, and into the workings of player and agent (which is what I really found interesting), as well as player and radio station personality. This is where the film truly excelled: the inner workings of the mind and the baseball player culture were believable and exceptionally well done. Nothing was made silly or outrageous, like in the aforementioned dud "Major League". Well, except for the ending perhaps, which is where this film loses 2 points.
My first De Niro movie, definitely not my last.
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