Third in a series of Disney movies based on the 1951 classic film "Angels in the Outfield." Perhaps the best of all, "Infield" is warm (thanks to Patrick Warburton as a fading baseball star trying to reconnect with his family), charming (thanks to Brittney Irvin as his lovely but lonely daughter), and funny (thanks to David Alan Grier as her Guardian Angel). Patrick Warburton looks like Jim Belushi with Steven Seagal's squint. A large man, he has the build of a professional athlete, but exhibits a sensitivity that is unusual for this type of film. He plays the part of a pitcher with the Anaheim Angels who because of an error in the final play of an important game ends up losing his confidence, his wife, and his daughter. Brittney Irvin is a delight to watch as his daughter who comes to lives with her estranged father. I last saw her in the TV film "Angel on Pennsylvania Avenue" (in which the "angel" was President Hoover) and she also played the part of Nan in the TV show "Little Men." Her delivery and reactions are so un-Hollywood (as most teen performers of the Aaron Spelling variety are today). She could be your sister, but she's really cute, and she's not your sister. More importantly she can act and we care about her. She believes in her failing father first, which is an important faith in family; then she believes in her guardian angel, a regaining of faith she had almost lost and is trying to regain. Her confidence in her faith infect those around her (especially her father's agent) until they can't help in believing in the guardian angel and themselves as well. David Alan Grier is always funny. A nice bit has David popping up all around Brittney (as a hot dog vendor, an older woman, a baby). David plays an angel on the second string of Heaven's Baseball League who was once an up-and-coming pitcher himself. God sends him to Earth not only to help the girl and her father, but to answer his own prayer of getting one more chance to play real baseball. The entire cast is wonderful including the smaller roles such as the pitcher's wife who shines in each of her scenes (attractive Rebecca Jenkins has a talent for broad comedy and slapstick), the Devil (yes, he shows up too as guardian to the Crimson Devil's, the Angel's rival team), the pitcher's agent, and the girl's ballet instructor. Whereas the girl's father and guardian angel ("in-training" she says, he hasn't his wings yet and is a bit rusty in baseball) are failing at their sport, she is failing in ballet. Her guardian angel does double duty by trying to help her become the lead in the ballet recital (by channeling himself into the entire company in a Debbie Allen type of dance routine). Old-fashioned, syrupy, predictable? Yes, but it is done so well, with primarily new faces, giving very good performances, one has to concede that anything done well is well done. Originally broadcast on The Wonderful World of Disney, look for it soon on video or the Disney Channel.
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