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The Natural (1984)
I Think I've Seen You Before
Except for the age of the protagonist, virtually every character, image, and plot device in this movie is a sports re-tread: the sportswriter who cares only for the story, the the evil owner, the old manager who wants to win that one Big One.
In some ways, I expect the movie relishes in these old sports images, even turning them up a notch to give us a sense of the mythic proportions of this battle of good and evil in the uniform of the New York Knights.
The problem with this approach, though, is that it sometimes gives us only melodrama -- an often satisfactory but also uncomplicated vision of good and evil that comes nowhere near to the true complications of our lives. Also, the use of such heavy-handed imagery (the lights popping out like fireworks) beats us about the head too freely, leaving us feeling ever so slightly manipulated.
Also, whether the moviemakers realize it or not, they also conjure up some pretty unpleasant attitudes of those good old days -- the completely unracialized vision of baseball and the vision of women as only saints or sinners.
I wanted to like this movie, seeing just before the new season. But just as the woman with the gun reappears, so to do too many old visions of an America that never actually existed in the first place.