MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Tim Robbins plays a minor league pitcher with a million dollar arm that is just waiting to be seasoned enough so he can be plucked for the majors, or as the ballplayers call it, “The Show.” Kevin Costner plays a long-term minor leaguer who is brought in to get this million dollar arm into shape. Meanwhile, Susan Sarandon plays a middle-aged baseball barfly who picks a guy on the team and has an affair with him throughout the season, having to choose between these two star players.
WHAT I LIKED
Even though I grew up in the 80s, “Bull Durham” was one of those films that has been lost on me through the decades. I have heard nothing but good things about it from people, and I’m glad I finally had a chance to see it.
“Bull Durham” is a film made with a great love of the game, and it’s a sweet thing that it took aim at the underdog in minor league baseball. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio (home of the Columbus Clippers), I understand the appeal of a smaller ball club, with better prices than what you’d get if you went to see the Reds or the Indians play two hours in either direction. This is an unrefined game and can often result in more interesting plays, and this lower rent version of baseball is showed off in “Bull Durham.”
This movie was also made in the early days of Robbins and Costner’s careers, so it’s pretty cool to look back more than 20 years and see them in their glory days.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
While I can appreciate the love that many people had for this film, I wasn’t charged with the movie like I was with other baseball favorites like “The Natural” and “Major League.” I blame this on the characters as I really didn’t connect with any of them.
Susan Sarandon as a sex symbol was gone by the final frame of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” so I just didn’t get into her character. Likewise, Robbins and Costner, as charming as they were in their heyday, really didn’t appeal to me from a character likability perspective.
I will always respect “Bull Durham” for what it represents in terms of love of baseball (and particularly minor leagues), but it will not be on my list of favorite sports movies.
Oh, and for the record, I wholeheartedly do not believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. That’s just not sanitary.
The new Blu-ray includes just the feature film in high definition, but it also comes bundled with the previously released DVD that has a whole slate of features, including two audio commentaries, a Kevin Costner profile, a Sports Wrap and the featurettes “The Greatest Show on Dirt” about minor league baseball, “Diamonds in the Rough” looking back on the film and “Between the Lines – The Making of Bull Durham.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of the film and people nuts about baseball.