By DANIEL REITER
With spring training in full swing, it was about time I watched a baseball movie and what better one than “Bull Durham.” While I have seen my fair share of baseball films, this was one I was looking forward to.
The plot reminds me of “Major League” in that you have an older, worn out catcher who helps teach the young ace how to become a star. Crash Davis fits perfectly into this role as he always gives Ebby Calvin LaLoosh grief in everything he does. Crash gives “Nuke” some tricky lessons and when Meat does not follow, the catcher is perfectly fine with tipping off his pitches to the batter or just making him look like an idiot.
I think the real comedy of the film comes from the stupidity of guys like LaLoosh. Whether he seems completely lost in the situation or continues to talk to himself while on the mound, Ebby consistently made me laugh. And his relationship with Annie further illustrates his ignorance.
Along those same lines, I also enjoyed Larry; that classic baseball guy who has nothing to say. All he does is repetitively shout “encouraging” remarks in a fastball-like manner.
While the movie was hilarious, I did have a few issues.
First off, I felt at times that there wasn’t much baseball being shown. When I think of my favorite baseball movies (like “Major League II” or “Mr. 3000”), you get to see plenty of the game. Although it may not be the main focus of the film, I felt like the sport was overlooked at times especially during the team’s winning streak.
I was even wondering how Crash Davis got to 247 home runs. Plus most of the secondary characters were pretty useless because of how little screen time they had.
And while the movie had a slightly darker edge to the comedy, I found the ending completely out of place. Sure you knew the ride wouldn’t continue since it is the minor leagues but the sad music and the overly drawn out sex scene really made me confused about which movie I was watching.
But with all that said, I can see why “Bull Durham” is held in such high esteem. It has that classic baseball feel with all of the stereotypical players and reminds us of what makes the sport special.
+ Contact Daniel Reiter@bcaradio.com