Wednesday, March 21, 2012

LAMBs in The Director's Chair Series Spotlight (Sam Raimi): For Love of the Game

For Love of the Game (1999)

Directed by Sam Raimi

Written by Dana Stevens

Based on the novel by Michael Shaara

Stars: Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, Jena Malone, John C. Reilly, JK Simmons and Brian Cox

I have to admit when the LAMB announced that the next person in LAMB Director series was Sam Raimi, I only knew that he did the Spider-Man movies and the Evil Dead series. I was really surprised that he directed the 1999 release of For Love of the Game. This is the second of Kevin Coster's baseball trilogy which included Bull Durham and The Upside of Anger. I have to say that this is my least favorite of  them.

The movie is supposed to be a love letter to America favorite pastime: baseball. It deals with Billy Chapel (Costner), a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers who is in the crossroads of career. He is 40 years old with a bum pitching arm, his mentor Gary Wheeler (Cox) has sold the team who has a decision to retire or be traded, also his girlfriend of five years, Jane (Preston) is leaving for London. The main action of picture deals with the seemingly the last game of his career. During the game, Chapel gets flashbacks of what lead him to this pivotal part of his career.

I thought that the movie was going to be about making people appreciate baseball, but the thrust of the movie meandered about Chapel's relationship with Jane and some random reconciliations that he had during the course of game. It was filler. Costner's characterization of Billy Chapel was very charismatic, but that doesn't get you anywhere with me. The dialogue felt like it was taken for a romance novel. It made me gag. I was not invested in the characters or the plot. I wish the movie ended differently, instead of a sickly sweet ending that we have seen a million times. I was bored. The movie should not have been two hours.

My Rating: 

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