‘Draft Day’ – We’ve Seen This Movie Before, Right?
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Frankly, we’re a big shocked that Kevin Costner still gets work. After the one – two punch of ‘Waterworld’ and ‘The Postman,’ you figured the guy was pretty much done for. But he did enjoy a recent comeback with ‘Hatfields & McCoys,’ and even though he can’t act his way through a paper bag, he’s back with the football movie ‘Draft Day,’ directed by Ivan Reitman (‘Ghostbusters’). Good sports films are hard to come by, but here are a few that are worth your time. (Ironically, they’re all baseball flicks, because it’s hard to think of a football film that holds up.)
‘Bull Durham’ (1988)
Yes, Kevin Costner’s terrible acting aside, ‘Bull Durham’ is a great look at baseball that also made writer/director Ron Shelton’s career. ‘Bull Durham’ doesn’t tell the story of a great baseball hero, but what goes on behind the scenes of a minor-league team. Shelton has created several great sports movies — like the hilarious ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ and ‘Cobb,’ a sobering look at the truth behind the Georgia Peach — and ‘Bull Durham’ was a great launching pad for his unique brand of sports storytelling.
‘The Battered Bastards of Baseball’ (2014)
You may know that Kurt Russell used to play minor league baseball himself, and the documentary ‘The Battered Bastards of Baseball’ is about the ragtag team he played for, the Portland Mavericks. The Mavericks were owned by Kurt’s father Bing; they had the first female manager in baseball, future director Todd Field (‘The Hangover’) was a batboy and they inspired Big League Chew gum. There’s also a biopic of the Mavericks in the works directed by Justin Lin (‘Fast and Furious’). ‘Battered Bastards’ is like a real-life ‘Bad News Bears.’
‘The Sandlot’ (1993)
‘The Sandlot’ wasn’t a big hit in theaters, but many of us saw it repeatedly on cable and fell in love with this wonderful coming-of-age story about a kids baseball team. ‘The Sandlot’ takes a lot from ‘Stand by Me’ and ‘The Wonder Years.’ And while it doesn’t achieve the same level of magic, it’s still a terrific movie worth watching again and again.