Monday, August 19, 2013

181 of 1001 Movies: Bull Durham (1988)

Writing and directing, Ron Shelton, brings to life the baseball team of the Durham Bulls. With strong enough characters to keep me watching, it is a movie that I could enjoy at least that way, but for the person who isn't a baseball fans there are a lot of scenes with just baseball lingo and scenes that can drag, and it doesn't even get that magic interest that The Natural does for you. Kevin Costner and Susan Surandon have a lot of chemistry though, and that is what works about the movie, along with some humor from Tim Robbins.

Summary: Nuke is a new player on the scene, and a fan, Annie, usually picks one of the top players to have an affair with for each length of the season every year. This year though, Nuke is sent a mentor to help hone in his wild ways after the coach finds him in the locker room with a woman. Annie finds that she isn't falling for the man she chose to have an affair with though, but instead the man who was sent to mentor him through the season, Crash. It is further complicated by the fact that Crash has feelings for her as well.

Acting: The cast works together well to bring to life the story, and as said if the cast wasn't who they were then the movie wouldn't have what it does have going for it. Kevin Costner is Crash, and depending on what style of acting you like you will be into his portrayal or you won't. He doesn't seem like a very happy guy, but neither a sad guy. He is just going along until he is called into mentor this guy. Susan Surandon is the girl who sort of prostitutes herself to the guys, Annie. Well I never actually know if she does sell herself, but if not how is she making her money? It's a vague subject. I think Surandon makes her charming though and age appropriate. Tim Robbins is Nuke, and probably the biggest comic relief for the movie. He's an arrogant, young baseball player who thinks fame will be handed to him. There were also other major actors like Trey Wilson as Skip.

Filming: This movie is hard to narrow down as a comedy. There weren't many moments that caused you to laugh out loud to get it labeled a comedy for me. It seemed to run more on the sports movie label of things with a side romance thrown in. The scenes also have a bland look to them. There isn't a dose of color or interesting shots to really liven it up, so the strong point of this movie isn't in any of that for me, and after an hour there were some parts that began to drag.

Plot: The writing is where the movie is really at. There are some nice one liners that I imagine people enjoy quoting from the movie, and it gives the characters life. Costner sort of has this mysterious draw about him that makes it understandable as to why Annie is so interested in him, and well I assume that Crash is into Annie because she is more intellectual than most people he has been around. There were also some moments I didn't know if they were supposed to be cute, funny, or just mocking, like when a Christian guy marries the girl who has been sleeping around with the baseball players on the team, while he has been waiting. By the end of this movie though it feels very heavily cased into the 80's though with nothing even appealing to give us from that time.

Bull Durham is a nice movie with some sweet characters that are well written, but it also isn't something that made me understand all the talk around it either. It shows why these actors might have had the long careers they did, but unless you're a hardcore baseball fan much of the movie will move a little slow while we go through the baseball lingo.

Rating 7 of 10.

Bull Durham (1988) on IMDb

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