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For Love of the Game (1999)

Drama movie directed by Sam Raimi

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Good, not great. This is not "Field of Dreams"

  • Mar 6, 2001
Over the past weekend, my wife and I actually got the opportunity to rent a couple of movies, sit down, and watch them! (In a large family, such is usually NOT the case!)

Three stars for "For the Love of the Game". We loved the baseball (indeed, I suspect that Kevin Costner does as well) and felt that the way flashback were handled from within the context of the game itself was quite effective.

However, we were both disappointed at the development of the relationship. My wife was completely underwhelmed by Kelly Preston's acting ability (or lack thereof), and I felt that Jane, the character she portrayed was poorly developed -- and frankly, the bits that WERE developed, I didn't like. I found myself with no sympathy for her whatsoever.

Other pluses to the movie would include the authentic-sounding announcing by Vin Scully, and the remarkable visual and sound editing when Costner is on the mound.

As a lover of baseball, I enjoyed the movie -- but as far as baseball movies go, it ain't great.

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More For Love of the Game (1999) reviews
review by . April 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
      FOR LOVE OF THE GAME      Sam Raimi is one of my all time favorite filmmakers and I will basically buy anything that the man is involved with, luckily for me I have enjoyed all of his films. I was a bit surprised when this film first came out because it didn't really seem like his kinda thing but I knew he could pull it off. The result is a really good baseball movie that really isn't about baseball, and Mr. Raimi did a great job with it. I went …
Quick Tip by . April 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
This is not Raimi's best movie but it is a really good one, and to be honest it may be one of the reasons he got the Spiderman job. To all those who have yet to see this I recommend it but be warned, this is not your every day average Raimi flick. Still it is a very good one, worthy of a purchase.
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David Zampino ()
Ranked #280
I am a 44-year-old historian and theologian.
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About this movie


Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is having a bad day. His girlfriend Jane (Kelly Preston, stunning as ever) says she's leaving, and his boss (Brian Cox) says he's selling the business and ace employee Billy may be out of job. Sounds like business as usual for an old-fashioned veteran. However, the business is baseball and for Billy Chapel, the 40-year old former all-star for the Detroit Tigers, it means his career--and his life--is at a crossroads.

Although it is no Bull Durham, For Love of the Game finds a solid and very believable role for Costner. The film is based on Michael Shaara's (The Killer Angels) stream-of-consciousness novel (the rough manuscript was found after his death 1988). The entire film takes place on Billy's day on the mound against the Yankees, a meaningless late-season game for the Tigers, but everything for Billy. In flashbacks, he lingers over his long relationship with Jane and his baseball career (from World Series heroism to a career-threatening injury). His one viable link to the game at hand is his catcher, played winningly by John C. Reilly. Costner, like Chapel, is looking for one more great performance, but the film is too simplistic and loopy at times to resonate. The love story has an extra helping of cuteness, and legendary baseball announcer Vin Scully nearly takes on a leading role, waxing grandiloquent. It's no grand slam, but a solid double. --Doug Thomas

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Director: Sam Raimi
Screen Writer: Michael Shaara, Dana Stevens
DVD Release Date: April 4, 2000
Runtime: 137 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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