Bull Durham Reviews
Bull Durham is a sports film which boasts a great cast, comedy
throughout and actually some good bits of baseball. With a variety of
characters also seen in this piece, you can't help but feel good when
watching this and with Romantic themes also coming thorough, it makes
just a little bit better than it already is. Whatever sport movie fans
may think of the sport, you should enjoy this and I felt that this was
firmly a good movie.
The story is a fun film about a minor league baseball who hire a
veteran batsman and a young promising pitcher who may make it big one
day, both the characters work together well and the story always lets
the two express there polar opinions and feelings. It can be funny at
time, not really laugh out loud but it still raises some chuckles and
if anything it is very much feel good and smile like entertainment.
Kevin Costner in the main role is good and really shows his wise face
as the wise old veteran batsman Crash Davis. Susan Sarandon as the love
interest of the film Annie Savoy is good, maybe slightly crazy at times
and over the top but she is fun and makes the film much
more...passionate. Tim Robbins for me is truly a star turn as Nuke the
young pitcher as although Costner leads the film, Robbins is very good
in his young testosterone filled role, he is fun and enjoyable.
Ron Shelton writes and directs this well and really does a good job
here to create the characters on paper and bring them out well whilst
directing, shows he really had the vision and performed it out well. I
enjoyed the dialogue which really sets this film up nicely and is the
whole reason it is funny, the sport side is fun and the scenes that
actually contain Baseball are truly quite thrilling but also keeping
the comedic and romantic side within it.
It isn't always so funny and so maybe that could be a criticism but the
film is still good, could also be said that the romance side coupled
with the serious sport scenes are just too soppy, that is up to you if
you see it. Sarandon is also not at her best in this, doesn't affect
it's rating but when she is in it, I felt she can annoy at times.
Sport movie fans should like this as it contains enough sport to
actually be considered a sport film, it has the romance dabbled in so
be aware if you hate a rom com. If you want a fun comedy then this if
for you, it isn't out and out laughter as said previously but it raises
a quick smile and a laugh but can also warm the heart when it wants to.
Overall I give this a higher 7/10, it is a Firmly Good movie, not near being
Very Good but breaks away from just being KIND of Good. With this you
should watch it with a little warm heart going into it and it will be
hugely enjoyable, If it doesn't make you laugh then look to the romance
part as it really can be fun and hugely entertaining.
There is a good film hiding in Bull Durham about a cocky young player and the seasoned veteran who teaches him to harness his abilities and prepare for the Majors. In fact I think that movie was made again somewhere else but much better (I just can't think of the film off the top of my head.) Unfortunately, every time I get a few moments to enjoy that story we have to be shown Susan Sarandon's face again to remind us this isn't that film. There isn't even a decent resolution to that story, because Nuke moves up to the Majors mid-season and still appears to be pretty rough around the edges. Then they treat us to the 20-30 minute long series of love-making scenes. Talk about excessive! I get the idea that Crash and Annie are madly in love after the first 5 minutes of this, you don't have to show them in every room of the house going at it. I don't think I have properly expressed just how much I despise this film, but I've at least given you a hint. If someone cut and pasted all the baseball stuff into a short film I would love it, but as it stands Bull Durham provides too much terrible rom-com stuff without enough baseball.
Baseball movies were not considered a viable commercial prospect in 1988 and every studio passed except for Orion Pictures, which gave writer/director Ron Shelton a USD $9 million budget, an eight-week shooting schedule, and creative freedom. Even so, many cast members accepted salaries lower than their usual due to their enthusiasm for the material. Costner was cast because of the actor's natural athletic ability. During filming, Costner was able to hit two home runs while the cameras were rolling. The movie is partly based upon the minor league experiences of writer/director Ron Shelton and depicts the players and fans of the Durham Bulls, a minor league baseball team in Durham, North Carolina. Kurt Russell, who helped Ron Shelton develop the script, also played minor league baseball in the early-1970s. There really was a ballplayer named "Crash" Davis. Ron Shelton found his name in a baseball listing as a minor leaguer and American Legion player. Realizing that he would have to have the permission of the real Davis to use his name (and thus avoid a lawsuit). When Shelton approached Davis, he was asked "Do I (Meaning Kevin Costner) get the girl in the end?" Shelton told him he does and Davis signed off his permission. Originally, after Annie and Crash have their argument in Crash's apartment, there was a scene in which Annie and Crash go to a bar and have a heart-to-heart talk. In the talk, Crash asks Annie why she loves baseball so much. She explains that several years before, her estranged father passed away and that the funeral took place in Florida. She was so distraught after the funeral that she wandered off and ended up at the New York Yankees spring training facility where she met legendary Yankees catcher, Thurman Munson (thus explaining her shrine to Munson seen in the film). From then on, she developed a deep-rooted love of the game. According to Ron Shelton in the DVD commentary, he cut that scene out when it was received poorly during a test screening. After the scene was removed, a second test screening was done and the movie received a high score. "Bull Durham" was ranked #5 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Sports" in June 2008. In David Ansen's review for Newsweek magazine, he wrote that the film "works equally as a love story, a baseball fable and a comedy, while ignoring the clichés of each genre". Roger Ebert praised Susan Sarandon's performance in his review for the Chicago Sun-Times: "I don't know who else they could have hired to play Annie Savoy, the Sarandon character who pledges her heart and her body to one player a season, but I doubt if the character would have worked without Sarandon's wonderful performance". Richard Corliss, in his review for Time, wrote, "Costner's surly sexiness finally pays off here; abrading against Sarandon's earth-mama geniality and Robbins' rube egocentricity, Costner strikes sparks". I liked this movie the first time I saw it in 1988, and I still like it. It has such a great balance between comedy, love story, sports movie and emotional drama. There´s fantastic comic timing, there´s true sparks/dynamics between Costner (just brilliant as Crash), Robbins and Sarandon, the direction is of high standard and it still manages to avoid the true clichés of each genre it does contain as said as well by David Ansen. I love the verbal fights between Costner and Sarandon. I love the speech made by Crash in what he believes in: "Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days." You just simply fall for the oh so beautiful and sexy Sarandon and her ways, but I also see myself so much in how Crash tackles her. "Bull Durham" has a lot in common with "Slap Shot", another great sports movie, and Ron Shelton managed to get back together with Kevin Costner and create another great sports movie with "Tin Cup" back in 1996. "Bull Durham" is just a gem in my eyes.