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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on May 31, 2004
Director: David Mickey Evans
Cast: Karen Allen, Dennis Leary, James Earl Jones, Arliss Howard, Tom Guirney
Running Time: 100 minutes.
Rated PG for some slapstick humor and some language.
"The Sandlot" is a great youth film that will keep the parents entertained as well, making it one of the few family sports films that not either too cheesy for adults to enjoy or too suggestive to be appropriate for children. Set in the 1950's or so in a normal suburban town, Tom Guirney plays a short, shy kid who has just moved to the new neighborhood. He has always struggled with making friends, but eventually he gets involved with a group who love to play the good ol' American pasttime.
The group (which consists of many hilarious and memorable youngsters) go through many trials and tribulations together--chewing their first slab of tobacco while riding on a devastating roller-coaster, giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to one of the hottest girls in the history of the world, retreiving a special Babe Ruth autographed baseball that has been snatched up by the child-eating neighborhood pooch, and trying to beat the stuck-up traveling baseball team. When it is all said and done, "The Sandlot" is an above average tale of the joys of childhood and using the great game of baseball as its playing field. There are some hilarious scenes throughout, fine acting by the young cast, and a well-scripted screenplay that will make those of all ages laugh. A true gem of a family tale.
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on October 9, 2003
Back in 1993, two movies involving baseball and children, The Sandlot and Rookie of the Year, came out in the theaters about the same time, both being released by Twentieth Century Fox. I remember Rookie of the Year was pushed hard by the studio while The Sandlot got much less advertising and publicity, which was too bad because I always thought The Sandlot was a much better film.
Scotty Smalls, his mother (Karen Allen), and his step dad (Dennis Leary) just moved into the neighborhood and Scotty is having problems acclimating himself to his social surroundings. An intelligent boy (an egghead), he lacks certain abilities most boys have, like knowing how to catch and throw a ball, any basic baseball rules, or who's the Great Bambino. The movie does an excellent job in providing just enough depth into these characters to provide a sense of the family dynamic given that Allen and Leary have limited screen time.
In attempting to join a neighborhood pick up game, Scotty's lack of rudimentary baseball skills is made painfully apparent, to which all the boys except Bennie, the best player of the bunch, let their derisive comments fly. Bennie, feeling a bit sorry for the new kid, gives Scotty a couple of tips and a little extra help in a well hit fly ball that gives Scotty a measure of confidence and helps bring him into the gang.
Once Scotty's accepted into the group the movie delves into a plot involving a priceless baseball and a local dog with a mythical reputation. What I really liked was how all the boys came together to help a friend in need, and it was an automatic response. If someone in the circle needs help, the group rallies around, regardless, as they would have done the same for any other member. While a seemingly natural trait in children (atleast in this movie), it seems to be one that becomes lost as we grow older, as seen in Scotty's step dad and his reluctance to play catch with Scotty because he has too much work and doesn't have the time.
What's so great about this movie is while it's set in the 50's, the story appeals to most anyone. Whether or not we all had that one great summer or just fond remembrances of childhood friends and activities in general, the movie serves to help recall days when things were simple, and summers were made up of endless possibilities. While watching this movie, I thought about friends I had when I was a kid, phrases we used, nicknames, activities, etc.
No real extras on this disc, but a great presentation of a wonderful movie. My favorite part involved one of the boys called Squints, a smaller boy with great, big glasses, and scene with curvaceous, older, female lifeguard at the local pool.
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on March 5, 2004
Enough of the reviews!!! Just go buy this dvd. It's worth every penny you spend. You'll be so sorry you weren't able to buy when it's available.
I first saw this movie on a free tv channel. I was dumbstruck right away. How can a movie this good been passed up by moviegoers? It's a terrible mistake! I first have this movie on laserdisc. Yes, those big movie disc that needs to be turned over to finish it. So big and bulky and now so phased out.
When I learned that it was available in dvd format, I grabbed one right away and now my son is enjoying it no end. The dialogue alone between Hamilton and Phillips in the baseball field is good enough to waste your $14. After that scene, everything is a bonus!
A lot of things can be said about this small and underrated movie. But until you watched it, you haven't enjoyed the undeniably feel good movie about kids, friendships, sports, and life itself.
Go ahead, it's ok to do so.
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on December 5, 2014
Good clean humour. This is an amazing movie for the entire family. It is funny, nostalgic and can be enjoyed by all ages. I am not even a baseball fan and although it is built around a baseball theme, it is more about the life lessons that kids can learn together with friends and as they mature. I bough this movie to keep in our collection and pull it out to watch a couple of times a year, it never gets old and it always makes me laugh!
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on July 30, 2003
One of the single best baseball films of all time. Like another reviewer said, it's simple. That's what makes this movie so great. It doesn't matter if the audience is young or old, this movie has lasting quality because it speaks to the child in all of us. What young man didn't grow up loving and playing the game of Baseball? The story in this film draws the viewer in by telling the story in the perspective of the outcast character "Smalls" to teach the audience not about the game of baseball but rather the Love of Baseball. "Smalls" goes from the average outcast new kid to a member of the ragtag team by the end of the movie and all through it facing some of the worst challenges of any young boy. "Smalls" hits the first home run of his life, this then becomes the major plot point for the rest of the film. The ragtag group could simply knock on the door of the house to get their ball back but instead choose to face their bigger fear of retrieving their ball from the back yard residence of the beast, a giant dog. This film carries with it the theme every average kid growing up is also faced with that of moving to a new town, making new friends and ultimately making difficult decisions to challenge one's own worst fears and eventually become a better person for it. There's no real bad guy here just a group of young athletes who share a common ground with each other, The Sandlot. Together they face the odds, including a rival official company sponsored little league team and showing what the true meaning of Team Spirit is. "Squints" best sums up the lasting value of this film in one word, "FOREVER!"
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on July 10, 2003
My review of the DVD will be biased because 'The Sandlot' is my all-time favorite. I generally enjoy movies that require deep thought and understanding, with intricate plots and extensive character development. 'The Sandlot' doesn't really fit what my standards of a Solid Good movie are, it's a fine exception. I bought the DVD mainly for its convenience (since I rarely use VHS),because - really - the movie in any form, would satisfy me. The Special Features didn't seem enough to be categorized as such (mainly just the trailers and one feauturette) but I didn't mind, because the movie is where it's at. I was born in the 80s, so I have no physical connection to the 60s, the decade in which the movie primarily takes place. And I was never (before this movie) particularly interested in baseball, the sport in which the story revolves. But none of that matters. The movie brings you to the decade, it brings you to the game. It's fun, warm-hearted, and relateable. Tom Guiry does an awesome job at portraying the insecure and seemingly geeky new kid Scotty Smalls. His character contrasts, yet agrees well with Mike Vitar's Bennie Rodriguiz, the cool kid, who doesn't need to try. I don't want to get into all the characters, they're all just so much fun. They lived one hell of a summer, one that I wish I could have lived. You can read other reviews for the story. I'm done. Rent it, buy it, or borrow it from me :)
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on September 23, 2002
I saw this movie in the theatre when it first came out back in 1993. I loved it then, when I was 12, and I still love it today when I'm 21. This is a story about a boy named Scott Smalls who just moved to town and has no friends. He is also interested in baseball but has never played. His stepfather keeps promising him he'll teach him how to play catch but never seems to have time until one day when Scott's mom convinces him to take a few minutes from his busy day to teach him. It is not easy at all because Scott seems to not have much, if any, athletic talent.
The next day after he is taught how to throw and catch he's tested when the town superstar athlete, Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez, who also just happens to be his next door neighbor, invites him to play baseball with him and his friends. They are eight kids who are just awesome at baseball. They just play for fun all day long, every day. This story is mainly about an incident that these guys get into that is started when Scott steals a baseball from his step-father's trophy room. This is no ordinary baseball, it's a ball signed by Babe Ruth! The Babe Ruth. And they actually play a game with it! That is until Scott happens to hit his first ever ball over the fence and into the yard of the biggest, meanest dog in the town! I won't give anything else away, you'll just have to watch and see if they get it back or not and if so just how they do it. I highly recommend this for people of all ages but especially for those 12 and under who love the game of baseball.
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on June 14, 2002
There really is no plot, yet you don't care. There's no real subtext to the entire thing, but that doesn't matter. The actors are all kids and they play baseball...and it's SO SIMPLE.
One of those little films that walked quietly into theaters in 1993 and left just as quietly with little fanfare(which is probably why Fox was hesitant on releasing a DVD) not ONLY happens to be one of the greatest SLEEPERS of all-time, it's also one of the greatest SPORTS films of all-time, ranking with "Field of Dreams", "Bull Durham", "Major League", "The Natural", and "The Longest Yard", to name a few.
This movie is good, so sweetly and innocently GOOD, that you don't care if the obnoxious happens or that a main plot-point happens to be the kids retrieving a prize/signed baseball(by Babe Ruth of all players) from the jaws of a dog-beast-monster-thing.
No, if there was something that James Earl Jones was right about in FIELD OF DREAMS(and he's in here too as a modern-day Boo Radley), it was that baseball brings us back to the times when we were young and apathetic to the world around us. The same applies here.
This film will make you forget about your problems and redirect your focus on your youth and the times you had fun with your best friends.
No matter if those times were spent on a surburban street where the foul poles were really parallel phone poles on either sides of the street or you sat on the porch watching us while drinking lemonade and listening to Ray Charles, those are the good times we remember...
Take a look for yourself...
The DVD has a beautiful 2:35.1 widescreen transfer(it was originally shot in 70mm Panavision) but is lacking in extras. Still, a good cheap DVD with a great film...that's all we ask for sometimes.
-- Matt
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on March 3, 2002
The sandlot is a brilliant movie. It's one of those movies that you watch over and over again and don't get bored of it. Now it's not the kind of movie where you learn more and more after each time you watch it, but it's humorous touch the movie gives you is remarkable.
The sandlot is about a kid who is really smart, yet a bit nerdy. When he moves to a new town he see's kids playing baseball. He decides to join them, but he finds out that baseball is hard to learn how to play. In the group he tried playing baseball had eight people. All with there unique personalities, attitudes, and fellings. The next day everyone in the group kind've gave him a hard time because he couldn't catch a flyball never the less a ball. Nor could he throw a ball. Only Benny didn't make fun of him and tried to help him play better. Benny was an amazing baseball player and was certainly the best in their group. When their pitcher threw Benny a pitch he nailed it over the fence into a yard. Since that was their last ball none of them had any left. But Benny said he'd get one in his house. He got it and brung it back to the field. After one pitch to Benny it was flying over again. And Benny said that it was signed by someone named Baby ruth. It's my stepfathers. He had no clue Babe Ruth was. Then they all started yelling at him saying. Babe Ruth. The Sultan of Swat. Once he realized Babe Ruth's importance he knew he had to find the ball before his stepfather got back from his buissness trip. Since his mom comes in his stepdads office which holds the ball, the group went out to buy a ball and fake sign it as Babe Ruth. Once he had done that the new kid asked his mom if he could go sleepover at the treehouse at the sandlot. His mom said sure. At the sleepover one of the guys told a story of where all the balls hit over the fence go. It was about a dog there and how he became a giant. Who would eat anything. He even said that one kid tried to get a ball back and he was never seen again. He started creeping everyone out by saying on and on "Forever". After the new kid found this out he didn't believe it. The whole group told him to look outside. He saw his ball. But a second later it was snatched by a huge dog. Benny was scared to death. The next few days Benny started making devices to try and get the ball back when they all failed they went to the pool. The whole group went to the pool. They stayed at where they could stand because none of them knew how to swim. There was a hot lifeguard there. One of the kids went on the diving board. Everyone in the group was freaked out because he didn't know how to swim. After looking at the hot lifeguard once he jumped in. She took him out of the pool giving mouth to mouth recepitation. I say no more. They were kicked out of the pool. On fourth of July they had a huge scrimmage against each other which they do every year. Benny's dream was about how Babe Ruth came into his room and they talked about the Babe Ruth ball and Babe said to jump over the wall because"Legends never die". He told everyone in the group about his dream and decided to do it. He got new shoes for this occasion. He jumped straight over the fence and saw the dog eye to eye. The dog druled the ball out of his mouth. Benny sprinted toward the ball and got it. He started running back and he jumped over the fence. Once everybody thought he had done it. The dog jumped straight over the fence and they were on a goose chase going through everything. Streets, movie theater, wedding, etc. Once they circled all around back to the sandlot, Benny jumped back over the fence. The dog jumped over too. They stared deeply at each other. But then the fence collapsed on the dog. Benny and the new kid were shocked and decided to lift the fence back up. The dog was still dead though. The ball had a lot of mush on it. Benny and the new kid decided to knock on the door of there owner of the dog and house over the fence. He was baseball player and had played with Babe Ruth. He offered them a deal that he''ll give them a ball signed by all the 1927 yankees for the mushy ruth ball and that they'll have to talk baseball with every week.
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on February 12, 2002
The Sandlot is one of the better films from a slew of kid baseball movies that came out in the 1990's. It's nostalgic almost in the vain of the coming of age stance of STAND BY ME, but it is not as heavy handed. It's positive and fun. The plot revolves around a newcomer,Scotty Smalls(Tom Guiry)to a 60's California neighborhood. Scotty is trying to figure out and start a relationship with new stepdad (Denis Leary), and he is introduced to sandlot baseball from the neighborhood boys. At first glance, it looked like the film would be the neighborhood boys vs. the new kid on the block. Fortunately, it didn't go this route. When Scotty doesn't know a thing about baseball (not even the basics of throwing and catching) he is ostracized right away. However, this is quickly resolved. One of the boys, Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez (Mike Vitar) gives Scotty simple advice and confidence and within moments, he is accepted into sandlot baseball by the other boys and, playing the game of baseball. The scene is done well, showing the great universality of Baseball in which anyone, young and old, can learn to play the game. The rest of the film are various vignetts of summer fun for these coming of age pre-teens and their friendship and comraderie. All with sandlot baseball as the backdrop. Also, part of story involves a legendary junkyard dog behind the sandlot's centerfield wall, harboring all the "homerun" balls. When a certain important baseball is hit over the fence,the rest of the film shows the gang trying to get the ball away from the dog in various ways. The film is fun and nostalgic and the cast of the neighborhood/sandlot boys are all likeable. Great cameo by James Earl Jones as a blind former Negro Leaguer and unsung character actor Art LaFleur (FOREVER YOUNG, AIR AMERICA) as Babe Ruth.
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