Thursday, September 27, 2012

777. Bull Durham (1988)

Running Time: 108 minutes
Directed By: Ron Shelton
Written By: Ron Shelton
Main Cast: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl
Click here to view the trailer


Continuing on with our heavy on the 80s season, we come to Kevin Costner's first baseball movie and perhaps the most popular film on the subject of America's favorite pastime - "Bull Durham".

The film is set in Durham, North Carolina and follows the Durham Bulls as they kickoff the season, with a few new players in tow. The narrator of the film is Annie Savoy (Sarandon), a classy woman who claims to be a devout member of the church of baseball and who knows everything there is to know about the sport and particularly the Bulls. Each year Annie picks one standout player from the Bulls team and shares her bed with them for the season, citing that everyone she's ever picked has had the season of their career. Her top prospects this year are hotshot, rookie pitcher "Nuke" LaLoosh (Robbins) and minor league veteran "Crash" Davis (Costner), a catcher that's been brought in to give Nuke a few pointers. Annie ultimately chooses Nuke to share her bed with, but ends up spending the rest of the season pining for Crash, a man that has tickled her fancy and raised her intrigue level. Meanwhile, Nuke and Crash verbally (and physically) duke it out on the baseball field, with Nuke being a hotheaded, egotistical rookie who doesn't feel he needs help and Crash being the veteran who knows he does.


Man, this movie wasn't that good at all and is perhaps the greatest head scratcher from THE BOOK, thus far. It's very typical, very cliche, your average piece of Hollywood cannon fodder and I can tell you definitively that there is nothing about this film that must be seen before you die. In fact, if you were to ask me, I'd say avoid it at all costs before you die.

Well, maybe that's a little harsh. It wasn't THAT bad, I guess, but it certainly wasn't a must see. Tim Robbins was pretty good in it and actually made me believe, for the duration of the film, that he was a minor league ball player. Susan Sarandon knocked one out of the park too, even though her character was pretty much just an excuse to write a woman into the script. The real meat and potatoes of the story here involves Crash and his mentoring of Nuke and had they focused more on that and less on which player Annie was going to go to bed with, it may have worked out better. I also wish the film had been less of a comedy and more of a serious movie. This movie made minor league baseball look like a joke and it's shocking to me that a former minor-leaguer would write and direct this. Or maybe Hollywood messed with his script and I'd find that very easy to believe because the movie had plenty of cringe worthy moments, most notably the fact that the film ends with Costner and Sarandon dancing! Really? That's how we're going to end our movie? Oh yeah, I forgot, we wouldn't want to risk sending the audience home unhappy, that would just be a crime.

And have I ever mentioned how much I dislike Kevin Costner? As I said above, Robbins actually made me believe that he was a minor league player. With Costner, on the other hand, it just felt like he was out there pretending to be a baseball player. He didn't own his role and therefore I didn't buy him as a baseball player, which is shocking considering every other movie he does involves him doing something with baseball and apparently he's a big fan in real life. No, I didn't buy him as a ball player and that extra helping of "bad ass" that they tacked on to his character just made him come off as even more of a phony. Take a pass on this one and if you're jonesing for a baseball flick, check out "Major League" or "Bad News Bears" or really anything else will probably do.

RATING: 4/10  It seems that the 80s was the decade when Hollywood really started producing immense amounts of bull crap and "Bull Durham" is a perfect example. And by the way, what's with the title? I don't get it.


September 27, 2012  4:21pm


  1. Susan Serandon's character was ridiculous. The title comes from the name of the team.

    1. I definitely dug Sarandon, as I usually do.

      I get that the title comes from the name of the team, but it would be like naming a film "Pirate Pittsburgh". It doesn't make sense, at all.


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