For Love of the Game

"The boys are all here for ya, we'll back you up, we'll be there, cause, Billy, we don't stink right now. We're the best team in baseball, right now, right this minute, because of you. You're the reason. We're not gonna screw that up, we're gonna be awesome for you right now. Just throw." - Gus Sinski

release year: 1999
genre: baseball drama
viewing setting: home Bluray 10/29/19 and home DVD 1/12/02 and 11/19/01 and 8/16/00

synopsis: At the twilight of a great baseball career, veteran pitcher Billy Chapel is starting the last game of his team's miserable season - a game that no one expects them to even try to win, a game that doesn't matter - after Billy found out that morning that he was being traded after the season and that his girlfriend was leaving him for good. On this strange day, he takes the mound and pitches on auto-pilot, remembering all the good and bad times of his five-year relationship. Before anyone knows it, seven innings have passed - and Billy hasn't allowed a runner to reach base at all. Baseball's ultimate achievement is within his reach - but will it really matter if he loses the woman he loves?

impressions: That synopsis above is about the longest such piece I've ever written in one of these reviews, and that's because it fairly well sums up this movie. As a baseball fan, I absolutely loved that half of it; the love story woven into the baseball was pretty good too. This movie did its job on me: by the end, I was rooting for him to get the perfect game.

acting: Kevin Costner seems at home in baseball roles, and he does a great job here as an adult who's given his life to baseball and doesn't know how to do anything else. Kelly Preston is the on-and-off love interest who needs more of a commitment. John C. Reilly is the teammater and friend who helps out. J.K. Simmons is the team's manager. Brian Cox is the elderly team owner.

final word: A must-see for any baseball fan.

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