There are three baseball movies that I believe define who people are as sports fans and maybe even as people. Depending which one of Field Of Dreams, Bull Durham or Major League you prefer says a ton about who you are. My favorite is Field Of Dreams. It speaks to the history of the game and the father/son stuff gets me every time.
I know Brandon Walker loves Major League the most of those three. For me, it's not as great as Field Of Dreams but it's a great comedy. Few movies come anywhere close when it comes to camaraderie between guys. I also love how great the baseball looks in the movie. Having ex-players like Steve Yeager and Pete Vuckovitch serving as consultants made a huge difference when it came to the baseball looking real on screen . It also helps when Charlie Sheen is throwing 82 MPH in real life.
Don't get me wrong. Bull Durham is a fine movie. I just don't love it. It's not anywhere close to as funny as Major League. It lacks the emotional connection that you get from Field Of Dreams. The baseball scenes with Costner around the team are fantastic. I just don't care very much about the love story with Annie Savoy.
Costner may never be more charming than he is in Bull Durham. I love his performance as Ray Kinsella in Field Of Dreams but it's different. You want to believe in Ray Kinsella. You want to have a beer with Crash Davis. He's the perfect fit for both movies. His casual way of acting that makes both characters seem so believable.
I find the supporting casts of Major League and Field Of Dreams both far ahead of what you get in Bull Durham. The Bulls other players besides Costner and Tim Robbins are nondescript at best. Asking the other players to match the brilliant characters on the Indians team from Major League is an almost impossible bar to clear but that's the level of movie we are talking about. I'd even take the Field Of Dreams supporting group of James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, Timothy Busfield and Amy Madigan.
On this episode of Double Play, Vibbs and I talk Bull Durham as well as another Kevin Costner movie McFarland, USA. You can watch the whole episode below: