What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that if this nostalgic baseball comedy missteps, it's in the treatment of Wendy -- the much sought after, slightly older "babe" who one of the boys tricks into kissing him. While the guys ogle her with typical preteen interest, the camera lingers on close-ups of her various body parts. Whatever the intent, the result is unnecessary. Family relationships are also somewhat strained (particularly between one of the boys and his indifferent stepdad), but friendship plays a strong role and comes off in a very positive light. Expect some strong language, including "s--t" and lots of colorful insults.
What's the story?
After getting onto the local sandlot team purely by luck, Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) spends a blissful summer developing his baseball skills with help from his teammates Benny (Mike Vitar), Yeah-Yeah (Marty York), Ham (Patrick Renna), Squints (Chauncey Leopardi), and the rest of the boys. Things take a serious turn when the gang experiences what they believe is a bad omen that will give them bad luck. To infuse the team with good luck, Scotty runs home and grabs his stepfather's (Denis Leary) baseball. When Scotty hits the ball into the junkyard, the boys discover just how valuable it is and devise an elaborate scheme to retrieve it, a mission that requires getting past "The Beast," a terrifying guard dog owned by angry junkman Mr. Mertle (James Earl Jones).
Is it any good?
This charming film is a Field of Dreams for the younger set. The two movies share a couple of features: the winning presence of James Earl Jones and a longing for a simpler world. Both also attempt to leave the viewer with a life-affirming message. At the same time, THE SANDLOT doesn't take itself too seriously. For the most part, Sandlot works. The kids are just right -- they can really play the game, and there's a refreshing lack of precocious, obnoxious types. While it trades in the stock cliches of baseball films, it does so with utter conviction and innocence. And, for once, here's a sport film for kids that isn't about winning.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the appeal of sports movies. Why are there so many of them? Is it always a guarantee that the underdogs will come out on top?
Do you have to have been a kid in the 1960s to appreciate this movie? Why or why not? What about it appeals to kids of different generations?
|Theatrical release date:||April 7, 1993|
|DVD release date:||January 29, 2002|
|Cast:||James Earl Jones, Mike Vitar, Tom Guiry|
|Director:||David M. Evans|
|Studio:||Twentieth Century Fox|
|Genre:||Family and Kids|
|Topics:||Sports and martial arts, Friendship|
|Character strengths:||Courage, Integrity, Teamwork|
|Run time:||101 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||some language and kids chewing tobacco|