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Plant the corn again, please

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  May 21, 2010 12:42 PM

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Of all the stories that slipped under the radar, I think the one about the Field of Dreams farm being up for sale may be my favorite one, and not just because both Kevin Costner and Ray Liotta have declined to step up and buy it. It gives me a chance to mention, once again, that FOD remains one of the most execrable feature films in any genre anywhere, including every single one that has starred Adam Sandler. Let's leave aside the fact that, in general, it's nothing more than unusually stupid Our-Daddys-Are-Dying propaganda, and that its apparent nod to that mythical beast, The Sixties, is Amy Madigan's half-mad farm wife who spends the entire film in what is obviously a very bad acid flashback. That's just trolling for an easy box office. The biggest problem is that the movie is a complete fake.

This is supposed to be a film about fathers and son, and the connective generational tissue that is baseball. As such, it can't even get Shoeless Joe Jackson hitting from the correct side of the plate? Nobody thought to check? And, even if you buy the conversion of the novel's J.D. Salinger character into the reclusive black-activist played by James Earl Jones, having done so, do you think that character wouldn't have noticed that there didn't seem to be any room for Josh Gibson, or Cool Papa Bell, or Buck Leonard out there beyond the cornfield? Heaven, apparently, is as segregated as the 1939 St. Louis Browns. Do you further think that a guy who seems at one point to be halfway between James Baldwin and LeRoi Jones would deliver that ghastly paean to the days of segregated baseball to an all-white audience? This movie is as false as blue money to its most fundamental premise. And it's a weepy fake, besides. Anyone who promises to turn the place back into good, productive farmland again gets my vote.

(My friend Dave Kindred lists his favorite sports movies. Fight amongst yourselves.)

 

 

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