March 31, 2014

Movie Night: Angels in the Outfield (1994).

Review #566: Angels in the Outfield (1994).

Danny Glover (George Knox), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Roger Bomman), Christopher Lloyd (Al "The Boss" Angel), Tony Danza (Mel Clark), Ben Johnson (Hank Murphy), Brenda Fricker (Maggie Nelson), Jay O. Sanders (Ranch Wilder), Milton Davis Jr. (J.P.), Taylor Negron (David Montagne), Tony Longo (Triscuitt Messmer), Neal McDonough (Whitt Bass), Stoney Jackson (Ray Mitchell), Adrien Brody (Danny Hemmerling), Tim Conlon (Wally), and Matthew McConaughey (Ben Williams) Directed by William Dear.

In honor of Opening Day, I decided to review this movie was easy to find. Of all the teams that deserve to win a pennant, the Angels (Known as the California Angels in this movie, then the Anaheim Angels, now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. And they say sports is always logical) were probably not high up on the list (Do the word Chicago Cubs come to mind?) to win one. This is a remake of the 1951 classic, and the first big change is the focus on the kids rather then the manager of the hapless team, which I guess makes it not just a copy of the original. The movie focuses more on...depressing "child drama", which I guess makes it more 90's. But it makes it less about baseball, and more of a boring drama that probably felt sappy in the 90's, which makes you want to yell "Get on with it!", over and over. At least you get some nice shots of Angels Stadium, with the Big A sign and all.

I find it funny that this was released in 1994, the year with the infamous baseball strike (Vive Le' Expos!), and canceled the playoffs. Talking about this movie is sort of boring when baseball is in the air, real baseball (though having an Opening Series, then an Opening Night before Opening Day is sort of annoying), with real meaning. The cast are sometimes entertaining (I wish Glover would get more screen time), Levitt is effective in portraying...a kid, I suppose. It's not too hard to do that (Unless you're Jake Lloyd), and Davis Jr pairs off well with Levitt. Lloyd isn't bad, but if you blink long enough, you'll forget he's there. The baseball action isn't bad (the effects are fine for the time, as I barely noticed this was made only 20 years ago), but this is a mediocre movie that is only notable because of all the rising stars in this movie (McConaughey, Levitt, and Brody), and for being a remake. I hope you have a fun Opening Day, no matter how the team(s) you root for do tonight.

Overall, I give it 5 out of 10 stars.

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