Starring: Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Robert Wuhl, Trey Wilson
Written By: Ron Shelton
Directed By: Ron Shelton
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America’s favorite pastime, Baseball, is the subject of this 80’s baseball classic about the Minor League system and the players, and one particular local who just loves her Men of Baseball. Bull Durham stars Susan Sarandon as Annie Savoy, a local who loves to take a rookie ball player under her wings each year and give them the knowledge she has built over the years. Of course that means sexually too. Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins also star as two members of the Durham Bulls. Costner the veteran of the minor leagues and Tim Robbins as the young hot shot dope of the ball club. A baseball classic that features many funny moments and yet still strikes with the sensitive, romantics out there too.
Baseball at its finest is seeing the guys who sweat and toil down in the minor leagues, just making end’s meat to survive and put all their passion into the game, to get that one chance at being called up to The Show. With Bull Durham, former minor league player turned writer director Ron Shelton gives us that inside look. Stadiums down in the minors are small, intimate, and not many fans turn out for the games. Players are expected to perform like Major League Players, and turn out great performances. Annie (Sarandon) is a local part time English teacher who likes to spend her time at the ball park, helping out keep score and the speed gun, not to mention take a new rookie under her wing. Normally, Annie can find a player who can appreciate some deep conversation and English literature, but settles on some young stud so to speak, Ebby Calvin ‘Nuke’ LaLoosh (Robbins), who isn’t the brightest bulb in the shed. Nuke just likes to play ball and have fun with the ladies. Nuke, as Annie dubs him, is a young talent who doesn’t have a lot of control and Crash Davis (Costner) a veteran of the minor league system joins the team and also helps out with Nuke. Crash also is smitten with Annie, and is shocked she is going for such a bozo young kid, rather than a season veteran like himself. A nice rivalry builds between the two players on and off the field as Costner tries to teach Nuke as much as he can before the possibility of Nuke being called up to the Majors.
Besides the film in Blu ray High definition for the first time, the set also features the DVD collector’s edition and features the majority of the special features on the DVD portion. Featuring several behind the scenes vignettes, with interviews with Writer-Director Ron Shelton and some of the cast from recent interviews for the last special edition of the film. I particularly enjoyed the feature where we get an inside look at some Minor League ball clubs today out in California and how the lifestyle is so much more different than the majors. On top of several featurettes, you get audio commentary with Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins and Director Ron Shelton. The film looked solid in High Definition. There was some noticeably film grain which is expected for a film shot in the 80s but that’s also not a bad thing. The film wasn’t scrubbed with that pesky DNR process, or well, I couldn’t tell. The colors came through nicely and images were crisp. I thought it was a nice transfer.
Overall, Bull Durham is a baseball classic. It en-captures everything that everyone loves about the sport. On top of that, the love triangle between Anna, Nuke and Crash is done well and offers up plenty of laughs as well. I thought the love scenes weren’t so sappy and overdone, yet they were romantic in a way. Ron Shelton was the perfect person for this film. Being a former minor leaguer, he knew what stories to tell and most were true and not made up. It also helped show the appreciation of the sport and the excitement all the guys have when a player is called up, knowing full way there will be a void on their own team. 20+ years has passed and this film still stands up as one of the best sports films.
Disc 1: Blu-ray
Disc 2: DVD
-Audio Commentary by Director Ron Shelton
-Audio Commentary from Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins
-The Greatest Show on Dirt
-Diamonds in the Rough
-Between The Line – The Making of Bull Durham
-Kevin Costner Profile
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Surround
ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Surround
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Mono
English, Spanish, Korean, Cantonese
Bottom Line: One of the best films about baseball and it’s funny to boot!
Running Time: 108 mins