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Posts Tagged ‘The Natural’

The new season of Stranger things has hit Netflix.  It’s 1984 and the kids are dressing up as Ghostbusters for Halloween.  Then, there is a gratuitous shot of a cinema showing The Terminator, it seemed like a good time to look back at my favourite movies of 1984:stranger things season two

A Nightmare On Elm Street: Wes Craven’s horror thriller about serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams.A Nightmare On Elm Street

Beverly Hills Cop: Eddie Murphy’s best movie role. Culture clash action comedy about a Chicago cop to travels to Beverly Hills catch a killer. Beverly Hills Cop

Blood Simple: The Coen Brothers criminally under-seen debut about a rich man who hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her lover (obviously things don’t go to plan). Blood Simple

Dune: David Lynch’s criminally underrated adaptation of Frank Herbert’s influential sci-fi novel. Dune

Ghostbusters: If I need to explain Ghostbusters, give up now!Ghostbusters

Repo Man: Alex Cox’s bizarre sci-fi fantasy about a punk who becomes a Repo Man.gnp-0428-dvd.jpg

Night of the Comet: Two valley girls, a trucker and a group of mad scientists are amongst a small group of survivors after a comet wipes out most of the population and turns the rest into zombies.night of the comet mac10

Streets of Fire: “A Rock & Roll Fable” Walter Hill wrote and directed the story of a mercenary who is hired to rescue his now famous ex-girlfriend who has been kidnapped by a motorcycle gang.Streets of Fire

The Company of Wolves: Neil Jordan’s Gothic horror fairy tale based on a story by Angela Carter.  A clever reworking of Little Red Riding Hood that is possibly a allegory on the end of innocence. The Company of Wolves

The Terminator: James Cameron’s seminal Tec-Noir, Cyberpunk thriller about a killer cyborg who travels back in time to change the future.

The Terminator

Other 1984 movies to check out: 1984, Tightrope, Paris Texas, Top Secret, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Romancing the Stone, The Bounty, The Killing Fields, Against all Odds, The Natural, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, Purple Rain, This Is Spinal Tap.

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Being English my first sporting love is football (that’s soccer to you Kai) but I also love baseball, I have been watching American Major League Baseball on TV since the late 90’s but really fell in love with the sport a few years ago when I went to my first game, San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks at AT & T Park. By a mixture of luck and judgement I had a fantastic seat between home plate and first Base and was lucky enough to sit next to a season ticket holder who helped fill in the gaps of my knowledge of the game. But why am I telling you all this? Simply because I would never have started watching baseball if not for great baseball movies, here are my top five:

5: Major League (1989)

After inheriting the Cleveland Indians the new owner wants to move the team to Miami and its warmer climate, to do this she needs the club to finish bottom of the league. To this end she assembles a team of losers and has-beens. When the team discover her plot they start winning just to spite her. I’m not sure how well loved this movie is, ultimately its all a bit silly but it gets away with it because it has a fantastic cast and is a really good fun watch.

4: Eight Men Out (1988)

When I first saw The Godfather: Part II and heard Hyman Roth talk about the World Series been fixed I didn’t realise it was a true story until I saw Eight Men Out. When I first saw it over twenty years ago I enjoyed it despite knowing nothing about baseball, seeing it again a couple of years ago it has aged really well.

3: The Natural (1984)

1923, nineteen year pitcher Hobbs is on his way to Chicago to tryout for the Cubs. For reasons I won’t go into he doesn’t make it to the tryout, Fast-forward sixteen years and he gets a second shot, seemingly coming out of nowhere to become the star hitter for The (fictional) New York Knights. Combining the nostalgia and romanticised ideas of Field of Dreams with a great underdog story and Robert Redford is excellent.

2: Field of Dreams (1989)

“If you build it, he will come” Iowa farmer Ray Kinchella (Kevin Costner) is compelled by voices he hears in his cornfield to build a baseball diamond on his land. Before long the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson and his team-mates banned in the 1919 Black Sox scandal (see Eight Men Out above) come to play there. On paper Field of Dreams a cheesy and pointless movie, in practice it is cinema perfection that gets better every time I see it.

1:Bull Durham (1988)

Journeyman Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) is employed by a minor league baseball team to help educate their hotshot rookie pitcher Ebby LaLoosh (Tim Robbins), a player destined for the major-league if he can learn to control his erratic pitching. The pair don’t exactly hit it off, the problem is exacerbated by the presence of Annie (Susan Sarandon). This is the movie that first sparked my interest in baseball. The casting is perfect with genuine chemistry between the three leads and the right blend of comedy and drama. it’s a sports movie that knows which clichés to embrace and which to avoid.

A movie that didn’t make the list: The Sandlot (1993) simply because I haven’t seen it as listeners of the Milfcast (Man I Love Films Podcast) will know. An oversight I am in the process of rectifying, Once I have seen it, I will report back as to how it compare to my top five.

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