May 20, 2011
Field of Dreams just too unreal
By DARRELL BERGER
I like Field of Dreams as a movie, it just doesn't make my top ten baseball list. It may be unfair to say that a movie about dreams is not grounded, but that is why. I don't really relate to the baseball in the movie, which seems to me more a metaphor for communication between generations and immortality than the game itself. Again, this is entirely fine as a theme, but it makes the baseball part of the movie just too unreal to me and I guess I rate baseball movies according to how REAL they are, not how poetically moving they are.
For instance, I get that Ray Liotta may be the Shoeless Joe Jackson of someone's dream, but I don't think he is anyone's idea of how Joe really was. For this he should have been played by someone like Randy Quaid, and let Liotta star in the Pete Reiser or Tony Conigliaro story or something.
Therefore I prefer Pride of the Yankees, for instance, despite Cooper's terrible swing, because of the few shots of real Yankees to Field of Dreams, which is rather unreal as far as baseball is concerned. Again that doesn't make for a bad movie, it just doesn't make my personal list. I can respect anyone who would include it in theirs.
That said, I love the Moonlight Graham theme! He would be included in my top 10 characters in baseball movies.
The bottom photo is of Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella with Moonlight Graham played by Burt Lancaster. The movie was released in 1989.