Directed By: David M. Evans
Starring: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Denis Leary, Karen Allen, James Earl Jones
“They’re more than a team. They’re the best buddies in the entire history of the world.” Great tagline.
It’s the summer of 1962 and Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) has just moved to a new town with his mother (Karen Allen) and step-father Bill (Denis Leary) He hasn’t made any new friends but after Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez (Mike Vitar) stops by his house and asks if he would like to play baseball he is introduced to a new group of friends. Even though Smalls doesn’t know much about baseball but he goes to the sandlot every day to play ball and Benny takes him under his wing, teaching him the game. As the summer progresses the group of young friends find many adventures but none as perilous as facing Mr. Mertle’s (James Earl Jones) dog The Beast to retrieve Bill’s baseball that is signed by Babe Ruth.
The Sandlot can be compared to other movies such as Little Giants or The Mighty Ducks simply because it is a kid’s sports movie. And this is a movie that features sports but isn’t a “sports movie.” I think the best comparison may be Stand By Me. And there are many similarities. Both have voice over storytelling from an older version of one of the characters, a quest to find a missing object and a confrontation with a epically vicious dog. But where Stand By Me highlights the agony and uncertainty of growing up The Sandlot plays with comedic cues to pull at the heartstrings and tell a story about childhood and the friends that you’ll never forget.
I love this movie. I have since the first time I saw it back in 1993. It reminds me of a time in my life when there was nothing more important in life than playing with your friends and having fun. Baseball is used as a placeholder for whatever it is that you love and the friendships that spring from finding like minded people that share your passion. I know I did spend many summer days playing baseball with my friends and The Sandlot is a pretty good representation of that time in life before mortgages, bills and deadlines.
1080p, aspect ratio: 2.35:1. This transfer is really spectacular, especially the night game under the fireworks. God I love blu-ray!!
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Very crisp and clear dialogue clips as well as ancillary and ambient sound.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
I’m a little disappointed with the bonus features on this disc. All that is available is a featurette about the making of and a theatrical trailer. Maybe I’ve come to expect too much from blu-ray releases but you’d think that being a 20th Anniversary Edition would merit more.
The packaging itself is a typical release with a blue clamshell and an embossed slip cover but what was unexpected is a set of trading cards featuring each of the kids. That was a nice touch.
As I’ve said before I really love this movie. It speaks to the little leaguer inside me and the friendships that bond through sports.
Overall (Not an Average) 9/10
The Movie 9/10
The Video 9/10
The Audio 9/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 9/10