What movie was that...?

16 November 2009

The Sandlot

directed by David M. Evans

Some of us know the superb loneliness that coincides with moving to a new town when we’re young. David M. Evans crafts a fantastically romanticized portrait of suburban youth around such a premise. Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) moves during the summer (ouch, rough timing) with his mother and new stepfather (an inexplicably cast Denis Leary), leaving the poor kid with virtually no chance to make friends. Stuck inside with his erector set, Smalls finally gets forced outside by Moms and into the sweet embrace of Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez (Mike Vitar), the best baseball player around. Turns out, Benny needs a ninth to round out his team and have a proper practice out on the Sandlot, a back alley diamond haunted by local goofballs like Squints, Ham, Yeah-Yeah and the Timmons bros. Sounds like a plan, but Smalls doesn’t know jack about baseball. He doesn’t even know who Babe Ruth is! It is that ignorance that gets the gang in so much trouble when Smalls lets his stepdad’s baseball (signed by the Sultan of Swat himself) fly over the fence and into the backyard of The Beast, a monster dog who, as legend has it, eats kids like ball park franks. The kids pool their intellect and devise scheme after scheme to get Smalls off the hook, learning about themselves and having the best summer of their lives in the process. Think Wonder Years meets Stand By Me, minus the dead body. It’s tree house dwelling, public pool going fun, and that fireworks sequence is pure magic. Hark, can you hear the call? Sandlot, Sandlot, Sandlot!

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