Monday, May 22, 2006

TRH Movie - The Natural

There are those movies in everyone's life that they'll watch over and over again, and you repeat every word, know every gesture the actor's make, and never grow tired of them. One of these movies, The Shawshank Redemption the RRHB and I watch every year, even though we don't own it, usually at Christmas time. It's like a good wine; it grows better with age.

Another of these films for my RRHB is The Natural. Coming late in life to my obsessive-compulsive movie watching, I'd never seen it (like many 'classic' movies). And since it's his birthday weekend, we went searching on Friday night for it (we were supposed to go to a party but he ate an apple and then had some strange allergic reaction that's still bothering him, poor soul), but couldn't find the film at our local video store. So, on Saturday, when I was out anyway, I bought it and a CD as special, one-and two-days before his birthday presents.

Annnywaaay, it's a delightful movie, as you well imagine. The story of a great natural baseball talent, Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) who has a tragic accident just as he's about to embark on his pro career. Injured and unable to play, the film picks up sixteen years later as he gets back in the game. At first, the game, in the form of head coach Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley) kicks him right back again, until he starts showing his mettle, and the NY Knights start winning games. When Roy starts winning, things start happening for him. He gets the girl, Memo (Kim Basinger), but that doesn't end up all it's cracked up to be, as she's bad luck, which comes in the form of a losing streak. Oh, and she's in cahoots with the team's co-owner, The Judge (Robert Prosky), who's trying to oust Pop and run the team into the ground. But when Roy's first love, Iris (Glenn Close) comes back into his life, everything changes for him.

But for a fairly typical sports film, it shows incredible heart, and even though you know Roy's going to a) knock it out of the park and b) going to be forced to retire from his injury, you're still happy (and not at all jaded) to see both happen. Some of the shots age the film (oh, the slow motion, it's so painfully sloooow), and the ending has been parodied so much that when I saw it, I felt like I'd seen it a million times on The Simpsons, which I probably have. But on the whole, it might just be one of those movies that makes the ever-after rotation.

**Ahem, interesting, non-related Blogger note: when Shawshank comes through the spellcheck, it wants to be corrected to "shagging". Oh, you, dirty spell check.

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