Pitcher's duel

Schmaltzy and then some, For Love of the Game is still mighty persuasive

Balls or strikes: Kevin Costner's Billy Chapel ponders life without baseball...and the love of his life.
Balls or strikes: Kevin Costner's Billy Chapel ponders life without baseball...and the love of his life.

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Starring Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly, and Jena Malone

Opens September 17

Official site

Directed by Sam Raimi

Screenplay by Dana Stevens, based on the novel by Michael Shaara

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What's most likely afoot here is that the player would like to learn a new game, or at least new rules. This is good, considering the creators' obvious appeal to the masses and obvious distaste for highfalutin culture. God gets product-placement alongside Adidas. Horror of horrors, Bob Seger and Steely Dan both get montage sequences (in fact, the movie is wall-to-wall music, especially boogie-woogie guitar). High-minded aesthetes get snubbed over good ol' boy athletes. It's all good and well to root for the home team, but in a game as manipulative as this, who really wins?

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