14 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 21, 2004
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME
DAILY ARTS RATES THE 10 BEST BASEBALL FILMS
improves on original
By Joel Hoard
and Todd Weiser
Daily Arts Writers
1 Field of Dreams (1989): Phil Alden Robinson's
epic film all comes down to the quintessential
baseball moment: a father and son playing catch. It's
the memory where love for the great American pas-
time starts for most fans and - in this case - where
Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) finds clo-
sure with his father.
2 The Pride of the Yankees (1942): Even the
most diehard of Yankee haters has a soft spot for
the Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig. Based on the life of the
Yankees' Hall of Fame first baseman, "The Pride of
the Yankees" traces Gehrig's life from his youth to the
moment his life was cut tragically short at age 37.
"Pride of the Yankees" pays tribute to one of Ameri-
ca's greatest sports legends.
3 Major League (1989): Despite an essentially G-
rated, Disney-ized remake of a sequel and a trilo-
gy-ending demotion to the minors, "Major League"
has kept its reputation in tact. David S. Ward's crystal
ball look into the meteoric rise of the Cleveland Indi-
ans baseball franchise into Detroit Tigers killers, this
film is the best sports comedy of the last 20 years.
4 Eight Men Out (1988): John Sayles made his
winding ensemble style more mainstream with
his fast-talking attempt at a Baseball History 101: the
1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal. Always looking for
a piece of Americana to put under his small-town
microscope, Sayles here looks at 1920s America with
Courtesy o Universal
Attack of the corn people.
baseball movie ... for-ev-ver. For-ev-ver.
7 Bang the Drum Slowly (1973): A young Robert
DeNiro plays Bruce Pearson, a dim-witted catch-
er, as he deals with a terminal illness with the help of
the team's ace pitcher, Henry Wiggen (Michael Mori-
arty). As Henry and the rest of the team try to help
Bruce through his last season, it's impossible not to
shed at least one tear.
Q The Natural (1984): The non-baseball scenes
may not play as well today as they did originally,
but Barry Levinson flipped Bernard Malamud's book
about lost dreams into an epic about sports mythmak-
ing. When the lights go out and the sparks fly on Roy
Hobbs's Knights, you wish it was your hometown
team in the World Series.
9 61* (2001): Behind the camera, Billy Crystal's
work of passion funnels all his childhood Yankee
Stadium memories into a behind-the-scenes look at
the 1961 Mickey Mantle-Roger Maris rivalry that
never was. The way-too-digitally altered baseball
scenes often flop (despite being played at Tiger Stadi-
um). Impeccable casting and a detail-rich script make
the off-the-field action work - no asterisk needed
1 f The Bad News Bears (1976): Essentially the
10 anti-"Sandlot," "The Bad News Bears" fol-
lows a team of lovable losers and their crude, beer-
swilling coach Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau).
Before long, Buttermaker has all his kids drinking
and swearing in the dugout, all the while turning
them into a decent group of ballplayers.
By Jared Newman
Daily Arts Writer
Chicago's baseball world as the subject.
5 Bull Durham (1988): Starring Kevin Costner as
veteran minor league catcher Crash Davis, Tim
Robbins as up-and-coming pitcher "Nuke" LaLoosh
and Susan Sarandon as baseball groupie Annie Savoy
- the three parts of an amusing love triangle -
"Bull Durham" captures the battle over the heart and
mind of young Nuke with intelligence and humor.
6 The Sandlot (1993): With a cast of charac-
ters featuring the likes of Hamilton "Ham"
Porter, Michael "Squints" Palledorous and Alan
"Yeah-Yeah" McClennan, "The Sandlot" encapsu-
lates the game in its simplest state: played by
neighborhood friends on a dirt lot behind a junk-
yard. This classic will live on as the best kid's
know their way around game design.
Unlike the first installment, which
was hindered by unchallenging,
titive gameplay, "Shadows of
"Jis full of ideas that keep
For example, in one sit-
must stealthily sneak
f Michigan State
gruntte to "Metal Gear
Solidit her, players must
move racter around the
scree ront a number of
invader i ng turn-based RPG
reason to procrastin rio -fighting. If f the invade-s reach
week. Both games wn- their 4estinadn, the mission has
loaded at crisiswolverin failed'It's refreshing to have ways to
The main link between newest lose-the game other than through the
installment and "Ins :ctio death of all team members, and it's a
Green" is Johnny sign that the developers were con-
Foreshadow, the scious about gameplay.
mysterious robot Crisis The fighting engine is improved,
whose mug can Wolverine 2: adding ruch-needed balance that
be seen on the Shadows of wa pot seen in the previous install-
many flyers that 'Sthe Past meniome characters are definitely
The Associatin suited for fighting, while others are
of Michigan PC TheAssocweak 'td reliant on how their spells
Game M aker s Michigan Game can a st the others.A time element
have posted Makers has a been addedfforcing the
around campus. player to act quickly in rder to min-
Once on the side of good, Foreshad- imize damage. The o y problem
ow now orients himself with the arises :fm oyerkil treading
evils of Michigan State, who yet through ney territor invokes a
again seem;to be plotting to invade numbr unecessary es. Sub-
Ann Arbor. stituting these fights fo more cli-
Little mention as made of the mactic battles would hav imade the
events of "Insurrection Green'-at game less repetitive.
least Initially. The plot is actually The only real disappoin tnt with
split between the modem-day adven- "Shadows of the Past" s'in the
tures of antiheroes Alex and Neil humor department, wh h was
and flashbacks to the epic battles of pushed to the backgroundi ifavor of
Engineer Jhn Lazar and his crew, tighter gameplay. The cam us gags
who apparently defended Ann Arbor are fewer and further betw en, and
from yet another attack in the 1970s. the interaction between the pharac-
The latter group scattered a number ters is simply not as entertaining as
of blue books around campus, leav- in the original. Still, it's enjyayble
ing behind valuable information for enough to make players want t6 talk
Alex, Neil and their gang. The split to the various people that wallyte
works quite well, allowing the two streets. In the end, "Crisis Wolverine
to develop the plot while the group 2: Shadows of the Past" is focised
provides most of the action. more heavily on creating a fors
Though the game looks and plays Super Nintendo-style RPG.s ju t
like a dated Super Nintendo role- ' t but for
playing game, the developers su ely very different reasons.
Annual Hopwood awards given out at Rackham
By Melissa Runstrom
Daily Books Editor
In Rackham Auditorium, 25 students
were awarded $120,500 in prize money
during the Hopwood Graduate and
Undergraduate Awards Ceremony yes-
terday. The winners were chosen based
on writing submitted to the Hopwood
program in February. The entries were
judged at the local level before qualified
work was sent on to national judges. The
first Hopwoods were given out during
the 1930-31 school year, and since then
more than $2 million has been awarded.
Previous winners include Arthur Miller,
Frank O'Hara and Nancy Willard.
One of this year's recipients of the
Hopwood Undergraduate Poetry Award
was RC freshman Mariama Locking-
ton, who said that she was surprised to
win. She only entered after her poetry
instructor, Ken Mikolowski, suggested
it. "I've been writing poetry for a long
time; it is a big part of my life. I'm real-
ly excited." Commenting about her
future, she said, "I hope to continue to
write from the heart about topics that
are close to me, and continue to look at
the world through open eyes and not
The Hopwood program also hosts 19
other writing and fellowship contests.
Through these contests an additional
$22,975 was bestowed this year to 14
undergraduate and graduate students,
including some Hopwood winners.
Hopwood director and English Prof.
Nicholas Delbanco handed out the hon-
ors, and novelist Mary Gordon ("See-
ing Through Places") gave a lecture
titled "Flannery O'Conner's Kiss."
Gordon spoke about her own experi-
ences as they relate to the letters of the
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