I am a huge baseball fan. I’m originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, As a kid I grew up watching the Boston Red Sox. I have been through my up and downs with the Sox and I has made me a better person for going through all these good and bad times with my team. As I am also a film critic I am a huge sports movie fan as well. Some of the best sports movies over the last 80 or so years have been baseball movies. Baseball is such a broad topic though. There have been plenty of pro baseball movies such as Pride of the Yankees, Moneyball, The Rookie, Fear Strikes Out, Cobb,Eight Men Out and Fever Pitch. There has also been a fare share of kids baseball movies. Bad News Bears and The Sandlot come to mind. Fictionalized telling of baseball stories are very prevalent though. The Natural, Bang the Drum Slowly, Major League,Field of Dreams are a few of those. Field of Dreams is one of three baseball films Kevin Costner has starring in with the other two being Bull Durham and For Love of the Game. There even has been a baseball movie about the females baseball league of the 50′s. Actors of all caliber have starred in baseball movies. Gary Cooper comes to mind as the best performance by anybody in a baseball movie as Lou Gherig the dying baseball legend in Pride of the Yankees. Brad Pitt and Robert Redford give great performances though as The GM of the struggling and cash strapped Oakland A’s and Roy Hobbs a phenom of a baseball hitter. Some baseball movies are comedies but, most baseball films are dramas. Every year we get a baseball film or two and this year is no different. Next month May 16th is the opening of 1000,000 Dollar Arm starring Jon Hamm. I look forward to more baseball films and I keep enjoying the one that have come out in theaters in the past.
Dan Skip Allen
Ever since I was a kid I watched westerns on TV38 in Boston. It was a local channel that had movies on Saturday mornings. One week it would be gangster movies and another week it would be monster movies. On holidays such as Halloween or Christmas they would have Halloween movies or Christmas movies. Every couple of month though they would go back to the western genre. Going back to when I was a kid the big western star of the time was Clint Eastwood. Sure he had the occasional comedy or action movie but, it was the western that reminded me what a great actor he was. Films such as Pale Rider, High Plains Drifter and the Outlaw Josey Wales were the staples of the genre and made me wanna watch a lot more westerns. Clint was senonimus with the spaghetti western in the 60′s and early 70′s. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Trilogy was the most popular of these kinds of films. Clint acted in 15 westerns in his career. Of those were also Two Mules for Sister Sarah, A Fistful of Dollars, For a few Dollars More, Joe Kid and Hang’Em High. My favorite though is his last and latest western Unforgiven, Unforgiven won for Oscars including one for Best Picture, Director for Clint Eastwood, Best Supporting Actor for Gene Hackman and Editing. Unforgiven is everything I have ever wanted in a great western. A flip in the iconic roles was a great pleasant surprise. The idea Clint would use a western with quite the amount of violence as a means to teach about gun violence and violence in general was very rewarding to me as a viewer.
Western were one of the biggest influences in me being a film pundit and huge film fan. Once I started watching the Clint Eastwood westerns I wanted to find other to watch. Films such as High Noon with Gary Cooper, How the West was Won and Once Upon A Time in the West and The Magnificent Seven with there great cast of actors like Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart and Yul Brynner were great films. True Grit,The Cowboys ,The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance were staples for John Wayne during the 50′s and 60′s. Another great western star was Kevin Costner. Silverado, Dances with Wolves and Wyatt Earp were a couple of his early films. Later he would go back to the western with Open Range and the TV mini-series The Hattfields & McCoy’s. Paul Newman and Robert Redford would star in a classic in the 70′s called Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid.
Over the years we would see a western here or there but, there hasn’t been that many out the last few decades. Films like Tombstone, the new 3:10 To Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford were the last of the great westerns. They had great performances by Val Kilmerand Kurt Russell, Russell Crowe and Christain Bale and Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. The next year we have four new westerns out. The Homesman, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Jane Got a Gun and The Magnificent Death by Shattered Hand are the westerns that hope to revive the lost genre of film. I hope they do because I love watching this bygone genre of film.
Dan Skip Allen
Disney/Marvel has put some little hints out there that were gonna see Doctor Strange and The Black Panther in there own stand alone movies or a future Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. In a line in Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier were here from a shield agent that Stephen Strange exists in the MCU. Stephen Strange is the alter ego of Doctor Strange. This comes as no surprise seeing that MCU head Kevin Feige has long talked about a possible Doctor Strange appearance whether it be a stand a lone movie or guest appearance in another MCU movie. Disney/Marvel seems to also be leaning towards an appearance by The Illuminati in an MCU film as well. Doctor Strange is a member of the shadowy group as well.
Listening to an interview this week with 42 and Draft Day star Chadwick Bossman, we got a little tidbit about The Black Panther. When asked about his possible casting as T’challa the King of Wakanda he said there he knew of the rumor of his casting but, that was all he could say. T’challa is the alter ego of The Black Panther. With vibranium already making its appearance in the Captain America: The First Avenger movie, we know about its existence as the metal that Captain America’s shield is made of. An appearance from The Black Panther wouldn’t be to far out of reach.
I myself wouldn’t mind Bossman as The Black Panther of rumored Patrick Dempsey as Doctor Strange but, I have other choices in mind. My choice for The Black Panther would be Oscar nominee for 12 Years a Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor. He is a proven actor in a lot of good movies the least of which is American Gangster. Now my pick for Doctor Strange is Viggo Mortenson. He has proven to be a great actor as well. In quite a few diverse roles. Let me know in comments who you think should play these characters and what you think of my choices.
Dan Skip Allen