Media Meltdown Podcast

Classic Movies I Just Saw For the First Time: "The Natural" Directed By Barry Levinson (1984)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

by: Ryan Grudinski

The Natural made it pretty far into our sports bracket that we did back in April of 2013, so I decided to check out this "classic" and judge for myself. Let's see how it faired... I'll start with the bad. It's probably one of the most clich├ę-filled sports movies I've ever seen. Everything related to the game of baseball in this film is so completely and painfully predictable that it almost ruins the film. There's not one thing that will catch the viewers off guard when Robert Redford's Roy Hobbs has a bat or glove in or on his hand. This is the biggest negative take-away from this film. I understand it's a product of the times, and this was sort of the standard back in the mid-80's when the film was made... So I'm willing to forgive a lot of this in favor of what I did enjoy about the film. First off, the cinematography was beautiful to look at which makes the film flow by at a brisk pace even for a 2+ hour story. The score by Randy Newman is also quite excellent. Redford and his supporting cast all do a superb job bringing to life a lack-luster screenplay and making it into something worthwhile. Technically, the film is great, it's really just the substance behind the sizzle that leaves a bit to be desired. I can see why this one is considered a "classic" I just don't think it stands the test of time given the predictable and clich├ęd nature of the script.

Plot: ** 1/2
Acting: ****
Writing: * 1/2
Direction: ****
Technical: Technically speaking it's a great achievement on all fronts.
X-Factors: If you don't mind cliche's it's very good. If you do, it may bug you just enough to not enjoy the film.
Verdict: ***
Will This Movie end up in my collection? If it's cheap! ($5 of less)

Posted at 2:46 PM by Media Meltdown Podcast
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