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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.95%
Just Average: 14.75%
Pretty Crappy: 13.11%
Sucks: 3.28%

5 reviews, 31 user ratings

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Bull Durham
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by Chef ADogg

"Pleasant. Very, very pleasant."
4 stars

It's all well and good to watch intellectual films with lots of meaning, symbolism, and general deepness, but sometimes, when you're feeling cranky, you just want to ungplug, unwind, and be entertained. "Bull Durham" fulfills those requirements nicely, and then some.

One time, a wise old man named Paulapalooza told me that Kevin Costner was a good actor before he won that head-swelling Oscar for Dances With Wolves; I promptly laughed in his face as any worldy, nineties-reared youngster would. See, I've been exposed to the Kev only as an aging, chubby ex-idol with a penchant for making absurdly grandiose films. Bull Durham is the first chapter in my education as to WHY Costner was an idol in the first place.

You remember those scenes in The General's Daughter where Travolta and Woods squared off? Sparks flew, lightning flashed, and that strong smell of horse feces disappeared instantaneously. Costner has that effect throughout this entire movie--it doesn't matter who he's playing off, the man creates electricity. He also has an appeallingly battered sense of dignity and nicely coiffed hair.

He's paired up well with Susan Sarandon, a minor-leage baseball groupie who picks one player a season to spiritually enlighten and, of course, sex up in grand fashion. For the season that we observe, she has chosen a tactless, bumbling pitcher played by Tim Robbins. A wrench is thrown in her plans, though, once Kev switches on the charm--does she stick with the naiive youth she can control, or take a chance at a mature relationship with the wiser, smoother man?

It's pretty obvious from the first frame what road she'll take, but Bull Durham is such an entertaining, satisfying ride that the element of surprise is not an issue. This film is pure joy, filling the audience with the simple pleasures of baseball, male bonding, and steamy bath tub sex scenes. Writer/director Ron Shelton never overplays his material, which is rather refreshing.

He just lets the story unfurl naturally, with each scene coming exactly where it feels right; Shelton's no technical showman, but he has a feel for structure and small laughs that add up. It's nice to see a filmmaker working instinctually and quietly, interested only in delivering a solid picture.

In the end, you may not gain a whole lot from viewing "Bull Durhman." But you will most definitely be entertained--good sports scenes, leads with actual chemistry, and a happy ending that doesn't feel forced or contrived. It's movie magic on a small scale.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1088&reviewer=123
originally posted: 02/27/00 22:21:23
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User Comments

12/28/17 morris campbell smart & funny 4 stars
9/18/16 Suzanne great writing - love all 3 characters 5 stars
6/16/13 Jeff Wilder Brilliant! Characterization and dialogue superb! 5 stars
10/17/07 Grady "Never ever let fungus grow on your shower shoes" enough said great movie!!! 5 stars
6/18/07 Oliver Favorite movie of all-time, not just "sports movie", even the role players are brilliant 5 stars
4/30/05 Chris Stephens One of the best baseball movies made 4 stars
4/24/05 OverTheRainbow Love it- especially Tim Burton in a garter belt! 5 stars
4/02/05 Eric best sports film of all time 5 stars
3/31/05 Carolyn Rathburn Long slow deep wet kisses, that says it all. 5 stars
3/29/05 Skeeve Yet another baseball movie which is amazingly more fun to watch than the real thing! 5 stars
1/20/05 Jason Kaul The sexiest movie S.S. has done since Rocky Horror. A must see for baseball fans. 4 stars
12/31/04 DM Proof that Costner was funny shit before he was just.....shit. 4 stars
7/01/04 John excellent dialogue and good story - funny too 4 stars
6/14/04 T. Maj Kevin Kostner is adorable--what the hell happened to him?? 5 stars
4/08/04 M. Rosado "I hate it when people get the words wrong!" 5 stars
1/15/04 Desperado you idiotic dipshits who think this isnt the best sports movie ever,u r just that, dipshits 5 stars
4/28/03 Jin lame 1 stars
4/18/03 Rhoda Dohr I knew this was total crap LONG before flap over Robbins, Sarandon &Hall Of Fame! 1 stars
12/31/02 Jack Sommersby The best sports comedy ever! A masterpiece with magnificent dialogue and acting. 5 stars
12/03/02 Jack Wolverton The Church of Baseball 5 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum More Ron Shelton dumbing down for the sports fan 3 stars
3/16/02 FlaFan Some good lines, but overall I'm not too impressed. 3 stars
9/03/01 spaceworm So good one can even excuse Costner's participation (he's even mostly good in it). 4 stars
5/20/01 R.W. Welch Okay love and baseball pic with a rare look at life in the minor leagues. 4 stars
2/13/01 Jake Typical mindless, trashy, American fare. 2 stars
5/23/00 The Bomb 69 excellent stuff, well written and acted (not a costner fan either) 5 stars
4/14/00 Elvisfan WAY overwritten and Kevin was too smug/knowing which made him annoying to watch 2 stars
7/15/99 GothamDK One of the best sports movies of all-time. Classic lines. 5 stars
5/19/99 Katsat One of my favorite movies of all time 5 stars
10/04/98 {{{OZ}}} I dig baseball movies. And sex. But wasn't all over this movie. Some good bits. 4 stars
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  02-Jun-1988 (R)


  02-Feb-1988 (M)

Directed by
  Ron Shelton

Written by
  Ron Shelton

  Kevin Costner
  Susan Sarandon
  Tim Robbins
  Trey Wilson
  Robert Wuhl
  William O'Leary

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