For Love of the Game (1999, dir. by Sam Raimi)


Last week, the Dodgers won the World Series and brought the 2020 MLB season to a close.  For me, it was a disappointing season because the Rangers ended up with the worst record in the American League and came nowhere close to the playoffs.  I should be used to that by now but it still hurts every season.

If only we could have had a pitcher like Billy Chapel, who Kevin Costner plays in For Love of the Game.  Billy Chapel is a forty year-old veteran who has been playing baseball his entire life and who has spent his entire major league career as a member of the Tigers.  Before the start of the team’s final game against the Yankees (the Yankees have already clinched the playoff berth while the Tigers are at the bottom of their division, kind of like my Rangers), Billy is told that the Tigers have been sold and that Billy is going to be traded to the Giants.  Will Billy go to San Francisco or will he retire and go to London with the woman he loves, Jane Aubrey (Kelly Preston)?

That’s the decision that Billy is going to have to make.  But first, Billy’s going to throw a perfect game against the New York Yankees.

While Billy is pitching the game, he’s also thinking about Jane and having flashbacks to how they first met and fell for each other.  Billy loves Jane but he also loves playing baseball and it keeps the two of them apart.  Jane doesn’t want to be a baseball groupie and she needs a man who she knows is going to be there for her and her daughter, instead of spending most of the year traveling around the country.  Billy, meanwhile, doesn’t want to give up the game that’s defined his life.  As Billy throws his perfect game, he has to decide whether or not to keep playing until he can no longer get the ball across the plate or whether to start a new chapter with Jane.  Meanwhile, Jane is stuck in an airport, watching Billy play the game of his life.

For Love Of The Game is a good love story but it’s a great baseball movie.  I loved the scenes of Billy standing out on the mound, carefully evaluating each batter while blocking out all of the noise around him.  (The only villains in this movie are the New Yorkers who won’t stop yelling at Billy during the game.)  I enjoyed the interplay between Billy and the catcher (John C. Reilly) and I especially appreciated the way that the movie showed that it takes more than a good pitcher to have a perfect game.  It takes teamwork and focus.  It’s not just Billy’s perfect game.  It’s the entire team’s perfect game.

For Love of the Game may be a romantic drama but it’s also a celebration of everything that makes baseball great.  It’s America’s pastime and this movie shows why.  Watching Billy Chapel get his perfect game made me look forward to seeing what will happen next year.  Who knows?  Maybe the Rangers will even shock everyone and make the postseason.  If Billy Chapel can throw a perfect game while playing the Yankees in New York City, then anything can happen!

4 Shots From 4 Sam Raimi Films: The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, A Simple Plan, Drag Me To Hell


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, we wish a happy birthday to the one and only Sam Raimi!

4 Shots From 4 Sam Raimi Films

The Evil Dead (1981, dir by Sam Raimi)

Evil Dead II (1987, dir by Sam Raimi)

A Simple Plan (1998, dir by Sam Raimi)

Drag Me To Hell (2009, dir by Sam Raimi)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Bill Paxton Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Bill Paxton would have been 65 years old today.  One of the greatest of the modern character actors, Bill Paxton passed away three years ago and the loss is still felt.  Paxton was one of those actors who was often taken for granted but who was capable of bring almost any character to life.  He was an exciting actor to watch, not to mention being one of the best actor to ever come out of Ft. Worth, Texas.  He is definitely missed.

Today, we pay tribute to the great Bill Paxton with….

4 Shots From 4 Films

Near Dark (1987, dir by Kathryn Bigelow)

Pass the Ammo (1988, dir by David Beaird)

A Simple Plan (1998, dir by Sam Raimi)

Frailty (2001, dir by Bill Paxton)

4 Shots From 4 Films: The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond, Drag Me To Hell, The House of the Devil, Zombieland


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 2009 Horror Films

The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond (2009, dir by Gabriel Bolongna)

Drag Me To Hell (2009, dir by Sam Raimi)

The House of the Devil (2009, dir by Ti West)

Zombieland (2009, dir by Ruben Fleischer)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Army Darkness, Candyman, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dust Devil


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 1992 Horror Films

Army of Darkness (1992, dir by Sam Raimi)

Candyman (1992, dir by Bernard Rose)

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992, dir by Francis Ford Coppola)

Dust Devil (1992, dir by Richard Stanley)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Evil Dead II, Near Dark, Stage Fright, The Stepfather


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 1987 Horror Films

Evil Dead II (1987, dir by Sam Raimi)

Near Dark (1987, dir by Kathryn Bigelow)

Stage Fright (1987, dir by Michele Soavi)

The Stepfather (1987, dir by Joseph Ruben)

A Dollar and a Dream: THE EVIL DEAD (New Line Cinema 1981)


cracked rear viewer

In 1981, the inspirational British sports drama CHARIOTS OF FIRE edged out Warren Beatty’s sweeping socialist epic REDS for Best Picture at the 54th annual Academy Awards. Bah. I’m here to say THE EVIL DEAD is a better movie than either of them! At the very least, it’s a helluva lot more fun! It features a stunning debut for writer/director Sam Raimi, who, though he had far less money to work with than Beatty or CHARIOTS director Hugh Hudson, demonstrates some mega talent on a mini budget.

Sam Raimi (r) and Bruce Campbell, 1981

Raimi was a movie mad kid from the suburbs of Detroit who experimented with making Super-8 shorts as a teen with his friends, including EVIL DEAD star and cult icon Bruce Campbell . They put together a 1978 supernatural slasher called WITHIN THE WOODS, hoping to attract attention and make it into a feature. Raimi managed…

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4 Shots From 4 Films: Happy Birthday, Spider-Man!


It was 56 years ago today that The Amazing Spider-Man made his first appearance in the 15th issue of Amazing Fantasy.  After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker developed super power but it was not until his uncle was murdered that Parker learned what it meant to be a hero.

With great power comes great responsibility and, as these four shots from four films demonstrate, movie stardom!  Over the years, Nicholas Hammond, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland have all played America’s favorite web-spinning super hero.

In honor of Spider-Man’s birthday, here they are

4 Shots From 4 Films

The Amazing Spider-Man: The Chinese Web (1979, directed by Don McDougall)

Spider-Man (2002, directed by Sam Raimi)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014, directed by Marc Webb)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017, directed by Jon Watts)