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Alright, I guess … I’m not sure. Yeah, I guess I’m not sure. I don’t know if it’s a great movie.

It is, though, isn’t it? Isn’t The Sandlot a perfect movie?

Perfect? Okay. Relax. You enjoy the film. Immensely. But why?

Well, what makes it something worth thinking and writing about is the quality of the thing. The narration. The kid actors being kids. The chemistry of the group. Way better than It, right? Those tikes were decent, but there’s something about the character development of The Sandlot baseball players that …

Yeah, how are they developed? There isn’t any backstory for the supporting cast. There aren’t over-the-top flashbacks. The crew have phrases and quirks and nicknames, but nothing way out of the ordinary. Nothing outlandish. Kind of like The Bad News Bears. Characters for characters’ sake.

Is it the dialogue? The quality of the comedy and timing? The camerawork? The exaggerated special effects? (The stuff with the dog is, somehow, not hokey because the fantastical sightings are from their innocent psyches.)

And the movie’s worthiness isn’t based on nostalgia. For example, I don’t have a special place in my heart for The Goonies or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

That’s a lie. I do have those movies nestled in my childhood heart where they qualify as nostalgia. But that’s my point. Those movies don’t blur my educated criticisms of cinema. They don’t hold up on their own.

But I don’t think The Sandlot’s doing that (blurring my whatever I was saying) either. My admiration for the baseball boys’ adventures increases with each awestruck, annual viewing. UNobscured by my own childhood memories.

Awe-struck? Annual? And aren’t childhood memories exactly what the Sandlot story taps into?

I think I’m exaggerating some points. But the other night, I know I was entertained. So much, that I’m wondering if The Sandlot is the summer version of A Christmas Story (my favorite movie of all time).

(Yes, A Christmas Story is the best. Again, not from Nostalgia Nation. The chemistry, acting, story, mood, time-capsule capturing. [Capsule capturing? Isn’t that redundant?] The movie’s a one-of-a-kind masterpiece even outside of the holiday genre.)

The Sandlot is not a weirdo family-video, blockbuster movie (puns intended) like Good Burger or Ernest Goes to Camp. No, those movies are stupid. The Sandlot is smart. The baseball sound effects are a bit much. And the very ending’s almost TV-like, but …

Alright, I guess … I’m sure … yeah, I’m sure that The Sandlot is not perfect.

A great movie? Yes. I don’t need to ease up on that. I enjoy the film. Immensely. Why? Because I felt great during and after. That’s how I’ve felt every time.

Have I watched it every year? No, I don’t think that’s true. But I’m prepared to make it a tradition. A Christmas Story every Christmas. The Sandlot every summer.

To Adults, kids, those who’ve lived in the era in which it takes place, those who’ve lived in the era during its video release (did anyone see it at the theater?) …

Drop the phone!

Get outside!

Go to the pool!

Go to a festival!

Play with the dog!

Play ball!

And watch The Sandlot by June 21st (the first day of summer).


NOTE: Don’t bother watching director David Mickey Evans’ other stuff.

Dan Jones

Author Dan Jones

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