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William Kellys War
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday, November 1, 2014 - Edition No 921 

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FOR LOVE OF THE GAME: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Baseball player Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is at a crisis in his career. For the last twenty years he's been the pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, but now the team has a new owner and Chapel will probably be traded, unless he decides to retire. At the same time Jane (Kelly Preston), a fashion journalist he's had an on-and-off relationship with over the last few years, has just told him she's leaving to take up a new job in London. As he pitches what may well be the last game of his career, Billy thinks back over his life with Jane and her daughter Heather (Jena Malone) and struggles to make the right decision about what to do.

You don't have to love baseball to enjoy For Love of the Game, a story about a professional baseball player who is better at sport than love. In fact, like Fever Pitch and The Cup, this story is more about passion for the sport than the sport itself. A vehicle for Kevin Costner, who manages to look attractive while brooding constantly, this is easy to watch entertainment. But it helps if you're a Costner fan in order to succumb to his charms. Kelly Preston is beautifully cast as his love interest and the scene when they meet is one you'll remember. This is basically a warm and funny love story about hopes and dreams that's set on a backdrop of baseball. For someone like me who knows very little about this American game that is almost an institution, I was surprised how interested I became.

On DVD in widescreen, the main special feature is the Spotlight on location in which actors and crew talk about the making of the film, baseball and how they achieved the authentic look of the game. Director Sam Raimi is a big baseball fan and he describes how he wanted to get the feeling of getting into the baseball players' heads; the technique he uses is most effective. Professional baseball players were hired in order to be as true to the game as possible, and we really get a feel for being there in the diamond with the thousands of spectators looking on. In fact the Yankee Stadium holds tens of thousands of spectators and as there were only about one and a half thousand extras available for the crowd scenes, they were moved all around the stadium, depending which part was being filmed at the time. (Additional spectators were digitally added later).

There is 20 minutes of previously unseen deleted footage and baseball fans will be interested in the history of The Perfect Game listings and the trivia game. There are language and sub-title options and the trailer will give you a snapshot of what's ahead.
Louise Keller

Published: 12/10/2000

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We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.

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FOR LOVE OF THE GAME (M15+)
(US)

CAST: Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly, Jena Malone, Brian Cox
DIRECTOR: Sam Raimi
RUNNING TIME: 132 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar Home Video
DVD RELEASE: October 10, 2000

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Spotlight on location
20 minutes of never-before-seen deleted scenes
The history of the Perfect Game
On the Mound trivia game
Theatrical trailer
Menu music
Production notes
Cast/filmmakers's notes
DVD ROM features & weblinks







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