A League of Their Own Blu-ray Review
When I think of some of the better baseball movies out there, most people don’t think of A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, but they probably should. The film about the first women’s baseball league is a quality sports movie with great characters, great performances and a feel-good story.
Distraught that all of their best baseball players are signing up to go fight in World War II, a group of owners decide to start a professional women’s baseball league consisting of four teams. While out scouting girls for the new league, Ernie (Jon Lovitz), discovers Dottie (Geena Davis) and makes a plea for her to come out to Chicago and try out. Dottie agrees, under the condition that her kid sister Kit (Lori Petty) comes along with her. Ernie agrees and soon Dottie and Kit are playing for the Rockford Peaches. But starting a new league isn’t easy and soon the girls have to get creative to drive up attendance and as the popularity grows, so does the rivalry between Dottie and Kit.
Even though the rivalry between Dottie and Kit was one of the main plots, I found it less interesting than the overall story of the baseball league. At times, I wanted Penny Marshall to focus more on the sports aspect of the film and less on the sibling rivalry. I enjoyed the story about the league and some of the gimmicks they went through to try and increase their fan base and I would have liked more of that, along with what was going on outside of the league. I was left confused at times as to whether the league was successful or not and would have liked a clearer picture of the politics impacting the league’s success. However, the performances of the great cast, most notably Tom Hanks, made the characters interesting enough that some of the film’s other flaws could be forgiven.
No actor in American cinema has had a better 6 year span than Tom Hanks did between 1992 and 1998. A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN was what started his run for him and is actually responsible for getting him back in the movies after the disaster that was THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES (which I actually liked). Tom Hanks delivers one of his best performances as the drunken manager, Jimmy Dugan. Dugan balances out the all-female cast perfectly as he provides the comic relief in the beginning and later the strong emotional support. If anything, I would have liked to have seen more of Dugan, perhaps at the sacrifice of the Dottie-Kit storyline. Hanks isn’t the only actor that did well, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell all did surprisingly well here, despite not being some of my favorite actresses.
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN is a quality, feel-good baseball movie that takes a fresh twist on baseball. This isn’t just a good female-sports movie, but it’s a good sports movie in general. A great performance from Tom Hanks and a great story make this a high recommendation for those that may have missed it.
Video: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN looks wonderful on Blu-ray, making a marked improvement over its DVD counterpart. It is an older film, so some grain is to be expected, but overall it looks wonderful
Audio: The audio is also fine.
Audio Commentary with director Penny Marshall, Lori Petty, Tracy Reiner and Megan Cavanagh: A decent commentary that goes into character details, shooting the different baseball scenes, costumes, setting, etc. If you liked the film then this might entice you.
Deleted Scenes (33:45): A handful of deleted scenes that were fun to watch but didn’t really add much to the story, these are also available to watch with an introduction from Penny Marshall.
Nine Memorable Innings (52:26): This is an eleven-part documentary that covers various parts of the production on the film, behind-the-scenes, etc. The documentary is broken down into nine innings and something that fans of the film will enjoy.
Music Video: “This Used to Be My Playground” by Madonna