The Sandlot 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review
THE SANDLOT is one of the best coming-of-age movies of the last 30 years. It touches on many important issues like friendship, fitting in, taking responsibility, taking risks, first love, family and the great game of baseball. It definitely earned getting this 25th anniversary edition treatment.
THE SANDLOT takes place mainly in 1962. A man is looking back on his life and one of the best summers he ever had. He is Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry). In 1962, he is 12-years-old and just moving into a new neighborhood with his mother (Karen Allen) and stepfather (Dennis Leary in a nicely restrained performance). Scotty is a smart kid who is shy and doesn’t make friends easily. His mother pushes him to try to make friends during this summer instead of sitting inside all day.
Scotty does love baseball. So he goes to the local sandlot with his long billed fishing hat on and tries to join a local group of kids. It does not go well and he races home humiliated and defeated. But he has an ace in the hole. The best player in the group, Benny (Mike Vitar), takes a liking to him and gives him some pointers of playing baseball. This changes everything and he is accepted into the group after the group previously was quite skeptical of his ability and naivety. Scotty did not know who Babe Ruth was. The horror! The group includes Ham (Patrick Renna), a nickname quite appropriate for his personality. There are the two brothers Timmy and Tommy (Victor Di Mattia, Shane Obedzinski). You have Yeah-Yeah (Marty York), who repeats that term all the time. There’s Kenny (Brandon Quintin Adams), who is the pitcher of the group. You also have Squints (Chauncey Leopardi), who wears glasses and is in love with an older girl in the neighborhood. Then lastly there is Bertram (Grant Gelt).
The guys mostly play baseball during the day. You see them having fun at night at a carnival or during a camp out. At this camp out the legend of The Beast is told. This is the ferocious mythical dog that resides outside the fence of the sandlot. Baseballs go into that yard and don’t come out. The Beast supposedly swallows them whole and has even eaten a kid before. The townspeople have forced the owner to keep the animal chained up forever. Well that’s how the story goes. I am sure everyone can relate to urban legends that get passed around in their local area. The Beast is represented with a large head and paw that destroys everything in its path.
THE SANDLOT is basically broken up into three areas. You have the baseball scenes where the kids bond and play. You have the scenes outside the diamond like the carnival or the local pool. Finally you have scenes where the boys try to retrieve a priceless baseball owned by Scotty’s stepfather that was hit into the yard of The Beast. There’s much slapstick involved in these scenes and they are a lot of fun. Director and Co-Screenwriter David Mickey Evans has done a great job in assembling these rag tag group of kids. These types of films rely heavily on the performances of young actors and how authentic they are. There is not a false note among them. They act like genuine kids who enjoy being around each other.
THE SANDLOT is a warm coming-of-age film that teaches a lot of great lessons in life. It is a nice movie to reconnect with in these turbulent times.
Video: The video is bright, lively and very well lit.
Audio: The sound was quite good and all the scenes could be heard clearly. You could really hear the crunch of baseball or the growl of The Beast.
Featurette (5:51): This was a short feature detailing the making of the movie. The stars and the director discuss the story and the characters.
10 Exclusive Topps Baseball Cards featuring the young actors.
25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition Booklet: This booklet has loads of fun facts about certain scenes, The Beast, storyboards, locations, actors, movie poster and a note from the director.