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Guest Blogger David Edelglass Discusses The Sandlot and A Few Good Men

Below is the third in a three-part contribution from guest blogger David Edelglass to our continuing series in which I asked several of my close friends and colleagues to name their Favorite Movie of All Time. Click here for Part I and here for Part II.

My Favorite Movie From My Childhood: The Sandlot

This is another one of those movies that you can catch on ABC Family or some similar channel just about every month, and that’s A-OK with me.

Whenever I watch this movie, I find myself saying the same thing: “They don’t make kids movies like they used to.” It’s true. Most children’s movies these days are silly, over the top escapades that seem to think kids can’t appreciate a well written story or fully developed characters. The computer animated films have faired slightly better, but only Pixar has really been able to make movies that are funny, heartwarming, and family friendly (in this case I don’t just mean a movie that you can take your kids to, but one that will appeal to all audiences — something that even adults will find enjoyable).

The Sandlot is the story of nine kids during the summer of 1962 in L.A. Scott Smalls, a small, somewhat dorky kid, has just moved to the neighborhood with his mom and stepfather (Karen Allen and Denis Leary). He befriends a group of local kids who play baseball every day, and with the help of their de-facto leader, Benny Rodriguez, he slowly becomes one of the gang (and learns to play baseball to boot). The film is essentially the story of their summer, filled with swimming, giant dogs, James Earl Jones, and lots and lots of baseball.

The nine kids who make up the core of the movie are fantastic. Not only are the actors great, but the characters are all well developed and diverse. Each one has their own personality, and while some get more screen time than others, they all seem like real people, not vague character sketches.

Next time this film is on ABC Family, check it out. You’ll enjoy yourself, no matter how old you are.

Honorable Mention: The Last Starfighter


My Favorite Comedy:

This ones is tough. I spent a lot of time thinking about it in preparation for this post, and ultimately I decided that I just can’t decide. There are just too many great films out there, and comedies in particular seem to be very dependent on when you watch them and who you watch them with.

Some of those that have made me laugh the hardest upon first viewing are Planes Trains and Automobiles, The Hangover, Tropic Thunder, and Wedding Crashers, but movies like that are usually never as funny as the first time you saw them. Then there are the ones that get funnier the more you watch them, as you begin to notice the details that are not quite so obvious the first time around: Annie Hall, This Is Spinal Tap, The Big Lebowski. A movie that stays funny on the tenth or twentieth viewing is probably the better film, but there is something to be said for laughing your ass off in a packed theater with a bunch of friends, even if some of the laughs may come cheap.

The Movie I Can Watch Any Time, On Any Channel, No Matter At What Point I Turn It On: A Few Good Men

There is something about this movie that just grabs me. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite movie ever, but I’m not lying when I say that I will watch this film at any time at any point, and whenever I happen across it on TV, I usually I end up watching the rest of it (which is no small feat, since with commercials it runs about three hours). And considering how often this film is on TV, you can bet that I’ve seen it many times, and I never get bored.

A Few Good Men is written by Aaron Sorkin (before I knew who Aaron Sorkin was) and directed by Rob Reiner (at the tail end of his great run of directorial efforts, which in my opinion ended a few years later with The American President, also written by Sorkin). Sorkin has a way with words, which is why I’ve always seen anything he’s been involved with. He writes dialogue that sounds natural, and yet it’s unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. The writing is smart and funny, and even Jack Nicholson’s monologue at the end never seems forced or contrived (due in no small part to Nicholson himself).

But the script is only part of what makes this movie great. This movie is filled to the brim with great actors. I don’t think there is a single person in this movie that I haven’t recognized and enjoyed in other things even if I don’t know their name (except for maybe the two accused soldiers, although they each perform admirably in their small roles). Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Pollack, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Bacon, Noah Wylie and Cuba Gooding Junior in early roles, and the list goes on. It’s really incredible.

What a movie!


David Edelglass is my brother and a man of impeccable taste.  The apartment that he shares with his wife Jess is always well-stocked with fine beers, as any home should be!

The series so far:

Intro

Citizen Kane

Hoosiers, The Frisco Kid, & Casablanca

Wax Philosophique

The Hunt for Red October

Raiders of the Lost Ark & The Dark Knight

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