The Sandlot Still A “Hit” Twenty Years Later

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Two decades ago, what is one of the best modern coming-of-age stories ever crafted was released in the form of 20th Century Fox’s baseball based story, The Sandlot.  In the twenty years since that movie first debuted, it hasn’t’ lost a single bit of its shine, even with a previous Blu-ray release having been put out a little over two years ago.  What continues to make The Sandlot so appealing to this day is its continued ability to relate to viewers of every age.  It reminds older audiences what it’s like to be a kid.  It reminds them of all the joys and simplicities of being young.  And despite being set in the 1960’s, it’s a story to which even today’s younger audiences can relate.  Older viewers remember the “good old days” of hanging out with friends, and getting into all kinds of trouble.  They remember the joys of simply being kids as well as the trials and tribulations of being the “new kid” trying to fit in in a new environment.  And even today’s generation knows of these joys.  So for those audiences who have yet to see this movie, it makes for a nice addition to said individuals’ home libraries.

The Sandlot 20th Anniversary Edition was released on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack last week, only a little over two years since its previous Blu-ray release.  Little has changed between that release and this one.  But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The story is so enjoyable in its own right there really is no need for much in the way of bonus features.  Though some audio commentary would have been a nice addition to offer viewers more insight into the story and how everything came into place.  Especially being that 20th Century Fox is celebrating the movie’s 20th birthday, it would have been just as interesting to have any of the original cast members that could have been recruited to offer their own retrospective on the movie and its meaning to each one to this day.  Perhaps that could be taken into consideration for the movie’s twenty-fifth or thirtieth anniversary edition.

The bonus features aside, The Sandlot 20th Anniversary Edition is still a wonderful addition to any family’s home library.  It offers so many fun and funny moments both for parents and kids alike.  Watching Squints fake a drowning in order to get a kiss from a certain young lifeguard is one of the story’s many funny moments.  What young boy hasn’t fantasized the way that Squints did?  And the boys’ various plans to get the Babe Ruth signed baseball back from “The Beast” will make viewers of all ages laugh.  There is a certain reality to those scenarios.  It’s one of those “boys will be boys” types of scenarios.  And speaking of “The Beast”, his ability to thwart the boys’ every attempt is equally comical in its own way.  Then of course, there is also the famous chase scene in which Benny is being chased by the massive Mastiff.  The music and shooting style made this one of the movie’s best moments, if not the best moment in the movie.  It’s tough to put a finger on exactly what makes this such a memorable moment.  But audiences of all ages will love the entire sequence. 

The chase scene with “The Beast” and the boys’ attempts to get Smalls’ signed baseball back make for their own share of enjoyment.  Just as enjoyable and relatable is the story element of the myth surrounding the owner of “The Beast”, Mr. Mertle (James Earl Jones).  The boys all believe that Mr. Mertle is this evil man who told “The Beast” to eat a boy years ago.  But after Benny retrieves Smalls’ baseball, the pair meets Mr. Mertle for himself, dispelling the myth once and for all.  Again, while this story is set in the 1960s, this is another element to which audiences even today can relate.  Every young generation has its myths surrounding certain figures.  And the revelation about the figures’ always turns out to be entirely different from what is believed.  It makes for yet another of so many great moments included by writer/director David Mickey Evans and co-writer Robert Gunter.  The Sandlot 20th Anniversary Edition offers more memorable moments than could be shared in one sitting.  There are so many that audiences will consider their favorites.  And it’s because of this abundance of wonderful moments and equally wonderful writing (and camera work) that anyone who has yet to add this timeless story to their home library will want to do just that.  The movie is now available in stores and online and can be ordered direct online via the 20th Century Fox store at http://www.foxconnect.com/the-sandlot-20th-anniversary.html.

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FHE Celebrates Upcoming Re-Issue With New Promotions

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

The 2013 MLB season is right around the corner.  And just in time for the start of a brand new season, 20th Century Fox is set to release its classic baseball-centered coming-of-age story, The Sandlot in a special 20th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD combo package.  The new re-issue will be released Tuesday, March 26th.  The movie features an all-star cast including: James Earl Jones, Denis Leary, and Karen Allen just to name a few cast members. 

Along with the re-issue of this classic movie, Fox Home Entertainment will partner with Benny The Jet’s favorite shoe brand, PF Flyers for a very special one-of-a-kind promotion.  The companies will release a limited run of “The Secret Weapon” the same day the movie hits stores.  The shoes will be sold in a vintage 1960’s shoebox.  The shoes won’t be all that fans get when they purchase a pair of PF Flyers.  The box will also include a $3 Sandlot coupon with the shoes.  And anyone who picks up the new 20th Anniversary edition of The Sandlot on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack will get a coupon for 10% off a pair of PF Flyers inside the box.  More information on this special is available online at http://www.pfflyers.com

The special limited run of PF Flyers is just one promotion being put on by FHE along with the classic movie’s re-issue.  FHE is also partnering with Major League Baseball and the Fox Sports Networks for what is being dubbed the “Sandlot Baseball Field Program.”  The program’s aim is to renovate baseball fields across the country so that baseball lovers the nation over can have a “Sandlot” of their own in their own backyards.  And many of the nation’s Major and Minor league baseball parks will present screenings of The Sandlot with Director, Writer and Narrator, David Mickey Evans.  A full schedule of screenings is listed below.

The Sandlot

Screening Locations/Dates

(*Subject to Change)

ARM & HAMMER Park, home of the Trenton Thunder (Trenton, New Jersey) – 4/13/13

 

Fluor Field at the West End, home of the Greenville Drive (Greenville, South Carolina) – 4/19/13

 

Arvest Ballpark, home of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Springdale, Arkansas) – 4/21/13

 

Rangers Ballpark, home of the Texas Rangers (Arlington, Texas) – 5/11/13

 

Tucson Padres at Kino Stadium (Tucson, Arizona) – 5/18/13

 

Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals (St. Louis, Missouri) – Date to be announced

 

Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – Date to be announced

 

Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home of the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) – 6/1/13

 

AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds (Memphis, Tennessee) – 6/15/13

 

Steinbrenner Field, home of the Tampa Yankees (Tampa, Florida) – 6/22/13

 

Dell Diamond, home of the Round Rock Express (Round Rock, Texas) – 6/25/13

 

Whataburger Field, home of the Corpus Christi Hooks (Corpus Christi, Texas) – 6/29/13

 

Fifth Third Field, home of the Toledo Mud Hens (Toledo, Ohio) – 7/5/13

 

Classic Park, home of the Lake County Captains (Eastlake, Ohio) – 7/12/13

 

CommunityAmerica Ballpark, home of the Kansas City T-Bones (Kansas City, Kansas) – 7/26/13

 

Security Service Field, home of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Colorado Springs, Colorado) – 8/2/13

 

Fifth Third Field, home of the Dayton Dragons (Dayton, Ohio) – 8/10/13

 

Werner Park, home of the Omaha Storm Chasers (Omaha, Nebraska) – 8/17/13

 

The Epicenter, home of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Rancho Cucamonga, California) – 8/30/13

 

Coolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Braves (Lawrenceville, Georgia) – 9/21/13

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.