Generally thought to be the one speed bump on Pixar’s near-perfect record, Cars is nonetheless a jolly, big-hearted, old-fashioned tale set on the open highway — if that highway was inhabited solely by automobiles, that is. Slick speed racer Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) visits a ghost town populated by characters who instigate some much-needed soul-searching, including the father-figure Doc Hudson (voiced by the late, great Paul Newman). Cars was such a success, both at the box office and the toy store, a sequel was a no-brainer. It’s due in 2011.
CRASH DAVIS and EBBY ”NUKE” LALOOSH
PLAYED BY Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins
MOVIE Bull Durham (1988)
POSITIONS Catcher (Davis) and pitcher (LaLoosh)
TEAM The Durham Bulls, minor-league misfits whose fortunes improve along with Nuke’s pitching
STATS Davis, a seasoned catcher who’s quietly chasing a minor-league home-run record, is brought in to teach discipline to rookie LaLoosh, a prospective major leaguer with ”a million-dollar arm and a five-cent head.” The two find themselves in a romantic triangle with groupie supreme Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon).
ACCURACY Writer-director Ron Shelton was a minor-league player himself, so dialogue like ”You’ll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes” has a ring of truth.
MEMORABLE MOMENT Crash teaches Nuke how to spout bland clichés when sportswriters interview him.
MALE KLEENEX FACTOR 1 out of 10 hankies (Unlike most baseball movies, Durham isn’t the least bit sentimental.)
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SHOELESS JOE JACKSON
PLAYED BY Ray Liotta
MOVIE Field of Dreams (1989)
POSITION Left field
TEAM In life, the Chicago White Sox; afterward, the ghostly crew who play pick-up games in the Iowa cornfield owned by Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner, right)
STATS Jackson was one of the game’s great hitters, but he was barred from baseball after the Black Sox scandal (as depicted in Eight Men Out).
ACCURACY Jackson threw right-handed but batted southpaw. Liotta, however, bats righty in the movie.
MEMORABLE MOMENT Jackson tells his host, ”Man, I did love this game. I’d have played for food money. It was the game…. The sounds, the smells… Shoot, I’d play for nothing!”
MALE KLEENEX FACTOR 10 out of 10 hankies
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