Sure, the basic elements that make up The Sandlot — misfit kids, neighborhood rivalries, knowing voiceovers, a scary dog, and James Earl Jones as the mean old man —may be a little familiar. The coming-of-age feature by writer/director/voiceover actor David Mickey Evans is like a Frankenmovie, recycling the most appealing bits of earlier films like Stand by Me, The Bad News Bears, Field of Dreams, A Christmas Story, and pretty much every other film about misfit kids and baseball that's ever been made.
If it's not exactly original, The Sandlot does have two things going for it. As Roger Ebert noted in his review, the film is a solid reminder of childhood priorities, and it has one great line. The eye-rolling confession "You're killing me, Smalls" passed immediately from the big screen (or more likely the VHS tape) and into everyday speech. Twenty years later, it remains a common expression, deployed in the face of exasperating cluelessness.
Evans has always wanted to tour his film to great American baseball parks and will be on hand to sign photos, baseballs, and DVDs. And for fans of the Beast, there will be a K9 celebrity impersonator.
"The Sandlot" at Autozone Park, Saturday, June 15th. The park opens at 6 p.m. The movie screens at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door, or $20 for a family of four.