I’d like to take this time to plug another good site. It’s called the Yarbage Movie Review. The name Yarbage may remind you of the Yarbage Cub Review. It’s one of my favorite sites, despite the writer selling out. Anyways, Chris gave me permission to post his latest review here. I highly reccomend you check out the site, but if I were you, I would subscribe to it via Bloglines or you will drive yourself insane by checking everyday to find no new review. Anyways, here is a sample of what you’ll find.

61*

Directed by Billy Crystal

Starring:
Barry Pepper: Roger Marris
Thomas Jane: Mickey Mantle
Micheal Anythony Ford: Whitey Ford

I was not alive for the original home run case between Mantle and Marris, so I was not aware of all the history between the two players. It must have been great pressure between the two as they raced for the Babe. Mith Sammy and Mark it seemed everyone wanted them to break the record and I was apart of it, so I saw what what happened. 61* gives many people a chance that did not know about the first chase a chance to learn about a little history.

Ford Frick was the commish of baseball caused a lot of the problems with his ruling making two different records for home runs, because of the different number of games. The movie was made for HBO; so many people did not see it right away when it was released. This is a chance for people to pick up a rare gem of a sports movie.

61* deals with more than just baseball, but the two distinct personalities of Mantle and Marris. Mantle is the movie star and Marris is the average everyday American. The best thing about 61* is the in depth relationship between the two sluggers.
There were many things I never knew about the two mainly for two reasons. First off I hate the Yankees, and second I was not around during this period of baseball. When you hear about how great Mantle could have been, it makes you wonder about his numbers if he had been healthy.

Crystal does a great job of weaving of the baseball and the outside relationships. There is great scene after Mantle moves in Marris when they are watching the Andy Griffith Show. Just the horror on Marris’s face is just priceless. The main sub-plot in the movie is the pressure of Media to break the the record. The difference between today and then was the Media was against the two players. There are many scenes that focus on Roger’s struggles as the people of New York turn against him and with his family. Everyone knows how Mantle was a loved a Yankee, but the fact that many Yankee fans would not root for Marris is just beside me.

Jane and Pepper do a great job of becoming these two players. You can really see the effect that the race does to Marris and Pepper really embodies the role. You can just imagine Jane as Mantle.

If you really like sports movies and baseball, then run out and buy this one tomorrow. This a rare sports movie that really takes a deep look into players lives and struggles they face. I imagine that if McGwire did not have Sosa, he would have been a lot more like Marris in the long run. The fact that Mantle got hurt, probably really hurt Marris with the media.

61* Score: 91

Go Check it out.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail