Episode #22: Talent for the Game
Listen to Episode 22 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - Talent for the Game tells the story of professional baseball scout Virgil Sweet (played by Edward James Olmos). The California Angels were just sold to a new owner, putting Virgil’s job in jeopardy. His only chance at salvation is to find the perfect phenom prospect, so it’s time to hit the road while he still can.
Screenplay by David Himmelstein, Thomas Michael Donnelly, & Larry Ferguson; Directed by Robert M. Young, and released on April 26, 1991.
There is a lot about this movie that we didn't understand. The movie didn't help things by starting off by showing Virgil in full miner's gear and going underground, despite him being a baseball scout.
He's there to check on a possible baseball prospect (weird), and he gets super intense talking to himself towards the pitcher, telling him to "let it go, son" over and over while staring.
It's a recurring theme. One time he's in a barn during a storm. Trust us when we say that close-up shot of him staring and talking to himself is frequent.
He has to find the perfect prospect to save his job, because while he's cozy with his current boss, the new owner isn't too keen on old school scouting.
We also mix in this relationship between Virgil and Bobbie (Lorraine Bracco). They show us some playfulness but we never really get to learn about them as a couple.
Listen to the episode for some plot details that we're skipping here, but this dancing sequence was long and awkward and totally unmotivated.
Anyway, it leads to them finding the perfect prospect. Are you noticing the trend of extreme close-ups yet?
No? This shot of Dick Bortner, fictional home run leader, isn't convincing you?
All we can say is this composition appears dozens of times.
The movie is trying to be a comedy, at least partially, but the funniest moments were unintentional. Bobbie saying "Yes" with such an utter lack of enthusiasm was hilarious.
This was probably a bit more intentional, but it was funny how awkwardly he was dropped from the ceiling in the over-the-top introduction to the media.
We've talked little about baseball, because there's little action worth discussing. Even the game footage near the end was less than thrilling. This is a nice shot, though.
Anyway, if ever there was an image that captured how hokey this movie is, this is it.
Awards Talk - None to speak of, unsurprisingly.
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week we didn't have any true crime stuff to discuss and this movie released on the same day as "A Kiss Before Dying," so we hopped into pop culture and Nikki took a look at the albums released in April 1991.
Which included Alanis Morissette’s first album, Alanis, released in Canada, April 6, 1991
Including her debut single "Too Hot"
And song "Walk Away" which includes a pre-Friends Matt LeBlanc in her video
and Violent Femmes' 5th album, Why Do Birds Sing? Released on April 30, 1991
Includes the song, American Music
Moving on to TV. Again, we covered the lineup in our earlier episode, but since then we had acquired a few issues of TV Guide and we had an article talking about the debut of "Dinosaurs" from which Nikki was able to summarize and share trivia.
We may come back to this one when we cover Patrick Bergin's "Robin Hood."
Interesting ad for an early wireless device that sends the signal from the VCR all over the house. Pretty soon, though, a new VCR wouldn't be that much more money.
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 1 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 1/2 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - This is a strong candidate for the worst movie we've seen so far, so no. Nikki said she would watch this again over "A Kiss Before Dying" but Jon would rather make fun of the wacky deaths in that instead of trying to make fun of Olmos' intensity.
If you want to watch Talent for the Game, as of this recording on June 2021, it’s available on Prime, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.
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