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For Love of the Game [HD DVD]

471 customer reviews

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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Legendary Detroit Tigers pitcher Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) has always been better at baseball than at love. Just ask Jane (Kelly Preston), his on-again, off-again girlfriend. At the end of a disappointing season, just before what may be the last professional game of his life, Jane tells Billy she's leaving him. Now, with his career and his love life in the balance, Billy battles against his physical and emotional limits as he plays the game of his life. With every pitch, Billy comes closer to making the most important decision of his life. The suspense doesn't end until the last ball is thrown in this heartwarming drama about love, life and the perfect game.

Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is having a bad day. His girlfriend Jane (Kelly Preston, stunning as ever) says she's leaving, and his boss (Brian Cox) says he's selling the business and ace employee Billy may be out of job. Sounds like business as usual for an old-fashioned veteran. However, the business is baseball and for Billy Chapel, the 40-year old former all-star for the Detroit Tigers, it means his career--and his life--is at a crossroads.

Although it is no Bull Durham, For Love of the Game finds a solid and very believable role for Costner. The film is based on Michael Shaara's (The Killer Angels) stream-of-consciousness novel (the rough manuscript was found after his death 1988). The entire film takes place on Billy's day on the mound against the Yankees, a meaningless late-season game for the Tigers, but everything for Billy. In flashbacks, he lingers over his long relationship with Jane and his baseball career (from World Series heroism to a career-threatening injury). His one viable link to the game at hand is his catcher, played winningly by John C. Reilly. Costner, like Chapel, is looking for one more great performance, but the film is too simplistic and loopy at times to resonate. The love story has an extra helping of cuteness, and legendary baseball announcer Vin Scully nearly takes on a leading role, waxing grandiloquent. It's no grand slam, but a solid double. --Doug Thomas

Special Features

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Spotlight on Location
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Perfect Game (Static Pages)
  • On the Mound (Trivia Game - Includes Video Piece for Game Winner: Babe Ruth: Slide Babe Slide)

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly, Brian Cox, Jena Malone
    • Directors: Sam Raimi
    • Writers: Dana Stevens
    • Producers: Armyan Bernstein, Amy Robinson
    • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby Digital-Plus 2.0)
    • Subtitles: French
    • Dubbed: French
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
    • Run Time: 138 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (471 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B000SQFC04
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,595 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "For Love of the Game [HD DVD]" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Kelly VINE VOICE on March 30, 2008
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Kevin Costner gives a very compelling performance as a baseball player at the end of his career. He is very realistic in the role and brings thought provoking issues to light. How do you decide to hang up your glove and leave a game that has been the most important thing in your life? It was great that he could personally do the pitching in this movie because it would have lost a lot of the realism and credibility if they had to use someone else.
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    50 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2000
    Format: VHS Tape
    This is an excellent baseball movie and a decent romantic entry as well. Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is a veteran pitcher with an accomplished career who is headed for the Hall of Fame. On the day we meet him he has a lot on his mind. He is informed that his team is being sold, he is being traded and the love of his life is moving to England. Add to this the pain in his pitching arm, his impending decision on whether to retire and the fact that winning this game is critical in determining if the Yankees go to the playoffs, and you have a man with overloaded neurons.
    The story unfolds as an introspective retrospective. As he is pitching this important game, he is thinking about his childhood, his relationship with Jane (Kelly Preston) and how he is going to get the next batter out. He is so preoccupied that it doesn't even dawn on him until the eighth inning that there have been no Yankee hits and he has been pitching a perfect game.
    The flashback elements are expertly woven into the game, giving us a genuine feeling for his distraction. This is a fresh perspective for a sports movie. Instead of simply focusing on what the player is doing, the film focuses on what he is thinking while he is doing it. It gives us an authentic look at how athletes get "in the zone", filtering out all the noise and concentrating totally on their performance. Those who have been involved in athletic competition can identify with this state, although only the best can achieve it at will.
    Sam Raimi's direction on this film was excellent. His direction of the love story was nothing special, but he did a superb job on the baseball scenes.
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    23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey T. Munson on December 5, 2002
    Format: VHS Tape
    Following the shining examples of earlier characters in "Bull Durham" and "Field of Dreams", Kevin Costner has once again taken on the role of a baseball player and played it to perfection. In this film, Costner stars as Detroit Tigers ace pitcher Billy Chapel, a 19-year veteran of the major leagues. Chapel's hall of fame career is winding down, and his team is playing out the string of another long season. To make matters worse, Jane, Billy's girlfriend, played superbly by Kelly Preston, has informed him that she has accepted a job offer in London. The final bit of bad news comes from the Tigers' owner, who informs Billy that he's sold the team and Billy will probably be traded next season. All of these things are weighing on Billy's mind as he steps on the mound at Yankee Stadium.
    However, right from the beginning of the game, Billy realizes that this day is going to be special. He has his best stuff working, and he's blowing through the Yankees like they were little leaguers. Gus, the catcher played wonderfully by J.C. Reilly, offers continuous encouragement to Billy throughout the game. One of the best moments of the film is the way Billy blocks out the noise of the crowd in his mind, and all that the viewer hears is the wooosh of the ball as it is pitched. I got chills when this occurred. It was extermely realistic.
    During the course of the game, Billy has "flashbacks" to his relationship with Jane. We get to see how they met and the evolution of their romance. Although he hides it well, it is clear that Billy truly loves Jane, but he's afraid to admit to her that he really needs her in his life. I thought the flashbacks were excellent. In some films, the flashbacks tend to take away from the movie, but not in this one.
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    21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 2004
    Format: DVD
    I am not a baseball fan but i can tell you this movie is really good it is really deep full of emotion. I don't know anything about the game basball i live in England but yet i was able to really enjoy it bcoz it doesn't really focus on the game but on the personal life of a successful baseball player. Brilliant buy it.
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    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M Trevalin on October 10, 2000
    Format: DVD
    One of the best sports and romance films I have ever seen. "For love of the game," takes you on a unique perspective of the athlete, specifically in this case the pitcher's thoughts through a game. Through each flash back in the game the romance story starts to build as Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) begins to think back on his five-year relationship with Jane (Kelly Preston).
    Sam Raimi has done an excellent job directing this film. His timing was perfect in flipping back and fourth from the past to the present. His direction in both on and off the baseball field proved to be flawless. This is definitely one of his best films as a director to date.
    Kevin Costner puts in one of his best performances ever, but then again Costner and sports seem to go along. Where Costner's wonderful performance mostly showed on the baseball diamond, Kelly Preston acting job as Jane was by far the films best performance. She brought a great deal of emotion to the movie and really gave the romance part of the story everything that it needed.
    Overall I would recommend this movie to anyone, it hold a great deal of appeal for both men and women.
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