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Bull DurhamBull Durham on DVD

Lauded by some as one of the best sports movies ever, Bull Durham has now received the Special Edition DVD treatment and MGM has done a good job with it.

It's as much a romantic comedy as it is a sports movie, however, and it deals more with the characters than the sport - though there's enough baseball here to keep fans happy.

Bull Durham stars Susan Sarandon, Kevin Costner, and Tim Robbins as a kind of love triangle that never really becomes a triangle. Huh?

Well, you see, Susan Sarandon plays Annie Savoy, a middle aged baseball groupie who chooses one player per season to keep around as her main squeeze of the year. At the beginning of the new season her choice is between young but undisciplined hotshot pitcher "Nuke" LaLoosh (Robbins) or veteran catcher "Crash" Davis (Costner), a man who's had his day in the sunshine and who was brought to the Durham Bulls to mentor the up-and-coming LaLoosh.

Despite being equally attracted to Davis, she goes for the stud - he's young and virile and will be a more interesting challenge for her. Unfortunately, LaLoosh isn't only a potential big leaguer, he also sports a big head but lacks the intellect to back it up.

Most of the movie deals with her attempts to culture this pearl, counterpointed by Davis' attempts to mould a real ball player out of this talented oaf.

The minor league backdrop allows for some well-executed comedy from an excellent supporting cast that includes Robert Wuhl as the Bulls' optimistic assistant manager and Trey Wilson as his boss.

Bull Durham is funny, sexy, and smart and if you haven't seen it you really should if for no other reason than to see Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins earlier in their careers - and the sexy Sarandon making the screen smolder.

MGM's new Special Edition DVD looks and sounds great, and offers enough extras to keep "Durhamites" and DVD fans happy. First of all, it's presented in anamorphic widescreen (16x9 TV compatible) and though there's a little softness to the picture overall it's terrific, with a great look and bright, rich colors.

Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and it's very good. There isn't a huge amount of surround sound, but the overall sound quality is just fine.

Then there are the extras. First up to the plate is an entertaining and enlightening audio commentary featuring Costner and Robbins and other one (which we believe was on the original DVD) by director/writer Ron Shelton. You also get a "making of" documentary that's pretty good and includes cast interviews, a profile of Kevin Costner, photo gallery, "Sports Wrap" featurette and trailers.

All in all, it's sure to be a real "hit."

Bull Durham, from MGM Home Video
108 min. anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins
Produced by Thom Mount and Mark Burg,
Written and directed by Ron Shelton.


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Updated May 13, 2006