Media

Movie Renter's Guide - October, 2009

ARTICLE INDEX

"Field of Dreams" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-october-2009-field-of-dreamsSynopsis

While tending to the corn on his Iowa farm, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears a voice utter the words, "If you build it, he will come."  Shortly afterward, a vision appears of a baseball field set amidst the rows of corn.  With the blessing of his wife Annie (Amy Madigan), Ray builds his ball field.  Much to his amazement, the ghosts of the infamous Chicago Black Sox come out of the corn to play ball.  However, Ray's journey is just beginning and the "Field of Dreams" has an even greater role to play.

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 1989, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 47 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, and Burt Lancaster
  • Directed by Phil Alden Robinson
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: None
  • Sex: None
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

It has been quite a while since I last saw "Field of Dreams" and I forgot just how much I enjoyed this movie.  The story was extremely moving and well-paced.  While I'm not usually a fan of Kevin Costner films, I think he did a great job in the role of Ray Kinsella.  The rest of the cast was excellent as well.  The only chink the story's armor is how accomodating Ray's wife Annie is when Ray decides to spend their entire savings on a baseball field.  This certainly wouldn't fly in my household.  Regardless, anyone with fond memories of baseball or just playing catch with their father should definitely sit down and watch this film.

Technical

For such an outstanding movie, picture quality is very poor and is barely better than the DVD.  The overall picture is soft, with little depth to the image.  Even the Iowa skies and cornfields seem lifeless, though the greens and blues appear to have been pumped up a bit.  Film grain is appropriate, but there also appears to be a lot of noise in the picture.  This was clearly evident on my 50" screen, so expect it to be even worse on larger setups.  The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is uninspiring as well.  The is barely any use of the surrounds or LFE channel.  I also noticed a bit of harshness to some of the soundtrack.  You can hear this during Ray's first foray into the cornfield, where the instrumentation seems to have just a bit too much "bite."  At least the dialog is clear and easy to understand, which helps make the fine acting stand out all the better.

Extras

Extras are all in SD, which is not surprising considering that this movie was released in 1989.  Included are a "making-of," deleted scenes, a standard commentary track, movie stills, and a round-table discussion about baseball with Costner, Bret Saberhagen, George Brett, and Johnny Bench.  I particularly enjoyed "The Diamond in the Husks," which talks about the actual field used in the movie.