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"Field of Dreams' hits for cycle
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"Field of Dreams' hits for cycle

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Rating: EXCELLENT.

Movie review

WHAT: "Field of Dreams."

KEY PERFORM- ERS: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones.

RATING: PG. Mild profanity.

WHERE: Southroads, Eton Square.

"Field of Dreams" is bound to be the love-it-or-hate-it

movie of the year. The sides are as clearly drawn as the

lines of the baseball diamond in Ray Kinsella's cornfield.

Kevin Costner plays Kinsella, an Iowa farmer who plows his

crop under to build a ballpark at the direction of a mysterious

voice. The voice tells him: "If you build it, he will come."

Costner is diamond-perfect in a role that could have been

tempting to play as whispy and mystical. He plays it like

a normal guy - a man accustomed to hearing a tractor, not

some heavenly voice in the corn.

He builds the field, much to the bewilderment of his supportive

wife (Amy Madigan). And it brings to life a ballplayer.

This strange visitor is none other than baseball legend

"Shoeless" Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) - a man disgraced

for his part in the 1919 Chicago "Black Sox" scandal.

Also at the urging of the voice, Ray goes in search of a

fiercely reclusive writer named Terence Mann (James Earl

Jones), and a small-town doctor who once played major-league

baseball (Burt Lancaster).

Think of "It's a Wonderful Life" with a cornfield in place

of Bedford Falls, or "The Natural" with a topical sense

of humor, or what might have happened if Rod Serling had

written about baseball. Based on W.P. Kinsella's novel,

"Shoeless Joe," writer-director Phil Alden Robinson's

"Field of Dreams" is all of that.

But one person's field of dreams can be another person's

field of gooey sentiment, so here is the way to choose teams:

If you would say that baseball is just a game (only slower

than most), and the '60s were empty rhetoric, and people

would do better to pay attention to business, and it doesn't

help anybody to wish for a second chance . . . don't bother

with "Field of Dreams." Stay home and mow the lawn.

But if you like to think of every time at bat as a new hope,

if you can taste a kind of poetry along with the hot dogs

they serve at the ballpark, if you like to imagine that

life is meant to be good, and miracles aren't out of the

question . . . go see "Field of Dreams." And plan to stay twice.

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