Blu-ray Review: The Sandlot - 25th Anniversary Edition

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It's back. The 1993 family classic The Sandlot arrives on Blu-ray to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Time appears to advance faster and faster the older one gets. Upon receipt of this updated package for The Sandlot, I thought to myself—'I just reviewed this.' Yeah. Five years ago when it was reissued for its 20th anniversary. Again, cliched as it might be, how time flies.

Fans of Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) and his baseball playing fans will be happy to snag this new package, but only if they don't already own the film. This is the third time Fox Home Entertainment has issued The Sandlot on Blu-ray. For whatever reasons, there has been no effort to update the special features despite the film's devoted cult following. The new edition contains the same audio/visual presentation found on the 2013 reissue, which in turn was the same as the 2011.

That said, this thing is currently priced to sell, so if your kids have never seen it—or if you simply have a soft spot for this piece of gentle nostalgia—it's a no-brainer. Plus the new packaging is kinda cool for fans: the slipcase features shots of all the primary kids, there's a new photo-packed booklet, a mini-poster, and best of all a set of 10 genuine ToppsĀ© trading cards (including one for Hercules the dog!).

Looking back at my previous review for the 20th anniversary edition, man I must've had a serious bug up my butt that day. While I don't think the movie quite lives up to its reputation, upon revisiting the 1962-set coming-of-age comedy I now realize it's a light but fun romp. It really does sometimes seem like they don't make them like this anymore. Guess I'm just getting old. The movie is so inoffensive and suitable for toddlers and great-grandparents alike, it's easy to see why it has lasted.

Clumsy Scotty, whose parents are played nicely by Dennis Leary and Karen Allen, picks up some much-needed baseball tips from local budding baseball all-star Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez (Mike Vitar). He joins the local team in his new town. The "Beast," a gargantuan English mastiff who resides in the yard behind the baseball sandlot, is a constant source of fear for Scotty, Ham Porter (Patrick Renna), and the rest of the team. Eventually they learn more about the "Beast" (who steals the show) from his owner Mr. Mertle (a heartfelt James Earl Jones).

Much of The Sandlot is given over to corniness and easy sentiment. That was the reason for much of my dismay five years ago, but like I said maybe I just wasn't in the mood. Or maybe I'm just shocked into stunned speechlessness by the fact that this movie I remember seeing in theaters is now a quarter-century old. Writer-director David Mickey Evans' tale is exceedingly lightweight, but it seems maybe that was the entire point. For family viewing, this one has endured as a winner.

The only disc-based supplement is an ancient six-minute promo featurette (plus the theatrical trailer and some TV spots).

Special note from Fox Home Entertainment: Celebrate 25 years of a timeless family comedy as Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment teams-up with Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory to bring The Sandlot to life. The hit movie that will be “For-Ev-Ver” remembered with pop-culture touchstones like The Beast, Wendy Peffercorn, and, “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!” will be on full display for a mini-exhibit showcasing authentic props from the movie, artwork, and behind-the-scenes photography. The special show runs March 31 thru September 9.


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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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