The Sandlot 
Director: David M. Evans
“You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”
The Sandlot is a movie that I have fond memories of watching as a child. I grew up as a huge baseball fan and loved to play the game, so it is easy to see why this was one of my favorite movies back then. The movie is about a kid, Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry), who moves into a new neighborhood and has difficulty making friends. He stumbles upon a sandlot baseball game and is very interested despite not knowing anything about the sport. One kid, Benny (Mike Vitar), gives him a chance and decides to help him learn the game. The first half of the movie is about Smalls bonding with the other baseball players (who are an interesting batch of characters themselves). Once Smalls is accepted, the movie quickly changes gears into a battle of man vs. dog. Outside of the sandlot, there is a house with a nasty dog-beast that supposedly eats both children and baseballs. When Smalls loses his stepfather’s prized Babe Ruth autographed baseball over the fence, the kids try to figure out how to get the ball back.
After watching the Sandlot for the first time in several years, I greatly enjoyed the first half of the movie. I was able to relate to Smalls in terms of trying to fit in with a new group of peers, and I couldn’t help but wax nostalgic at my own childhood. The movie gets a bit too over-the-top for my liking now when it comes to the dog/beast/monster behind the fence. I can see how kids would get a kick out of this subplot, however.
The Sandlot is filled with memorable scenes and characters. Who could ever forget Ham (Patrick Renna), the pudgy catcher on the team who uttered the timeless quote at the beginning of this review? How about the scene where the kids try chewing tobacco just like their baseball idols, and then proceed to get sick on a tilt-a-whirl ride? Of course, Squint’s (Chauncey Leopardi) run-in with the sultry lifeguard is unforgettable as well.
There is a lot to like in The Sandlot, and it has certainly withstood the test of time. Even with the ridiculous antics involving the dog, this is a great movie. This is a movie I plan on watching with my own children when that time comes. You don’t have to like baseball to enjoy this adventure, either.