User:TigerBlazer/sandbox/Heading Home

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TigerBlazer/sandbox/Heading Home
Heading Home Cover.jpg
"OH SHIT!" - Benny Rodriguez, after seeing this insult to the original film.
Genre: Sports
Comedy
Directed By: William Dear
Produced By: Jon Kuyper
Written By: Keith Mitchell
Allie Dvorin
Based On: Characters created by David Mickey Evans and Robert Gunter
Starring: Luke Perry
Danny Nucci
Keanu Pires
Chauncey Leopardi
Sarah Deakins
Cinematography: Pascal Provost
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 1, 2007
Runtime: 96 Minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Franchise: The Sandlot
Prequel: The Sandlot 2

The Sandlot: Heading Home (Also known as The Sandlot 3 or The Sandlot 3: Heading Home) is a 2007 direct-to-video sequel sports comedy film directed by William Dear. It is the second sequel to the original The Sandlot, after The Sandlot 2 (Which was also a direct-to-video film), and is currently the last in the series. When it released, it wasn't reviewed much by professional critics, but the few who did review the film were negative about it, and is generally seen as a cash-grab film.

Why It Sucks

  1. The story of the film is somewhat of a mess and in some cases is either hard to follow or completely generic that there is no point in watching the film at all.
    • The whole plot of the film revolves around what is happening inside of Tommy's concussion, and we see what he dreaming for the entire film, save for the beginning and ending scenes. Basically, the whole film is the "it was all a dream" trope, except the viewer knows about it ahead of time. However...
    • In the end of the film, Tommy wakes up to find that his life has completely changed from what it was before he got knocked out, and more like what it would have been if the dream was real. Apparently, everything has changed which begs the question: How does getting knocked in the head and being in a coma for a few days change the whole history of this guy's life? There is no mention that his "past life" was a kind of dream, as he had experienced it. And he seems to have changed the entire history of the world during his coma for some reason, which makes no sense. Did the baseball he got hit with send him back in time, while leaving his true body and consciousness behind for a while? This also wouldn't make any sense, since time is relative, and probably would have woken up after getting hit anyway or something like that. Or maybe he never did wake up and is dreaming about this new future for the rest of his life in a coma? Basically, the ending of the film is incredibly stupid and makes the beginning of the film pointless, as well as being so confusing to the viewer that it basically ruins the entire film as a result.
    • While the plot of this film thankfully isn't an exact copy of the plot of the original like The Sandlot 2, there is still a ton of generic cliches in the film that other films and even some parts of the original film had, such as the "new kid" trope and the opposing sports team of bullies who the main characters are training to face.
    • About a third through the film, we begin a plot point where Mr. Needman wants to destroy the sandlot in order to make a place for apartments. Soon when they have a tie (See below), a deal is made to win over the field. If the sandlot kids win, the field is kept. But if Needman's team wins, the sandlot will be handed over to Needman. This plot direction, similar to other films of its kind, has been done many other times before and feels very overused by the time this film uses the device.
      • Nitpick: Why did the consensus end in a tie when the entire crowd at the town meeting literally started yelling to support Squints' oppose to the removal of the sandlot?
    • At one point in the film, the team decides to sneak into the old, abandoned house of Mr. Mertle to find the fabled baseball treasure in the house. They find a baseball signed by many famous baseball players and escape the house after setting off the traps in the house. However, the scene was completely unnessesary as the baseball they found was barely in the rest of the film at all and makes the whole scene feel pointless.
      • Also, Mr. Mertle was a blind man, so how was he able to set up all of his traps in the house?
  2. For a comedy film, many of the attempts at humor are very poor.
    • There is some unfunny toilet humor in the film that are just not funny at all, such as the scene where the rest of the kids sneak into the movie theater to talk to Tommy by climbing into the movie theater bathroom. As they climb in, someone farts and a kid responds along the lines of "Gross, that got into my mouth".
      • In the same scene, Officer Pork Chop (Yes, that's actually what everyone calls him) who is in the stall next to the one the boys are climbing into, thinks that there is a person who is having trouble taking a number two, and literally says his method of getting his feces out, which is extremely gross and an unnecessary joke in the first place.
    • Most of the "humor" in the film revolves around the kids insulting each other with generic phrases such as "stupid", "idiot", and "butt-head", which isn't funny at all outside of an immature audience.
  3. Unlike the original film and even the second to some extent, all of the other sandlot kids in the film are so generic and have little to no unique personalities that they are incredibly bland and only feel like they are there for the sake of being there.
    • Tommy, the film's protagonist, is the egologistal character who only cares about his own talents (He even has the nickname of "Santa", because quote "It's a gift to watch him play"), but at the end of the film learns that friendship is more important than winning a game and being famous.
    • Ryan, most likely the most tolerable of these characters, is the generic silent kid who never talks except during the end of the film.
    • Two-Ton is the typical husky kid with a somewhat rude personality, and isn't anywhere as funny or likable as Ham, a similar character from the original film.
    • Quincy, also known as "Q", is the forgettable child genius who is making calculations and stating the probability of actions. Even worse, he is only ever used in the first half of the film and doesn't feel there at all for the rest of it.
    • Timber is the standard character who isn't confident in himself, but learns to work as a better player.
    • Wings is the one who is super fast and nothing else character wise.
    • Wok and Roll are just there and only feel like filler for the team and we never learn anything about them other than the fact that they work well together.
    • E.J. is the typical jerk who is always being rude to his teammates and the heroes of the film, and goes after the main character the most in his torment.
    • Earl Needman, E.J.'s father, is the evil guy who coaxes in the main character to join his team, much to the dismay of said protagonist's friends.
  4. The pacing in the film is quite inconsistent throughout, as it jumps from being fast paced to being slow and back again to the point where watching the film feels inconsistent and tiring.
    • The beginning of the film that tells us everything about the main character Tommy and his history as a baseball player, as well as the details of his life, is very fast paced and doesn't give the viewer enough time to process the information that they are being given, and they usually have to take it in for a little bit after the sequence is finished.
    • When Tommy ends up back in his childhood after getting hit in the head with the baseball, the kids at the sandlot have a very long discussion about whether they should kick him in the balls or not to wake him up, which goes on for a little too long and gets boring to watch near the end of the sequence.
  5. The main soundtrack in the film is very generic and forgettable, to the point where the audience will barely know that the music is even there.
    • In addition to being forgettable, some of the licensed songs, while good songs, are very out of place since one or two were released outside of the film's time period. For example, the song "Centerfield" is used in the film, despite being released in 1985, when the time period in the film it was being used at was the 1970s.
  6. The sound design can occasionally be pretty poor. For example, when Tommy is running away from the giant rolling baseball, he jumps and the Wilhelm scream stock sound effect (Famously used in the Star Wars films, usually for the death of a stormtrooper) is played, despite Tommy's voice sounding nothing like the scream in that sound effect.
  7. The DVD cover spoiled the ending to the movie.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. It's really nice to see both Benny and Squints from the original film, which was a good use of using characters from the original without being unnecessary and both are as memorable and likable as ever (Yes, even taking aside the fact that Squints sexually assaulted Wendy in the original).
  2. The set designs of the town in the 1970s, the sandlot itself, and other locations is very well done, and definitely give off the feeling of the 1970s in the film.

Reception

The Sandlot: Heading Home generally received negative reviews fro the few critics that did review the film, although most felt that it was slightly better than the second film. On Rotten Tomatoes, there are only three professional reviews, with one positive (From Common Sense Media) and two negative reviews, with both giving the film a 2/5. The general audience score for the film is a 52%, indicating mixed-to-negative reviews[1]. On IMDb, the film has a user score of 5/10 based on over 2,000 ratings[2].

References

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