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Movie Review: Fantasyland

Movie Review: Fantasyland

Fantasyland takes a look inside the world of fantasy baseball. It is based on the book Fantasyland: A Sportswriter’s Obsessive Bid to Win the World’s Most Ruthless Fantasy Baseball by Sam Walker.  The book has gotten good reviews, and I would like to read it. However, the movie is absurd.

The fantasy baseball league in question is called Tout Wars which pits some of the foremost experts of fantasy baseball. Sam Walker, writer for the Wall Street Journal, played in 2008 as he wrote his book.  This time they wanted to try and even more ridiculous scenario with an amateur coming in for a year.  Normally I think this would be a great idea but great ideas are destined to fail at times. This was one of them.

The problem did not lie with having an amateur enter the league.  The problem lied with who that amateur was. Apparently there were auditions with people sending in tapes of themselves, and how the winner was picked I’ll never know. They must have played cow patty bingo or something. The winner was Jed Latkin, a financial analyst from New York.  He put the “fanatic” in fantasy.

You could tell throughout the movie the regular players were annoyed with him to say the least. Almost immediately after the draft he was wanting to do trades, and often.  He would go to spring training to talk to the players he picked which is just absurd. He felt he could get a feel for how they would play by talking to them, when all he did was make himself look like a lunatic for telling players he drafted they were on a winning ‘fantasy’ team. He even handed out shirts with his team name on them to the players as jerseys for a fantasy team.

He would make a few trips during the season to various stadiums to speak with coaches and players in hopes of getting some insights.  Perhaps the best part of the movie was when he asked Trey Hillman if he could change his lineup so one of his players could get more at bats.  Hillman was having none of that.

After receiving an email from another team in the league about possible trades, he persisted to not only send that person hundreds of emails with trade possibilities, but he drove to his house over 7 hours away when the emails went unanswered. Can you say crazy?

I think a lot of it was staged for the movie, or he was told to go overboard with it to make it more interesting.  But it didn’t work. It just made the movie worse. I struggled to get through it because of him, and I love fantasy baseball. He was trying to make a trade when his wife was in labor with their first children, twins.

I think the book is a good premise, and it is on my reading list now.  However, this movie needs to be given a pass. It’s not worth the time you will put into it. So go pick up the book which I see has gotten very good reviews, and stay away from this (staged?) movie.

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2 Responses to “Movie Review: Fantasyland”

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eric Bynum, Eric Bynum. Eric Bynum said: Movie Review: Fantasyland http://fb.me/MniPar5o […]

  2. […] Kasputis interviews Andre Lower about the baseball movie, Fantasyland and Andre’s web site, […]


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