Kevin Costner is a farmer who likes baseball and used to be a hippie. He even says so in the beginning of the movie. “I used to be a hippie, baseball is great and I’m a farmer.” Well, I’m paraphrasing. Anyway, this whole movie is about loving baseball and being an ex-hippie. If a character isn’t talking about how awesome baseball is, then they’re talking about the sixties. Or they’re dead. Well, dead and playing baseball. There’s all kinds of ghost baseball happening in this movie. Until Pac-man comes out and eats all the ghosts. Waka waka waka. Wait, is that Pac-man or Fozzy Bear?
I used to have a subscription to Muppet Magazine when I was a kid. And Masters of the Universe magazine. What a serious little man I was, with my little kid magazine subscriptions. I do like that the demand for Muppet related periodicals was high enough to support a magazine staff. I wonder if the editor-in-chief of Muppet Magazine got stressed about layouts and stuff. Cigarette burning in an ashtray shaped like Big Bird, photo proofs of the upcoming Miss Piggy centerfold scattered over his desk marked up in red ink. “I needed that Kermit think piece yesterday afternoon and where the hell is my Rowlf the Dog interview with Michael J. Fox?!”
Kevin Costner hears a voice in his head while he’s out doing farm stuff in the corn. The voice says, “Corn is great. You love corn, right? Cooooooooorn!” Then a dude in a corn suit starts breakdancing and popping and locking right in front of Kevin Costner and popcorn starts flying off his body. “You know you like this,” says the man in the corn suit, maintaining eye contact with Kevin Costner. Kevin Costner looks down at his shoes, which are now covered in kernels of corn. In the distance, a crow caws and beatboxes.
Actually, the voice says, “If you build it, he will come.” So Kevin Costner says to his wife, “we gotta get rid of all this stupid money-making corn, it’s time to build a baseball field because of the voice in my head.” And she goes, “Sure, buddy- but only because of the sixties. And baseball.”
Wouldn’t you know it, that baseball field is like a damn dead-baseball-player magnet. If you were the Ghostbusters and you were trying to trap a bunch of dead-baseball-player ghosts, I’d say try building a field of dreams in some good old fashioned American corn. You can’t throw a baseball in a field of dreams without hitting a baseball ghost and the rest of the baseball ghosts’ equipment. Also, for a field of dreams, there is very little sleeping and dreaming going on. It’s more like a field of corpse sports.
But that corn voice is just getting started. “Hey, why don’t you go get James Earl Jones out of his house to come check out this baseball field you built? He wrote some nice stuff about baseball one time.” Oh, right- and Kevin Costner’s wife calls a lady a Nazi cow because she wants to ban James Earl Jones’s books that he wrote in the sixties. The sixties! She was right to call that woman a Nazi cow, though. Banning books is a shitty thing to do and I’m glad this movie took five minutes to really take it down a peg or two. Go to hell, book burners!
So Kevin Costner goes and gets James Earl Jones and they eat hot dogs and drink beer and the voice says put down that damn hot dog and go pick up this old man named Doc Graham. But Graham is dead. So Kevin Costner goes back in time to talk to him. That’s right. This miraculous miracle parade of a movie has so many miracles in it that time travel is the least noteworthy thing going on it, right below corn. I don’t even think Kevin Costner stops to tell his wife, “Hey honey- I know we have a bunch of dead baseball players in our front yard, but last night I broke the laws of space-time to chit-chat about baseball with a kindly old man.”
Somehow they pick up the younger version of Doc Graham hitchhiking on the way back to the farm and he doesn’t know he’s in the future or not alive or an angel or whatever. Everybody gets back to the baseball field and holy crap I forgot to mention the whole main plot of the movie with Shoeless Joe Jackson, who stares at everyone with his piercing Ray Liotta eyes. I guess Shoeless Joe doesn’t do much other than play ball. But he’s like, really intense about it. There’s angel horns and trumpets on the soundtrack every time he kicks some dust off his cleats.
So James Earl Jones says people will come to see the space-time-vortex-Stargate to heaven that Kevin Costner has on his land, and that they’ll pay twenty bucks for the privilege! If I had a portal to the land of the dead at my house, I wouldn’t want a bunch of people showing up to tromp around in my house, gawking at everything and peeing in the sink. You know what kind of people would show up if they heard you were charging admission to see angels, right? The kind of people who’d be okay with treating an audience with the divine like a trip to Six Flags.
I’d like to conclude by saying that while I enjoyed it, Field of Dreams is one of the craziest movies I’ve seen in a long time. Nothing was explained, nothing made sense, time and space were distorted and the sport of baseball was congratulated for existing at all. Kind of like eating mushrooms at Turner Field.