Cobb (1994)

Tommy Lee Jones is the best thing behind COBB, director Ron Shelton's
broadly played "biography" of baseball great Ty Cobb.  By all accounts,
the immortal Cobb broke more than just records.  He was everything from
a racist, to a wife beater, to a man who attacked a handicapped heckler
during a stadium game.  Jones plays the part wide-open, and you can't
take your eyes off of him.

Costar Robert Wuhl is another matter entirely-- he's *all* wrong for the
part of the sportswriter-turned-biographer.  The actor may have a
greater range, but here he acts like the dopey sidekick.  He shows about
five facial expressions total and, since he's in nearly every scene, he
basically kills the tone.  The overblown music suggests that COBB is a
drama.  You'd never know it from watching Wuhl.

If this trip's worth taking it's because of the script.  Shelton gives
Jones a few great lines, and the actor hits each one right over the
fence.  On rude behavior: "life's too short to be a diplomat." On Babe
Ruth: "he ran okay for a fat man." The gems are few and far-between,
thanks to the poor pacing, but at least they're there.

When COBB finally wraps up, it wraps thirty minutes too late.  (Rated "R"/
128 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 1995 by Michael J. Legeros

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