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FOR LOVE OF THE GAME

Directed by Sam Raimi

What's most likely afoot here is that the player would like to learn a new game, or at least new rules. This is good, considering the creators' obvious appeal to the masses and obvious distaste for highfalutin culture. God gets product-placement alongside Adidas. Horror of horrors, Bob Seger and Steely Dan both get montage sequences (in fact, the movie is wall-to-wall music, especially boogie-woogie guitar). High-minded aesthetes get snubbed over good ol' boy athletes. It's all good and well to root for the home team, but in a game as manipulative as this, who really wins?

Opens Sept. 17.

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