CINEMA: Baseball's Evil Genius

In Cobb, Tommy Lee Jones plays the hero as he really was

Toward the end of Cobb, the hero suddenly starts coughing up blood. Death, which until now has been a second baseman to be charged, spiked and upended, is not going to drop the ball this time. It is a new experience for Ty Cobb. He has never encountered anything his psychopathic aggressiveness couldn't overwhelm. Tommy Lee Jones's utterly incautious performance -- he's pure attack dog -- permits his character a moment of naked panic. Then he looks in the mirror and accepts his fate, and calmly calls the hospital.

No one will ever confuse writer-director Ron Shelton's new film with The...

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