When It Was a Couch Potato

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Aside from a few true moments, the rites of fall have this year been almost, well, sullen. Pennant races? The wildcard took care of that. Playoffs? Three of the four series are already on the brink, and this whole first-round thing feels, well, a little preliminary. So stoke up your love of the game with The Bad News Bears (1976). Open a window on a crisp fall morning and let the woody breeze caress your VCR as Buttermaker (Walter Matthau), Amanda (Tatum O'Neal), and feisty Tanner remind you what our great pastime is all about. It'll take you back. Trust me.

Cleveland fans (or Yankee haters, of which there are doubtless many): go with Major League (1989), while the matchup lasts. It's nostalgia-free, and good comedy as well. (And as far as Charlie Sheen and Wesley Snipes go, you just won't do much better.)

But if, for some reason, the bats and balls do not enthrall, there are other things. On Wednesday, 100 weathermen blew into Washington, D.C. to give the President his annual tribute of Al Roker's weight in gold--and basically to yak about global warming, which, as Al said, "we don't like." They should have all watched Soylent Green (1973): Chuck Heston in a classic 'open your eyes, dammit!' film with a conscience, in which pollution, overpopulation, and the greenhouse effect have conspired to cram 40 million people into New York, where it is 95 degrees year-round. A very sweaty movie, and family viewing only if your kids won't recycle. But Chuck is an institution.