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The Fan
The Fan
Actors: Robert De Niro, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin, John Leguizamo, Benicio Del Toro
Director: Tony Scott
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Sports, Mystery & Suspense
R     1997     1hr 56min

Three-times MVP baseball player Bobby Rayburn joins San Fransisco Giants, and obsessive fan, whose profession is selling hunting knives, Gil Renard is excited over that. But Rayburn plays the worst season of his career and...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Robert De Niro, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin, John Leguizamo, Benicio Del Toro
Director: Tony Scott
Creators: Barrie M. Osborne, Bill Unger, Greg Mooradian, James W. Skotchdopole, Margaret French-Isaac, Peter Abrahams, Phoef Sutton
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Sports, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Wesley Snipes, Tony Scott, Drama, Baseball, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/10/1997
Original Release Date: 08/16/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 08/16/1996
Release Year: 1997
Run Time: 1hr 56min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 8
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Sharon F. (Shar) from HIALEAH, FL
Reviewed on 8/31/2016...
Who knew baseball could be so interesting?! De Niro and Snipes make a great team. This was a good look into the phycho world of sports fans.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

"The Fan"..Steps Up To The Plate
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 01/12/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This review refers to the TRI STAR DVD edition of "The Fan"

Baseball was never so thrilling as it is in this film. In "The Fan" there's more at stake then the pennant for $40 million dollar centerfielder Bobby Rayburn(Wesley Snipes).One swing of the bat could cost him everything that is precious to him.

When did baseball become more than a game to Rayburn? When his number one fan, Gil Renard(Robert DeNiro), steps up to the plate to help Bobby out of his slump.Gil is a three time looser. He is a poor role model to his young son, he has a major problem with his people skills, and he is about to lose his job at the company that was founded by his own father. His psychotic obsession with the game of baseball, takes him further out of bounds than any Little League Coach ever went.When his idol seems to be having trouble getting into the swing of things,and another player is getting all the glory, Renard takes matters into his own hands. How far will he go to make sure Rayburn has his day in the sun? Will he even murder for him?

DeNiro is absolutley this deranged and very scary character. He plays him so well you may forget that he is Robert Deniro for a while! Snipes also is excellent as the unwitting victim, Rounding off the cast in fine performances are Ellen Barkin, Benecio Del Toro and John Leguizamo. It is directed by Tony Scott who keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end and as always perfect mood scoring by Hans Zimmer adds to the tense situations.

The DVD has a nice clear and sharp picture.You have the choice of Widescreen or Standard Formats. The sound is very good and you can choose between 5.1 Dolby or 2- channel surround sound.It may be viewed in French and Spanish and has subtitles in English and Spanish if needed. There are no other special features included.

I thought it was a great thriller, and it kept me involved through the whole story, but I'm going with the three stars because I just don't think it's one of those that will be watched over and over. Once you know the ending, you may need to wait awhile before viewing again.If you have seen it already and know it's one that will be a good edition to your collection, you'll be happy with the quality of the DVD. If not, maybe renting it first will help you decide.

You'll want to get the popcorn, peanuts and crackerjacks ready for this one....enjoy...Laurie

more thrillers recommended;
Just Cause
L.A. Confidential - Special Edition / The Usual Suspects (Special Edition) (2 Pack)
Alfred Hitchcock Collection: Sabotage, The 39 Steps, Man Who Knew Too Much, Murder!, Jamaica Inn [VHS]
Beyond "Fan" Into Obsession
Reviewer | 04/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It may be true that everyone during their lifetime has fifteen minutes of fame, even if in most cases it only lasts about a minute and a half. And if that minute and a half comes early in life, how far into adulthood can you carry it with you, and when does a healthy memory become an obsession that finally blurs the line between reality and fantasy? "The Fan," directed by Tony Scott and starring Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes, is an intense and disturbing motion picture that examines that moment and the effects it can have on the lives of those either directly or indirectly involved. Here, the focus is on one Gil Renard (De Niro), a knife salesman in San Francisco and a die-hard Giants fan who is pumped about the acquisition during the off-season of superstar centerfielder Bobby Rayburn (Snipes), whom he believes will bring a pennant to the team. Once a player himself-- a pitcher-- Renard's life has since been on a downhill slide. Divorced, he has a young, little league aged son, Richie (Andrew J. Ferchland), with whom he has an unsettling relationship, and at work, his sales have been so poor his job is on the line. An angry, disturbed individual, Renard has reached a pivotal point in his life; for inspiration, he continually returns to the philosophies of the catcher from his playing days, Coop (Charles Hallahan), whom he considers one of the finest athletes he ever knew. And as his life continues to deteriorate, his obsessions begin to add further to the imbalance of his perceptions of reality, which finally lead him past a point of no return. Scott's film, of course, has less to do with baseball than it does with how the game itself actually relates to life and the things that really matter. As Rayburn says at one point, "We're not curing cancer here." But to those to whom life has been reduced to that minute and a half to which they still cling, the game can be everything. And it is just that unhealthy obsession that Scott examines in this film, that comparatively insignificant moment that in the obsessive mind becomes an episode of monumental importance that finally distorts any semblance of reality the individual may have left. What's truly frightening is that upon close scrutiny, in Renard there is much with which many viewers will be able to relate in one way or another: The anger, the frustration and perhaps the inability to let go of that minute and a half, even when it threatens to become more than just a pleasant memory, but an unhealthy lifeline to another place and another time that, in reality, may never have existed in the first place. It's like a search for self-esteem by the has-been-who-never-was, who can neither realize nor accept it's elusiveness. As Renard says to Richie, "Baseball is better than life, because it's fair. You hit a sacrifice fly and it doesn't count against your average." An ideal that has forever eluded Renard; in his life, he's never been able to "give himself up for the team" and get anything in return for it. As Renard, De Niro gives an explosive performance that at first glance may seem to have a bit of Travis Bickle and Max Cady in it-- which in fact it does-- though upon closer inspection, Renard is a unique character. Those with a disturbed mind may have traits in common, as these characters De Niro has portrayed certainly do; but De Niro has successfully given each of them an individual personality, and when viewed side by side, the differences are readily apparent. Bickle may be a sociopath, Cady a cold blooded killer; but Renard is a man who was just never able to get a handle on his life and has allowed his obsessions to dictate the choices he has made along the way. De Niro is simply a master of his craft, with the ability to make his characters so real that a performance like this one is often overlooked; this is Oscar worthy work for which he never received the acclaim he was due. His Renard is so like someone you would run into in your everyday life that in retrospect, it's scary. But it's the kind of performance we've come to expect from De Niro, and as usual, he does not disappoint. Wesley Snipes, as well, gives a solid performance as Rayburn that is one of his best ever, which is not surprising when you consider with whom he was working. If you study De Niro's films, you may discover a common thread running through them with regard to his co-stars. De Niro has the ability to make those with whom he is working better; and it's something that stays with them forever after. Consider Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep before "The Deer Hunter," or Ed Harris before "Jacknife." Certainly they were exceptional talents before, but they have arguably been better since. And Snipes is no exception. Nor is Benicio Del Toro (Recipient of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for "Traffic"), who gives a memorable turn here as Rayburn's rival outfielder, Juan Primo. The supporting cast includes Patti D'Arbanville (Ellen),Ellen Barkin (Jewel), John Leguizamo (Manny), Chris Mulkey (Tim), Dan Butler (Garrity) and Brandon Hammond (Sean). A thought provoking thriller that gives some real insight into the cause and effect of the psyche of human nature, "The Fan" is like an open wound that may hit too close to home for some. And to dismiss this as just a "baseball" movie or another "action" flick would be a mistake, for there is much more here than meets the eye. In the end, those who pay attention will ultimately reap the rewards it proffers."
A thriller that showcases a true psychotic
Schtinky | California | 09/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Gil Renard (Robert De Niro) isn't a lucky man. His separation from his wife is hostile, his business of selling knives is not going well, and he doesn't feel listened to. His only release is sports, watching and cheering for his favorite player, Bobby Rayburn (Wesley Snipes).

Bobby Rayburn, a 40 million dollar player, has troubles of his own as he falls into a slump, knowing his career is winding down as fellow player Juan Primo's (Benico Del Toro) star is rising. Primo now wears the "sacred" number 11 jersey. Rooting Bobby on every step of the way is manager Manny (John Leguizamo).

As Gil slides further down into the depths, he leans more and more on the game, forming an abnormal obsession with Bobby. With a restraining order taken out by his ex-wife, keeping him away from his son, and the loss of even his lowly job as knife salesman, how far will Gil finally lose himself in his fixation on Bobby Rayburn?

I tend to avoid movies that have even a dribble of sports in them, but I'm sure glad I tossed that rule aside for 'The Fan'. It's not about sports, its about an irrational fanatic. De Niro plays the psychotic fan so well, it could very well be his best performance yet. Snipes, Del Toro, and Leguizamo are fantastic, joined by the beautiful and talented Ellen Barkin as reporter Jewel Stern. The acting is superb and the tension is like a tight wire strung across your stomach. Adding to the film is the music of Nine Inch Nails during Gil's more psychotic episodes, complimenting the scenes with their grinding music and lyrics of alienation.

'The Fan' is a tense thriller that's not to be missed. Definitely worth a purchase. Enjoy!