Saturday, January 31, 2009

When's the last time you saw a great baseball movie?

Well, I actually saw "For Love of the Game" just the other day on DVD, and as sappy it is that one still just gets me every time, but I'm talking about a new-to-theaters, bona fide baseball movie.

I couldn't remember one for several years now, but "Half Nelson" creators Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden have one (very long) in the works that sounds just about perfect.

First premiering at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, their flick "Sugar" follows the fictional saga of Miguel "Sugar" Santos, a Dominican pitcher who comes up through a baseball academy in San Pedro de Macoris and gets a shot to test his talents in America. Though there have been occasional movies about minor league baseball ("Bull Durham" the most famous, of course), this is the first one I can think of that addresses the Dominican pipeline.

This is apparently going to finally get some kind of American release in April, but I'll probably have to catch it on DVD. Enjoy the trailer.

When it comes to sports movies, the only ones I like more than baseball flicks are ones about soccer. Heck, I even like the corny "Goal" series, which so far has followed Mexican immigrant Santiago Munez to Newcastle United and then to Real Madrid and - in the chapter I haven't seen yet - eventually to the 2006 World Cup.

There are much better soccer movies than those, of course, and the one I found a trailer for at the froggy film site looks like a real winner.

Starring Michael Sheen (and therefore by law, apparently, written by Peter Morgan, from a novel I now have to read by David Peace), "The Damned United" tells the story of very successful English football manager Brian Clough at his most unsuccessful point. Hired to coach Leeds United in 1974, Clough only managed to last 44 days, in which he managed to win only one out of six games and alienate just about everyone associated with the club.

This one is listed as coming out in March in the UK, and hopefully it will sometime after that play wide enough to even reach my little corner of the world. Anyways, here's the very enjoyable trailer. Have a great rest of the weekend.


Bob said...

Those both look great. My vote for favorite sports movie has to be "The Natural." Just magical and that ending gets me every time.

Chalupa said...

I've always been a sucker for Sandlot

Reel Fanatic said...

I like both of those quite a bit .. when it comes to "The Natural," I normally hate it when they change the ending from the book, especially that is one of my favorites, but it certainly worked for that flick

Humby said...

i saw SUGAR last year at a film festival. don't think that the delay in the release has anything to do with the quality of the film. it is a really strong movie that is both inspiring and heartbreaking.

easily the best film about baseball in the last decade. i would put it up there with EIGHT MEN OUT.

Reel Fanatic said...

Wow .. high praise indeed! ... I'm really excited to see it now, but give where I live I can only assume it will have to be on DVD