Turn Off Ads?
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

  1. #1
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,184

    Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    I heard a blurb on NPR this a.m. about a review of the new movie Sugar on tonight's All Things Considered. I then saw a review on Salon.com and decided to check out the NY Times review. Looks like it could be a good one

    Diamond in the Rough

    By A. O. SCOTT
    Published: April 3, 2009

    There is something undeniably noble and beautiful about the love of sports: the appreciation of grace and excellence for their own sakes, the pleasure of competition, the discipline of training. But the practice of big-time sports is often cruel and corrupt, a business built on the exploitation of young people and the peddling of impossible dreams. This basic contradiction will be in vivid evidence this weekend, during the national college basketball championships. It is also, at least implicitly, a central concern in “Sugar,” a wise and lovely new film by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

    “Sugar,” which follows a young pitcher from a training camp in the Dominican Republic to a minor-league club in Iowa (and beyond), is infused with a deep affection for baseball, the rhythms of which are nimbly captured by a narrative pace and editing style that quicken and relax as necessary. The small details and rituals of the game — the locker room banter, the on-field surges of intensity and the tedium of the dugout — are captured with subtlety and without egg-headed, glorious-pastime sententiousness.

    It is their belief in the dignity of the sport that allows Ms. Boden and Mr. Fleck to turn a quietly critical eye on its economic workings and social consequences. Though it tells a fictional story, “Sugar” belongs on a shelf with “Hoop Dreams,” another great film that challenges us to shed our illusions about sports even as we retain our capacity to delight in the games themselves.

    Miguel Santos is certainly capable of such delight. Nicknamed Azúcar (Spanish for sugar), and played by a marvelously expressive and likable young nonprofessional actor named Algenis Pérez Soto, he is sweet and easygoing, but also fiercely competitive and a bit cocky.

    Like many young Dominican men who demonstrate some baseball talent, he was signed by an American professional team (the fictitious Kansas City Knights) as a teenager. Sugar and his fellow recruits live in a training center that in some ways resembles a prep school, in others a prison. An armed guard stands at the gate, and practices are observed from what looks like a guard tower.

    On weekends, Miguel goes home to his village to visit with his family and his girlfriend, and to hang out with slightly older men whose own dreams of major-league glory have evaporated or expired.

    In their previous feature, “Half Nelson,” Ms. Boden and Mr. Fleck, a married couple who live in Brooklyn, seemed at first to be working within a familiar, somewhat dubious genre, the heroic urban teacher melodrama. But by making the teacher in question (played by Ryan Gosling) not only a drug addict but also, more important, a complicated individual whose moral confusion was hard to separate from his political idealism, they upended easy, sentimental assumptions about race, class and urban life.

    Something similar happens in “Sugar.” For more than half its running time the film seems to be following the narrative structure of a standard sports story, unfolding through the triumphs and reversals of a single, fateful season. After a stint in spring training in Arizona, Miguel finds himself in Iowa, boarding with an elderly local couple and trying out his stuff in front of some pretty demanding hometown crowds as a starting pitcher for the Bridgetown Swing.

    Off the field he socializes with his fellow Spanish-speaking ballplayers, befriends a former college star and conducts a tentative flirtation with the strawberry-blond, churchgoing granddaughter of his hosts, who wants him for spiritual or carnal purposes, or both. (Here in America we may accept the constitutional separation of church and state, but church and sex are much harder to keep apart.) On the field Miguel hits his stride early, is slowed down by an injury, faces various temptations and then ...

    But see for yourself. The game of baseball, ungoverned by the clock, is notoriously full of surprises, and the surprise of “Sugar” — I don’t mean the major third-act plot twist, which is astonishing when it happens and utterly logical in retrospect — is that it’s not really about baseball at all. It’s about, among other things, the way America looks through the eyes of a stranger, about the beauty of the Caribbean, the Midwest and the South Bronx (skillfully evoked by the cinematographer Andrij Parekh), and about what it is to be a young man full of desire and potential in a world that seems starkly divided between haves and have-nots, success and failure.

    Perhaps nowhere are these divisions more extreme than in the world of professional sports, which beguiles some of the poorest people in the hemisphere with specters of fabulous wealth. But even in that world, a lot of space is taken up by the middle ground: the modest paychecks sent to the family back home; the careers that culminate neither in glory nor in disgrace, but that flare up and peter out; the tiny increment of luck or timing that separates strike three from ball four.

    And so “Sugar” walks away from clichés about the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat, preferring to contemplate the satisfactions and frustrations that lie in between. It is both sad and hopeful, but the film’s sorrow and its optimism arise from its rarest and most thrilling quality, which is its deep and humane honesty.
    Last edited by redsmetz; 04-03-2009 at 08:11 AM. Reason: to redo the title
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

    The Baseball Emporium - Books & Things, that's Rallyonion.com

    The Baseball Bookstore

    http://tsc-sales.com/
    http://tscsales.blogspot.com/
    http://silverscreenbooks.com/

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Portland, OR (West Chester, OH)
    Posts
    6,091

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    I saw it earlier this year at the Portland International Film Festival. Really good film that is not ultimately about baseball as much as it is a character study of "Sugar" Santos. It doesn't hurt that the actor that plays Santos looks quite a bit like the wiry younger brother of one Wily Mo Pena.

    Since a hefty portion of the film was shot in the Quad Cities (Santos plays for the "Bridgetown" Swing), you'll glimpse several other Midwest League teams in that portion. I believe the Dragons are among them.

    Also, Jose Rijo served as a consultant on the film and has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo at the very beginning.
    Last edited by Doc. Scott; 04-04-2009 at 11:44 AM.

  4. #3
    Haunted by walks
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Syracuse
    Posts
    6,691

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    Speaking of baseball movies, my vote for "best movie featuring a Reds player" goes to "Bang the Drum Slowly."

  5. #4
    Member The Baumer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,295

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    Heard great things about Sugar but had no idea it was made by the same crew that made Half Nelson. I'm definitely seeing this now.

  6. #5
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    8,104

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc. Scott View Post
    I saw it earlier this year at the Portland International Film Festival. Really good film that is not ultimately about baseball as much as it is a character study of "Sugar" Santos. It doesn't hurt that the actor that plays Santos looks quite a bit like the wiry younger brother of one Wily Mo Pena.

    Since a hefty portion of the film was shot in the Quad Cities (Santos plays for the "Bridgetown" Swing), you'll glimpse several other Midwest League teams in that portion. I believe the Dragons are among them.

    Also, Jose Rijo served as a consultant on the film and has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo at the very beginning.
    I wonder if Rijo's cameo was of him cashing the young prospect's bonus check?
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

  7. #6
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,184

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc. Scott View Post
    I saw it earlier this year at the Portland International Film Festival. Really good film that is not ultimately about baseball as much as it is a character study of "Sugar" Santos. It doesn't hurt that the actor that plays Santos looks quite a bit like the wiry younger brother of one Wily Mo Pena.

    Since a hefty portion of the film was shot in the Quad Cities (Santos plays for the "Bridgetown" Swing), you'll glimpse several other Midwest League teams in that portion. I believe the Dragons are among them.

    Also, Jose Rijo served as a consultant on the film and has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo at the very beginning.
    My wife and our two daughters went to this last night here in Atlanta. Very nice film, sweet and bittersweet at the same time. Very telling about the long odds of any minor leaguer making it and they emotions that go through that reality.

    My oldest daughter caught Rijo right off and he's just in the very beginning. It's a bit ironic him being in this film given the current circumstances down there.

    In Cincinnati, this is showing at the Mariemont Theater (or is that Theatre?). If you have access to the Bearcash Bucks books on free newstands around the Clifton/Northside area, there is a coupon in there for buy one get one free for both the Esquire and the Mariemont. If you get a chance to see it, go do it. Nice film.
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

    The Baseball Emporium - Books & Things, that's Rallyonion.com

    The Baseball Bookstore

    http://tsc-sales.com/
    http://tscsales.blogspot.com/
    http://silverscreenbooks.com/

  8. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
    Posts
    2,729

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    here is the link on youtube for the trailer..


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKiIceGcuN8

  9. #8
    Member Topcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,934

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    I am not sure if this is frowned on, if so delete post please BOSS. But if allowed is there a torrent link to this movie ?
    2006 Redzone mock Draftee's- 1(st) Daniel Bard(redsox), 1(st sup)( Jordan Walden (Angels), 2(nd) rd.- Zach Britton(Orioles), 3(rd) Blair Erickson(Cardinals), 3(rd) Tim Norton( Yankees),(cuz its a Tim Hortons thing

    Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.

  10. #9
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Olathe, KS
    Posts
    13,794

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
    I am not sure if this is frowned on, if so delete post please BOSS. But if allowed is there a torrent link to this movie ?
    Posting a torrent link would probably be a bad idea. However, someone could probably send you a PM with the link.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  11. #10
    Member Topcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,934

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    Posting a torrent link would probably be a bad idea. However, someone could probably send you a PM with the link.

    thanks Johnny , in Canada there is zilch on this movie. I do not want site in trouble so suggestion was appreciated.
    2006 Redzone mock Draftee's- 1(st) Daniel Bard(redsox), 1(st sup)( Jordan Walden (Angels), 2(nd) rd.- Zach Britton(Orioles), 3(rd) Blair Erickson(Cardinals), 3(rd) Tim Norton( Yankees),(cuz its a Tim Hortons thing

    Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.

  12. #11
    Member klw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    6,510

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    I thought I would bump this thread based on the discussion of how the Reds coaches are helping Chapman adjust to life in the US and not just baseball. I saw this at the New Year's for the first time. I thought it was quite good.

  13. #12
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    11,438

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    It's a great, great movie. It deserved a lot more press than it got.

  14. #13
    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Cbus
    Posts
    7,048

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    Posting a torrent link would probably be a bad idea. However, someone could probably send you a PM with the link.
    I concur.

    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

    All models are wrong. Some of them are useful.

  15. #14
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Overlooking GABP
    Posts
    4,469

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    An excellent movie; I can't reccomend it highly enough. If you plan to see it and have the option, get the Blu-Ray. That is the only way to see the original theatrical release. The DVD version is edited for content and one of the things removed is actually quite important to Sugar's character imo.

  16. #15
    Member kheidg-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,748

    Re: Sugar - New Baseball Movie

    I saw this movie in the theater when it first came out, excellent movie.


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25