Amazon Holiday

Friday, March 27, 2009


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Miguel “Sugar” Santos, an aspiring professional baseball player from the Dominican Republic tries his hand at making it to the American Major Leagues.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Algenis Perez Soto, Rayniel Rufino, Andre Holland, Michael Gaston, Ellen Porterfield, Richard Bull, Ann Whitney, Jaime Tirelli

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. It’s an interesting perspective on one particular type of immigration, but the story takes an unexpected left turn, which on a positive note makes it less predictable, but on a negative note makes it less gratifying. None the less, there’s some fun to be had in the efforts of a foreigner trying to acclimate himself to certain strange American customs, like eating French toast covered in sugar sauce, and the concept that just because an American girl dances with you, it doesn’t mean she wants anything else.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: One thing I thought was funny, was that the kid from the Dominican Republic was so impressed with the size of his Minor League paycheck, that he went ahead and sent most of it home. (For those of you not familiar with how badly Minor League players are paid, his proud smile came from a paycheck just slightly over $500.)

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: It’s sad to be reminded that no matter how fun your hobby is, when you make it your job it starts to feel like a tedious chore. No matter if it’s baseball, painting, or writing movie reviews.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: It was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance last year, and a Best Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards this year, but that was probably only because it's by the writer-directors of the previous years' winners for Half-Nelson.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: The directors found the main cast by going around to the different baseball academies in the Dominican Republic asking players if they wanted to try out for a movie. So it’s no wonder the guy they cast in the lead was the 429th person they saw. That said, their patience paid off, because his performance is very strong. The down side is now this poor Dominican kid is determined to pursue an acting career. Hopefully, he'll get as excited about a $500 paycheck as his character does, because he's likely to be able to make at least that much as a busboy.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: : In a continued effort to make their work look “indy,” Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden avoided showing any close ups of balls hitting bats and gloves. This unfortunately makes it difficult to follow the majority of the baseball plays, and you are forced to find out how the plays are going by watching the expressions on the actors' faces.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: The filmmakers, who were already baseball fanatics, were inspired to tell this story when they found out that most of the teams in the MLB have Academies in the Dominican Republic, because most of the kids in the Dominican Republic have dreams of becoming baseball players. And hey, their system isn’t half stupid considering this is how they found David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, and Sammy Sosa.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: Did you know that there are families that host these players, giving them free room and board in their homes when they come to play in the US? It goes to show that our love of our National pastime supersedes our hatred of foreigners crossing our borders.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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