Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's ALREADY Time to Take a Break from YOUR San Francisco Giants

I saw an article in the Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview edition (4/6/09) about a new baseball movie that should interest the Gigante fans.

A well-written piece by Melissa Segura describes what goes on into making a film of care and dedication. Sure, all the movies had a modicum of the aforementioned but did they really care when you think of all the kooky, corny, cheesy stuff that was NOT allowed to hit the cutting room floor?

Segura reminds us...Hispanic characters such as Pedro Cerrano, the Jobu-worshipping slugger in Major League, are usually there purely for comic relief. That changes with Sugar, a film that poignantly explores the loneliness, cultural disconnection and cut-throat competition experienced by a Latino prospect thrown into the cornfields of Iowa on his first minor league stop.

Segura continues... Apart from its masterly storytelling, the film's greatest strength is its authenticity, much of which comes from Algenis Perez Soto. He plays Miguel (Sugar) Santos, a Dominican pitcher who, armed with a biting knuckle curve, is trying to pull his family out of poverty. The 25-year-old Perez Soto was a shortstop in San Pedro de Macoris (where else?). He gave up his big league ambition but continued to play pickup baseball and softball, which is how film-makers spotted him and asked him to audition.

The movie was written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who cowrote the stark, critically acclaimed 2006 drama Half Nelson (which Fleck directed).

If you like baseball flicks, this sounds like something that'll tug on the heartstrings enough to appreciate and probably make you smile.

(thanks to SI's Melissa Segura for this heads-up!)

Kevin Marquez