Saturday, May 2, 2009


Sports drama
Some Spanish with English subtitles

US baseball teams recruit many of their most promising talent at training camps in the Dominican Republic, where boys start practicing at a very early age, seeing the sport (with encouragement from their families) as one of the few tickets available to them for upward mobility.

Algenis Perez Soto: 19-year-old Miguel Santos (a.k.a AzĂșcar)
Rayniel Rufino: Jorge Ramirez, a longtime friend
Andre Holland: Brad Johnson, 2nd baseman with the Kansas City Knights
Ann Whitney: Helen Higgens, a big fan of the Bridgeton Swing baseball team
Richard Bull: her husband Earl
Ellary Porterfield: their teenage granddaughter Anne

One thing should be made clear right off the bat (sorry about that) is that this is not a baseball movie. Sure there are baseball scenes (frequently encapsulated by the play-by-play commentator) but it is more about a person playing baseball.

His name is Sugar (the English translation of his native nickname “because he’s so sweet”) a baseball pitcher starting off in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. And then he moves on.

This character study is beautifully shot with excellent acting, crisp editing, some humorous moments and a strong storyline. It is well worth viewing, even for the non-sports fan.

for language, some sexuality and brief drug use. (Not justified in my view: PG would be more appropriate)

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