Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Baseball (1994–2010)

Starring Daniel Okrent, George F. Will, John Chancellor

Author

A documentary that takes a very leisurely pace through baseball history, almost at the pace of a real baseball game, which is to say, it’s too slow. The camera hesitates on each photo for just a moment too long (with this many photos, it adds up), and the voiceover is also a beat too slow. And there are only so many ways you can play the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” before it starts to get old.

Along with the present day shots of journalists, it would have been nice to see present day shots of memorabilia. What better way to connect the past with the present than to show vintage baseball items in modern day color and sharpness.

Some of the dialogue feels a bit staged and scripted. Buck O’Neil‚Äôs testimony is valuable, but what makes John Sayles, or any of the other contemporary baseball fans interviewed for this production, an expert on the fences of deadball baseball parks? Instead of omniscient and poetic reflections from irrelevant narrators, it would have been nice to see more interviews with the players. I also would have preferred if the narrator spoke the names of historical figures rather than the historical figures themselves.

While the episodes are more or less chronological, the content within each episode is not. It bounces around a bit, and it’s a bit annoying.

The foley work, necessary for most of the footage before 1950, is exceptional. Really brings the footage alive.

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