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- Starring: Jean Carlos Batista, John Leguizamo, Miguel Angel Sano
- Summary: This compelling documentary narrated by John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge!, Ice Age, Carlito's Way) is a gritty and rare look inside the recruitment of top talent baseball players from the Dominican Republic. Miguel Angel Sanó and Jean Carlos Batista are among 100,000 teenagers vying for a handfuul of coveted contracts with baseball teams. As they turn 16 years old and become eligible to sign, each must navigate the fiercely competitive and frequently corrupt system if they are to lift their families out of poverty and achieve their dream: to one day play in the Big Leagues. Filmmakers Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, and Jon Paley take you inside this never before seen world for an up close and personal look at the cost of the American dream. (Strand Releasing)… Expand
- Director: Jonathan Paley
- Genre(s): Drama, Sport, Documentary
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90Commendably, the film, narrated by John Leguizamo, sugarcoats nothing, and the people involved - the players, their trainers, their parents, the scouts - are remarkably forthright.
80While "Ballplayer" is certainly unsettling, must-see viewing for baseball fans - a nonfiction follow-up to Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's outstanding 2009 feature "Sugar" - it's a vibrant tale, alive with color and texture, that's far more than a sports movie.
80Although there are numerous interviews with various people both directly involved with or peripheral to the action, the most compelling figure on display is a particularly articulate coach who proves all too determined to have his protégé succeed. The fact that he works strictly on commission is certainly no small element of his zeal.
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