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Bronx is Burning

Bronx is Burning (2007)


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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 54

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Sep 25, 2007

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Audience Reviews for Bronx is Burning

I felt I had to see this because I'm a die-hard Yankees fan; I haven't missed a pitch since 2002, a fact I'm remarkably proud of. What is more, 61* is one of my favorite films, and I thoroughly enjoyed The Pride of the Yankees. And it is in the tradition of these two films that I hoped Bronx is Burning would fall, but as I watched it, I remembered that when it premiered on ESPN, I didn't watch it because I feared an intense anti-Yankees sentiment. These fears were relatively justified. But even if we take this element away and look at this as a film, it is still found wanting.
First, the characters quickly become types and halt all development. Reggie Jackson emerges as a heroic but arrogant superstar, who routinely speaks in enigmas, and there is nothing about how hard the man worked to become Reggie Jackson. Billy Martin is a troubled, depressed alcoholic, and even though we frequently hear that he is an on-field managerial genius, we never see it. And the late George Steinbrenner is a mercurial blow hard, who abuses people and talks out his ass, but in contrast, I think of what Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay said about The Boss following his death: "He would fire a secretary then pay for her son's college." Suzyn Waldman said that Steinbrenner would frequently tell her that the greatest philanthropy was anonymity. Tales of his charity were echoed from all corners following his death and were whispered during his life. But in Bronx is Burning, there's none of this. What emerges instead of characters are merely personifications of the generalizations that have been repeated about these men since these Bronx Zoo days.
Second, it is appropriate that this appeared on ESPN because the game action is like watching an episode of Sportscenter. The filmmakers re-enact almost nothing. Rather they splice obviously blue-screened shots of the actors preparing to take their swings with the stock footage of the swings' results. It's shoddy. It's remarkably lame. And it fails to amount to any drama.
Finally, the chronicle of the Son of Sam was appropriate if it could have been carried past the fifth episode, but the tales of New York as a whole disappeared, and it gave the film a lack of focus.
Overall, this is a bad Yankees film; see 61* again and again instead.
December 3, 2010
Jim Hunter

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