Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (12)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (8)
| Rotten (4)
"Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story" not only lives up to its title -- how could it not? -- but also delivers a bit extra as well.
Were it not for a masterly production coup...this slight and unambitious work would be wholly indistinguishable from basic-cable filler.
A reasonably comprehensive tribute to athletics as the great melting pot.
Peter Miller's historical docu strikes out a stadium-load of assumptions.
I doubt there's much here any die-hard fan doesn't already know, but having it retold from the perspective of a struggling, respect-hungry community merely makes the metaphoric affinities of the game that much more persuasive.
The organization, the writing by Ira Berkow, the footage, the research, all excellent. But it could have been so much more.
It's a must for baseball fans-Jewish or otherwise.
This engaging and well-put-together documentary has universal appeal to sports fans, regardless of ethnic background. It has a running time of 91 minutes that passes by much too quickly.
Good info. But Jews and Baseball is too genteel, too reverential and not nearly exciting enough.
(Prioritizes) statistics and on-field accomplishments over larger questions of religion, culture and community.
The film feels simultaneously micromanaged and slapdash, spouting generalities about the game while neglecting to show a full at-bat.
"Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story" is a sweetly insightful documentary about, well, Jews and baseball.(See, that wasn't so hard, was it?) On a general note, it is also about ethnic groups assimilating into the United States upon their arrival, Jews being no different, fleeing oppression in their home countries. And is there anything more American than baseball? Well, as Maury Allen puts it, there is baseball in the bible with the phrase "in the big inning."(Ha! Get it? Seriously, I think "let there be light" could just as easily be about baseball.) And there have been Jewish ballplayers since the beginning but the first Jewish superstar was Hank Greenberg of the Detroit Tigers who combated anti-semitism and stereotypes on the field in the 1930's, while being a hero for Jewish fans, seeking affirmation in one of their own.(At the same time, Moe Berg was a major league catcher who accomplished much more in secret than he did on the playing field.) A lot of the documentary's attention is focused on Greenberg and Sandy Koufax. I knew a lot about Greenberg from a documentary of several years ago but little about Koufax's story. Today's Jewish ballplayers look back to those who paved the way for them as their parents paved the way into the suburbs. But it is also no longer just in front of the lights that Jews have made contributions to baseball with union organizer Marvin Miller and baseball commissioner Bud Selig having huge impacts in their own way.
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