Screened this film at its premiere during Sundance 2008. The main appeal for most coming to see this movie was to see what the team behind Half Nelsen could do on the second go around. And for the most part those who enjoy quality film-making will find many positives here, though this is a completely different film then Half. Much like Half Nelsen the cast feels authentic and the characters are very understated and come across with very true to life performances. The main issue with audience appreciation will hinge mostly on their interest in baseball. Serious baseball fans will most likely look differently at the Latin America ball players and the MLB system once they witness what is a very accurate portrait of the trials and tribulations of the foreign players. Sure most folks know about the great Latin players like Pedro, and David Ortiz, etc,, but do they know about players like Migual "Suger" Santos? The answer is probably not and I believe the filmmakers succeeded in creating a film that makes us think about what life is like for all those players we don't get to see under the bright lights and on the baseball cards. Its all very fascinating stuff for baseball fans to ponder and think about, those none baseball fans may find it slightly dull but with an open mind its still a beautiful portrait of a young mans journey to America.
First off, the lead actor Algenis Perez Soto is fantastic, it is unbelievable how great his performance here is when you consider that he has absolutely no acting experience at all. They literally pulled this kid off a ball field in the Dominican and stuck him in front of a camera. The rest of the cast is great as well and similarly most are not trained actors since the makers or the film wanted authentic ballplayers. From whats been said this is most likely going to be a HBO release on TV and I think thats a great spot for this film as its definitely too small and too specific a subject for a wide release. I highly encourage baseball fans to check this out when they get the chance.