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  • Met fans, Billy fans and New Yorkers of a certain age will get their share of goose bumps and lumps in their throat watching this words and musical paean to The City and its soul.

    The evolution and maturing of Billy and the Mets, along with its self-destructive ups and downs, is expertly handled by the film makers.

    The insights into the life of Billy Joel, the impact of urban sprawl, Robert Moses and working class are set to the music of Billy, along with Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks and others.

    You don't HAVE to be a NY Met fan, a Billy fan or even a New Yorker to watch this engrossing documentary.
  • Last Play at Shea, The (2010)

    **** (out of 4)

    Exceptional documentary about the final two shows that Billy Joel performed at the famous Shea Stadium. If you're expecting your typical concert film then you're going to be disappointed because what here is so much more than just that. In fact, I'd say that the concert at Shea actually gets the least amount of running time but that's okay because the documentary works so extremely well that you got to respect what the filmmakers were going for. The film not only shows the final two shows but we get a complete history of Shea Stadium from its construction to the other famous musical acts that played there and we even cover the Mets' history at the stadium. Other events like 9/11 are covered later in the picture as well. The documentary also serves as a reminder of the career of Joel and it was a very interesting idea show what the musician and the stadium were doing year by year. I found this to be an incredibly original way to show something because we've really got three different moves rolled into one and each of them work extremely well. Being a non-New Yorker it was interesting to see the history of Shea and how it was considered a "dumb" because of where it was originally built. It was also great learning about Joel who opens up about several issues including his marriages, going broke, his drinking and the fact that he's gone so long without writing new material. The concert footage is also extremely good with Joel going all out and deliver fine versions of many classics including New York State of Mind, Piano Man and Only the Good Die Young. As well as this footage we also get countless bits and pieces from earlier in Joel's career. Finally, the documentary also shines the light on perhaps the most famous event at Shea and that was The Beatles concert. Not only do we get clips from that night but the film closes out with Paul McCartney joining Joel on stage for a couple songs. All in all, THE LAST PLAY AT SHEA isn't exactly what you'd expect it to be but that's what makes it so special.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is the first time I am changing a favorite film.No longer is Nursery University my favorite documentary.It has been replaced by this film.Sure there are a few omissions.No mention that the Yankees played there for a year when the stadium was being refurbished.Very little of the NFL Jets but I think that might be a copyright issue with NFL films.No explanation of why the stadium was named for Bill Shea other than he was tasked to get a team for the venue by its creator Robert Moses.The jury is still out and debates if Moses did more good than bad in NYC's development .Still that pales with what is mentioned.The Beatles and all the Rock acts that played there make it far more then just baseball home for the lovable losers,the Mess. er I mean the Mets.Although the Mets where never or ever will be the team the Yankees are,they had a few great moments and they are shown here.Boston fans will cringe when Wilson 's ground ball goes through Buckner's legs.Piazza's homer when baseball returns after 9/11,to name just a few.Lets not forget Shea was a staging area for cleanup that followed that attack. Back to music,Sting states in this film when he and the Police played Shea they knew nothing of baseball and it was the Beatles that drew them there and while preforming on stage that night to all the fans adulation he knew what his future would be.Finally Billy Joel's career is explained to a extent because the concert he played was the real last play at Shea,not a Mets game.To comment on Joel who is the majority of the film even over the Mets,misses the point that Sting made.Shea was world known for a music venue not a baseball home then who better than Long Islands Joel ? This film will give some insight to what NYC was about growing up there as I did and for us native now departed New Yorkers a tear of nostalgia.The ending with McCartney closing Joel's concert is symmetry at it's best.
  • If you 1) love baseball, 2) love Billy Joel, 3) love New York or 4) love the New York Mets - or any combination of the four - you will be mesmerized by this entertaining documentary that parallels the career of "Piano Man" Joel and the 44-year tenants of Shea Stadium (Queens, NY) - the New York Mets.

    In July 2008, Joel closed out Shea's history of concerts - which began with the Beatles' memorable show in 1965 - by performing two nights alongside guests that included Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler, Don Henley, Garth Brooks and Tony Bennett.

    Don't be mistaken though - this is not a concert film, but a look back at the history and highlights of two NY institutions - Shea and Joel. The doc is very nostalgic; chock full of great music, quick interviews with past Mets greats (Seaver, Strawberry, Hernandez, Piazza) and Joel's crew/lifelong friends (and wives). The result is a wonderful, fast-paced mix of history and culture (granted, very NY-skewed) that, in a word and with apologies to the Mets, is simply Amazin'.