October 5, 2004

Still, We Believe (A Review). I watched "Still We Believe" yesterday. I ordered the DVD a few weeks ago and decided I'd see it on the off-day before the playoffs. A way of truly washing the slate clean. ... It turns out it wasn't much of a movie. In fact, if this had been made about any other team, I'd say it was a boring piece of crap and wish I hadn't wasted my money.

The fans they chose to follow all season spouted the same cliched, empty comments after each game. Too many of them voiced the "woe is us, we're cursed" mentality that pisses me off so much. ... What amazed me was that no one -- no one -- was shown expressing any doubt about the quality of Gump's managing until Game 7 (and even that was subdued). Considering how he fucked up the bullpen all season long (and leaving his starters in too long was a season-long problem), that is unforgivable. First- and second-guessing is what we do.

The film failed to recreate the excitement of the season, the many comeback wins during the second half of the season and there was no mention of the wild Labor Day game in Philadelphia. And there were too many events that had meaning only because I knew where they fit into the fabric of the season.

What did I like? Using the split screen to show the game and the fan's reaction to what was happening was well done. A lot of the game shot angels were unique -- the way the camera stayed on Manny after he goofed up in New York, thinking the 2nd out was the 3rd out, was fantastic (because he ended up catching the 3rd out almost immediately). ... Is pointing out when the clock says "11:11" something a lot of people (Sox fans?) do? I've done it for a few years. Is this actually some ritual I don't know about? ... And the shot of Wakefield being consoled in the lockerroom after Game 7 was heart-crushing.

The film left me thinking that it's impossible to capture the feel of 174 games (and the back story to make it make enough sense to an outsider) in a 90-minute film.

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