Sunday, October 22, 2017

''Man on Wire'' by Latrese

In 1974 a French man name Philippe decided he wanted to make a difference in his life and the world. This documentary was told about the start and finish of his life and how he become known for his talent. Philippe was a wire walker and street performer. He had an idea to walk on wire from rooftops on really tall buildings. He first walked across the Twin Towers. He also walked across the towers of Notre Dame and Sydney Harbour Bridge. He didn't do this alone. He has his closest friends and girlfriend to help him make his success

Philippe and his friends made a lot of progress setting up the wire and making sure they didn't get caught in the process. Him and his friends would set up their equipment over night to prepare for the walk the next day. They would have to hide from guards in order to complete their success. Many would watch Philippe as he took the risk of walking that wire. He did get arrested for doing this but it didn't stop him.

His fame started getting to his head and he forgot who most importantly was there to support him with his dreams. He depended on people he never knew to help him as well. You had to be reliable and brave in order to make this happen. These walks were illegal and many put their life on the line. Especially his girlfriend who continued to always be by his side.Philippe forgot about that and didn't remember the true reason why his dream became true. Those people could have been doing anything else with their lives. Legal authority was always on the back on their minds and what could possibly happen, if they got caught. 

Moral of the story is never give up on your dream. But also remember who was there from the start. His journey was long but it was worth it. If you believe in making your dream come true and that hard work pays off, then you should watch this documentary.

Jonah Nazier Galan- Man on Wire

Image result for man on wire 2008

Man on Wire

Director- James Marsh
Distributor- Magnolia Pictures
Starring- Philippe Petit, Annie Allix, Paul McGill, Jean François Heckel 

     Man on Wire is definitely seen as a documentary of uniqueness and creativity. It is not a typical mundane, explanatory, and tiring documentary. I viewed it as a thrilling and enlightening. The film explains the journey of a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit, who stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between the New York World Trade Center’s twin towers. This extraordinary documentary incorporates Petit’s personal footage to show how he overcame continuous challenges to achieve the artistic crime of the century.
     Throughout the film, we view countless moments of determination and risk. Whether it be Philippe Petit performing his art of, wire walking or his courageous journey of performing the most incredible wire walk to be performed, on the World Trade Center. Through it all, he is truly inspiring and brings insight but on a deeper level that needs analyzation. He is inspiring through his determination to fulfill his dream of walking across the World Trade Center since the early age of nine. Through countless hours of preparation, failure, practice, and his crazy decisions to make sure it would work. But through all of this, he was trying to bring life lessons out of it all. His message was "Intuition is essential in my life." He didn't just walk the wire from one World Trade Center to another, there was a process, a journey he had to fulfill in order to get to that life-changing moment. The journey was harsh, no one taught him how to wire walk, he had to use intuition in order to learn, through constant practice and viewing of high-wire walkers at a circus. As he stated, "Within one year, I taught myself to do all the things you could do on a wire. I learned the backward somersault, the front somersault, the unicycle, the bicycle, the chair on the wire, jumping through hoops. But I thought, "What is the big deal here? It looks almost ugly." So I started to discard those tricks and to reinvent my art" This then lead to his first major wire walk in June 1971. Petit secretly installed a cable between the two towers of Notre Dame de Paris. On the morning of June 26, 1971, he juggled balls and pranced back and forth as the crowd below applauded. Through all of the success, he had to become innovative and creative, wire walking was an everyday hobby, it was unheard of. Through the documentary, Philippe carried the message, we must learn to live life with risk. We must be able to deal with all the troubles and issues that life throws at us and be able to balance it all while walking on our fine wire to the path to success.
     I would highly recommend this movie to people who have a talent for seeing the deeper messages in what they view. This movie may have been unorthodox for a documentary however, there are many messages spread throughout the movie that cannot be uncovered through just one viewing.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Why I Think The Walk is Better Than Man on Wire

Man on Wire is a 2008 documentary about Philippe Petit's tightrope walk across the Twin Towers in 1974.  The film won Best Documentary Feature at the 2008 Academy Awards. However, I think the 2015 retelling, The Walk is a better movie in my opinion.

Man on Wire is probably is the better film. For a documentary, Man on Wire is a great documentary. It dives deep into the act and we do get to know why he did it. In The Walk, we dives more deep and get to him more because of time (Man on Wire is about 94 minutes and The Walk is about 123 minutes. We also get to know Papa Rudy (played by Ben Kingsley), who was his real life mentor. Also in Man on Wire, his girlfriend Annie only speaks French, but in The Walk, she can speak fully English and has a French accent.

I think I do like The Walk more because I saw it first. The Walk is a more entertaining film than Man on Wire. I think The Walk haves great performances. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe is great, even tough it very clear than he doesn't really have a French accent.  It also more drama since we actually the see the event and that the best part of The Walk.

I loved that The Walk is a love letter to the Towers. The last line in the film speaks volumes and it just gives me a good feeling. I thought this ending was so much better here and instead  of Man on Wire because in here it just not that important.

Man on Wire is probably a better film to most. I think Man on Wire is still good. It has some great direction and is interesting the whole way through, but I think The Walk spoke to me more and I was more invested with it.  I have no real problems with both of these films, but I think  Man on Wire is a better film in general and The Walk has better entertainment values and is a better film in my opinion. It probably because I saw The Walk first, but I think both of these film are really worth  a watch.

"Sugar"- Juwan Sims

In the sport film Sugar directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. It follow the story of Miguel Santos who is mainly called by his nickname Sugar (Algenis Perez Soto). Sugar is a Dominican pitcher from San Pedro de Macorís, Trying his hardest to make it to the big leagues so he could pull himself and his family out of the slums. He does this by play professionally at a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. After performing a well done knuckle curve he is finally sent to America to be a part of one of their minor leagues.

He joins the Kansa City Knights and is assigned to their single A team, the Swings. When he arrive in Iowa he meets the family that is housing him the Higgins. He later sees his friend that has also came from the Dominican Republic Jorge (Rayniel Rufino) who becomes his mentor by helping him stay focus and learns the ropes of the team. Throughout those times Sugar domination his area and was doing extremely well.

That came to an end when he injured himself during practice and is forced to sit back and watch. At the same time his friend and mentor Jorge was doing not so good and was going to be sent back. Until he decide to leave the team and go live with a family member in New York City. From there after his surgery he returns to the team but after not being able to play and losing his only friend on the team he started to play horrible and even started a big fight between his team and another one.

Now he started to fear the he would be sent to the Dominican Republic and lose all of chances of giving his family a better life. So he decide to leave the team and head where his one friend is in New York City. When he arrives he goes to the last place he heard that Jorge works which was a diner and after asking a waitress he founds out he not there and have no way of contacting him

He decided to go the rest of his day looking for a job, at first he tried a woodshop place, then some newspaper ads but they needed a college graduate. So after a week of trying he started to work at the diner where he first came to. After a while where his life started to settled down and found a nice place to live at and then Jorge found him and introduce him to these wash up baseball players who now play baseball for fun.  

man on wiree

Image result for man on wire

"man on wire" 
is a true and amazing true story. Base on a man that is a wire walker.
a wire walker is basically a man that goes to great height's and walks to building to building on a wire. witch is a scary thing to do. But a  high-wire daredevil Philippe Petit's 1974 stunt: performing acrobatics on a thin wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Plotting his feat like a master cat burglar, Petit enlists the help of a motley group of friends as he calculates every detail, from acquiring building access to stringing up the wire, and manages to pull off an astounding crime.  

Philippe Petit thought about his ultimate dream, the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Ever since he, at age seventeen, heard about the probable building of the two towers, he had an obsession with them, most specifically in they acting as the foundations for which he could tightrope walk across at roof level. This film documents the planning and not always smooth execution of the walk he did accomplish on August 7, 1974, which ended up being more than just a straight walk from tower to tower. Part of the preparation work included doing other unsanctioned, and thus considered illegal walks, between the two towers of Notre-Dame Basilica in Paris, then the two towers of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Some of the many considerations included: putting together a support team that knew what it was doing, was reliable, and could hide their exploits from anyone in authority, which was not always easy as he had to rely on some people he didn't know before this endeavor; not only getting the necessary materials to the roofs of the two towers, but also how to string the cable between the two towers, again without detection; and other site specific issues such as building sway affecting the cable movement, and the extreme weather at that altitude. Some of his support team also had in the backs of their minds how overly litigious US authorities would react, especially if Petit did not survive this ordeal. Arguably the most important person in his support team was his then longtime girlfriend Annie Allix, who had to, without question, go along with him on these journeys without any discussion of what her own goals at that stage in her life may have been. The film also provides a denouement of sorts from what would arguably be the most climactic event any of the people involved would ever be a part of regardless of whatever they would do in their lives.

Sylvester Stallone "Rocky" By Nyani Latalia N.

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In the Award-winning film Rocky, directed by John G. Avildsen and screenwritten/ actor Sylvester Stallone explore the true meaning of the American Dream in 1976. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone),  a struggling boxer trying to make the big time and working as a debt collector for a boss/loan shark. Rocky Balboa was considered a “bum” and a “moron”. Rocky wins a whopping forty bucks. Boxing and being a debt collector didn’t pay the bills. When Rocky isn’t working he tries to win over the heart of Adrian, (Talia Shire), the clerk at the local pet store. Rocky is best friends with Adrian’s brother Paulie, (Burt Young) who works at a slaughterhouse.

After many and many times of failing, Rocky finally succeeds and wins a date with Adrian on the night of Thanksgiving. The two are the only ones at the local skating rink after Rocky bribes the owner with ten bucks. Adrian wants to know why Rocky boxes. He says it's because he's a "bum" and a "moron." But she doesn't care that he's a bum, and he doesn't care that she's shy, so these two are a perfect couple. Rocky soon has the opportunity to prove to himself that he isn't a bum, after all. Heavyweight champion of the world, Apollo Creed, needs a new challenger. Creed has flair, and he wants the fight to be a spectacle. So he chooses Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion, knowing what good publicity it will be when he gives a local Philly boy a shot at the title.
At first, Rocky doesn't think he's good enough to fight Creed. But he realizes that he doesn't have to win to prove to himself that he isn't a bum. He simply has to "go the distance," which means fifteen rounds with the champ without getting knocked out. No one has ever done that before, and Rocky is determined to be the first. He trains. He jogs up the steps of Philadelphia's Museum of Art. He punches slabs of meat in the slaughterhouse. Mickey, the owner of a local gym, becomes Rocky's trainer and manager.
On New Year's Day, 1976, it's time for the fight of the century. Maybe even the biggest fight in American history since the Revolutionary War. Apollo Creed enters the ring dressed as George Washington. He has the skills to back up the showmanship, and he almost knocks Rocky out immediately.But Rocky holds on. Mickey advises him to go for Apollo's ribs, and Rocky hits him so hard, he breaks a few. Rocky also gets his precious nose broken, but he keeps his cool and doesn't let that stop him.
He goes the distance with the champ. He doesn't win the fight, but he doesn't care, because he has proven his own self-worth. And he has Adrian. She rushes from the locker room, through the crowd, and onto the ring to embrace Rocky, swollen face and all. The two soulmates say "I love you" for the first time, and the movie ends with this romantic knockout.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Man on Wire: Zanaya Yancey-Gordon

Zanaya Yancey-Gordon

Man on Wire

The Man on Wire was an incredible documentary about a man named  Philippe Petit attempting to a do high wire routine between the world trade towers. The process he went through before putting the wire between the twin tours was long however, he had a great support of friends who helped him succeed in his dream. It took him a lot of practice and planning out to finally get the chance to walk the wire. Philippe had to accomplish having an inside man who worked in the world trade tours. His inside man was a man named Barry and his office was at the highest occupied floor. This helped him because he had to be able to know what happens in the towers like clock work, in order to get his team and the equipment up to the roof without be caught. While planning this, there were a few times they would get to the roof and a guard would come upstairs. They would have to hide for hours in order to not get caught. Philippe's support team helped a lot and took many trips to America to finally get the plan to go straight through and when it did it was beautiful. He showed how passionate he was to achieve being the first man to wire walk across the twin towers.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Man On Wire" By: Henry Seyue





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     When you think documentary some words you may consider synonymous with the genre are probably boring, long, uninteresting, or educational; and although Man On Wire is certainly educational I can assure you it does not sacrifice entertainment or brevity to complete this goal. Its 1hr 34min duration is extremely brief by documentary standards and I would even go as far as saying this is a documentary that should've been longer. The film gives us a first hand account of one of the first events that would bring the World Trade Center (WTC) to global attention, done so through captivating and elaborative play-by-play.

     There are many things that separate this documentary from ordinary ones and at the top of that list is its topic. This documentary might be worthy of becoming a central part of grade-school curricula as it is record of one of the most overlooked, yet significant events to occur at one of the most infamous locations in American history. The topic alone is something that is unheard of by many people so even if documentaries aren't your thing, the prospect of being exposed to new information is the first thing that would make you want to give this one a try. It is a breath of fresh air in comparison to documentaries of topics most people generally know about or simply don't care about. Secondly, Man On Wire is set apart by the commentary provided by the individuals involved with the WTC crossing. Of all the documentaries I've come across I certainly have to say this one has some of the most passionate individuals I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. It is amazing how Petit and his cohorts can still speak so descriptively of an event that occurred more than 40 years ago. You can still see the excitement in their faces as they speak on the topic so eloquently. There is a slight language barrier that is made up for with subtitles, but even without reading the subtitles the body language and facial expressions of the individuals speak for themselves. Unlike most educational documentaries there is no formality in Man On Wire. Of course you're learning about a significant event but its clear that you are being taught by real people with real emotions; not the unenthusiastic, monotone scholars that narrate typical documentaries. Lastly this film is set apart by its breath taking imagery. As a documentary there is nothing to really look forward to unless you can be brought into to the moment that is being documented. We are brought into Petit's life through a series of videos and photos up until the moment of his death defying walk. The images of his walk truly are the single best part of this film. As someone who lived the majority of my life post 9/11, these images really brought life to a building that is essentially a myth to my generation. I honestly did feel a false sense of nostalgia due to how close I had grown to the towers through the films duration.

     Even though this film is one that I would highly recommend to just about anyone, I will admit it has one flaw. As a post 9/11 documentary about events that took place at the WTC, I must admit that there is a bit of an "elephant in the room" because the perpetrators of the walk, as well as the viewers know what the buildings fate would be less than 30 years later. 9/11 isn't even so much as referenced during the film, which I found a bit disappointing. It would've been interesting to hear these passionate speakers give their take on the fate of the building that gave them fame as a conclusion to the film. Instead we are given a look into Petit's intimate life following his WTC walk, a directorial decision that I don't believe adds much to the aesthetic of the film. However, I wont let this slight dissatisfaction alter my opinion too much, after all this is not a 9/11 documentary so it may have been a good decision to leave such a dark situation out of what is in all aspects a bright documentary. I will give this film a bias 4/5 stars. This is as high as I can possibly rate a docudrama in comparison to other genres, but Man On Wire is certainly a film that can hold its own against most big-name action blockbusters.

Sugar- Stephen Collins

Sugar is a 2008 sports drama directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. The film follows Miguel "Sugar"  Santos, a Dominican pitcher who struggles to make it in the major leagues.

There are some comparisons to Rocky. Both films are about identity. Sugar is an up-incomer while Rocky is a has been. Sugar is try to find himself while Rocky feels he losing himself if he loses the title.

The main actor, Algenis Perez Soto who play Sugar is great. However, some of the  characters are a little one noted. The actress who plays the granddaughter is good, however there were no build up to her relationship with Sugar with didn't go anywhere.

I like the character Sugar. He's determined, inspiring and full of hope. It's interesting to know that the actor who played Sugar wanted to be a play a professional baseball player.

The beginning of Sugar is pretty good, however it does dives as it approach to the end. Yeah, the ending could have been better but I didn't hate how it ended. There also some really good scenes and it does have great direction.

I have not a lot a problems with Sugar. It's a really good sports movies. It have some problems, but overall very enjoyable. Some actors are really good but they a lot of one noted characters. They some good scenes, but some scene lack direction, mostly the ending. Still, it make up for that will a great performances by Algenis Perez Soto and some good direction.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"The All American Classic" - By: Dominic DeMilo

Rocky. Dir. John G. Alvidsen.
Feat. Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa), Burgess Meredith (Mickey), Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed), Talia Shire (Adrian), Burt Young (Paulie)
MGM, 1976.

The Film Rocky, first debuted in November of 1975 took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was based around upon the "American Dream" which is the “underdog” overcoming the odds of defeat. The following year, 1976, marked the bicentennial era (200th anniversary since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which took place in Philadelphia.) The Movie included two main characters: Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed. Rocky was a quiet, low life guy from Philadelphia. Apollo was one of the most storied boxers of the world, in fact, he was the heavyweight champion. Apollo had a fight scheduled, but his opponent sustained an injury, which left him scrambling to find someone to fight. Apollo had a vision to gain the sport of boxing credibility, so he decided to fight Rocky (the “underdog”) and give him a shot at the “American Dream. The fight was set to take place on New Year's Day 1976.

People often viewed Rocky as a “bum” or “loser.” Throughout the beginning of the movie Rocky is portrayed this way, working for a loan shark. Although collecting for a loan shark, Rocky maintains a kindheart, down to earth state. This may seem contradictory to some, because he is working for a loan shark, and is supposed to be tough, at the same time is down to earth, but that is just the kind of guy he was. For example, one day Rocky was set to collect money, from a guy at the shipyard, or break his thumbs, but instead he preached to the gentlemen about gathering his stuff together, get back on track, and live the good life. Rocky also gave Little Marie an earful one night about self respect, and staying on the right track. This may be due to the fact that even though Rocky is a “bum” to many he maintains his self respect level, which is imperative to himself.

It is conceivable that if you are called a “bum” or “loser” you will not have a healthy self esteem level. That is how Rocky felt at the beginning of the film, but changed drastically towards the end. But why? Two reasons: Adrian and the fight of the century. Adrian became Rocky’s girlfriend and started living with him a month or two after they started dating; bare in mind, before he lived with Adrian, Rocky lived alone with his pet goldfish: Moby Dick. Before the whole big fight, Rocky deferred his fights to a church hall making $40 (equivalent to $176 in today’s money). In the fight against Apollo Rocky made way over $1million in today’s money. Why am I giving these examples? Because they are what changed Rocky. In the beginning of the film, before Rocky met Adrian, he dressed like a bum (ripped jeans and a “wife beater”). After he met Adrian he always wore his leather jacket, sometimes a top hat, and looked halfway decent. Similarly, before the big fight, again, Rocky didn’t care how he looked. For example, he didn’t care about the color of his shorts or how he appeared compared to his opponent. Right before the big fight, there were big posters of Apollo and Rocky hanging from the jumbotron– at the Philadelphia Spectrum– and Rocky didn’t like his poster. The poster had him in red shorts with a white stripe, the exact opposite of what he was wearing during the fight. Now you can hopefully see, that in a way Rocky went from being a “minimalist” at the beginning of the movie to “high maintanence at the end.

Overall, this was an outstanding movie and lived up to its classification as an “all american classic.” The idea of how a low class man was given the shot at one of the most glorified titles in sports and the american dream was spectacular. I would recommend this to anyone, but more specifically, someone who loves sports or has a hard time establishing self confidence. Rocky started at the bottom and went to the top; fighting in a church hall with dozens of people watching him, to an arena with thousands watching him, plus the millions watching on TV. He also went from having a near .500 record, to lasting 15 rounds with the world champion. If you take into account the positive things in life, or even the negatives and turn them into positives, you will be successful. You can absolutely compare Rocky’s appearance throughout the movie to Hip-hop artists Drake’s song “Started From the Bottom now we’re here.”

The Idea of Becoming

The "American Dream" is the thought of pure happiness. People see the dream as a place where they are in perfect standing, there is no worry, no problem, and they are eternally and internally happy. They picture themselves as having everything they need and want. That's the "American Dream".
 In 1976, actor Sylvester Stallone and director John G. Avildsen (who also directed 1984 hit film "Karate Kid") teamed up to release the film of the decade "Rocky". It's a story based on the life of Chuck Wepner and his journey to fight, heavyweight champion of the time,  Muhammad Ali
In the more modern eras, "American Heroes" are athletes and artists because of their impact in today's communities. In the 1976 film, Stallone was that hero.
Stallone played the poor Philadelphian boxer, Robert (Rocky) Balboa. Rocky is a Roman Catholic who quit school after the ninth grade and, at the age of 25, is living in Kensington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  
Rocky was a full-time boxer. Non-professional. As he takes time to train, his body is deteriorating. He was tough. Yet every tough guy has his soft side. Rocky loved two things almost as much as he loved boxing: animals and Adrien.
Rocky knew how to fight for what he wanted. If he wanted to win, he'd fight as hard as his body allows. Rocky wasn't taken very seriously in the ring which made him fight harder and harder. His emotions triggered his abilities.
The movie focused on the fight between Rocky and Apollo Creed. Apollo chooses rocky to fight him in order to give an unknown a chance after his opponent got injured. He is giving him a chance to live the "American Dream". Rocky's training is intense. He puts in his all. 

Sugar post

Sugar. Dir. Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. feat Algenis Perez Soto.
Sony Pictures Classics, 2009

                                  Sugar Review

I think sugar is a film that is very relatable to anybody who ever tried to use sports/baseball as a way out of a tough situation but I think it is especially relatable because of its hispanic theme. I like the fact that the movie has a lot of parts that are relatable to spanish people like me because it makes it that much more engaging to see your culture depicted in film. Everything from the slangs/language, to the food and music is relatable. Even the sport of baseball itself is a huge part of hispanic culture so if nothing else the film is interesting just to see all these things come together. Even though all these things resonated with me personally I don't think it adds much to change the fact that the film’s ending was kind of boring.

To me the movie is a 5 out of 10. Like I said, I really like hearing spanish music in the film and seeing spanish food, or even the clash of cultures, but removing the fact that I relate to the film I honestly have to say it wasn't a very good movie. I originally thought it would be about Roberto Clemente which would’ve been a lot more interesting to watch so that was my first disappointment. Putting all bias aside I can imagine that this entire film may have been even more boring to someone who had to read subtitles through the whole film or really doesn’t have much about it they can relate to. On top of this I think the movie is very misleading. The main character's name makes him sound sensational, or like he’s bound to be something great by the end of the film, which simply is not the case. He ends up living an average immigrant life in the United States which is anything but entertaining. So essentially you end up sitting through an hour of subtitles just to see something you can see by walking through a neighborhood like Fair Haven, that's honestly disappointing.

If it isn't clear by now that I don't think highly of this film, maybe I can clarify by saying I would not suggest this film to someone. If you want to see a person live their life with really nothing spectacular happening you can save a few hours by just going outside and watching people live. If you like to watch something you can relate to, and are the type of person that doesn't like new or thrilling things, then maybe this is the film for you.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sugar "Azúcar"

Sugar. Dir Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden
           Feat. Algenis Perez Soto

Sony Pictures Classics, 2009

      Algenis Perez Soto played the role of Miguel "Sugar" Santos, he was just another young man trying to go after his dream. Santos wanted to become a famous baseball player because he loved the game and he wanted to make enough money to send back to the Dominican Republic to support his family. One day he gets noticed while pitching by a recruiter from the United States to play for a minor league baseball team. Santos learns ways to improve his pitching and even learns to throw the perfect curve ball. After a couple of months of doing an amazing job things change. He suddenly loses the confidence he had because of a couple of mess ups, seeing his best friend get kicked off the team, and seeing an old friend take his spotlight. Santos feels as if the don't need him and that he won't get recognized so he leaves and tries to support himself all alone in New York. After leaving a big opportunity that was given to him he struggles to find a job because he had no experience and he didn't speak much English. The story doesn't have a sad ending, he finds a way to make money and where to live and joins a small local league to do what he loves in his free time. 
      Moving away from home was already a major move that Santos took, but after leaving a once in a lifetime opportunity he still found a way to make it in life. Although, he didn't become famous and wealthy he still made the money he needed to support himself and his family. This fictional movie is actually a representation of what happens sometimes to these players that come from another country. When you're playing in your country your first goal is to get recruited and you can only imagine how its going to be until everything happens and reality strikes.    
       I personally enjoy movies about sports and since I have some knowledge to how the recruitment and the process after that happens this movie had my attention. I would recommend this film to someone who loves the slow but intense game of baseball or even if they enjoy movies about sports. The only thing I wish was better was the ending--I feel like if the film ended a different way then it would make it better, but after thinking about why the film ended the way it did it helped me realize that not all stories have to have a perfect ending.

Made in the Dominican Republic

Sugar: Dir. Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden.
Feat. Algenis Perez Soto.
Sony Pictures Classics, 2009

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        The movie "Sugar" goes beyond the borders of its name, and covers topics as challenging as culture, home, finding your passion alongside the truth, and relearning what you thought you knew. Sugar (Miguel Santos, played by Algenis Santos), is the star baseball player from his small hometown village outside San Pedro de Macorís, in the Dominican Republic. His skills grant him admission to a Baseball academy and hopes for the day where he will be sent to America to play the game he has always loved, while still being able to support his family. The day finally comes and he's sent off to a training camp in Kansas where he was then offered a chance to play on an actual minor leauge team, "The Swing" in Iowa. He does not get here easily though. Back home he was always the best pitcher, he was always the first out on the field and the one who people could count on for an easy strike out, but this was not the case in America.  
       During his time in America he finds out that there are players that have skills undeniably better than his own. Everywhere we go, and through everything we do, there will always be someone who we believe is better than us - whether that thought is a figment of our imagination, or not - this is just the way of life. You don't get to pick and choose how you'll compare, there is a greater power that decides those factors and you just need to work to develop those skills. Ant this movie does a swell job at sharing that idea. Sugar struggles with balancing this fact and the hard work and patience that comes along with the intensity of professional sports. As his limits become stretched beyond repair, he turns to a relief that is illegal in the game, steroids. The situation he is put in is what many people face in their own lives, but in different circumstances. Obviously not everyone finds the struggles of hard hitting professional sports, but in our own lives we face the daily struggles and challenges that come along with day to day activities. We all strive to be better than were are, and most likely would do more than anything to get to the point where we are pleased with who we have become and what we've accomplished. This alone gets stressful and intimidating which can turn people to sides of themselves they've never expected. People in distress may turn to drugs, alcohol, crime, unhealthy relationships, depression, and many more things that may harm a persons wellbeing. In this case, Sugar turned to a pill that he believed would enhance his playing, but ended up threatening his status on the minor league team. There is a moral embedded into this scene, and director Ryan Fleck tries (and succeeds) to get you to understand that turning down the wrong path can lead to horrible places.

      With a strong turn of events, Sugar comes to terms with the fact that maybe he is not as good as everyone had always expected him to, and decides that he liked the sport itself, not competition. Again, I can personally relate to this part of the movie as I decide where I want to study in the upcoming years. I want to make the decisions that will most benefit me while still being happy, but is doing what I love as a profession rather than a hobby going to exhilarate me, or ruin me? Sometimes "giving up" and starting anew, even though completely torn down in stories and tales, may just be what's BEST for Sugar.


Friday, October 13, 2017

"Sugar" Aysia Starr

Sugar. Dir. Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. feat Algenis Perez Soto.
Sony Pictures Classics, 2009

“Sugar” follows the story of Dominican baseball pitcher Miguel Santos, played by actor Algenis Perez Soto. He relies on only his raw talent to emerge his family out of poverty in the DR. They have no chance for a better life unless their family member, Miguel (Sugar), achieves his dream profession as a minor/major league baseball player in the United States of America. As he continues his training in a Dominican baseball academy, Sugar is given his once in a lifetime opportunity at age 19. He’s scouted out by minor league baseball coaches and sent to the States to start his training. His talent doesn’t fail him, but proves his worth to his coaches, resulting in him becoming an uprising American favorite. Sugar celebrates his success and wins in parties, dancing, and sending money back to the Dominican Republic to aid his family that’s sending love in return. However, in the words of wise poet Robert Frost, ‘nothing gold can stay,” and Sugar starts seeing this as a reality. His once natural pitching skills start becoming a struggle and he finds himself turning to anything to get back on top… even drugs. With him playing out of anger, letting his emotions get the best of him, his downfall starts, and us, as viewers, start seeing what failure and quitting looks like. He starts to question his previous desire to be a major league professional and with his loss of confidence and ambition, that dream went down the drain.

In the film, “Sugar,” director Ryan Fleck explores the themes of cultural integration/immigration experiences, personal struggle with pride, and how one plays a role in “their world” and the world they live in. Throughout the movie, Sugar is largely mute, isolated by language and location, both in Iowa and on the pitcher’s mound. Coming from a rural area in the Dominican, he has little to no experience with the American language and culture. This is to his disadvantage when it comes to interacting with Americans in the States. Scenes such as the “egg scene” show a cultural collision. Sugar usually orders french toast at his local restaurant because that’s all he knows how to say in English. One night, he attempts to order eggs, a change from his usual french toast. However, when the waitress asks how he likes his eggs done, he gets confused and ends up ordering french toast. Sugar isn’t used to this restaurant “routine” and shows us how a simple activity like going out to eat is different throughout world cultures. He also struggles with his pride. When his raw talent starts failing him, he gets angry and overwhelmed, as would most people. He expresses frustration and disappointment in his performance on the field, letting his emotions play him. His ego gets in the way of acceptance, the only way for him to move on from this “slump.” With this, he starts to question the world he wanted to be a part of and how achievable it actually is. “Life gives you many opportunities, baseball only gives you one,” a Dominican baseball mentor tells Sugar early on in the film. He discovers the truth of this in ways he wouldn’t expect. He experiences emotional uncertainty as a stranger in a stranger’s land, and decides that maybe his initial aspiration doesn’t suit his tolerance. We hear of success of many MLB players, but we don’t hear of those who fail to uphold principle and dedication, those who cannot handle to pressure and stress of making it “big time.” Sugar recognized that his dream was short lived and then finds peace in his decision of moving to New York and working part-time as a restaurant employee and carpenter. He finds joy and closure on his past desires, on the struggle he onced faced. The realization of the realities of the game put him on a path of self-discovery, and led him to find sanction in working in the States and playing amateur baseball games alongside players like him, who either gave up their MLB dream or retired from it. They find common ground in each other and cope with everyday struggle. However, they’re not alone, for they have one another to discover brotherhood and a new home.

I would recommend this film to those who aspire to achieve anything, for everything comes at a price and you have to be willing to pay it. The real world isn’t kind, and you must have discipline and ambition to achieve what you want, or at least an open heart to accept the cruel process. “Sugar” is a great choice in film to depict what might happen if you plan to achieve a goal. My mother always told me that there are winners and losers, but there are also learners, and you can learn from failure if you have the willingness to do so.

Dominican Born American Made

Sugar. Dir. Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden.
Feat. Algenis Perez Soto (Miguel).
Sony Pictures Classics, 2009.

The film Sugar first debuted in March of 2009 had settings in both the Dominican Republic, and the United States. The film gets its name from the main character Miguel Santos A.K.A “Sugar.” Sugar was born and raised in the Dominican Republic; in one of the poorest communities. The main themes of this movie were: commitment, pride, and dedication. Sugar grew up having slim to no resources to get him on track towards accomplishing his dream: playing professional baseball in the major leagues. He did not let anything in his life keep him down. Whether he was having family issues, or was having difficulties working in the scorching heat in the D.R., Sugar did not give in, he kept his eye on the prize. Sugar continued to practice for hours on end hoping one day it would pay off, and it did.
One day Sugar was throwing a bullpen, when he was approached by a scout for the Kansas City Knights. The Knights were a professional baseball team in the United States, and the scout liked what he saw from Sugar. Perhaps, this was an open door for Sugar. The Knights immediately invested in Sugar, and a few of his teammates, inviting them to spring training in Arizona. A few days later (for the first time in their life) they were on a plane and headed to the States. Once in the states, Sugar had to start all over i.e.: adapting to a new culture, and learning a new language. These things did not come easy to Sugar, but with his hard work he was able to still pursue his dream. Training camp went well for sugar, but he was still optioned to Single A Bridgetown, apart from all but one of his Dominican teammates.
Once he was optioned to Bridgetown he was placed with a host family, who I initially thought Sugar wouldn’t last long with. The family lived in a farmhouse in the middle of the Iowa plains– the exact opposite from his Dominican habitat. Aside from the new lifestyle Sugar still maintained his composure on his path to success. Sugar was nothing short of dominant during his first few games, then the tables turned. After that Sugar went into a deep slump, he then took an unknown substance– perhaps steroids. Sugar began to feel bad about himself, so he changed his hopes for the future. He left the team and headed to New York City. Sugar reconnected with an old baseball pal, and made the most out of living in the big apple: he got a job, and his own apartment. He could of took a different path after he realized his baseball career wasn’t going well, but Sugar did not want to become attracted to unhealthy things: drugs, gangs, hookups, etc.
Sugar is very much like our most recent film, Rocky. Just like Rocky Sugar “built from the bottom up.” He grew up in the slums of the Dominican Republic and eventually played semi-professional ball in the states, just like Rocky grew up in the slums of Philadelphia and eventually fought on the big stage against the world champion. But just like Rocky, a sense of reality hit Sugar hard. Rocky realized he wasn’t going to beat Apollo Creed, so he changed his goal to at least go the distance against him. Sugar eventually realized he wasn’t going to make it to the major leagues, and continue his career playing baseball, so he changed his goal to become a normal citizen and make the most out of life.

I would recommend this film to any baseball lover. This is becoming normal for baseball; they MLB or even MILB are receiving these players from latin american countries like: the D.R., Venezuela, Puerto Rico, etc. These players are coming from places where they have hardly any resources to go to. They simply just keep giving it all they’ve got, hoping one day they will make it to the bigs. Even though Sugar didn’t make it to the bigs, he certainly gave it all he had until the day he realized his head wasn’t in the game anymore.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Image result for sugar the movie baseball

Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Perez Soto) spends his weekends at home, passing from the landscaped gardens and manicured fields on one side of the guarded academy. In his small village outside Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Perez Soto) spends his weekends at home, passing from the landscaped gardens and manicured fields on one side of the guarded academy gate, more chaotic world beyond. In his small village outside San Pedro de Macorís, Miguel enjoys a kind of celebrity status and loves playing baseball as well and "Sugar" is really good at it his the best of the best in his village. His neighbors gather to welcome him back for the weekend; the children ask him for extra baseballs or an old glove. To his family, who lost their father years before, Miguel is their hope and shining star. With the small bonus he earned when he signed with the academy some time ago, he has started to build his family a new house one that has a bigger kitchen for his mom and a separate room for his grandmother. Sugar dose a lot for his family and tries to do his best for his family. then one day After learning a devastating knuckle curve, 

Sugar is invited to spring training by the fictional Kansas City Knights. He is assigned to their Single A affiliate in Iowa, the Swing. He is housed by the Higgins family, who take in Swing players every year. Jorge (Rufino), a veteran player and the only other Dominican on the team, also tries to help Miguel learn the ropes. However, despite the Higgins' welcoming efforts and Jorge's guidance, the challenge of Miguel's acceptance into the community is exposed in small ways every day, from his struggle to communicate in the English language to an accident of casual bigotry at a local bar. Sugar tries to learn the English and became a little good at it but a little rusty as well.

The one part of the movie Sugar that i hated is when we became frustrated when Sugar can only throw in a couple game before he stops throwing like before. he throw becomes weak and straight forward. when that happens he gets switched with another one. in any word's Sugar hated getting switched so he tried anything an the one thing that he tried was a pill. it was probably steroids pill but they told Sugar to only consume half of the pill. witch he did not listen to. so Sugar took the hole pill before a new game started. Sugar was doing really good at the game until half of the game. Sugar started getting really dizzy and Nauseous and it was because if he would of taking half of it like they said he would of been fine. so they switched him again. so Sugar starts doing pills and he gets really bad but in the end the the movie he starts getting better and he starts being him self again