Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Catching Hell - 10/10

Back when I used to keep up the blog I also kept up a sidebar where I ranked every movie I saw on a scale of 1-10. Because I'm a list guy and I'll probably come back to blogging one day I'm still keeping this list active (though hidden for the time being). Anyway, all that to say I've done something relatively rare, and seen a film I'd call a 10. It is the ESPN Films documentary Catching Hell, and you can see it here.

It is the story of Steve Bartman, a long-time fan who innocently reached for a foul ball at a Chicago Cubs playoff game and ended up being the scapegoat for their disastrous collapse. Along with it we get the story of Bill Buckner, who missed a routine grounder for the Red Sox and likewise took the blame for their World Series loss. In there you get a whole lot of humanity and as I watched it with my sons we were literally on the edges of our seats. My eldest had his mouth dropped open and even walked out of the room at one point because he couldn't bear to see what would happen. When it came around to talk about scapegoating and then showed Buckner's pseudo-redemption it occasioned a brief chat with my sons that I don't think I'll soon forget (even if they do). I realize that my subjectivity comes in to play because I'm a sports fan and I like a good real-life documentary, but I still think this is one that everyone will appreciate. For me it is a 10/10, and easily the best film I've seen in awhile.


jonkramer said...

I watched this back in October/November - whenever it was that it first came out. Like you, I found it to be just captivating and brilliant. Can't stand watching baseball on TV, so it's kind of odd that a documentary about it could grab me so.
Really thought it was cool how his hometown rallied around and protected him. Shows how reality and relationships can still trump the media giants narratives.
Also, Joel Plaskett's back in Edmonton on April 19 (Winspear). You going?

Jon Coutts said...

Yeah I thought that part was cool as well.

We are thinking of going to Plaskett, yes. Looks like it might be pricey but it's a must-do.

s$s said...

I'd watch that.

Dave McGregor showed me the Zinedine Zidane documentary, 'A 21st Centory Portrait' half a year ago, and it got me very interested in the potential of documentary to peel back the layers on sport. I rarely rarely rarely watch sports, but I'd definitely watch this. Thanks for the recommendation.

trina said...

thanks, Jon Coutts!
this was a good documentary.

Jon Coutts said...

I'm thrilled to have turned a few people on to this. You people make me want to blog again. Maybe just to talk about stuff like this once in awhile, and do it somewhere other than flash-in-the-pan facebook statii.