Reviewed byzkonedogVote: 8/10/10
The knuckleball is an enigma in the sport of baseball. Only a handfulof pitchers in the 100+ year history of the game have thrown it wellenough to make a career out of it. This documentary focuses on twoknuckleballers in particular (Tim Wakefield & R.A. Dickey) in trying toshed some light on both the physical and mental side of being abaseball oddity.
There are basically two distinct themes running through this doc:
1. A history of the pitch, so to speak, in which former knucklers likeCharlie Hough, Wilbur Wood, Tom Candiotti, and Phil Niekro areinterview regarding their thoughts on their bread-and-butter pitch.
2. A narrower focus on Wakefield & Dickey, delving into more thepsychological toughness needed to soldier on despite being label abaseball "freak", of sorts.
This is a great little documentary for all baseball fans (especiallythose who vividly remember Wakefield's long career or Dickey's magicalrun with the Mets) and is about as unique as the fluttering pitchitself (I can't remember any other documentary covering similarmaterial). It is lighthearted, emotional, informative, and serious allat the same time.
The only reason I can't give it the full five stars? I wish it wouldhave focused on the personal stories of Wakefield/Dickey even a bitmore. Their interactions with the "old gang" of knuckleballers isgreat, don't get me wrong, but there are WAY too many slo-mo shoots offluttering knucklers used simply to fill time/space. The personalstories would have been compelling enough to explore even more fully.
Overall, though, this is a fun little baseball documentary that is veryprofessionally produced and doesn't try to "ruffle feathers" by makingoutrageous statements for publicity's sake. It is clear that thefilmmakers were truly interested in and inspired by their creation andthat fact shows in the final product.
Reviewed bysalmon62Vote: 4/10/10
This is an interesting documentary for baseball fans. Much of theiconic attributions to baseball's knuckle-ballers has been made beforeby sportscasters during games, but this is fun to watch nonetheless.The movie focuses on two pitchers in 2011, Tim Wakefield, and R.A.Dickey. I believe Dickey is still pitching in 2013 for the Blue Jays.
There is a tendency in documentary filmmaking to include too muchfootage, and "Knuckleball" is no different. The documentary jumps backand forth in time rather than follow a chronological order. The samecrowd shots are used multiple times. There is footage of the pitchersdriving around in cars. There is a lot of game footage of the twopitchers which becomes tiresome after an hour. Just when you thinkthere is going to be some breakthrough or change of pace in the film,it lapses back into footage from the mid 2000's. There is excessivecoverage of the Red Sox-Yankees series.
This movie would be good for people who aren't familiar with pitchingstyles or the history of the famous knuckle-ballers in baseball.
There are entertaining interviews with Niekro, Hough, and Wilbur Wood.
In short, this documentary is about 15 minutes too long. It is a goodbet for serious baseball fans.
Reviewed bygarypatersonVote: 10/10/10
Was lucky enough to catch this at the world premier free screening atthe Tribeca Film Festival last Saturday.
Really enjoyed its interesting and heart warming story telling aboutthe rare baseball bread of the knuckleball pitcher. Both looking backand looking forward the film brought the story of this select band ofpitchers beautifully to the screen.
R.A Dickey... such a class guy and there is something quite touchingthat he is the only knuckleballer left in the MLB. And you couldn'twish for a better champion of the 'freak' pitch.
Would happily watch it again. Congrats to all those involved.
A documentary that showcases baseball's most unpredictable pitch.