For decades, baseball has been one of the most popular games in American history. Filled with unpredictability, the sport has been one of the ringleaders among the world of athletics that’s provided a whirlwind of magical moments, as well as magical athletes. Timing, precision, and the art of psychology are all intertwined among a game that’s also driven by God-given talent. And when I say talent, most (if not all) would think batters or runners before thinking in and/or out fielders. However, although respected to the core of its necessity, sometimes the souls who stand on that mound and hold down the fort by chucking balls until they run out of steam seem to be a wee bit underappreciated. Not to a full degree, but you don’t really hear and/or see much regarding the mind-boggling pressure behind making sure the person at the plate does not (by any means) hit that ball – and making that possible boils down to a little science and a lot of heart.
FASTBALL is a documentary that takes us behind the ball with archival footage of baseball’s greatest moments pertaining to the art of pitching. Sprinkled with some scientific footage and graphics that unlock the secrets within a ball traveling over 100 mph, players, historians, and scientists chat it up while questioning both the impossible and possible among an act only a few have mastered.
Narrated by Kevin Costner and featuring some of the greats like Derek Jeter, Nolan Ryan, Goose Gossage, and Hank Aaron (to name a few) it’s geared as a tool to lure in everyone. And as someone (like myself) who’s not really a fan of baseball, I found FASTBALL to be a neutral, educational, and entertaining piece that provides more than physics to conclude a verdict that’ll be debated for years and years. It’s also a glamorous piece of history that unveils the evolution of the sport in terms of style, rules, and its impactful aura that’s tapped beyond American soil. Comparing pitchers of different eras, the battle between bat and ball boils down to a zone only those within the realm of the sport can understand.
Produced by Hollywood heavyweight Thomas Tull, in association with the MLB and Legendary Pictures, FASTBALL is most definitely a documentary that’ll be loved and appreciated by hardcore fans of baseball, but also one that’ll garner respect and recommendation from those who learn to appreciate a sport taken for granted while channel-surfing on a Sunday afternoon. Opening on Friday, March 25th in theaters across America (check local listings) and On-Demand thereafter, FASTBALL will leave a cinematic welt upon its contact among movie lovers from all walks of life.
Grade: A / Genre: Documentary / Rated: Unrated / Run Time: 1:27
Narrated by: Kevin Costner
Featuring: Justin Verlander, Andrew Mccutcheon, David Price, Derek Jeter, Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Bob Gibson, Goose Gossage, the late Tony Gwynn, and more!
Directed by: Jonathan Hock