Saturday, August 12, 2017

Now on Netflix: Flatball: A History of Ultimate (2017)

Flatball: The History of Ultimate (2017) - Written and Directed by Dennis Warsen; Narrated by Alec Baldwin.

By Kenny Howell

Alec Baldwin narrates you through the history of that game that one guy you know plays with people you don't know in this documentary.

Ultimate Frisbee, now just known as ultimate because of the cool kids, started back in the late 1960s and early 1970s and brought people together in the spirit of sport with a football like game that uses frisbees to move the team forward. The game had no referees, and was seen as a pure game, something other athletics had lost over the years.

Over the years, it has evolved into a bigger deal with countries playing against each other, and highlights even showing up on SportsCenter.

All that being said, it is hard to care too much about this documentary if you aren't a player of the game. I am sure it is a lot of fun, it certainly looks like it is, but the film tries to build some big importance to it while showing games with maybe 500 people there watching it. It also looks like the film was cobbled together over the years, as the production values seem a bit dated because of archival footage, but also some of the recent interviews.

On a less cynical viewpoint, Flatball: A History of Ultimate does give a fairly comprehensive overview of the history of the sport from its humble, fun roots. Baldwin (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation) does give it a bit of gravitas as he always does, so if you are interested in the sport, you may get a bit more out of it.

Flatball: A History of Ultimate is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: **

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