In the summer of ?77, New York was a city in crisis. Terrorized by the Son of Sam serial killer, divided by a bitter mayor?s race and devastated by rampant arson and looting following a paralyzing citywide blackout, the Bi... more »g Apple found renewed hope and inspiration in the on-and-off field exploits of baseball?s most storied franchise, The New York Yankees. Although deeply embroiled in an explosive three-way power struggle between meddlesome owner George Steinbrenner (Oliver Platt), combative manager Billy Martin (John Turturro) and egocentric superstar slugger Reggie Jackson (Daniel Sanjata), the Yankees managed to overcome their personality clashes and capture their first World Series championship in 15 years and, in doing so, helped win the hearts of New Yorkers struggling to recover from the most tumultuous year in the city?s history. Based on the best selling novel, this inspiring 8-part miniseries is jam-packed with gripping drama and excitement.« less
Jean W. from JORDANVILLE, NY Reviewed on 1/29/2018...
not that into baseball, so probably did not get as much out of it as I should have. I did like the historical references throughout this movie.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tempers Are Flaring
El Lagarto | Sandown, NH | 09/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's going, it's going, it is OUTTA HERE! The Bronx Is Burning turns its attention on a very specific time in New York City history and the result is a major league hit. There are even moments of (Forrest Gump/Zelig)-esque wizardry where documentary footage is kluged with new footage - it's never convincing enough to pass for real, but it's fun. Even without this techno-trickery the series succeeds in transporting viewers to a turbulent time in NYC history when a lot of things were going wrong all at once. The long overdue resurgence of baseball's legendary franchise, The Yankees, was just what the doctor ordered to help an ailing city feel better about itself.
The only missteps arise from sections devoted to Son of Sam and the Mayoral race; we're never quite certain how relevant these dramas are, or their relationship to the central story. The actual interviews of participants, by contrast, work very well. Interviews with Yankee players - including Jackson, sports writers, and Steinbrenner himself, add authority to the story and give a visceral sense of the sustained dysfunction that characterized the team that year. Only Martin is missing from these interviews - even in history he is trivialized.
The drama here arises from a tough drive to the World Series, but the action, and the fun, come from an ongoing battle between three myopic egos that never manage to put their differences aside. It is a battle of titans and they share the blame equally - indeed - given the situation it's a miracle the team made the playoffs. Steinbrenner - the owner - is a grandiose, bombastic micro-manager. Martin - a brilliant player and manager - demonstrates levels of passive aggression and self-destruction so profound they could be record setting. Jackson embodies the sports super-star celebrity nincompoop - he seems to have been invented to illustrate the phrase - "a legend in his own mind."
Turturro is amazing as Martin - Martin is a complex man, part megalomaniac, part hapless victim, part creep - Turturro expresses this entire range effortlessly. Daniel Sanjata has his hands full as Jackson - in many ways Jackson is a larger than life figure - just ask him. But Sanjata not only looks like Jackson, he manages to express Jackson's clueless narcissism faultlessly. But the real star turn of this terrific series is Oliver Platt as George Steinbrenner. Platt's portrayal of Steinbrenner is more like Steinbrenner than Steinbrenner ever was on his best day. Every minute Platt is on screen is a pleasure to watch. The Bronx Is Burning is an absolutely splendid piece of entertainment."
The Real Summer of George (and Billy, and Reggie, and...)
Poniplaizy | Mount Joy, PA USA | 08/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One Saturday afternoon with nothing on TV, I flipped to a channel that was having a marathon of this show. Three hours later my husband came home, said, "What are we watching?" and sat down beside me. Three hours after that, we only managed to tear ourselves away because a storm was coming and we had to unplug the TV. It was that good!
The series portrays the Yankees' tumultuous 1977 season against the background of the events in NYC that summer. Although the Yankees were loaded with colorful, over-the-top characters, the main focus is on the "relationship" between George Steinbrenner (Oliver Platt) and Billy Martin (John Turturro). In a better world, George and Billy would've gone to couples counseling and learned to compromise for the good of the team, but in reality they crashed like a baseball-themed Hindenburg--repeatedly, and spectacularly. At the same time, the Son of Sam was terrorizing the city, an ungodly heat wave had everyone sweltering, a mayoral campaign was heating up, and a thunderstorm elsewhere on the power grid caused a blackout of the city. All the events seem to mirror each other, and all are recreated with authenticity. It's obvious that the producers researched the events and people well, and original news footage is mixed in to give a "you are there" feel.
As far as the acting, everyone does a good job, but Turturro and Platt especially stand out. Turturro seems to have a knack for taking abrasive characters and making them sympathetic--he did the same thing with Howard Cosell in "Monday Night Mayhem." And Platt is hilarious as Steinbrenner; he has the voice and mannerisms down pat. Daniel Sunjata makes a good Reggie Jackson, even though he doesn't really look or sound that much like the real Reggie. The rest of the cast also works well. Nice additional features are the interviews at the end of each episode--not just with Yankee players, but cops involved in the Son of Sam investigation, electric company workers, etc.
It'd probably be good to have a little baseball background to watch this, but you wouldn't need much; my husband has no interest in baseball and he enjoyed it just as much as I did. It would be good for couples to watch together, because whichever one wasn't interested in sports would probably be interested in the background events and vice versa. So even if you buy it for yourself, your significant other will probably be glad you did."
THOSE WERE THE DAYS
Benito Silvestri | 08/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a true baseball fan (redsox fan), i couldn't help but to watch this mini -series because i was only 8 years old in 1977 and i remember just seeing pictures of those games on the front page of the newspaper that i picked up (on peoples front lawns) walking to school and hearing people talkin about it. It was a classic time and baseball and broadcasting will never be that classic again. I think the show was very... very... GOOD... VERY TOP NOTCH STUFF and i will buy it on DVD. I hope ESPN does more series like this !!!"
ESPN comes through!!!
I. Abanobi | Orange County, CA USA | 08/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ESPN really came thru with this show and I can't wait for it to come out on DVD. One of the best sports miniseries I have ever seen."