DVD Review: The Last Play at Shea
DVD Release Date: March 22nd, 2010
Rated PG - language may offend
Running time: 95 minutes
Paul Crowder, Jon Small (dir.)
Mark Monroe (writer)
David Rosenthal (original music)
- also features classic songs from various composers -
Alec Baldwin (narrator)
DVD special features include:
• Billy Joel’s Front Row Ticket Santa
• Interview with Chuck Klosterman
Our reviews below:
The Last Play at Shea DVD Review By John C.
**** (out of 4)
Opening in 1964 as a home to the baseball team The New York Mets, Long Island’s Shea Stadium has seen legendary performances by The Beatles and even an appearence by Pope John Paul II. In 2008, the stadium closed its doors for the last time, with a farewell performance by Billy Joel. The Last Play at Shea shows us the story behind the building, with generous concert footage and the excellent music of Billy Joel providing the soundtrack.
Director Paul Crowder has beautifully and seamlessly tied together the combined history of Shea Stadium, The New York Mets and the life of Billy Joel. With revealing interviews and excellent performances, The Last Play at Shea is a moving and effective love letter to the legendary stadium that is easily among the best recent documentaries that I’ve seen.
The DVD includes 2 deleted scenes.
The Last Play At Shea DVD Review by Erin V.
**** (out of 4)
The Last Play at Shea succeeds in being a wonderfully made documentary about baseball, Billy Joel, and of course Shea Stadium. Centred around the last performance at the Shea Stadium before it was torn down in 2008, this film perfectly illustrates the history and love for the stadium.
The choice of editing and songs featured in the concert and throughout the film are pitch perfect, right down to a closing number of Let It Be. Through music and sports, people experiencing the same thing in one place are bonded, and telling its story well, this is a film that will make you feel the emotion and sentiment of a place that brought so many people together over the years. We see how New York has changed over the time that Shea stood on Long Island and by the end we know this is a love letter to a stadium lovingly called ‘a dump’ by people in the area. A perfect ‘sendoff’ film.
The Last Play at Shea DVD Review By Nicole
*** (out of 4)
The Last Play at Shea takes a nostalgic look at the history of the now replaced Shea Stadium. The documentary focuses mainly on the life of Billy Joel, from his early career to the present. Billy Joel’s story is nicely woven into the story of Shea, as Joel, along with guests such as Tony Bennett played a farewell concert in 2008 to close the stadium’s doors for the last time.
The Last Play at Shea revisits the Beatle’s iconic tour to Shea, the various New York Mets games (including the game where a black cat ran across the field), and Pope John Paul II’s 1979 visit. There are many decent interviews with Billy Joel and his friends and family, as well as Paul McCartney, and the groundskeeper, Pete Flynn. The concert with Billy Joel and guests provide the score for this well made documentary. Never boring, The Last Play at Shea will be enjoyed by music fans.
The Last Play at Shea DVD Review By Maureen
***1/2 (out of 4)
Part documentary, part concert film, The Last Play at Shea is a thoroughly engaging and entertaining film about New York’s famous Shea stadium, the New York Mets and legendary singer/songwriter Billy Joel. The film focuses on the final concert at Shea on July 18th, 2008 headlined by Billy Joel with a special performance by Sir Paul McCartney.
Director Paul Crowder manages to seamlessly highlight the history of Shea Stadium, the history of the New York Mets and chronicle the life and career of New York born Billy Joel. Narrated by Alec Baldwin, there are interviews with Joel, Mets players, Paul McCartney and more. There is also historical footage of concerts (including the Beatles) and baseball games going back to the ’60’s. Throughout the film are the highlights of the final July 18th concert. The concert footage here is excellent and alone makes The Last Play at Shea worth watching, especially for Billy Joel fans. This is one documentary I wouldn’t mind watching again.
The Last Play at Shea DVD Review By Tony
**** (out of 4)
The Last Play at Shea is much more than a concert film about the closing show at New York’s Shea Stadium before it was torn down and replaced in 2009 by Citi Field. Among musical clips of headliner Billy Joel and his friends, the film traces the stadium’s 45 years along a timeline that includes the Mets baseball team and Joel’s own career. Its construction is placed in context as a culmination of the grandiose development projects of Robert Moses in the borough of Queens and the suburbs. As a replacement for the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Mets were embraced by the community from its beginning at the bottom of the standings through later triumph in the World Series.
Inspired by the Beatles who were the first band to sell out the stadium, Billy Joel’s own career and life are covered through interviews and film clips. All these elements are woven together in a fascinating way, even for those of us who were never into baseball or Billy Joel fans.
Consensus: The Last Play at Shea seamlessly ties together the history of the now-closed Shea Stadium along with the career of Billy Joel. Told through revealing interviews, interwoven with concert footage of Joel’s final play at the legendary stadium, this is an excellent documentary. ***3/4 (Out of 4)