Cinequest: Jack Of All Trades

Stu Stone and Jose Canseco in Jack of All Trades.

Jack Of All Trades is a documentary that will bring a wave of nostalgia to those who collected baseball cards while they were growing up. Aside from that, this film is also about a man’s search for his missing father.

Co-directed by Stu Stone and Harv Glazer, the question that Stone decides to explore is “whatever happened to baseball cards.”  It’s a very good question to ask.  Some malls used to have card shows all the time but they don’t hold them as often as they used to, if even at all.

This is a documentary film that takes its viewers on a time machine to learn about the history of some of the most famous baseball cards.  Using an investigative journalism approach, they give us the story behind the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card and the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card.   Stone and Glazer take us to card shows and beyond.  It becomes a family affair with Stu’s sister, Karie, joining in.  In attending card shows, there’s nothing more disappointing than finding out that your collection isn’t worth what you thought.

This is a film that will appeal mainly to baseball fans but mostly to those of us, including myself, who awaited the release days of the newest series of Topps, Bowman, Upper Deck, Donruss, Fleer, Score, etc. The list goes on and on because the baseball card market got over-saturated in the early 2000s.  It reached a point in which only Topps was one of the last companies standing in the card market.

Stone’s dad, Jack, used to run Sluggers.  This was before his parents divorced and their relationship became estranged.  For Stu, it’s more or less a mission to learn why his dad left rather than to offer whatever insight he can when it comes to baseball cards.  It’s because of this that Jack of All Trades feels like there’s two films here–the baseball card documentary and the journey to find his dad.  This isn’t entirely a bad thing as the reunion adds an emotional punch to a nostalgic film.

What makes the film so fascinating is that Stone and Glazer both have their own ideas for what the film should be. Most directors would probably leave some of that commentary out of the film but they chose to leave it in the final cut.  Whether or not it’s the best decision, it gives viewers insight into their creative differences as filmmakers.

While Jack of All Trades does offer a family reunion, it’s the wave of nostalgia that’s going to make former collectors want to collect again.

Jack Of All Trades will be holding its world premiere at the Cinequest Film and VR Festival.  Update: Jack of All Trades is now available on Digital.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

2 thoughts on “Cinequest: Jack Of All Trades

Leave a Reply