Thursday, June 30, 2005


Rebound (Director: Steve Carr)

Carr directed Next Friday, Dr. Dolittle 2, and Daddy Day Care. He's slated to direct a ton more in the next year. This film was written by a bunch of guys looking for a break.

I don't have much to say about this film. The only way it could have gotten some attention is if it was surprising at all. This is one of those formulaic movies--the formula is apathy. It is made under the pretense that movies are "just movies." Basically, whenever I hear the old "It's just a movie" line, I know it's just an excuse the filmmakers hide behind when they make a lazy-ass film.

There are a lot of detail-oriented things they get wrong in this picture--like, here's one of the all-time goofs that happen in movies and no one bats an eye--whenever you see something getting videotaped with one camera, it contains editing that only a multi-camera shoot or a multiple-take shoot could possibly capture. In the same vein, in this movie, we have one of those feel-good moments where the cowardly player makes the game-winning basket. In the school paper the next day, there's a picture of him holding the ball, ready to shoot towards the basket--the same angle as in the movie. I always sit and wonder, who took that picture? Was there a photographer hanging from the backboard to get that shot, while the game was in progress? (It reminds me of that scene in 187 where Samuel Jackson has set up a camera near a window to get a record of his students threatening him, and it's this security camera-type of angle, a side-view of the whole class. To make it more dramatic and "cool" but without making any sense whatsoever, the video camera angle magically ends up directly in front of the student as he makes his threats).

Martin Lawrence is taking the route that Eddie Murphy has met with success and that others are trying in order to give them a boost in their careers. After Murphy started tanking with his old formulas, he started doing family-oriented fare and has given him a second wind in his career. We just saw Vin Diesel do the same thing fairly successfully, and to a lesser extent, Will Ferrell. But there is absolutely no reason for this movie to be made. Who is sitting in their apartment in front of a computer monitor dying to write Rebound? This is a story that needs to be told. We have Hoosiers, we have Teen Wolf, but we need to make room for this story, dammit! The public demands it!

And yet again, we have the rag-tag team of misfit players who in unconvincing fashion, become the Chicago Bulls. They go from losing 109-0 with no coaching, to being world-beaters as Coach Roy instills in them the virtues of passing. Hey, just pass, and everything will be OK. Your lack of shooting skills and ball-handling will not be a factor. In fact, let's go out into the wild, find some monkeys, and teach them how to pass. I think that would be an amusing movie. Monkeys versus eighth graders. We could get Jay Mohr to be the coach and learn a lesson and fall in love with the Olsen twins. They could ride in the car after the championship, and all three would look forward to their future together, and a monkey in the back seat would show his teeth, because that's always funny, even after the tenth, eleventh time.

If I had to come out with positives, it would be Megan Mullally as the principal and Patrick Warburton, who does get a good laugh at the end of the movie, as the "evil" opposing coach with the badass team But so underused are these that it's not really worth mentioning. I hope this movie buys them a nice house or something. Oh yeah, Fox the neverending marketing machine dumps Alia Shawkat of "Arrested Development" in this. I would pay for one minute of that show over this whole movie.

Look, this is my plea. You want to make a basketball movie, then find something interesting to say. Find an angle. This movie has been done to death so many times with so many sports that this movie doesn't have a voice. It's filled with so much sameness that it's just another drop of water in the ocean.


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