Monday, October 5, 2009

More Than Just a Basketball Movie

I went and saw "More Than a Game" opening night with two of the more regular contributors to this blog. Being a huge basketball fan and Cavaliers fanatic, I have to honestly say this movie is not just for people like me. It's fair to say this movie, about Lebron James' high school team, is for anyone. You don't have to be a sports fan, let alone a basketball fan, to appreciate how well this documentary is put together and to truly enjoy the journey of these kids and coaches. Not only is the story so improbable and impressive, the editing (i.e. the chronology of the way it is told) is phenomenal. It keeps you invested from beginning to end.
***This commentary does not contain real spoilers. It contains general information that I don't believe is a secret, unknown, or spoils the movie in any way.***
The movie follows 5 friends brought together at a young age on the basketball courts of Akron. It does NOT focus on Lebron James' rise to superstardom. For those looking for a James bio-pic, this isn't the film. I'd argue that (besides the interview format) Lebron's footage is the LEAST touched on of the 5. His suspension and how the team dealt with this and his stardom is the focal point of the "Lebron James part" of the movie.
Instead, "More Than a Game" is about the coaches (mostly Dru Joyce) and his relationship with the kids, his own son, and the genuine friendship exhibited by this group of kids. I really believe the movie's point was to show that nothing, not even Lebron James' mega-star status, overshadows the genuine bond developed between friends (and a coach). "More Than a Game" is not about the game of basketball or the rise of a phenom... it is about boys becoming men and the coach that went the extra mile to make that happen.
Two thumbs up and a strong recommendation for all.

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