Thursday, July 12, 2018

I actually kind of like that.

Remember when Chris Webber called a timeout he didn't have against North Carolina (and narrowly missed traveling before that...)? Or when he dunked on Sir Charles after going behind the back on an outlet from Spree? Of course you do. Who doesn't?

Hell, what about that time Nate Robinson threw down over Spud Webb to win the dunk contest? That was nuts. Almost as crazy as when he jumped on Big Baby's back to form Shrek and Donkey in the Finals for the C's.

Shaq (/Neon Boudreaux) has too many moments, right? Like when he brought down the hoop against the Nets. Or when he so delicately declared, Kobe. Tell me how my tastes.

But nothing tops Reggie Miller destroying Spike Lee and the Knicks in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. The next day at practice our coach had to ask everyone to cut the shit with choke signing everyone after a made three. As stupid and pointless as it was, we couldn't help ourselves.

I also couldn't help myself from seeing Uncle Drew, as stupid and pointless as it was. Hell, even if I didn't have an eight-year old son who lives and breathes all things N.B.A, being a lifelong hoophead/bad movie aficionado?This flick, based on a series of Pepsi commercials (!) -of all things- was 100% must-see cinema.

Uncle Drew, played by current NBA all-star Kyrie Irving (who I completely hated as a Cav, but endlessly respect as a Celtic), is an old-school playground legend. And when local good-guy Dax (Lil Rey Howery aka the funny dude in Get Out [review]) loses his Rucker tournament team at the last minute, he begrudgingly turns to the old timer for help. Uncle Drew is in, uh...rather long as Dax gives him the full LeBron, and lets him assemble and run the team. Meaning? Naturally, we've got to get the gang back together The Muppets [review] style with an epic and episodic (and utterly nonsensical) road-trip. Apparently, nobody has a cell phone. Got all that? Good. But, guess what?

It doesn't matter, even if you don't.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a 'film' starring old NBA players about even older streetball legends isn't exactly rocket science. Hell, Uncle Drew isn't even Weird Science. It's almost offensively predictable and impossibly bland, but in a shocking turn of events...still pretty damn amusing. Um, assuming you absolutely love the NBA. And watching men have a dance-off. Both of which, I'm a firm supporter of, truth be told.

If this scene was the stinger in every single movie from here on out...
I would know the name of every best boy grip, in Hollywood, strange as that may sound.
Like the last five (and next five?) NBA seasons, we might as well skip the formalities and get right to the big/predictable finish: the Warriors winning it Yays and Boos. Fortunately, unlike the NBA Finals, Klay Thompson nor Steph Curry will be featured below. Even though I still love Klay. He never threw his mouthpiece in some dude's grill.

I'm pretty stoked Shaq and I now have the same vertical leap.
  • Wow. There was a fair amount of old people in the crowd...(see first Boo)
  • Tiffany Haddish was in basically every preview... (see second Boo)
  • Holy shit! Does Dikembe Mutombo now have a SAG card? And can this dude please narrate something? Or be Rat #7 in some Netflix original? Please?
  • Damn you, Scott Van Pelt. 
  • Even a little J.B. Smoove is appreciated. Honestly, a little may just be the right amount. 
  • I don't care if it was in the preview, the Hold my nuts line still, um, cracked me up. Same with Uncle Drew's wardrobe. 
  • When Dax, upon seeing an 8-track asks is that a Gameboy? I had to laugh. Then I realized my son didn't understand either reference. Then? I had to cry.
  • While Uncle Drew's speaking voice is beyond suspect, his singing voice? Anything but.
  • It may date the movie years from now, but someone mentions their degree from Trump University and I heard a few snickers throughout the theater. But being that I live in Pennsylvania, maybe they laughed because they do too.
  • You guys, Chris Webber owns this movie. Like, he's genuinely funny and charismatic whenever he's on screen. I'm not sure I need a sequel or anything....but more C-Webb? Yes, please. I don't believe in role models, but uh, he's mine. 
  • Webber is definitely a surprise with how awesome he is, but Shaq? Lookin' like Wolverine's grandfather? Delivers like he always does. The Big Aristotle doesn't exactly act his ass off, but he does, well...something with his ass.
  • Man, that Reggie Miller follow through is timeless.
  • Dax: What if I miss? His Team: What if you don't? Screw you guys. That's awesome.
  • Like any high-school video project, we get some pretty solid b-roll during the credits.
  • And finally, this was a film my son had been waiting for since we saw the preview months ago. As is our tradition, as soon as the lights came on, he looked at me and said, seven point five. I looked at him, shocked. Seven point five? Really? He nods. I liked the basketball part. Pretty spot on, this kid.
The tourney should have comprised four-fifths of the movie.
The last fifth? The dance off, of course.
  • ...who never shut the Hell up. We need to get a box on the 1040EZ that says Check only if you're aware no one wants to hear your old ass during the movie and/or previews. 
  • Tiffany Haddish was in basically every preview... (I just copied this from above...for obvious reasons)
  • Mario is terrible. True, but ouch.
  • Nick Kroll is talented. But here? He's annoying.
  • Poor Dax has to keep his squad together with $833.50 worth of Space Jams. The real Boo? I can imagine a day where money doesn't exist and shoes are the only currency.
  • We really gotta show that highlight of Jordan making Bird look like he's never played basketball before? Really? Maybe we could also feature that when he smashed his head off the parquet against the Pacers while we're at it? Follow it all up with his retirement press conference?
  • Uh, Benjamin Button this ain't. Maybe it's part of the charm, or maybe they went to Party City, but the old-man make-up is pretty much abysmal.
  • What's with all this talk about the boom boom room? Hell, what's with all the talk about anything?
  • An old lady in the theater audibly gasped during this movie. As if, you know, she didn't see whatever it was coming. 
  • Though to be fair, when the squad needs a new player, I was foolishly shocked by who showed up. For shame!
  • Oh boy, we've got a cemetery scene. Yep. It's not only the people that are dead. So is anyone's ability to express actual human emotion.
  • Making C-Webb do a time-out joke? Not cool.
  • John Calipari shows up to recruit Uncle Drew. Haha, nice try, Cal. Pretty sure he's headed to the sequel nobody is asking for. Except me.
  • And finally, for some reason, at a gas station, there's a basketball hoop lined with rocking chairs. Um, I suppose...that's...a thing. Somewhere. You know what? I'll allow it. My problem, well one of them, is that there's this team of like, middle school girls also gassing up here. Of course they play - which is awesome. But what could have been comic gold, ends up being uninspired and not really funny at all.
So, you might (not) be asking, where does Uncle Drew rank among basketball movies? Is it better than Hoosiers? No. Better than White Men Can't Jump? Definitely not.

Um, He Got Game? Glory Road? Above the Rim? No, But it might be better than Air Bud. Or Celtic Pride. Maybe even better than Sunset Park.

You remember that last one, right? Of course you do. I mean, who doesn't remember that movie that starred the main dude from Onyx? I saw that mess opening night.

*makes Reggie Miller choke gesture*


  1. NGL this looks like a hot mess but I'll probably watch it on DVD lol.

    1. Definitely a hot mess...but just amusing enough, assuming you dig the NBA, er, basketball.

      I'm not going to say that I wouldn't have seen this if I didn't have MoviePass, doesn't hurt. Hell, I think this flick was endorsed/sponsored by MoviePass in some way...

      (oh, and it took me like five minutes to decode NGL...I'm so f--king old)