Gunnin' for That #1 Spot
With a fistful of music videos and the experiment in audience participation Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That! jammed in his gym bag, New York-ophile (and Beastie Boys member mostly known as the MCA but sometimes as director Horatio Hornblower) Adam Yauch continues to clamber up the steps of the hey-I-worked-with-Spike-Jonze-but-I'm-more-than-a-dilettante-director bleachers with this stylish and Noo Yawk-y documentary observation of eight of the high school basketball stars selected to play in the first "Elite 24" (sorry, the Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic) invitation-only all-star game in 2006 at Rucker Park, the venerable Harlem street-ball court pounded on and flown over by the likes of Dr. J, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. A good showing here drapes even more status on the hoop dreams (get it?) of these fledgling big-league ballers (many now happily ensconced in the NCAA and/or already talking to NBA teams) who are looking at college as just one more warmup in the rush to go pro, and with a brief but efficient eye on the giant basketball-shoe companies and infernal college sports machines pulling the strings. Yauch gives us a look at each young man and where he's coming from as they step on the bus headed uptown to 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard for a high-profile exhibition game of roundball that could leave one humiliated by a rival or sporting a cool street handle bestowed by effusive, obnoxious, all-the-way-live, nonstop, never, ever, shuts-the-fuck-up, ever, event play-by-play man, shoe designer, author, DJ, and former Puerto Rican pro player Bobbito Garcia. This flick is pretty much for hoops heads, who will be itching for the action to start (it takes a while), but after Yauch does it baby one more time to the streets of New York with the loving, languorous aerial fish-eye crawl, this is where the movie really kicks in, capturing the pace and flow of the game while slo-mo savoring and digitally highlighting the sweetest and sickest moves on the court by a bunch of teenagers already used to the relentless pressure of high expectations and being scrutinized and analyzed while they are treated like living gods.