|Index||7 reviews in total|
As a big college basketball fan, I, like many others was mesmerized by
the on court exploits of Hank Gathers, Bo Kimble and company on the
late 80's early 90's Loyola Marymount teams. A real tragedy on many
levels occurred when Gathers collapsed and died on the court during a
tournament game in March of 1990.
While it is honorable to try and remember Hank through film, this effort was embarrassing, to say the least. A fat Bo Kimble, 8 foot high basketball rims, and a cheesy looking Coach Paul Westhead are among the sins committed in this cheap jack production which would have Gathers vomiting in his casket if he saw the finished product. I give it a "three" out of "ten" only because it is supposed to be a labor of love, but it is not a good quality movie- no where near on the level of "Brian's Song", for instance. The sympathetic, feel-good tone conveyed in the film is somewhat nullified by the (unportrayed) real life ugliness brought on by Hank's survivors looking for a pay day in suing a litany of people, including the University, Paul Westhead, etc.. for Hank's death.
Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story is great made for TV movie about star that stopped shining too soon. I didn't know a lot about Hank Gathers since hey day was when I was a child. But from seeing the movie I learned a few things. Victor Love gives a great performance in the lead role and if the movie is ever on TV it's worth checking out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story is a biographical TV movie that
tells the story of one of the best basketball players to play in
college whose future was definitely bright for the pros until tragedy
had befallen.It stars Victor Love as Hank Gathers together with Duane
Davis,who portrayed his best friend and equally talented basketball
player,Bo Kimble.The other supporting cast includes George Kennedy,Nell
Carter and Sam Hennings.
The film follows Hank's journey from the ghettos of Philadelphia where it has shown his commitment into becoming the best basketball player he can be until his collegiate in the NCAA at both USC and Loyola Marymount.At one point during his college days,he led the NCAA in both scoring and rebounding. Then, tragedy strikes when he collapse and died of a heart attack during the game between Loyola Marymount and Portland.
Despite the fact that expectation should not be really that high considering that it is a TV movie,I felt that it was definitely a fitting tribute to Hank Gathers as the viewer got to appreciate the commitment that he had into escaping the ghettos to becoming the best he could be as a basketball player.Also,it gave the impression too that despite the fact that he may not be a perfect human being,he still accomplished a lot of things which other people having the same situation that he had never did.Finally,it also makes you appreciate him for the accomplishments and empathize for him as well as what could have been if his untimely death had not happened.
Many of my formative years were spent watching, playing and studying
the sport of basketball. That being said, I naturally tended to
gravitate toward those individuals who displayed the greatest
character, heart and passion for the game. And for my money, Hank
Gathers could never be exceeded in any of those categories. As a
weeping 12 year old child, I sat broken and dismayed at the news that
one of my favorite basketball heroes and role models in life had died.
No consolation could be offered, no explanation sufficient, that moment
will live with me forever.
A couple of years following Eric "Hank" Gather's untimely passing, I was quite pleased to see that his life was to be portrayed in cinematic form, and that so many others who knew little if anything about the man could gain a sense of exactly who this enigmatic individual was. The film itself is not a tremendous example of exemplary acting, directing, or writing. But, the story, the meaning, the truth of the message is delivered in impeccable fashion. Nell Carter delivers without a doubt the premier performance, cast in a role tailor-made for her skills, she portray's Hank's stern, but very loving mother and does so perfectly. Victor Love as Hank and Duane Davis as Bo Kimble were slightly less impressive, yet personified their charters quite well. Lost in much of the film's focus on Hank's later years at Loyola Marymount is George Kennedy's portrayal of "Father Dave", the tough-love coach who helped to ground a young Hank Gathers and act as a surrogate in light of an absent father in the Gather's household.
Shot on an obviously low budget, Charles Braverman does a very nice job of giving the audience a look into the life and times of an unforgettable sports figure, and more than that, the loving and human side of the man that revered himself to almost anyone he ever came in contact with. Final Shot: The Hank Gather's story I would highly recommend personally if you enjoy heart-felt stories of true life. You will not be blown away by star power or high-budget sets or effects, but you will feel something when you watch this movie. A sad story in one sense, but thoroughly inspirational in every way. By the way, if you have tendency to get a bit teary-eyed, keep the tissue close by.
I finally saw this replaying on the USA channel during March
This is a good story but has got to be one of the worst movies ever made. Hank Gathers must be rolling in his grave!
The actor playing Hank is awful. I've seen better actors in junior high school plays. The way he plays Hank Gathers, you'd think that Hank was mentally challenged.
And the actor they get to play Bo Kimble looks like a bodybuilder, not a baskeball player.
Not to mention the 7 foot basketball rims that the actors have to jump 2 inches to dunk on.
But if you ever want a GOOD laugh at awful filmmaking, check out this movie!
You won't be able to turn away, it's like watching a train wreck!
I had the pleasure of seeing Hank Gathers play basketball at Loyola- Marymount. When casting started for extra's in the television film, I applied and was in the crowd scene at Loyola U. when local shooting took place. Considering the film had a small budget it turned out very well. Director, Chuck Braverman took considerable effort to show Hank Gathers in a true light.Knowing the information I had on Gathers from his California days at USC and Loyola, I thought Braverman did a very good job. It was a sad finish to Gathers who had really found himself and would have had a fine career in the NBA and would have provided financial security for his son in Philadelphia.
Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story is a moving film about a basketball player that many people today may not know of. It takes you through Hank Gethers' life as a child, then to his stay at USC, and finally Loyola Marymount where he tragically dies during an NCAA tournament game. The acting isn't great and it's cheaply made because it was a made for tv movie, but it is a very sad movie and worth checking out.
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