Like Mike (2002) Poster


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Keep the film in perspective
groverallover15 December 2002
I just finished watching "Like Mike" with my 7 year old son and he loved it. On a scale from 1-10 I gave it an 8. I must admit I was partial on the vote because it reflected my son's enjoyment. I think some should remember that this was a kid's movie and shouldn't take it so seriously. I enjoyed the flow and even though it was obviously very predictable let's not forget the target audience for this film. "Like Mike" was enjoyable and warm and perfect for your FAMILY film night, as it was intended in the first place.
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Snoop's Little Bro does well
Christopher Joseph18 December 2002
Extremely funny, lighthearted kids romp with a positive message and enduring theme. Was pleased seeing a young rapper placed in a non-stereotypical role that valued family and teamwork themes. The basketball player "big brother" Morris Chestnut worked well as a trouble gifted basketball player who reluctantly takes Bow Wow under his wings and albeit predictable softens up in his parental role with the youngster. The scene where they paint geometry lessons on the side of his mansion was hilarious and keep up the importance of school! Kids do the darnest things and I can see a youngster after a pair of magical shoes clinging to a tree in a thunderstorm. Okay, as a parent thats dangerous and would not want to see my youngster dangling from this tree BUT I do remember my own exploits as a child doing much of the same type of daring challenges. Kids will be kids so this gives excellent opportunity for the parent to talk with their child about keeping it safe! The NBA should be elated to have been giving a more good-guy image then their typical bad boy look. Very satisfied with this film portraying a positive image for my children to watch. Go Ohio! :)
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Not Bad For Its Type
Jacob Rosen19 July 2002
An unusually strong supporting cast (including Crispin Glover, Robert Forster, Eugene Levy and Anne Meara) enlivens this simple family comedy built around the appealing young actor Lil' Bow Wow. He plays an orphan who, upon finding a magical pair of sneakers, becomes an NBA superstar and in the process befriends another player (Morris Chestnut) with his own family problems. Bow Wow will have an appeal to children of various ages because his own age seems indeterminate; he can act like a teenager (managing various relationships in the orphanage, rallying his teammates) or a pre-teen (gorging himself on so much food he gets sick, saying his prayers at bedtime); and his winning smile makes him non-threatening to adults. There's absolutely nothing that isn't predictable here and the film itself culls themes and sequences from other family films such as `Home Alone' and `E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'. There's also nothing objectionable either: it's barely above the level of a Disney Channel movie so kids will gobble it up, which isn't a bad thing. The NBA had a hand in making the film in an obvious attempt to improve its bad boy image, and naturally most of the real players come off as kindly, caring and ready to perform good works. (Fortunately, there are exceptions: Allen Iverson doesn't play cute and Gary Payton treats Bow Wow as an equal on the court, making him pay.) Not bad for its genre--that supporting cast definitely helps, especially the always-welcome Glover and Levy--but hardly memorable.
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Excellent sports film for kids
intelearts22 August 2008
I'm giving this a 10 because in its genre it shines - it really is a great sports movie for kids! Lil Bow Wow is great, very natural, and very likable and the supporting cast all do their thing and make this inoffensive, entertaining, and we found lot of reasons to smile broadly.

With LOADS of basketball any kid that likes the game will be happy - of course, teams and players will change, but this is still really fun.

It reminded me of the old Disney films where magic, or experiments, gave some special powers and poof! sit back and watch time....

Absolutely recommended for kids and parents alike... we all loved this and would watch again.

Best thing I can say is that the kids just wanted to run out in the garden and play ball afterward, which is a pretty positive result!!!
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Magical Nikes OK with me
view_and_review14 May 2007
Like Mike was one of those fun family movies. I never had high expectations of the movie going in and subsequently I was pleasantly surprised. It is no masterpiece, but it is definitely a worthwhile-piece. Bow-Wow was decent as was the script. The movie held an even keel throughout, never getting too dull, but also never having any real riotous moments. Obviously the movie was a bit of a fantasy with a boy finding mystical shoes that gave him the skills of Michael Jordan; but hey, that is what made the movie as good as it was. I like the idea of using a kid as opposed to an adult so as to make the movie more entertaining. In fact, it reminds me of a story I wrote for a sixth grade project. All-in-all, a good movie, certainly better than average.
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Wonderful movie!
purr-fect219 July 2002
I took my 9yr old daughter and her friend to see this movie. We had so much fun! We laughed and laughed. GREAT family movie. One you can watch and not be offended with language, etc. We want to see it again. FUN FUN FUN!
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A good, clean movie that's fun for kids of all ages.
paul_supercala3 July 2002
Like just about every other recent pop star before him, Lil' Bow Wow has landed the starring role in a major motion picture. Unlike the rest of them, he has managed to carry a good, clean family film. There's nothing too offensive here and kids of all ages (at least from the test screening) seemed to eat it up. While it's not terribly original (see "Rookie of the Year"), it's not trying to re-invent kids' movies, it's just trying to entertain in a fun, safe way, which it does.

Bow (Mr. Wow?) has enough boyish charm and enough charisma to show what could be a promising acting career in addition to his duties as a rapper. Morris Chestnut ("The Brothers") does well as an unwilling mentor who becomes a father figure to the orphaned boy. Crispin Glover is pretty creepy as the greedy "caretaker" of the boy, and Robert Forester and Eugune Levy both have humorous bit parts. Funny cameos by famous basketball players with obviously little acting skills give it an authentic feel.

While this probably won't do too well with critics, that's not who it was made for. The target audience is young kids and it will work for them. Parents won't have to worry about anything objective, except a questionable scene where Bow climbs an electrical wire in a rainstorm to recover his shoes. It's entertaining for kids and passable for adults taking their children. If this sounds good to you, you'll probably like it. If not, it wasn't made for you anyway.
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One of the worst films for so many reasons.
jerekra15 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Like Mike is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The plot in particular is awful.

OK, let me explain the plot of this awful movie. An orphan, played by Lil Bow Wow, finds a pair of shoes that used to belong to Michael Jordan. The shoes git hit by lightning and whenever this kid wears them he has the abilities of Michael Jordan. Yeagh.............. So then the plot is pretty predictable, he plays great, makes an NBA Team, and helps a bad team to a better record.

The plot is just so illogical. Most sports movies are about underdogs that work hard to get better. The whole Idea of a kid finding shoes that make him better and that is the ONLY reason for him to play good just bugs me. Another thing I have an issue with is how good the shoes make this kid. If it gave him the abilities of Michael Jordan, he would not be this good. Do not get me wrong, Jordan is great, but Jordan was not as good as this kid is by wearing the magic shoes. I mean, what type of message is this film supposed to send. Find magic shoes and it will help you to succeed in the NBA. Stupid.

Also I really do not like Lil Bow Wow all that much. I mean just look at his name. It sounds like a dogs name.

The ending is predictable and terrible. After his shoes break in the last game of the year, he quits after the game even though the team made the playoffs? So basically he is admitting he is nothing without the shoes, which is what he is. I just hate the plot SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much. Stupid magic shoes. And he never really tells any of the players why he can not play in the playoffs. They do not even care. Horrible.

Do not watch this film. Ever.
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I am a school teacher, and I will use this movie to teach lessons on life.
ross554 July 2002
Excellent movie. Lil Bow Wow and Morris Chesnutt gave a funny and inspirational performance. I am a teacher, and I will use this movie in my class to teach lessons about life in general. Entertaining for all ages. The movie taught lessons, showed action, comedy, and emotions.
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I really enjoyed this movie.
horsewize122 April 2005
I watched this movie and thought it was great. I have two younger sisters, and nowadays I cannot find a good movie that I enjoy, and that is appropriate for my 10 year old sister. This was a very good movie, very clean and enjoyable. Other than the fact that Bow climbs an electric wire in the rain, and that the shoes were magic, the storyline was just enough realistic so that kids can see that life isn't perfect for everyone. Other people have problems too. And there were a surprising twist of events. All in all, I think this was a great show. I really appreciate finding a movie that I don't have to worry about my sisters, and that my parents feel okay with us watching. Thank you!
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Every kid's dream
AbhiMathews31 August 2014
Playing basketball in the schoolyard and with friends is one of the most fun times in our lives as children. The courts are always a welcoming place for both experts and novice, and one where learning and fun are the crux. Like Mike brings the dreams of all our youth and broadcasts it. Living vicariously has never been better.

Whether it's the food service, free merchandise or simply having trivial matters no longer be worrisome, playing in the NBA is a dream we all have, albeit for different reasons. Coming from an orphanage, hard work is vital for success (as it is in most cases). When in a position where you're given the reins, you must capitalize. When given MJ's shoes, you make it count.

Like Mike is a fun movie. From the very first scene on the playground to the climactic finish, it's the tale about kids being kids, but still managing to play out their dreams.
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An Entertaining Children's Sports Fable
Desertman8428 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Like Mike is a fantasy sports comedy film about a 14-year-old orphan that becomes an NBA superstar after trying on a pair of sneakers with the faded initials "M.J." inside he found. Pint-size rap music star Lil Bow Wow stars in it where he shows that he can play ball as well as he raps in this youth-oriented comedy about a young boy whose dream comes true in an unexpected way. The film was produced in association with NBA Entertainment and features cameo appearances by many NBA stars like Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Michael Finley, Steve Francis, Dirk Nowitzki, Desmond Mason, Tracy McGrady, Alonzo Mourning, Steve Nash and Gary Payton.

Calvin Cambridge is a 14-year-old boy, who, since the death of his parents, has been living in an orphanage run by the unpleasantly eccentric Stan Bittleman. While the tough but caring Sister Theresa tries to encourage the kids, Calvin knows that he and most of the other kids his age are poor prospects for adoption. Calvin loves basketball and idolizes Michael Jordan, but he's too short to be much of a challenge to the older kids when shooting hoop at the playground. One day, Calvin discovers a pair of old basketball sneakers with the initials "MJ" written on the inside. Calvin is convinced they once belonged to Michael Jordan, but he can hardly believe what happens when he puts them on -- suddenly he's able to make superhuman jump shots and dunks just like a miniature version of Air Jordan himself. Calvin's newly developed talent on the court comes to the attention of Frank Bernard, the manager of the Los Angeles Knights, an NBA team having a humiliating season. Bernard brings Calvin to the team as a novelty item, but with the help of Coach Wagner and the new kid's can-do attitude, the Knights start to climb out of the cellar and look like possible season champs. However, Tracey Reynolds, who used to be the team's star player, isn't happy to have his thunder stolen by a 14-year-old boy especially when he's made Calvin's roommate and guardian on the road.

This is a pleasant and innocuous diversion for kids despite its movie's predictable plot lines. Though it doesn't exactly offer any great shakes in terms of plot or character development, the film's entertaining enough to be watched. Bow Wow makes an impressive film debut; parents and children will love Calv's plucky can-do attitude; and the action sequences are given a little more enjoyment due to the presence of real life basketball pros. A fantasy fable that should keep everyone in the family entertained.
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Hollywood's take on a childhood fantasy
Steve Pulaski26 September 2012
Like Mike will most likely be a charmer for kids between the ages of five and ten, to which this movie is naturally targeted towards. As someone speaking well outside of that demographic, it's a tiresome hour and a half. Considering all the refreshing films aimed at this sort of demographic, both live action and animated, to have children suspend reality and pause the real world for Like Mike is an unnecessary move.

Is the film harmful? Not in the slightest. To its respect, it is genial and kind, throughout most of its runtime (Despite the total 180 the film takes in a scene where a goon threatens to burn a young kid's only picture of his biological family if he doesn't confess to where Calvin's sneakers are at). But is it particularly ideal for a growing child? I don't believe so. The film treats the real world as if clichés are part of life and how quickly a wholesome story gets opted for one of almost no realism beyond the character's names. If that's what you're looking for, pay no mind to me.

The story centers around Calvin Coolidge (Lil' Bow Wow), a young orphan who comes in contact with a magical pair of Nike sneakers with the ambiguous initials "MJ" on them. Well, the only "MJ" Calvin knows is Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls all-star, so that's who it must be. We never do get a straight answer, but I guess a clever assumption is good enough.

Calvin realizes that whenever he puts on the shoes, he becomes amazing at basketball. In a very contrived scene where Calvin's ticket number is called when he is lucky enough to go to a basketball game, he winds up beating the own player at his game by scoring three shots on the man.

So, he becomes contracted to the Minnesota Timberwolves and starts to befriend their player, Tracy Reynolds (Morris Chestnut), who clearly doesn't want to be befriended. He is an introverted soul, who loves random hookups and hates the thought of seeing any member of his family again, let alone starting his own. When Calvin, Tracy, and the rest of the Timberwolves are not on the court, Calvin tries to get direct access to Tracy's heart.

The idea of a young orphan becoming a sports star just because of a pair of sneakers is a little more than far-fetched. I suppose it's an ode to those Nike ads from back in the day that if unsuspecting young-ins bought clothing endorsed by this sports star they would be able to play like that specific star. Speaking of ads, don't even get me started on the shameless way this film is acting as a vehicle for the NBA.

We end on a schmaltzy cookie-cutter note and learn next to nothing throughout this whole experience. Like Mike is a child's fantasy come to life, from what I can assume. Personally, I' d rather see my child act out his own unique fantasies than pay money to see Hollywood's take on them. Seems a lot healthier for the both of us.

Starring: Lil' Bow Wow, Jonathan Lipnicki, Morris Chestnut, Robert Forster, Crispin Glover, and Eugene Levy. Directed by: John Schultz.
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Warm film for the family. Mind the Press ratings.
carrollc22128 March 2012
I have watched several films that span across many different categories and time-frames (everything from the absolute greatest to the all-time worst rated films). In my honest opinion, I believe that the movie is definitely more deserving of a 4.5 rating, but not high enough to reach the 7 to 10 range. I believe that this movie is somewhere in the low 6's.

The film has touches of humor in small scenes that are a bit too cheesy for the adult crowd. The film is also flawed with some "cartoony" and downright predictable scenes, but it is nowhere near as "cartoony" as a basketball flick like Space Jam. The flaws that this movie contains are most definitely made up for with several meaningful scenes that project emotions of ambition, courage, suspense, sadness, and happiness. The pace of the film is very easygoing from the beginning and while the shots are not astounding, they serve their purpose more than well.

The same applies for the soundtrack as do the shots. It is certainly not the best, but the dramatic scenes have their own orchestrated bits and the flashy scenes have cuts of hip-hop and pop, which is what Lil' Bow Wow (the protagonist) was known for. They work well with the theme of the film.

In conclusion, the concept of the story may seem a little far-fetched, but the overall message is definitely made clear as the movie progresses and leaves viewers leaning towards the gratified side of the spectrum in the ending.
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I watched Like Mike in Nov 2008
guidecca-27 November 2008
I just watched it. Fresh and entertaining it had magic, good acting, good story, happy ending. If you're a sports fan and who isn't you will like it. I wonder if Jack Nicholson liked it. I'll bet a grand that he did. It is a great kid's story and appealed to the kid in me. I'm 60 and I'm still kicking. If you like stories with children at the center like The Bells of St. Mary's with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman you will like this. It is not another dull adult comedy that will bore everyone. Where there is hope you will find kids because they are our hope. This one is much better than the movie with Shack as the genie. The movie was perfect in every way or I wouldn't have given it an 8. Enjoy it as much as I did. I'm getting a copy of it as soon as I find it. It is really a 7 or 8 and nothing less. Don't let the 4 or 5 fool you.
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Pulling the old Teen Wolf trick
ed_two_o_nine3 November 2008
This is a formulaic kinds movie in all senses where you can see every script movie coming a mile away but still manages to be harmless fun. Little Bow Wow plays an orphan who is given a pair of basketball shoes that he believes belonged to Michael Jordan and in turn give him unbelievable skills that he ends up getting signed by the LA Knights NBA team. There are the Normal lesson s of morality and family values you would expect from this kind of movie which thankfully the child actors do not lay on to thick. Moris Chestnut does well in the father figure role and there is able support from Crispin Glover (I bet he regrets asking for so much money that he got written out of 'Back to the Future 2) and Robert Forster (thank god QT saved him), which all results in the inevitable bit not disappointing ending. Would I watch it again? Only with kids present.
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mornaabbas7 November 2006
i think this movie is the best movie in the world because i like Bow Wow and Allen Iverson there awesome and i love basketball i like how Calvin Cambridge gets the shoes and makes him a superstar.And he does some cool moves like high slam dunks and he beats all the basketball players like Allen Iverson and Morris Chestnut.I like how the movie is set out to help orphans and how Calvin gets a dad which is a famous basketball player and how he got his revenge on Bill Bittleman.I hope like mike 3 will get made i seen like mike 2 but i don't like it as much as number 1 its amazing how Calvin got famous out of nowhere.I all so like his pal orphans except ox because he ripped Calvins jersey at the start of the movie.
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An okay family movie, which unfortunately at times loses its point and turns into rather silly NBA promotion
Juni78ukr11 December 2005
Like Mike is a quite formulaic and cheesy family movie about an outsider who is having dreams of becoming somebody famous and of course his dreams come true. Our hero, Calvin Cambridge, (played by Lil Bow Wow) lives in an orphanage in Los-Angeles, near basketball stadium where his favorite NBA team – L.A. Knights plays (by the way fictitious team, real teams in L.A. are Lakers and Clippers). He also loves to play basketball very much and l this game is the only sweet thing that he got in his miserable life in an orphanage. But he is just an ordinary thirteen or fourteen year boy without any special talent for playing his favorite game. One day his finds old sneakers, which are supposed to belong before to some famous basketball player and he believes that was legendary Michael Jordan. After a short confrontation with his rival those sneakers get stuck on a power line and when Calvin is trying to get them back the lightning hits near him and he is shocked by power line. Soon he realizes that his shoes are magic and they give him extraordinary abilities for playing basketball and he wins an exhibition match against real NBA star. There is nothing surprising that after such win he become a player of his favorite team Knights and his life is going to change. The magic promised in the beginning of the story is gone within few minutes and we just see how young celebrity is trying to get into contact with his new partners and fragments of NBA matches with our hero who easily become one of the best players in the whole league and jumps like a … well I don't know exactly like what but one is obvious that he beat some records with his jumps. So Calvin became a NBA player and a celebrity but somehow he has no contract and he still has no any money. Sense of reality is obviously completely lost here. Numerous and mostly silly appearances of actual NBA stars throughout the movie (though some basketball fans obviously would like that), with mentioned scenes of basketball matches and inside the team scenes make that some parts of the movie look like a some kind of silly NBA promotion. And all those basketball elements of the story most of the time easily overshadow all possible morale messages in Like Mike. Well, I believe I have paid enough attention to the movie plot and negative elements and flaws. Despite all above mentioned besides its primitiveness Like Mike is a harmless movie (today that already means something) and not so rude, compared to some recent family friendly movies. The acting is mainly mediocre (the bad guy was really pathetic) with Morris Chestnut (as Tracey Reynolds) as the only bright spot. The chemistry between his character and Lil Bow Wow (who also in some moments shows some acting abilities) is one of a few really decent moments about Like Mike. In the conclusion if you are looking for a good family movie I would rather recommend to find something else than Like Mike, though some kids might like it, particularly die-hard basketball fans.

My grade 5 out of 10.
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A great flim for the young and the young at heart
DunnDeeDaGreat6 July 2002
Like Mike is clearly one of the best films that I've seen this summer. The film is funny and heartwarming and has the potential to be a sleeper hit. Lil Bow Wow plays Calvin Cmabridge very good in his first lead role he carries the movie very easily by hisself and has good chemsitrsty with Johnaten Lipnicki and Morris Chestnut. The film has good one-liners and great basketball sequences along with cameo's from many NBA like Tracy McGrady,Allen Iverson(who I can't stand) and Jason Kidd and it's also great to see Crispin Glover play a villian. While the film isn't Oscar Worthy it's a great crowd pleaser.
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Run of the mill family film
campblood1325 September 2003
Lil Bow Wow does a good acting job, but Crispin Glover steals the show. Crispin Glover plays himself to perfection. He doesn't talk very much, only when it serves his own purposes. Morris Chestnut is also very good as he is one of my favorite actors. Jonathan Lipnicki's character is annoying and should be kidnapped instead of adopted. I'm glad they didn't have Bow Wow dunking too much, because it does look fake. A good family film. 4/10 Fair
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about exactly what i suspected
jowidag8 July 2002
this movie has been done before many times, so parents, you know if it's something your kids would like. if they like comedies and are into sports, but not enough to know that much of what happens in the movie isn't legal in basketball. i saw it with my younger cousin, who's 7, and he loved it, but i'm guessing no one older than 10 or 11 would really like it that much. sure there is something there for slightly older kids, a few jokes that are pretty funny, but not enough to keep them really interested in the movie. it's pretty much just slap stick and catch phrases and "heart warming fun". lil, or i guess he's just bow wow now, did a really good job though.

the one thing that suprised me besides bow wow's acting was that they never did the whole "it's not really the shoes" preaching thing. sure, the shoes broke in the end, with 10 seconds to go, but no one ever said "it wasn't the shoes! you had it in you all along, you just never knew it! all you had to do is believe in yourself and you could make your dreams come true! now go out there and try your best!" ...which is a good thing, i guess, because that gets kind of annoying
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Predictable but likable family movie
TheLittleSongbird10 November 2010
I am not saying this movie is perfect as it isn't. The story is very predictable, the ending is a little too silly for my liking and the villain is disappointing, more to do with how he was written than how he was acted. That said, the cinematography, scenery and music are cool and the film is snappily written and directed. The pacing is also brisk, and the chemistry between the two leads is believable. I was impressed with Bow Wow in his debut, he makes for quite an appealing lead and makes the most of what he has. So all in all, this is far from perfect family entertainment but for some harmless fun I actually recommend it. However, for a sophisticated plot or a milestone of a villain, this may disappoint. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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There are worse movies, but there are better ones, too
motub17 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Contains one extremely minor spoiler.

Well, I've never seen "Rookie of the Year", and I didn't watch this with any kids. Would kids like it? I think you probably better see it yourself first, and then you'll know, based on your kids.

It's a nice enough movie. I liked Li'l Bow Wow as Calvin, really liked Morris Chestnut as Reynolds. Jonathan Lipnicki was fine for what he had to do. Brenda Song was also good, though she got little to do. Crispin Glover might have been good, but his role was so terrible it was hard to tell. Eugene Levy had no role, so he was unfortunately wasted. Robert Forster seemed very nice as the Coach, too bad we didn't see more of him. Music was used very well, and overall, the movie was certainly watchable.

The problem is that the movie is really about nothing... not family, not teamwork, not "magic" and certainly not basketball. It's not even about being a "child star". It's not "for" kids, or "for" adults.

For instance, the ultimate "father figure" has unspecified problems with his own father. Children of an age to enjoy this movie without reservation will not relate to treating one's father as "dead to me". Children who are so unfortunate as to relate to such a situation will certainly not be satisfied by the (unspecified) "feel-good" resolution to the unspecified problem. So what's the point?

Teamwork? The orphans display more teamwork than the professional team players, since the professionals are not actually portrayed as a team in any way, the only members are Calvin and his mentor, and one other member Calvin is friendly with. Calvin's membership in the community of orphans is clearly more important than his membership in the community of basketball players, so no one is going to get any tips here on how to be part of a team by watching Calvin's behaviour in these two very different situations.

Morality? Ummmm, no... even leaving out Cripsin Glover as the rather alarmingly ruthless "guardian", Calvin himself never has a moment's hesitation about using these magic shoes to mislead everyone. OK, not that anyone (especially a kid) wouldn't do this, but he's 13. Not a single moment of self-doubt? Not a single moment of "Is this right?" No sleepless nights full of fear because it would all be over instantly "if they found out..."? No.

Things in heaven and earth greater than our comprehension? No again...the shoes are magic, they just show up, they just break at the right time (that's the spoiler, but trust me, you knew it would happen). Why they're magic, why Calvin and not Murph or Ox, why anything is not going to be asked or answered, so we can skip this movie being about magic.

So I guess we could ultimately call this a "The Kooky Story Of How I Met My True (Love, Family, Destiny, whatever-- you know the drill)" movie, since that's about the only thing that ties this together at all. As far as such movies go, no one will be surprised to hear that there's better ones, even for kids. But this one is a perfectly adequate way to pass an hour or two, and it is nice to see a "father figure" who paints geometry examples on the exterior walls of the house, so there you go.
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