Like Mike (2002)
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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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My grade 5 out of 10.
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
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.