In the early 70s, Cathy Rush becomes the head basketball coach at a tiny, all-girls Catholic college. Though her team has no gym and no uniforms -- and the school itself is in danger of being sold -- Coach Rush looks to steer her girls to their first national championship.
A dramatization of the life of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault (Don Cheadle), with a lot of factual based occurrences. A reformed junkie returns from prison to clean up his act and devote the ... See full summary »
Eriq La Salle
James Earl Jones,
Gar is a high school journalist who covers the basketball team as it heads toward a state championship; when his best friend Matt, the team's star, is asked by a drug dealer to throw the big game, Gar inevitably gets caught in the middle.
Haley Joel Osment,
"A full-court press the whole game. No offensive strategy, just run like hell." Sounds like Hoop Dreams territory--the same go gettem' spirit resides with the newest entry in the basketball rags to riches genre, Heart of the Game.
In late 1990's Seattle, the Roosevelt High Roughriders get a greenhorn coach in Prof. Bill Resler, a middle aged tax professor, who has a heart and a dream. His recruit, Darnellia Russell, will help him reach that goal of going to the state championship. Along the way they'll have to fight the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, her pregnancy, and talented competition.
The themes for each season best symbolize the scorched-earth attitude of the scrappy coach and his warriors: Pride of Lions and Pack of Wolves are two of the scarier ones, coupled with chants such as "Draw Blood" and "'Put your teeth in their necks." No prisoners in their game, but it all does make for an exciting doc.
Even though I'm not interested in spending much time watching athletic events, I am a sucker for theses athletics stories because they always depict young people finding truth and honor and their futures along the way. That romantic view of sports is tempered by the fact that they don't always win the game but almost always the heart.
"What I know," Coach Resler says, "is that Darnellia is brilliant. The one issue she has to conquer is, believing in how smart she is." The documentary by director Ward Serrill perhaps too much focuses on Darnellia's challenges, but she deserves attention as charismatic and downright cinematic as she is. There are others, including the coach, whose stories could be the centerpiece, but none better than Darnellia's for all the components of compelling film-making.
"Have fun," coach Resler tells the players after every timeout. Have fun you will if you let yourself watch these winners play.
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