In a popular suburb of Dakar, workers on the construction site of a futuristic tower, without pay for months, decide to leave the country by the ocean for a better future. Among them is Souleiman, the lover of Ada, promised to another.
Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.
In the midst of a pro basketball lockout, sports agent Ray Burke (André Holland) finds himself caught in the face-off between the league and the players. His career is on the line, but Ray is playing for higher stakes. With only 72 hours to pull off a daring plan, he outmaneuvers all the power-players as he uncovers a loophole that could change the game forever. The outcome raises questions of who owns the game - and who ought to.Written by
Popping up on Netflix with their usual amount of pre-publicity (ie, virtually none), it's strange to think that a Steven Soderbergh movie can be dropped on the masses with little fanfare. But this is the streaming world we live in now. Styled somewhat as the basketball version of Moneyball, this fast-talking drama delves into the big-money business side of the sport - "the game on top of the game" - during a patience-testing lockout. Heavy on dialogue and light on explanation, Tarell Alvin McCraney's script is frustratingly oblique and borderline pretentious. The passion is clearly there, especially about bringing the sport back to its roots, but when everyone talks in riddles it becomes hard to care who wins and who loses. Soderbergh directs with minimal fuss, the entire film being shot on an iPhone (albeit with a relatively hefty post-production budget). He injects a few panning shots and scene transition effects, but otherwise lets his actors do most of the heavy lifting. Andre Holland (Moonlight) is decent as next-level agent Ray Burke and Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2) is charismatic as his eager offsider, however it's Hollywood veteran Bill Duke (Predator) who shines brightest as an aging, old-school youth basketball coach who is endearingly stubborn. Unfortunately those on the other side of the equation, such as Kyle MacLachlan's team owner and Zachary Quinto's corporate higher-up, are one-dimensional stereotypes; disappointingly low-hanging fruit for the movie to target. There's a great movie - or better yet, a stage play - in here somewhere, but in its current form High Flying Bird is exasperatingly inaccessible.
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