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7/10
Worth It To See LeBron At An Early Age
27 May 2010
If you know or care anything about high school hoops on a national level, there's one stretch of the truth that will jump out at you near the end of this movie -- that being the assertion that St. Vincent-St. Mary is playing in a national championship game in what was the senior season for LeBron James and the rest of the "Fab 4/5". Of course, there is no national championship game for high school hoops, at least, not like there is in college. LeBron and his crew won the Division II Ohio state championship as seniors, then would have had to be voted national champs in one or more polls. And I don't remember if they were consensus national champs; since it's all done by polls, it's possible one or more polls had some other team as its national champ that season.

Maybe that only means something to me because I'm a basketball fan. For everyone else it probably suffices to say that this is an entertaining film, if a bit thin on details and questionable at times in its accuracy. As basketball documentaries go, More Than A Game can't hold Hoop Dream's jock, but seeing action clips of LeBron as a youngsta make it worth the rental.

One last basketball junkie point: For my tastes the film makers should have gone into more detail about the LeBron-Carmelo Anthony HS matchup. It's glossed over a bit in this film so you don't get the sense of what a battle that game was between two good teams and two future NBA stars (36-8-5 and six steals for LeBron, 34-11-2 for Carmelo). Nor is it emphasized that LeBron and St. Vincent-St. Mary lost the game.
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Sweet Charity (1969)
6/10
A Case For The Alternate Ending
23 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Neither this movie nor the two endings are that good in my book, I never saw the Fellini movie that "Sweet Charity" is based on and I love a sad, "realistic" ending as much as the next person. But with the way this movie is written, it doesn't make sense to me for Oscar to leave Charity hanging at the altar.

Maybe if he found out what she does for a living after he asked her to marry him it would make more sense. Then he might feel some obligation to go through with the marriage even though he was having serious second thoughts, and that could lead to him backing out of it at the last minute. But the way this movie is written, he not only found out about her life before asking her to marry him, he found out before he told her he loved her. There were no serious ties between them, he had all the time in the world to keep dating her and mulling it over (if he wanted to use that time), yet he still came to the conclusion that nothing else mattered and they had to be together.

To me that isn't the thought process of a man who is going go flip-flop on his decision. And if he does flip, what's to stop him from flopping right back hours later and deciding he was a fool for leaving Charity ... which brings us back to the alternate end.

Like I said, neither end is satisfying to me. But at least the alternate one makes more sense. In the original one even Oscar can't explain why he's leaving her.
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Shirley's World (1971–1972)
4/10
It Was A Good Idea ... At The Time
23 March 2010
I'll split the difference of the previous two reviews. "Shirley's World" is awful at times, but not all the time. However, it's never really that good, and that's the problem.

The premise is fine -- a globe-trotting female photojournalist getting herself and others in and out of trouble and experiencing adventure (vaguely) and love (infrequently and incompletely) along the way. It's the type of show which could have appealed to the discerning tastes of intelligent, early-70's TV viewers if anyone with an ounce of talent and/or commitment had written any of the scripts. It got so bad on the "A Girl Like You" episode that the writers just ripped off "My Geisha", the movie MacLaine made a decade earlier (of course, I'm assuming Shirley didn't suggest that story line. If so, she has no one to blame but herself).

The only constant selling point is Shirley, who is such a vivrant thing here, especially considering she was 37 when this series was filmed. She also looks different -- her traditional bob is nowhere to be found as she was in her natural, long-hair period that lasted through this series, the movies "Desperate Characters" and "The Possession of Joel Delaney", plus her stint pimpin' George McGovern as a '72 U.S. presidential candidate.
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