Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

This should surprise absolutely no one, but Will Smith is huge in NBA circles. When you figure that a great majority of the league’s players came of age in the mid-to-late 1990s and that’s when Big Willie Style was really starting to pop off, it’s only logical that one of the world’s biggest movie stars would be a hero to some of the younger stars. “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” only ended in 1996, when a lot of these guys were in their formative years.

Two days ago, it was Greg Oden professing his love for the triple-threat superstar. Now, it’s Derrick Rose. After picking his mom and Michael Jordan as his heroes, the reigning MVP switched things up for his third choice. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Will Smith. Where he came from, like a guy who started off good in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and went bankrupt. Then he bounced his way back to where he’s making tons of money again with every movie and still a hard-working man. I take my hat off to him.

Just a hunch, but I’m going to guess the hat he takes off is a very bright, very loud biker’s cap with the bill flipped up. Seems like a fair assessment, considering he apparently knows the true Hollywood story of Will Smith.

More guesses. Derrick Rose’s favorite Will Smith movie is “The Pursuit of Happyness” since that has the least smiling. His favorite Will Smith song is “Switch,” because it was nice of Will Smith to record another rap song after years away from the mic. And, of course, his favorite Will Smith child is Willow because of “Whip My Hair.”

In related news, every NBA player loves Will Smith, because they are humans.

Will Smith is the most loved movie star of our generation. Just ask Bill Simmons. Ever since the days of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Smith’s been the kind of guy who can make the world care about an animated bluestreak cleaner wrasse to the tune of $367 million and the No. 1 movie in America. That’s box office power, friends. Add to that two Academy Awards best actor nominations, 12 million records sold and two No. 1 records and it becomes obvious that Will Smith is one of the biggest stars in the history of modern cinema, television and radio.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Greg Oden would be a huge Will Smith fan. However, it’s still pretty funny to hear Oden talk about how big of a Will Smith fan he really is. From an interview with the Third Floor Network, as transcribed by Blazer’s Edge:

“Mr. Smith, Will, my name is Greg Oden, I went to The Ohio State University and I try to play basketball,” Oden says. “But I am your biggest fan. I have all your albums. And I know them all by heart. Literally. I just wanted to say that went to the Karate Kid premiere but I was too scared to walk up to you.”

To be fair, I feel like this is how all of us would be if we were encountered Will Smith. No matter how much you want to, odds are you’d be way to nervous to tell Will Smith that you and one of your best friends used to do the “Jump On It” dance at 2am three nights a week during college, even if you are a 7-foot center who was once the first overall draft pick in the NBA draft and attended a university that had a guy named Will Smith playing for their football team. Greg Oden’s famous, but Will Smith is FAMOUS.

Of course, Greg could just join the Will Smith Fan Club and call it a day. Way less awkward than trying to work up the courage to engage Big Willie Style in a conversation about why “Wild Wild West” is rapped entirely in character until the end where he ad-libs “Big Will, Dru Hill, uh.” That’s a hard discussion to have.

About a month ago, we all caught wind of Kevin Durant’s burgeoning movie career, imagining the various movies he might be appearing in. It was an exciting time, as we finally got to see a young superstar capitalizing on his fame, making moves in a new industry and just generally getting ready to be a household name. This is Kevin Durant’s moment.

And it all starts today, as filming for “Switch” begins in Baton Rouge, LA. Even better, Caballero Casting has the synopsis for the movie. Just going to go out on a limb here, but I think you are going to love it so much.

In a magical twist, Kevin Durant switches all of his basketball-playing skills with an enthusiastic young fan who becomes the star of his high school team … and leaving Durant and the Thunder helpless. With the playoffs approaching, they need to discover what it is that brought them together before the early end to the Thunder’s season.

So basically, “Space Jam” plus “Like Mike” with a little bit of “Slam Dunk Ernest” mixed in, but all set in high school. I guess. Beats me, but I assume that a lot of this is going to hit home for Russell Westbrook.

The question, however, is if there are going to be other Thunder in this. I mean, if they’re having to cope with “the early end to the Thunder’s season,” it sounds like we’d be seeing some other Thunder, right? At the very least, Byron Mullens is available.

(via EOB)

Ananth Pandian has a beard, two little dogs and owns too many esoteric basketball related t-shirts. He lives in Boston and he’s addicted to the NBA and chap-stick.

Who doesn’t love a good movie? Whether we’re trying to eat a gallon of popcorn at the theater just to get a free refill or testing the limits of our home speakers, movies take us out of the present and in to another reality, if only for a few hours. Likely due to the lockout, NBA TV is trying to cash in on the allure of movies by debuting Courtside Cinema.

And while NBA TV’s Courtside Cinema lineup of “Space Jam,” “One on One” and “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh” are great movies that I could enjoy with my bros but wifey ain’t gonna curl up on the couch with me to watch any of ‘em. With that in mind, here are three romantic comedies that can help us get our basketball fix during the lockout while keeping your significant other happy.

Forget Paris (1995) – An oldie but a goodie, “Forget Paris” was written, directed and starred in by Billy Crystal. He has not been in that many movies recently, but during the 80’s and 90’s, he was doing big things. If you’re a big Larry David fan, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that their comedy is very similar. I first watched this movie more than 10 years ago and recently re-watched it with wifey (Netflix Instant!) and urge you to do the same.

Plot: Crystal is a NBA referee who goes to France for his father’s funeral and ends up meeting the woman of his dreams. After a brief courtship, they end up getting married. There are some great mid-90s NBA cameos and many players have speaking roles; look for appearances from “Thunder” Dan Majerle, Spud Webb, Charles Oakley (!) and, of course, Kurt Rambis, who makes a great glasses joke.

Great Quote:

Mickey: You’re out of here, Jabbar!
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Are you nuts? It’s my farewell game.
Mickey: Well then, let me be the first to say farewell.

For your girl: Paris (the City of Love!), relationships are looked at from a woman’s and man’s point of view, mid-90s fashion to ridicule.

For you: Amazing NBA cameos, a funny masturbation scene, the actresses who play NBA cheerleaders.

Rating:  (out of 5)

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Kevin Durant is finally going to star in a movie. Since this is his first role of any sort, we thought we’d make things easy on him by pitching some great movie ideas. Any of these would win all the Academy Awards.

“The Machinist” was a good movie that was overshadowed by Christian Bale losing a gross amount of weight to play the film’s lead. Since Kevin Durant is already that skinny, a remake would give this film the chance it deserves, since we all know that movies starring athletes get immediate respect.

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It’s been five long years since Shaquille O’Neal made an appearance in a movie, and even then, it was just a cameo in “Scary Movie 4,” which somehow exists. That’s half a decade of no Shaq on the big screen, which is five years too long for all of our liking. We need Shaquille O’Neal in the movie industry like we need oxygen.

Lucky for us, the Big Retired is making his way back to the silver screen. Only this time, he’s on the other side of the camera. From TMZ:

Shaquille O’Neal is giving the movie biz another shot — yes, even after “Kazaam” and “Steel” — and this time he wants to be a director!

Shaq is about to complete the Filmmaking Conservatory at the New York Film Academys branch at Universal Studios Hollywood. Shaq’s been very hands-on during directing and cinematography classes — walking his crew through stunts … and shooting on the studio’s famous back lot.

True or False: This is the best news of 2011.

Answer: False. It is the best news of our lifetime.

After years and years of waiting, Shaquille O’Neal is going to be doing movie stuff again. No offense to Shaq, but he’s probably not going to be the next Martin Scorcese. He probably won’t even be the next Kevin Scorcese, who is Martin’s way less famous brother who is only known for directing surrealist documentaries about bowties. (Come to think of it, Shaq will probably nickname himself Martin Shaqcese.) Directing movies is a hard thing to pick up at age 39, which means we’ll all finally get to refresh our “Kazaam” and “Steel” jokes whenever his first film comes out.

Finally, we’ll be able to buy our sisters new gag gifts because they were in Shaq’s fan club when they were kids. Finally, we’ll get to hear the not-at-all-autobiographical story of a 7-foot-1 giant who learns to love his height and becomes the world’s most famous basketball volleyball player (this is a work of total and complete fiction). As far as I can see, there is nothing bad about this.

Of course, when Shaq inevitably decides to remake 1984′s “Conan the Destroyer” with himself in the Wilt Chamberlain role, that’ll change. That’s a classic that should be left alone, even if Shaq seems to want to erase any and all memories of the Stilt. Until then though, let’s rejoice because movies just got a whole lot Shaqier. Today is a good day.

(via Videogum)

Let's all go see Desmond Mason's movie

Is there a way to buy every ticket available for a movie? I’m not talking about renting the local theater for a hundred people to enjoy a showing of “Rat Race” or something like that. I want to purchase every single ticket in the entire world for the first showing of “Just Crazy Enough,” whenever it finally comes out, because I want to be able to bring every single one of you to the premiere.

What’s “Just Crazy Enough?” Only the very first Desmond Mason movie ever, duh. From Tusla World:

Mason said he has been cast to play a resident of an insane asylum in a movie being filmed in Oklahoma.

“Just Crazy Enough” is a family-friendly comedy about identical twins separated at birth. According to the film’s website, one twin becomes a prominent psychiatrist and the other a lifelong mental patient. The psychiatrist ends up swapping places with a twin he knows nothing about.

Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Chris Kattan will play the lead role and is adding to what Mason says is a funny script. Tweeted Kattan on July 3: “I was waiting for a physical comedy vehicle like this for a loooong time! Thanks Oklahoma and timing and universe.”

Mason described his role as a “pretty big part.” He said his character speaks only in cliches and won’t hold a normal conversation with anyone.

“Throughout the course of the movie, they are asking me a bunch of questions and we are going through a lot of stuff and I am answering with random cliches that mean nothing,” he said.

All of the tickets please. And all of the Oscars too. Chris Kattan and Desmond Mason in a movie together? Sorry, “Just Wright,” but you’ve been replaced as the best movie featuring basketball players ever.

See you guys at the premiere. Dress the part.

(via Deadspin)