Sunday, August 24, 2008

She's Footballs Passing Longshot

Fred Durst's first turn as a director, wasn't as bad as I would have thought. Not being a fan of his alternative rock band Limp Bizkit, I wasn't expecting much here. "The Longshots" though is both moving and inspiring. Curtis Plummer (Ice Cube) a down-on-his-luck former high school football star, turns his niece, Jasmine, (Keke Palmer) into the quarterback of the local team, the Minden Browns, and gets his stride back when he becomes the team coach. With Curtis as their new leader and their pigtail-wearing star player, this team of misfits wins its way to the Pop Warner Super Bowl and the small city of Minden, Illinois, is ignited with team spirit, town pride and glory. Curtis is asked to watch Jasmine by her mother, Curtis's sister Claire (Tasha Smith). Curtis and Jasmine don't get along at first, she is an outcast at school, one day at school she meets some girls who she thinks want to be her friend but turns out to be just a cruel prank. Jasmine begins to spend more time with her Uncle Curtis, he doesn't really know what to do or how to spend so much time with a girl, one day he asks Jasmine to play catch with him outside. He discovers that she has an arm on her and can throw a football as good as most boys can. Curtis takes Jasmine to the schools football practice to try to convince Coach Fisher (Matt Craven) to give her a shot, at first Curtis is told no way, so he takes Jasmine down the field and has her throw a few passes, they are noticed by Coach Fisher and is given the chance to try out for the team. The current quarter back is one of the boys who pretended to be Jasmines friend. When she wins the starting spot on the team, the team, who had been the joke of the league, starts to win games. This is a cliche filled movie from start to end, when Coach Fisher has a heart attack, Curtis takes over and the teams winning streak adds up. When the team needs to collect its own fares to get to the big game, the town pulls together, led by Reverend Pratt (Garrett Morris), to collect enough money to ensure the team can travel and play the big game. A little side plot comes into the movie at this time, Jasmine's Father comes back to town, he left her and Claire a long to fend for themselves, when he sees all the attention Jasmine is getting, his greed comes out and he decides he wants into her life. After the big game is over the family has a small clash and Jasmine is asked to choose between her Father and Uncle. The choice she makes is not a surprise. Here it is played nice and does work, the cliche ending doesn't really come like I was expecting, and that's why I give The Longshots a 3 and on my avoidance scale a 1.

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