peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2024 02 05 WhiteMenCantJump

White Men Can't Jump (1992)

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And yet more Wesley Snipes completism. I've previously ignored him as I had no interest in his later-1990s action-Jackson work that I had heard about. Apparently this put him and Woody Harrelson on the A-list. Tyra Ferrell is solid as Snipes's wife, as is Rosie Perez as Harrelson's too-smart squeeze. It's mostly an amusing take on the pickup basketball scene at and near Venice Beach in L.A. — played mostly for money, sometimes for hustles, entirely for the amusing trash talk. The beach itself does not feature. The plot is little more than fortune-made, fortune-/girl-lost and is not that successful at finding relevance for its strong women.

Ron Shelton wrote and directed in a similar way to how John Singleton handled Boyz N The Hood. I guess the equivalent of Ice Cube there are the NBA stars here. Drugs and guns are present but downplayed, just there in the background.

Roger Ebert: three-and-a-half stars. Men at work. Janet Maslin: a benign atmosphere. The folk wisdom is hokum. IMDB trivia: must've been a fun shoot.