Love & Basketball

Love & Basketball

4.8 56
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Cast: Gina Prince-Bythewood, Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Alfre Woodard

     
 

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The little seen but wonderful Love & Basketball comes in a "Platinum Series" DVD from New Line and the results are spectacular. First of all, the anamorphic-enhanced 1.85:1 image is outstanding with rich, well-saturated colors and dark blacks. Detail is a real high point in this fine transfer. There are no real visible distractions, making for a picture thatSee more details below

Overview

The little seen but wonderful Love & Basketball comes in a "Platinum Series" DVD from New Line and the results are spectacular. First of all, the anamorphic-enhanced 1.85:1 image is outstanding with rich, well-saturated colors and dark blacks. Detail is a real high point in this fine transfer. There are no real visible distractions, making for a picture that really stands out. The sound, an English 5.1 track, is adequate for a film like this, even though it really makes no use of the surround speakers. Dialogue is centered up front and clear. Also available is a stereo surround track and subtitles in English. Though those two elements are impressive enough, it's the supplemental materials that take this disc to a higher level. As is the tradition with this sort of special edition, those materials are plentiful. To begin with, there are two audio commentary tracks, one with director Gina Prince-Bythewood and star Sanaa Lathan, while the second track is a 5.1 isolated score with commentary from Prine-Bythewood, editor Terilyn A. Shropshire, and composer Terence Blanchard. Also included, with optional commentary, are seven deleted scenes, and a brief blooper reel that is quite amusing. In addition are four audition tapes, including the final scene in the film, with actors Omar Epps and Lathan. Animated storyboards, also with the final shots from the film, are included as well as a music video from Lucy Pearl, the theatrical trailer, and DVD-ROM content such as watching the film and viewing the screenplay at the same time. Finally, there's a very dry but valid 36-minute discussion of women and the competition they face, whether that is in business, politics, or sports.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This refreshingly offbeat love story -- allegedly based on the life of Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Brown -- revolves around the game of basketball and the stabilizing influence it exerts on a pair of friends whose lengthy, erratic relationship ultimately blossoms into romance. Sanaa Lathan, a fresh, beguiling screen presence, plays Monica, a female basketball player with unusual talent and the drive to match. Omar Epps as Quincy, the gifted but cocky son of a fading Los Angeles Clippers star (Dennis Haysbert), initially ridicules her ambition. Eventually, though, he comes to realize that this is one young woman who's determined to get what she goes after. First as friendly rivals growing up in Los Angeles in the early '80s, then as lovers at USC and in the disparate worlds of men's and women's professional basketball, Epps's and Lathan's relationship has a definite ring of naturalness; so, too, does the film's adoring image of basketball as both a maker and breaker of hearts. (No surprise: New York Knicks fan No. 1 Spike Lee was one of the producers.) Writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood makes Lathan a likable, believable young woman for whom every audience can cheer. Epps, whose character is more edgy, veers close to the unsympathetic at several points, but ultimately convinces us that he's worthy of Lathan's energies. Unflinchingly contemporary in tone and presentation, Love & Basketball also shares the warm, uplifting feel of the screen's most popular romantic dramas. In short, it's a slam-dunk.
All Movie Guide
To call director Gina Prince-Bythewood's debut feature refreshing would be an understatement. This touching tale of two aspiring professional basketball players, who also happen to be childhood best friends and on-again-off-again lovers, deftly weaves the paths of its dueling stars into a warm and smart love story. In portraying the heartbreaking realities of a love affair threatened by competition and ambition (think A Star Is Born for basketball), Prince-Bythewood focuses more closely on the trajectory of her female lead (Sanaa Latham in a star-making performance), broadening the scope of her love story to include an examination of the role of women in sports. With stand-out performances from both Omar Epps and Latham as the athletic couple, Love & Basketball serves as a somber reminder of how few films exist (much less love stories, much less ones that focus on the female perspective) about multi-dimensional African-American characters outside the ghetto.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/10/2000
UPC:
0794043506420
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
PG13
Source:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time:
2:07:00
Sales rank:
2,939

Special Features

Widescreen version of the film; 5.1 Surround Sound; 2.0 Stereo Surround; English subtitles and closed captions; Feature-length commentary by writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood and actor Sanaa Lathan; 5.1 isolated score with commentary by composer Terence Blanchard, editor Terilyn A. Shropshire, and Gina Prince-Bythewood; Deleted scenes; Blooper reel; Audition tapes featuring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan; Animated storyboards of basketball sequences; Music video: Lucy Pearl "Dance Tonight"; Theatrical trailer; Original documentary: " Breaking the Glass Ceiling: The Rise and Acceptance of Women Competitors"; Script-to-screen screenplay; Original theatrical web site on the DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sanaa Lathan Monica Wright
Omar Epps Quincy McCall
Alfre Woodard Camille Wright
Dennis Haysbert Zeke McCall
Debbi Morgan Mona McCall
Harry J. Lennix Nathan Wright
Kyla Pratt Young Monica
Glenndon Chatman Young Quincy
Gabrielle Union Shawnee
Monica Calhoun Kerry
Boris Kodjoe Jason

Technical Credits
Gina Prince-Bythewood Director,Screenwriter
Terence Blanchard Score Composer
Ruth E. Carter Costumes/Costume Designer
Aisha Coley Casting
Andrew Z. Davis Executive Producer
Dolby Digital Sound/Sound Designer
Cynthia Guidry Executive Producer
Jeffrey Howard Production Designer
Sam Kitt Producer
Spike Lee Producer
Terilyn A. Shropshire Editor
Jay Stern Executive Producer
Reynaldo Villalobos Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Two on Two [5:35]
2. The New Neighbors [:53]
3. Five Seconds [1:08]
4. #32 [1:50]
5. #22 [:12]
6. A Ride Home [2:20]
7. Late Night Spat [:11]
8. A Date for Monica [3:48]
9. Championship [3:01]
10. Spring Dance [:21]
11. After the Dance [2:33]
12. At USC [3:17]
13. Locker Talk [1:44]
14. One on One [3:56]
15. The Season Starts [1:31]
16. Zeke's Problem [2:41]
17. Quincy Takes It Hard [2:54]
18. Ups and Downs [1:23]
19. Party Problems [4:14]
20. Part of the Game [2:57]
21. Crossroads [3:02]
22. Barcelona [2:55]
23. Quincy's Fall [3:17]
24. Hospital Visit [:02]
25. A Talk with Mom [1:21]
26. Back at Home [1:19]
27. Monica's Challenge [5:14]
28. One on One Rematch [2:40]
29. Return of #32 [4:47]
30. End Credits [3:21]

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