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Gunnin' For That #1 Spot (Special 2 Disc Set)

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On the corner of 155th Street and Frederick Douglas Boulevard in Harlem, New York, lies Rucker Park. By appearances, the green concrete pavement, anchored on either end by its run down slab bleachers, is no different than any other basketball court in the city. But this is the place where nicknames are earned and legends are made. On September 1, 2006, the top 24 high school basketball players in the nation stepped out on this same court that once saw the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Dr. J to compete in the first annual "Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic." GUNNIN' FOR THAT #1 SPOT documents these athletes' skills on the most legendary court in the world, showing never before seen footage of that "Elite 24" game.

It takes a while to hit its stride, but once that happens, Beastie Boy Adam Yauch’s Gunnin' for That #1 Spot does a terrific job capturing the hustle and flow of basketball, the sport it depicts. "They’re gonna be millionaires in about five years," says the P.A. announcer (a hip and hilarious character known as Bobbito) of the players from around the country who come to compete in the first "Elite 24 High School All-American Game," held in ’06 in Harlem’s Rucker Park, home to countless playground legends. For some, including 2008 NBA first-round draft picks Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, and Jerryd Bayless, it happened a lot sooner than that; for others it won’t happened at all. But at the time, all the studs on the Blue and White teams had big-time hoop dreams, and the Rucker event was a chance to strut their stuff on a big stage. Problem is, it takes the better part of an hour to get to the actual game; profiles of the players, including visits to their home towns and interviews with friends, family, and others, are perfectly amiable but end up being rather monotonous (fewer than half are included in the documentary itself, with the others found on the second DVD, which is devoted entirely to bonus material). But when they finally hit the outdoor court, the doc starts to rock (never were a sport and a music style better matched than basketball and hip-hop, so it’s no surprise that Yauch’s use of tracks by Ludacris, Nas, Jay-Z, his own band, and many others, including Old Skool R&B stars like Kool and the Gang, is nigh on perfect). The game is by far the best part of the show, with great court-level fisheye shots and deft editing (including the use of slo-mo and sound effects); Bobbito is a hoot (a personal favorite among his nicknames: Kyle "Wireless" Singler), and it’s a close, exciting contest to boot. Among the other bonus material are deleted scenes, the players’ own home video footage of their trip to NYC, and even a section devoted to Beasley’s trash talk on the court. --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, 2010 NCAA Tournament MVP Kyle Singler
  • Directors: Adam Yauch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Enhanced, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Oscilloscope Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BXNB7O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,920 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gunnin' For That #1 Spot (Special 2 Disc Set)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Damian Webster on March 16, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie was pretty cool. I liked how it showcased the backgrounds of several players, showing how hard they work to be as good as they are. My 8th graders can learn a thing or two on how to become a great player by watching some of the things these guys go through. The music was awesome. My wife was inspired as we have two daughters (2 and 5) who she would like to see play basketball. She was wondering if there's anything comparable for girls basketball?

The game itself was just okay. The guy kept saying "and they're playing defense" but the D was a joke, seriously save for a few swats and a couple steals. Blue was giving up the longball all day, no rotations to help, too much one on one. Still, you got guys who can't risk injury, guys trying to build a rep at the Rucker, so that's what you get. Could've done without so much slow motion in the game, and the triple replays. Some of it was done on to some mediocre plays, and some just lasted waaaay too long.

Overall it was a good watch. I'll be showing it to all my ball players and the kids I work with who play ball.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Quinley VINE VOICE on November 19, 2008
Format: DVD
If you are a basketball player or fan, chances are you will enjoy "Gunnin' for that #1 Spot." This chronicles an elite group of 24 high school ballers who are invited to play an exhibition game in Harlem's famed Rucker Park.

All these kids are "beasts" in their respective orbits around the country, but here they get to test their mettle against other elite players. You learn the back-story on eight specific players, some of whom - like Kevin Love and Michael Beasley - have already jumped to the NBA after a one-year college "career." You also get some perspective on Rucker Park and its iconic status in American basketball.

The movie is not all hype job, though. It touches upon some darker issues in the scholastic hoop frenzy, such as:

* Elite players are scrutinized closely and often can't live just a normal life
* Some prep rating services are glorified cut and paste jobs, more concerned with generating subscription revenue than anything else
* Sneaker companies drilling down as far as promising 5th, 6th and 7th graders to "brand" their shoes and build brand loyalty
* College coaches who text players they have never met three times a day to say, "I love you and can't wait for you to come play here ..."
* The lack of loyalty among some players; to wit, in high school, Michael Beasley attended four different schools in four years.
* Concerns about whether perfecting highlight dunks on Sports Center may eclipse emphasis on other aspects of the game . (I'm not saying team defense is dead, but the final score of the exhibition game is something like 131-128 - judge for yourself.)

If you like hip-hop music and rap, you will also enjoy this movie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel B. Clendenin on November 12, 2008
Format: DVD
This isn't an important film by any stretch of the imagination, but sports nuts and especially basketball fans will find it a fun watch. In September 2006 the top 24 high school basketball players in the country gathered in Harlem to inaugurate the first annual "Elite 24" all-star competition. The game is held at the legendary outdoor playground court in Harlem's Holcombe Rucker Park, where for sixty years many of basketball's greats lit up the score board in front of a raucous urban crowd, hecklers, urban rap music, and trash-talking announcers. This is a venue where you would never presume to give yourself a nickname; your opponents do that after you prove your mettle. The documentary focuses on eight high schoolers in particular, interviewing their families, coaches, and scouts. An interesting sub-text is how the attendant media, shoe companies, professional rankers, recruiters, and sponsors all point toward one thing -- money that results from basketball stardom. By the way, the final score was 141-139, but you'll have to watch the film to see which team won.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Berlinale on October 15, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Wow - Saw this at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC. Great characters, the b-ball scenes were so well blended with music from Jay-Z and NAS and others. A great Doc as well as a great sports flic.
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Format: DVD
Gunnin' for that #1 spot was a neat glimpse into the world of the top high school basketball players. The lives of the high school players was way more intense than I would have imagined. On the outside, they all seemed like your typical high school boys, but their passion and skills for the sport really set them apart from other high school students. The mere fact that they had college coaches and sponsors trying to recruit them all the time showed that these guys were on a completely different level than your average high school basketball player. The determination of the college coaches to have their chosen player recruited to join their school and play for them was really astounding. I didn't realize that so much effort went into recruiting high school players. The kids seemed way older than 17-18 years old because they had to deal with so much, and some of them had to make some really mature decisions regarding their futures.

The visual effects made the movie fresh and not monotonous. It was able to hold my attention and kept me wanting more. I feel like the visuals mixed with the music really added a lot to the documentary and made it even more entertaining. I absolutely loved the music all throughout the film.
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