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4.4 out of 5 stars
White Men Can't Jump
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2000
Format: DVD
White Men Can't Jump is a movie about basketball hustlers but the characters are multifaceted and this movie focuses on their reasons for hustling rather than the hustle itself. Sidney(Snipes) hustles as a means to get his family out of the ghetto. He is driven by an undying sense of family and a desire to be the provider that his family is looking for. Billy(Harrelson) hustles out of an addiction to gambling and also a desire to show his girlfriend(Rosie Perez) that he is becoming more responsible with money. The basketball in this movie is realistic as is the language and behaviors of the players. The real story; however, is one of loyalty, betrayal and eventually friendship. This is a smart and funny movie that transcends the "sports movie" genre.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2000
Format: DVD
If you like basketball at all, you're going to love this movie. If you like to make fun of your friends, you're going to love this movie. Witty comedy that doesn't offend (that's hard to come by these days).
Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) is a street-wise basketball player with something to prove. He heads to Venice Beach to hustle big-time players for money. Hoyle bites off more than he can chew when he meets up with Sydney Dean (Wesley Snipes) and becomes the victim of a hustle himself. However, Dean and Hoyle can't deny the bond of friendship between them, no matter how hard they try. When Billy loses his girlfriend because he loses all of their money and Dean's home is robbed they turn to each other for the solution...the ultimate pick-up game vs the legends: Eddie "The King" Farooq and "Duck" Johnson. $2500 to play, winner take all. Do they win? Well, as Gloria would tell you, "Sometimes when you win, you really lose. Sometimes when you lose, you really win. And sometimes when you win or lose you actually tie. And sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose." Yeah, it's confusing. But that's the way it ends.
Classic comedy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2002
Format: DVD
This is one of the best films I have ever seen. I favor its technical side and the very idea itself as well. It depicts a reality that is fictious but it can easily be adopted to the real world. What is the most optimistic about this movie is the fact that a pair of main characters resemble ordinary human beings, like everybody. They need to fight their way thru life and, as it always happens in the real world, they find themselves in better or worse circumstances. The most encouraging thing is their special kind of friendship and their easiness to face whatever life brings. Due to that fact they endear themselves to the audience which turns a blind eye on their hustling activity. Still, they have to have some sort of income and, as long as it does not hurt anybody physically, the audience sides with them. I would very much like to have this movie in my home library but unfortunately there is no version available that is distributed in my region on DVD; and I feel extremely sorry about that; I think I would enumerate this as a main drawback of this movie...
Drowsy Existence
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2001
Format: DVD
This is definately one of the best sports/comedy movies of all time. The basketball scenes are as well done as any you'll see in any movie, and the comedic personalities of Billy Hoyle (Woody) and Sidney Dean (Wesley) are irresistable. The trash talking, the flashy play, the hustling is all smiles for any basketball fan. The most rewarding part of this movie however is the friendship that develops between Billy Ho and Sidney. They look beyond race and class and find a common ground on the blacktop and in each other's games. They're both so likeable in this movie that it's hard not to feel good about the way it all ends up. If you like hoops, and you like comedy it doesn't get much better than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This flick is loaded with greatness. Wesley Snipes is just so cool in his role. I just love watching his eyes move back and forth when he is trying to show up Woody Harrelson. The rap he delivers about hearing Jimi Hendrix is quite memorable as well. Woody Harrelson gives his Billy Hoyle character lots of depth as both his hustler and sensitive side are played well. Rosie Perez is cute with her concern over the Stookie Brothers. Anyway, the story line has many coemdic and action filled moments that will appeal to a wide audience outside of the basketball world. Go rent it today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
If you like basketball, than you'll love this movie. More than a zany comedy as the ads would have you believe but witty and original with true chemistry between its 2 stars, Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes. Laugh-out-loud comedy, great basketball scenes and characters with enough depth that you will be routing for them the whole way. I highly recommend this movie.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2005
Format: DVD
This film has got to be one of the best I've ever seen. Right from the beginning when Billy and Sydney are first introduced to each other it is undeniably pure genius. It has many different elements to it all brilliantly done comedy, drama, romance and of course the best of them all - basketball. I love hearing the trash talking out on the courts.
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on September 9, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
Ron Shelton hasn't made that many movies; the last one he wrote *and* directed was 2003's "Hollywood Homicide" (ouch). But he's given us a trio of sports masterpieces: "Bull Durham" (baseball), "Tin Cup" (golf -- and yeah, it's a masterpiece, shut up), and this one. Given the movie's rather startling title, we should probably get the race angle out of the way first. It was released in March 1992, one month before the L.A. Riots that were prompted by the acquittal of 4 LAPD officers who nearly beat Rodney King to death. In other words, the incremental rapprochement between the races that this movie portrays turned out to be wishful thinking. Spike Lee was closer to the reality with his "Do the Right Thing", released a few years earlier.

Fine. But Hollywood is at its best, I feel, when it can show us a better vision than the depressing realities of our society, especially when it doesn't preach at us. Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson engage in racial discussion, but it ain't no brotherhood-of-man crap, you know, the crap that wins Oscars. Instead, these guys use their differing ethnicity as fodder for more smack talk, a sport at which they compete as fiercely as basketball. The brotherhood has already been forged on the court, and if you prove yourself on the court, you've earned the right to give as well as take. In fact, this is the hidden foundation of sports, from the ancient Greek Olympic games up to today: sublimated war; entente; finally, friendship. If only all differences in our world could be settled on the field of play, where the male virtues shine the brightest.

Still not enough though, boys: we need women to give us something to strive for, like moving out of the Vista View apartments where there's no vista and no view. Or to teach us that you can lose by winning and win by losing, or tie by doing either. Grantland Rice once said that it didn't matter if you won or lost, but how you played the game: his mother probably taught him that. But Shelton's thesis on civilized manhood doesn't stop there: we also need to learn to be men without women in our lives. Our partners can't do everything for us, and we need to be able to stand on our own feet if we want someone else to stand with us. Harrelson will learn this lesson by movie's end.

The fact that Shelton can lay down such heavy themes in what is otherwise a hilarious romp about street basketball and the fine art of smack talk says volumes about his talent as a screenwriter. He's helped in great measure by both Snipes and Harrelson, who were not only good enough at the game to be practically Division III-quality players according to one of the former NBA pros who served as a technical adviser on the film, but were also good enough to handle the fast pace of the dialogue. Snipes is especially impressive, bursting with energy, in phenomenal shape, relishing the nonstop banter. He handles the (few) quieter moments like a pro, too. A strange man, Snipes, with a strange and sad Hollywood story: 20 years ago he was an A-lister, starring in big-budget mainstream product like Crichton adaptations and working with co-stars like Sean Connery, Denzel Washington, and Diane Lane. He eventually made a zillion dollars with the "Blade" franchise. But somewhere along the way he forgot to pay his taxes and eventually served 3 years in the pen. He now spends half his time in South Korea and pumps out straight-to-video bad action pictures. One can't help but feel that we lost something special.

Well, anyway. I feel that Amazon should make this movie permanently free for Prime members. It's 22 years old, for one thing: a young man who can legally drink in a bar is younger than this movie. The movie should be free because that young man and the rest of his feckless generation needs to see what a good buddy-movie is like, what a good sports-movie is like, what a good movie without a man wearing a cape and tights is like, period. Oh, and they also need to learn how to run proper smack, the politically-correct snowflakes.

5 out of 5 -- a classic sports movie.
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VINE VOICEon April 1, 2013
Format: DVD
Racial stereotypes abound in this widely loved film about a white basketball player who teams up with a fast talking black guy to swindle unsuspecting b-ballers out of some quick cash. The thing is, the stereotypes are what make this film work, so they are not only forgiven, they are warranted. The basic plot is simple (if not a tad clichéd) and the performances by the entire cast are uniformly great, with Rosie Perez standing out as the undeniable center of attention (she's on FIRE here). My only qualm is that the character of Sidney becomes somewhat unlikable and remains that way. I didn't really understand the friendship even though the chemistry was pitch-perfect. I loved the ending, to be honest, because it broke away from the expected and made Billy's issues more complex and relatable. It's funny, fast paced and engaging. I can't really complain about this slice of good old fashioned entertainment.
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on September 4, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
By far the best basketball movie I have ever seen. I used to watch this movie all the time and now I proudly own it. this movie has it all: comedy, sports and a little bit of action when you count the Stucci Brothers. the basketball scenes themselves are so believable because you have the close ups and the first person views and the best asset to all of the basketball scenes was without a doubt the trash talking. the trash talking in this movie makes the basketball scenes more enjoyable because if you were to go to a street court whether it be alone or with some friends of yours, there is Gina's be trash talk during the game and that is what they give you here. anybody who has not seen this movie yet you are definitely missing out. that's for sure so if you get to the opportunity to buy this definitely fo it because trust me you won't forget it.
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