Where i Watched it: Hulu
English Audio Description Available?: No
In case you are wondering why the hell I reviewed a 30 year old movie, it has to do with some Rewriting The Oscar’s videos I was doing for my YouTube. i noticed a bit of a deficiency in R rated fare from a year when i was still in elementary school. So, I picked a few films that seem to have stood the test of time, and watched them on whatever service was hosting them. this was on hulu. And while this may shock you, hulu does not provide audio description. luckily, they have such a stellar record of seeking out audio description that I’m sure they worked tirelessly to acquire what was available.
However, I would counter their typical bullshit response with “you fucking remade this, so you have an obligation now to the original.” Because, even though I selected this originally at random, guess what hulu has slated to drop in May? A remake of White men Can’t Jump. Good lord.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the original. it might feel a little dated due to the culture of the time, but the plot hasn’t aged out. It’s just a comedy about a country white guy (Woody Harrelson) who hustles street ballers for cash on the idea that white men can’t play basketball, and his accent sure doesn’t help. He crosses paths with a street smart opposite, that attracts (Wesley Snipes), and the two team up to try and get some quick cash. Rosie Perez is also in this as Woody’s girlfriend, and she’s delightful.
Ron Shelton wrote and directed this, just like many other sports comedies in this time period, from Bull Durham to Tin Cup. He essentially cast three charismatic actors and asked them to be a variation of who they already are. Snipes is great as the fast talking hustler who recognizes game, Woody is expanding on something he started with Cheers, and Perez does a comedic interpretation with a lot of heart of what seems like her actual self.
Since this was my first time through, all i really got was the charisma of the actors, and a really sick early 90’s soundtrack. There’s a song that’s hilarious and clearly written for the film about Perez’s character. But, outside the dynamic of these three are a ton of basketball scenes where I hav no idea what is going on. nothing. In addition to the typical not knowing what someone is wearing, who enters or leaves a room, if someone is lurking quietly in the background, or if Shelton went for any sight gags, I also miss on all the sports in the film. And, this really is a basketball comedy. I never know whether or not, in fact, a white man does jump.
I do have a feeling that if this film were to gain audio description in the future, I’d only like it more. This is an excellent pairing, and I’d love to see another Snipes/Harrelson film. Who knows? Maybe I’ll watch money Train.
Hulu. Get your shit together.
Final Grade: A-