"Crossover" to another theater

Sept. 6, 2006, midnight | By Christina Mullen | 14 years, 9 months ago

Cliché sports film misses every shot

As one of several sports-themed movies coming out this fall, "Crossover" is supposedly unique in that it covers the growing phenomena of street-ball, a style of underground basketball with few rules, just "good, clean fun." But with outdated Wayne Brady as the marquee actor and only several minutes of real basketball, "Crossover" becomes just another cliché.

Trailers on television hope to appeal to basketball players who will be disappointed to find that what they saw on television is exactly what they see in the theater. Only two organized games and one series of pick-up games were shown in the entire duration of the film. Perhaps the intention was to show how the lives of the main characters were affected by basketball, not necessarily consumed by it. However, much of the conflicts impacting their lives occurred before the screen play, making the actual film very choppy and confusing.

The plot within the screenplay was extremely overused, probably coming out of a recycling bin. The plot is based on two friends who play the same sport, with a cross-town rival. Hardships hold back the friends from their dreams and cause them to turn on each other, but almost everyone is somewhat happy in the end.

In this particular film, the friends are Tech and Cruise, two well-known basketball players in Detroit who have recently finished high school and are continuing into the next chapter of their lives. Tech has always dreamed of playing in the NBA, while Cruise, the better basketball player, is going to the University of California to study medicine. When Tech and Cruise take a trip to Los Angeles with their girlfriends, their tumultuous past is revealed, which results in inner conflict within each character. The manner in which this information was introduced was extremely unclear, however, and left the viewer guessing about the characters and their personas. For instance, the age of the two characters was indefinite until Tech revealed that he was studying for his G.E.D. to his soon-to-be girlfriend. Personal information about their previous lives was introduced during random moments whose context did not fit the content at all. Tech disclosed his previous jail experience while dancing in a club.

Much of the cinematography appeared to be very amateur. In the few basketball scenes that were shown, a common slow-motion effect was used far too many times. Editing techniques, such as split-screens and quick-cuts synchronized with music, came across as cheesy and unoriginal. In one romantic scene in a club, the screen would fade to black for less than a second and then fade back into a different shot. This shot selection was very baffling, as it had no emotional impact on the scene and seemed to be used just because the editor had the technology and skills. The split-screen effect was used ineffectively, as it often times showed Tech doing the same things, just at different angles. The frequent use of sped up quick cuts was almost blinding, leaving the viewer wishing their eyes were closed, rather than evoking an emotion of excitement. Many of the editing techniques did not fit the mood very well, and made the movie come off as sloppy and immature.

However, the film did show some hope in the use of music. Often times hip-hop songs with strong beats were played in dull parts that were thankfully sped up, such as walking or practicing basketball. During romantic, thoughtful, or dramatic scenes, slow, but bold jazz music accented the mood and helped set the tone. The audio editor, however, seemed to be afraid to use music when people were talking, cutting the music of quickly. This again gave the film an overall feeling of sloppiness and inexperience.

If you are looking for a good, or even decent, sports movie, you may want to save your money and pass on "Crossover."

Crossover is 95 Minutes long and is rated PG-13 for sexual content and some language.

Christina Mullen. Christina Mullen, contrary to popular belief, does not have a mullet. She is an amazing beast who enjoys ballin, running and making beautiful music. Most people worship a god. Christina worships food. She partakes in powwows and picnics on a regular basis with her track … More »

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