Hoop Dreams

May 20, 2005

I just got Hoop Dreams (amazon.co.jp here) delivered to me. I actually bought two copies in the US and one copy in Japan. . .though they were the exact same thing, but I've waited ten years for it to come out on DVD, so I wanted to make sure I had a copy for myself even after I rented it out.

Hoop Dreams on DVD. . .pinch me

I tossed it into the PB and cranked up VLC Media player but nothing. . .then I found this bit of information about RPC2 players.

The problem is that a lot of newer drives are RPC2 drives these days. Some of these drives don't allow raw access to the drive untill the drive firmware has done a regioncheck. VLC uses libdvdcss and it needs raw access to the DVD drive to crack the encryption key. So with these drives it is impossible to circumvent the region protection.
hat kinda sucked. . .I could changed the region on my DVD player, but I did not want to waste valuable region changes, so I kept mine on Region 2. I was grateful to Chie for bringing me home a Xbox from one of her visits to the main branch of my former employer and tossed the DVD in there and started watching it while I worked on stuff with my PB.

The first thing I noticed was that the picture was not letter box. . .I was reading the package and saw that the picture was restored to the original 35mm and VHS aspect ration, so this was how the original master tapes looked. I won't even try to put together a review of the movie, go to IMDB if you want a better idea on what it is about. But, this was the original "blockbuster" documentary film even before Michael Moore. The film follows the lives of two Chicago kids as they go through high school and try to make it to the NBA. What the movie turns out to be are three of the most engrossing hours I ever spent watching a movie. As I watched the movie ten years after I first watched it, I realized that this was still one of the best movies (if not the best) that I had seen in the last decade. As simple as it may sound, there is something that is so real and hits at the heart about a movie that comes sans special effects, CG or real slick screenplays. Of course movies like that are just in a completely different genre.

The scene near the end of the movie, where Arthur Agee and his father Bo play one on one is surprisingly similar to the scene with (the great) Ray Allen and Denzel Washington at the end of He Got Game (amazon.co.jp here).

He Got Game

Perhaps the most powerful scene in the movie for me, the amount of pain and anger that Arthur shows as he dominates his father is something thatwould seem overacted if this were a movie.

I was reading the liner notes after the movie and read that both Bo Agee and William Gates's brother Curtis Gates had both been murdered in the last few years. Both of them were living their lives vicariously as they did not make it the League (though neither did Arthur Agee or William Gates) and to read that they passed on in similar ways was interesting for lack of a better word.

So, this weekend, gonna watch the whole darn thing one more time.

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