25 July 2002 | bob the moo
Tells it like it is
Pete Bell is a college basketball coach. He's under pressure to win and is under pressure to get the players by any means necessary. How will he stand up to the pressure or will he give in to pressure?
Basketball movies are often the `weak team overcomes' type and are not exactly great. Some are good (Hoosiers) but most are mildly distracting at best (The air up there), few reach the heights of Hoop Dreams. However Blue Chips is good because it manages to cast a critical eye over the real world of college ball there are no small town winners, there are no `kids with hearts of gold' etc instead it is as much a business as the NBA and the stakes are high to get the best players.
Bell shows us how he must juggle doing what's right but also doing what the players want in order to get a winning team. This is refreshing rather than yet another sports movie with the same old cliches. The down side is that it doesn't go far enough in my mind and it doesn't offer solutions.
Nolte is good and is really convincing as a coach even if he's a bit OTT at times on the sidelines. His support is great in the form of McDonnell, Walsh, Woodard and the real players of Shaq and Penny do OK. The cast is also filled out with plenty of coaches, commentators and such from real life so there's plenty to see.
Overall this is one of my favourite basketball movies simply because it tells it like it is even if it does have it's weaknesses.