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White Men Can't Jump

review by Justin Meyers

 

Rated R

Running Time: 115 Minutes

Starring Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez

Studio: Fox

Written and Directed by Ron Shelton

 

Retail Price: 29.98

Features: Theatrical Trailers, Re-edited with deleted scenes, Music Video, TV Spot

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, French Dolby Surround, English Captions, Spanish Captions, Chapter Search

Bill Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) and Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes) are an unlikely pair of basketball hustlers. They team up to con their way across the courts of Los Angeles, playing a game that's fast, dangerous - and funny. Directed and written by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham), and co-starring the sizzling Rosie Perez, White Men Can't Jump is a slam-dunk, high-flying comedy hit! (Editor's Note: Guess this one is also right off the box.)

White Men Can't Jump was looked upon as a bad movie, and I can't see why critics bashed it when it first came out in 1992. I guess they thought it was too dramatic and less about the sports aspect, but that's what I enjoy. I wouldn't like to see two hustlers playing basketball for 2 whole hours. I like the character aspect and how they made Wesley Snipe's character poor and untrustworthy and Woody Harrelson's character bad with money and women. It was perfect how those two characters played off of each other. Snipes and Harrelson really make a great team. We see that again in Money Train, while not as good as this movie, it's pretty entertaining. I am a fan of both actors so when they star together it is always entertaining. This being their first I was happy when it was released on DVD.

There are some scenes here that in my opinion are the best scenes of basketball ever on a movie to date. The stars really know what they're doing and look like they're having fun doing it. With not very many stunt doubles I imagine they practiced night and day. This is a realistic portrayal of street basketball with many funny situations along the way. This film has really filthy language at times. It is absolutely not a family movie but that's part of its charm.

 

White Men Can't Jump is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. It is perfect! This is a colorful movie and on the DVD it really shows. It replicates the hues very well with no sign of smear or grain. The flesh tones look good and natural. The detail is great; it has nice contrast and brightness. A real example of the brightness is in all of the basketball games, as the sun glares off the players with their colorful uniforms. It's very nice and bright. The transfer has no sign of compression errors. I noticed the layer change but that was all. This is one really great video. This is the best I've ever seen this film.

This is a real great audio presentation. While not 5.1, it is Dolby Surround 2.0 and kicks in very well. When the basketball games are present the surround is nice. It gives very good detail in the back and side speakers. You can actually feel it around you. The really great part about this mix is the dialogue, which comes across great with clarity. I think this is an impressive mix and provides a great audio experience.

It says on the back of the DVD that the film was re-edited with deleted scenes. I don't remember which scenes weren't in to begin with. All scenes really fit together well so I wouldn't know why they were deleted. In any case they are here and I figure it is an extra.

 

There is a "White Men Can't Jump" music video by rapper Riff. It is a pretty good video and song. I'm white so maybe I just listen to it, not actually hear it. In any case it is a good video with great audio.

 

There are two theatrical trailers and one TV spot to finish up the extra section. I must mention that I really love the menus. They feature the title with a basketball game in the background, which is real eye candy. As you switch menus a basketball rolls across your screen. Fox really comes through on the menu department.

I would have liked to see more extras, like some behind the scene features but I'm glad we get something. While not a special edition this is one nice disc!

White Men Can't Jump is my favorite sports comedy. It was directed by Ron Shelton, who also wrote and directed Bull Durham, Tin Cup, and Play it to the Bone. I really like how he incorporates sports with humorous moments and really character driven stories. He has a knack for directing these types of movies and I hope he keeps it up. I really enjoy them.

OK, I admit it! Being a white man, I know white men can't jump. This hasn't stopped me though. I still love basketball and watch it religiously. This DVD is great to own for the basketball fans out there and I really stress that you should pick it up. I loved this movie since it came out and will enjoy it for as long as I can. This DVD is the best way to see it. Have fun!

(4.5/5, NOT included in final score)

(4.5/5)

(4/5)

(2/5)

(3/5, NOT an average)

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