Movie Sixty Four
Hoop Dreams is a documentary I was not expecting to be interested in. Like all good documentaries, however, once I was hooked I had to see things through until the end.
Hoops Dreams is a film about two Chicago high school basketball players with aspirations of making it big in the NBA. The documentary film crew follows the students lives all through high school and their first year of college, as well as the lives of their immediate families. We see all the highs and lows that come with the dreams of being a superstar and every stumble the teens take we can’t help but feel for them. We want them to succeed. We want them make it big. At the very least, we want them to rise above what society expects of them; a life of gangs and drugs.
A word of warning, the film is long clocking in at just shy of three hours. I had to take a few breaks while watching it just to keep my interest from waning. That isn’t to say the material is dull or boring, but it can be. I would be very interested to see the special features that Criterion packed into Hoop Dreams since it has been close to 20 years since the film came out. Since I watched this on Netflix Instant Watch, the special features are obviously unavailable. The two teens are adults now and I truly wonder what became of them.
Watching Hoop Dreams with Moneyball still fresh in my mind was also interesting since we see the same sort of tactics in recruiting. Knowing what Chicago is like puts the film in a fresh light since being a poor black teen in the city must be close to impossible to actually get out of. While the careers of the teens show promise, will the life of a basketball player only just be a dream? There is a reason Hoop Dreams has been called the best documentary of all time.
I give it 5 state champion victories out of 5.