I finally saw the movie "Uncle Drew", and I absolutely loved it.
Now, before I get blasted for liking this movie so much I want to say that, I know it was not your traditional good movie. It was cheesy and hokey and crony and silly and a whole lot of fun. I read some reviews after I watched it, and for the writers saying it "lacked realism", or "was filled with non actors" or "clearly a kids movie", I have to say, shut the hell up. We all know that it wasn't real. I mean, the movie was based off a Pepsi commercial that first appeared like 5 years ago. It was all made as a joke. This was a vehicle for Kyrie Irving to dress up in old man makeup and school young basketball players on famous street ball courts.
As far as the kids movie thing, so what. A lot of great movies are "kid" movies. I had "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies" as one of my top movies of 2018. That is a kids movie. So are some classics like "Toys", "Wall-E", "The Mighty Ducks", "The Lion King", "Bambi", I could go on and on and on. But the difference, the critics all loved the childish nature of the other movies I just mentioned, yet they trash "Uncle Drew". It makes me so upset that this new age of movie critics, most of them are younger than me, have no imagination. Now I know that I have been called out for a lack of imagination because I don't like the TV show "PJ Masks", but that critique I wrote was in jest. I was just tired of watching that god damn show. I know my kids love it, and I know it is goofy, but it is also a cartoon. "Uncle Drew" is not a cartoon, so the younger critics feel like they need to knock it down a few pegs. What they really need to do is chill the hell out.
The thing that irked me the most was the whole, "there's no real actors in the movie". First off, Lil Rel Howery is a great comedic actor. I enjoyed every second of him in this movie. Tiffany Haddsih is also great, and she has become somewhat of a critical darling. Nick Kroll is funny as hell. But I think what the major critics were trying to do was call out Kyrie Irving, Chris Webber, Nate Robinson, Lisa Leslie, Reggie Miller, and to a lesser extent, Shaquille O'Neal. But my major blowback to the people that said "no real actors", no shit. These guys are former pros, or current pro basketball players, and now some of them do commentary. Like I said at the top, this whole movie was based around a commercial where Irving clowns other basketball players while dressed as an old man. "Uncle Drew" wasn't going to be awards bait. It wasn't made to teach a real lesson. It wasn't going to be a coming out party for anyone in it. It was made because it was fun. It was also made for people who truly love the game of basketball.
Take away the smaller stuff I really enjoyed about the movie, the preacher and church scene with Webber and Leslie is great, the stuff with Shaq was hilarious, as I said before, Lil Rel was excellent. But, the pure basketball, and the love for the game of basketball was front and center. I think that is why I love this movie so much. I feel like it was made specifically for someone like me. Someone that likes old school basketball mixed with new school. Someone that likes to hear actors say lines like, "that is why I still play, because I love the game", or, "you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take", or when Shaq calls Irving "KOBE" at one point because he won't pass the ball, or when Lisa Leslie destroys people with her inside game. It was so much fun to see the best of the best show their stuff. The basketball in this movie was pure. It was akin to the football in a movie like "Friday Night Lights", or the baseball in "Major League". It looked and felt real. I assume they really were playing, and I love that.
"Uncle Drew" is a fun movie that is pure joy for big time basketball fans. I applaud Irving and Webber and Reggie Miller and Nate Robinson and Shaq and Lisa Leslie for going 110 percent and totally buying into their roles. I love this movie so much. My hat is off to "Uncle Drew".
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. When it comes to movies about basketball, Ty will also defend “Eddie”, and “Like Mike”. He will not defend “Juwanna Man”. Ty does have some limits to the basketball movies he likes.
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