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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

Boogie; A Waste of Potential. Grade: C-

The time stood at 6:40 P.M. as I had a 7:10 P.M. showing of the new basketball film Boogie, I decided to try out this local small slice shop called Heavenly Pizza, in which I’ve been meaning to go to for awhile as it’s packed almost every single time I’m in this area. Foolish as I am, instead of acquiring a slice or two, I decided to order a daily special of a medium pizza listed at $6.38. A medium pizza for that low price is a great deal, however the main issue would be could I finish in time?! The cashier after finishing my order had told me it would be done by 25-30 minutes. I had about thirty minutes of time to kill, plus maybe 11 to 15 minutes of previews, so I felt if it was done in twenty five minutes, surely I could eat my pizza and head into the movie on time.

Well twenty minutes went by... Pizza was not even close to being done, in fact many customers pizzas were on delay for quite awhile. There’s no shame on those making the pizzas in this place, given the fact they have a couple help wanted signs out in the front door, so surely they would be understaffed as they remained busy throughout the duration... But all I was thinking about is how much of a dumbass I was, ordering a medium pizza when I could’ve gotten slices maybe half the wait time. I was debating on whether or not I should skip my movie, enjoy my pizza, and head on home... But as a film lover I refuse to do such a stupid thing as far as enjoying relaxation, as I remained hopeful the pizza will arrive just in time so I can make it to my movie.

Another ten minutes roll by as the pizza was still not delivered, however one of the workers has asked for my name and he said it was coming right up. Another seven minutes roll by, as finally the cashier had delivered my Pizza as I stormed out of the establishment. As I quickly opened the pizza box... From the looks of it I wasn’t that impressed, as I knew I made a bad decision getting all this pizza. I took the first bite... BURNED THE ROOF OF MY MOUTH. I pulled myself together as I ate the first slice, then I ate a couple more slices, as I was bound to eat my fourth slice... It accidentally slid off the pizza box and into the trash. As I quickly was heading to the theater, I saw a nearby security guard worker at a nearby Dollar General. As God’s Plan by Drake plays in the background in my mind, I figure I be a hero and give this man three free slices of pizza. I shouted at the man, asking him if he would like some pizza... He said, “No I’m good, but thank you I appreciate that.” Then shortly after I threw out the pizza, as I rushed to the theater, gather up a few napkins to keep on my hands so I wouldn’t touch my face with pizza grease since I didn’t have time to wash my hands, rushed to the auditorium, as I missed just a good minute of the movie.

Lesson learned: If you’re going to get pizza before a movie that starts within a half an hour, make sure it’s a slice because chances are... You’ll miss some time from your movie. I score Heavenly Pizza a 4.8/10, was definitely not worth waiting over thirty minutes for and surely wasn’t worth missing a minute of a movie... However truth be told this film wasn’t worth rushing out of a Pizza joint and shoving three slices of Pizza down my throat either.... Anyways it’s time to talk about Boogie.

Boogie tells a story about an Asian American basketball player in Brooklyn Boogie (Taylor Takahashi), who has transferred to a prep school to draw Division One college basketball scouts to offer Boogie a full ride scholarship, so he can be one step closer to his dream of making the NBA. As good of a basketball player that Boogie is or how the film repeatedly tells you he’s good without showing much impressive basketball coverage, Boogie has not received any Division 1 scholarship offers however has received walk on offers. Boogie feels in order to impress college basketball scouts into receiving a scholarship offer, Boogie must beat the best ball player in Brooklyn Monk (Pop Smoke). Boogie will go through many obstacles in order to get close to achieving his dream, including handling a romance interest in which Boogie treats her like a dog, handling a serious attitude problem, and who could forget handling a father who also has major issues that could out right cost Boogie to achieve his dreams... OH BOY!

The Cinematography t’was actually solid, I enjoyed how visually this film resembles towards the hustle bustle feel of Brooklyn, plus this film does have memorable shots regarding the fortune teller place as it brought out a lovely neon color pallet. The Score was pretty distracting, the Pop Smoke music on occasion wasn’t too half bad, however there are some scenes in which the music was over barring, where it really didn’t need any music in some scenes as it caused much of a distraction. The cast all in all was alright. Taylor Takahashi playing Boogie was mediocre in his performance, there are some pretty bad sequences in acting especially trying to act all tough as it comes off unintentionally laughable. I also didn’t care for the character Boogie, sure we could sympathize with his struggle of how scouts and people in general don’t take an Asian basketball player seriously, as Asians are often not taken seriously in the sport as they have to work twice as hard as everyone else to receive a shot. However the audience has a difficult time in sympathizing with a character like Boogie, as majority of the film Boogie is honestly a complete jackass with a serious attitude problem. How he treats his teammates, his coach, his mother, his soon to be agent who is trying to help him succeed on his goal, and how he treats his romantic interest... I mean how am I suppose to root for this guy?! Not to mention he lacks work ethic as a good half of the time, he’s not busting his ass every single day and night to achieve his dreams, as Boogie would rather mess around with a girl or mouth off to people who are trying to help him or smoke weed. Sure Boogie could have a chip on his shoulder, where frustration could come out every now and then due to how he’s not given a fair opportunity to receive a chance, but with the lack of work ethic in his game... He honestly doesn’t deserve a shot. All I see is a man who is somewhat talented at ball, but puts more time and effort into treating others badly and crying out for sympathy the entire run time, than putting in time in the game of basketball itself. In a way this character reminds me exactly of one of my teammates, who lacked work ethic, treated others poorly, and walked out on his own team... All is forgiven, but the similarities between him and this character is shocking.

When I watched the trailer for Boogie, I had a fair amount of interest in seeing this film. Not only did I had anticipation as it could be an exciting sports film, but could also be a meaningful sports movie that could provide a powerful message, into turning away from racial stereotypes in which this has been this country’s main weakness. Unfortunately this film was rather disappointing, as it turns out to be a very basic sports film from a narrative standpoint, lacks exciting basketball coverage, while also failing to provide a very powerful message in which looked to be it’s moral intention.

I wouldn’t say the story within itself was awful, however it is rather basic and by the numbers. You see a basketball player wanting to achieve a certain goal, on becoming the best player in Brooklyn by beating the best player in Brooklyn, while also wanting to achieve in receiving a full ride scholarship. What’s odd is though the simple by the numbers narrative is clearly there, the film has a struggling time into remaining focus on just that. Where we’re suppose to receive a young kid working his ass off to achieve this goal and not letting anything stop him from achieving it, it instead turns into a young kid procrastinating as he rather put more time into hitting on this girl or lash out on people around him. Clearly the film doesn’t want to follow through from the trailers intention to produce a powerful message on breaking the barrier of racial stereotypes, but the film doesn’t want to follow through on the simplicity itself of a ball player wanting to achieve a goal. Maybe the film maker was trying to produce a message that cockiness and crying out for sympathy will not get you anywhere, as you have to work your way to achieving greatness and always have a chip on your shoulder regardless, which I can agree with. But at the same time... It doesn’t feel like the film maker wasn’t intending on delivering that message at all, they attempted to make a powerful cool sports film but unfortunately they failed immensely.

I didn’t care for the romance portion between Boogie and Eleanor (Taylour Paige), found it quite messy and uninteresting as well. It’s kind of odd just why Eleanor would want to be with a guy like Boogie, I mean his first impression made on Eleanor was flat out disgusting, while also disregards her own feelings as he only focuses on himself when issues come about in the relationship. To each it’s own opinion: But why does Boogie and his father repeatedly disrespects Jeremy Lin?! Jeremy Lin is the definition of a man breaking the barrier of racial stereotyping, as he beaten all the odds against him, as he became a successful professional basketball player while also becoming an inspiring individual for young Asian ball players. The characters excuse to disregard Lin’s success is due to the fact he gave praise for his success to Jesus... HUH?! They have the right to their own opinion, but what does that have to do with disrespecting what Lin achieved?! If Boogie ever wanted to succeed in accomplishing his dreams, then he should be taking notes from Jeremey. Like Jeremy Lin: Boogie needs to be more humbled, work harder, and to not slack off often.... That’s why Boogie is where he’s at and why he’s nowhere near accomplishing his goals and dreams.

What’s certainly underwhelming is the sports coverage, as the basketball sequences in this film was pretty underwhelming. Sure we get a little bit of oohs and ahh’s, however I was never on the edge of my seat in excitement watching any of the games, as none of the sequences were ever intense or thrilling at all. If you’re going to make a simple by the numbers sports film, at least make the sports coverage exciting at least so it can be passable. When the film suddenly cuts to black, it feels as if there should’ve been at least another thirty minutes or so. It just suddenly cuts to black as your instant reaction is “Wow, that’s it?!” This film had a lot of potential to be great and to be most certainly exciting, unfortunately it turns out to be a majorly underwhelming disappointment.

Overall, Boogie was most certainly meh. I don’t recommend this film, I suggest watching other inspiring basketball films or even watch the guilty pleasures of Air Bud, Like Mike, heck even Like Mike 2 Streetball... Like Mike 2 Streetball is definitely a stupid movie from a narrative perspective, however the goofiness and the sports coverage makes it watchable for some reason... YOU THINK YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN BUCKWILD?! -Mitch Smietana

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