Gunnin' For That Number 1 Spot (tbc)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/10/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

This is a nicely structured documentary with likeable subjects. Although the climactic game is extraordinary, there's ultimately nothing at stake so the film means very little unless you're a basketball fan.

What's it all about?
Directed by Adam Yauch (of Beastie Boys fame), Gunnin' For That Number 1 Spot focuses on eight of the United States' top high school basketball players as they prepare to show off their skills and maybe make their reputations on the most legendary court in the world: New York City's Rucker Park. The film is structured like Spellbound – first we meet and get to know each player and then we see the game (the Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic) at Rucker Park.

The Good
The eight kids are an extremely likeable bunch (except cocky prankster Michael Beasley, although his expulsion-packed story is ironically both the most interesting and the least touched-upon) and it's genuinely fascinating to see this group of teenagers on the cusp of fame and fortune. Four of them were subsequently picked for the 2008-2009 NBA season, although the film neglects to include this information.

The film provides some intriguing insights; for example, several of the boys describe girls as ‘a distraction’ and are keenly aware that a relationship (subtext: getting someone pregnant) could derail their futures. Similarly, you get a taste of how aggressive sneaker companies are to sign high school talent – one player complains that he had to get his text message service turned off because they were texting him all the time.

The Bad
The final third of the film is devoted to the match itself, with the boys earning both nicknames and reputations on the court. The boys play on opposing teams and the game is undeniably spectacular, but ultimately there's nothing at stake, so it doesn't actually matter which team wins and the ending is a huge disappointment as a result.

Worth seeing?
Although this is never less than watchable, you can't help feeling that it would have been a better film if they'd waited a year or so and actually included details of the players' futures.

Film Trailer

Gunnin' For That Number 1 Spot (tbc)
Gunnin' For That Number 1 Spot has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 01:36

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