Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Longshots DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Inspirational Flick about Female Football Player Released on DVD

Jasmine Plummer (Keke Palmer) made history in 2003 as the first female ever to play quarterback in the Pop Warner Football League. However, the competitive 11 year-old wasn’t content with just crossing the gender line, and went on to lead her team all the way to the Pee Wee Division Superbowl. The talented tomboy’s real-life exploits are the subject of this bio-pic, an against-the-odds sports saga which seeks to tug on your heartstrings at every opportunity.
For, Jasmine had innumerable personal obstacles to overcome off the field, starting with the trauma of abandonment by her (Malcolm Goodwin) father. His conspicuous absence, in turn, translated into less quality time with her exhausted mom (Tasha Smith) who had to work long hours at the diner to make ends meet. And things are no better for Jasmine in middle school where she found herself mercilessly teased by mean girls.
A blessing in disguise arrives in Jasmine’s Uncle Curtis (Ice Cube), a down-and-out alcoholic who walks town cradling a football every where he goes. The former high school standout’s need to clean up his act conveniently dovetails with his niece’s for a father figure and an after-school activity.
Of course, it isn’t long before Curtis is teaching his promising protégé to play quarterback and encouraging her to try out for the local all-boys team. In fast order, Jasmine’s ability soon wins the starting job, followed by a string of victories that takes the team to the title game. While The Longshots doesn’t have nearly the charm of Ms. Palmer’s Akeelah and the Bee, at least this well-intentioned variation on the theme does offer a wholesome message apt to be appreciated by minors.
A pleasant, if predictable, tale of female empowerment ideal for the under ten set.

Good (2 stars)
Rated PG for mild epithets, mature themes and crude humor.
Running time: 95 minutes
Studio: Genius Products
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes, “The Making of” featurette, conversations with Ice Cube and the director, a documentary about the real Jasmine Plummer, and the theatrical trailer.

To see a trailer for The Longshots, visit:

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