Mordant exploration of racial discrimination in the world of sport. (by thomasbouchardperreault)
Steven Soderbergh has always been interested in the commercial exploitation of the body MAGIC MIKE, THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE and by the dreamers who attack the system OCEAN'S ELEVEN, ERIN BROCKOVICH . We can easily see what could have interested him in this mordant exploration of racism in the sports industry. Especially since this film is based on a scenario well documented and astute, written by the coscenarist MOONLIGHT. Far from being a drama on the world of sport, HIGH FLYING BIRD is rather an acidic comedy on its dark side, which takes here sometimes the appearance of modern <more>
slavery. The particular parameters of the project filming in 13 days with $ 2 million and an iPhone 7 have undoubtedly helped to boost the staging of this series of sharp verbal jousting, carried by the energetic André Holland "The Knick" , irresistible as an improvised reformer of a rotten system. Lastly, there is the periodic use of interviews with real athletes, which frequently gives credibility to the story.
A Social Issues Film; Not a "Basketball Movie" (by thomasemoran)
If you're going into this expecting some cookie-cutter underdog basketball film that telegraphs its plot from the opening scene, you are going to be disappointed. However, if you are going into this looking for a film that actually addresses and comments on society and social issues in a poignant and intelligent way, you will find that. Many reviews are complaining that they "didn't understand" or "don't get it" or didn't understand some of the references. That's kind of the point. If you know about these things, the film is masterful at examining the <more>
power dynamic and sparking criticism of the structure in American professional athletics. If you don't know about the content in the film, now you know which questions to ask and where to look for more information to be able to understand them.But no, it isn't like Above the Rim, Coach Carter, Glory Road, or Hoosiers. It's nothing like that, and it doesn't present itself as such. It isn't a film about playing basketball; it is a film about the inherent flaws in the system in which basketball is played--and why it is designed to be that way.
Insightful Without the Hollywood Fluff. (by quiptown514)
Going into the movie High Flying Bird I didn't know what to expect beyond what I found to be an attention grabbing trailer which prompted me to take a look and I have to say I wasn't disappointment. The movie gave a behind the scenes look into the world of sports agents that we rarely have the opportunity to see in film when it comes to African Americans The acting was second to none in fact excellent, the lead character played by André Holland gave a convincing standout performance as sports agent Ray Burke. His side kick Sam, played by the beautiful and talented Zazie Beetz was <more>
right on point. Bill Duke as always was on top of his game as the wise and hard demanding Spencer. The supporting cast was excellent. The story was both interesting, informative and held my attention. I have to admit the story left me wanting more, in fact not knowing High Flying Bird was a movie I checked at the end to see if it was a original series only to find it was a movie. Overall I highly recommend this movie for anyone interested in taking a look into the sports world from the perspective of those who dominate the game.
This Is Not A Basketball Movie, It's Much More (by bennyantlang)
There is very little basketball to be seen here - in fact I think there's only one scene where any characters actually play ball. But that lack of on-court action is the very point & purpose of the movie; the plot is driven by an NBA lockout wherein the players are being denied the opportunity to play the sport they love and get paid for it , all because the "Powers That Be" feel they aren't making enough money from it themselves. This is a very real issue in modern sport, and this film seeks to confront many aspects of it; from the rich insular Establishment of western <more>
societies in general, to the very concept of human endeavour becoming a commodity for profit. And as the majority of NBA players are black and the owners white, the movie doesn't shy away from the issue of race either. Comparisons with slavery may seem heavy-handed, but the reality is that these black athletes' livelihoods are completely at the mercy of rich white men; their blood & sweat turned into dollars to fill their owners' pockets. These are big, political issues atypical of your standard sports movie - anyone expecting a "gutsy underdog" story or a heartwarming tale of redemption through hard work & team spirit, will be sorely disappointed. This film is all about social commentary and witty dialogue, and the intentionally-underwhelming ending is clever yet pragmatic. There's no Rudy or Coach Carter to be found here; the central character has lofty ideals, but realistic expectations - he knows he's always playing someone else's game, and the rules are rigged against him. High Flying Bird feels real, modern and urgent, in stark contrast to the feel-good dreamy nostalgia of most sports movies. Soderbergh makes his point well, and always delivers technical excellence in his filmmaking, so your appreciation of this film will depend entirely upon how interested you are in the issues it presents. But it feels like something of a landmark moment in the sports movie genre.
It's a B-Movie - But In Great Way (by BodyDoubleFilms)
As Steven Soderbergh made his way back to feature film directing, bringing us the rough round the edges psychological horror Unsane - shot on iPhone 7+ smartphones. By contrast High Flying Bird was not shot on iPhone 7+ phones... actually iPhone 8+...Soderbergh spoke about a new age of B-Movies. Not in the sense of second rate - but going back to the golden age of cinema, when b-movies were cinema fillers for huge audiences.They were shot on low budgets. Often with limited lighting and not too many stars or spectacular sequences, with crowds of extras.Instead, the director had to work around <more>
his limited means creatively, often filling a lot of the film with dialogue - as it's much cheaper to shoot: if you can't film all those scenes, you can always have one character tell another character what happened.Be in no doubt, although a lot of those old B-movies were fillers, some were remarkable pieces of cinema. All the better for being forced into creative use of limited resources.Indeed, this was how film noir was born. And that is very much what High Flying Bird reminded me of. Those old b-movie sports pictures which couldn't afford the big action scenes so left the sport part in the background while the action focused on the backroom talk.I loved the cinematography. And it was absolutely refreshing to see old school camera angles instead of the tedium we get now - when every kid with a few hundred dollars to spend sports a DSLR and Bokeh inducing lenses.Boken is no excuse for cinematography. And this is why the use of smartphones is a breath of fresh air. Without those boring ricks to fall back on do we really need to see another extreme shallow depth of field close up? , every shot in this movie was thought about. Every shot had a purpose. And how great to have the wide depth of field of smartphones bring the surrounded architecture into play. Not a shot or a building was wasted.And that's what this is all about. Instead of cinema fillers we have Netflix fillers. Who knows, just like the last time some of them may just turn out to be little gems. Soderbergh knows he'll never win any Oscars for these new b-movies. As did those movie directors of old. But he knows he'll have the freedom to make the films he wants to make and have fun doing it.
Current events in the NBA are prophetically laid out in this concise film that extracts a lot out of it in a run time of 90 minutes. I won't go into spoiler detail but the construction of the plot is unique in many ways and I can't think of another film like it.Some viewers will find it boring because there really isn't any basketball being played. I liked it because of that, because the plot doesn't need it. There is much relevancy on how the media landscape is changing and in turn changing the dynamics of the NBA owner/GM vs players . I'm a big sports fan and I've <more>
noticed this from a long way out. That's the real point of this movie in my opinion.It'll get mixed reviews and probably some 1 votes. That's okay, the message is right on and empowering, and the acting helps convey that. There are some religious plot lines too but it doesn't take away from anything and will add to the story for some viewers. Enjoy!