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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Sports > Basketball > 1 Love (Basketball)

1 Love: A Tribute to Basketball in America


Picture: B- ††††Sound: B- ††††Extras: D ††††Film: B-



Basketball, in some form or another, has existed for over a century and its strength in America in unsurpassed by any other country.† It is the one sport that America has always dominated in, well considering strong players from other countries comes here to play similar to hockey, but thatís just minor detail.† What basketball started out to be and what it has become are very opposite though.† It has, for the most part, been a game dominated by the African American population in its last 20-30 years, but was not always that way.† Nor was it always the business that it has become, with multi-millionaires abounding.† Needless to say just about every sport has become this way, including hockey, baseball, and football.† Nothing seems quite as political though as the basketball business though, which starts out in local high schools then goes onto college and then finally pro.†


The question then at hand it whether these players truly love the sport or if itís just the money that goes with the sport.† While some players might initially have every intention of solely making it about a passion of theirs corruption always seems to set in even for those who try to resist it.† There have been very few insights into this sport with the most recognized being Hoop Dreams, the powerful 1994 documentary, which follows the lives of two African American boys on their pursuit of the big leagues.†


The majority of this documentary rests with the interviews of some of the top players in the game such as Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.† Directed by Leon Gast, the acclaimed director of When We Were Kings, comes forth another strong documentary, but as passionately directed and thought out as this seems, itís a little to hard to swallow for the millions of hard working average Americanís who know that these players are making millions and millions of dollars doing something so simple.† Yes, basketball does require skill, but the world is not changed by such a game.† We pay doctors a lot less to save lives than a man to dribble a ball every couple of days.†


Believe it or not, this DVD from Paramount has been issued with a Dolby 5.1 mix, which works well despite it being an interview based documentary.† Music and other ambient noises fill the surrounds making it a more special mix than a stereo mix would have ever garnered.† The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 widescreen transfer mixes footage from all over and mattes most of the material.† Overall, this release has raised the bar over what most material like this received when issued onto DVD.† The picture only suffers from the fact that some of the material is dated and analog sourced.† Nevertheless the presentation holds up well.



-†† Nate Goss


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