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Mainstream - The Longshots

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The Longshots
Ice Cube, Keke Palmer, Tasha Smith
Directed by Fred Durst
Weinstein Company 2008
95 minutes

The Longshots is Rudy meets The Mighty Ducks and The Bad News Bears. This sounds messy but this is an excellent family movie DVD. Although football is center stage in Longshots, you do not have to know anything about or like the game to appreciate a smart, well-told movie that doesn’t always pander to the viewer’s heartstrings. This is a feel good movie but this DVD earns most of the warm fuzzies it generates.

Granted, the musical cues in Longshots are really not subtle but this is this family DVD ‘s one weakness.  Ice Cube (Barbershop, Are We There Yet?) plays Curtis Plummer, a down and out guy who used to be the school’s football star. He ends up having to babysit his niece Jasmine, a shy, bookish girl (she says she’s shy and she is always reading a book). Curtis discovers Jasmine has a great arm for throwing the football, gets her on the local football team where she becomes the star quarterback.

The once down and out team’s success picks up the spirits of the down and out small town of Minden the Josephs live in. Of course, Jasmine has to overcome all the prejudice about being a girl quarterback and so on.

Keke Palmer is great as Jasmine the quarterback. She has both the spunk and femininity needed for the character. It is nice to see Garrett Morris (Saturday Night Live) back on the screen as the reverend.

There is little in The Longshots that is not predictable, especially if you are an adult, but this family movie does have a few original moments here and there. Predictable or not, this is a fun, intelligent movie that tells a good story.

People who like a positive message in their family oriented DVD will find more than a few here: overcoming adversity, doing your best, believing in yourself, being true to who you are: they are all there.

The Longshots is a keeper if you have been looking for a really good football based warm movie.

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