DVD Reviews | Apr 17th, 2005
Starring Nick Nolte,Mary McDonnell, J.T. Walsh, Ed O’Neill, Shaquille O’Neal, Anfernee ‘Penny’ Hardaway, Matt Nover, Anthony C. Hall, Robert Wuhl
Written By: Ron Shelton
Directed By: William Friedkin
Buy on Amazon.com link
Blue Chips was one of those movies I always watched on cable when it was on. I like a lot of sports movie and what was good about this film was it felt different. It told the story from a different point of view and I liked that.
Blue Chips is about Pete Bell (Nick Nolte) who coaches a college basketball team in some California school. This is his first losing season and the other teams are getting better. The reason college teams are getting better because they are secretly buying their players out of high school. Giving them cars, loads of cash, even houses. Pete Bell is known for running a clean basketball program but times have really changed. There’s pressure on his shoulders to do good this season from some asshole Alumni guy and the many fans the school has. Bell and his associates go on a search to find some great quality b-ball players. They find a young high school student named Butch (Penny Hardaway) who doesn’t know if he wants to move to California. But Pete has to go through his tough mother first and convince her that the school can present the best offer. She wants a new house and job along with Butch getting into the starting lineup. The next guy is from Indiana and is a church-going redneck whose father wants a new tractor. And he wants lots of money if he decides to go to school. The last person Pete finds out about is someone who’s not in high school, but served in the army or whatever, and is freakin’ huge! It’s Shaq! I believe he was on the Orlando Magic with Penny Hardaway when this movie was made. Well Shaq plays Neon, a basketball player from the Bayou. He’s not the smartest apple in the bunch, but he can play basketball. Its funny, they never show Shaq throw a free-throw haha. Pete convinces Neon to come play for him, and get an education and get a decent score on the SATs. Pete’s ex-wife Jenny (Mary McDonnell) helps him out. So Coach Bell gets the three up comers into his program and breaks down and gives them what they want. He now has what he wants, but it may be his career if people find out.
I liked this movie because it tells how things really are. Well, how I think things really go down behind close doors. From watching this, it just seemed like this is what goes down in most professional sports these days. No wonder all these kids are leaving high school and going right into the starting lineup of the NBA. The same thing goes on in the music and movie biz as well. Record labels sending payola and other prizes to DJs to get their crappy shit played on the radio. I know for a fact that happens. But back to the movie, Nick Nolte’s performance was great because it was believable. It looked like he was channeling Bobby Knight in some of those scenes. Bobby Knight also appears in the movie, because Nick Nolte’s team played against his. There was a lot of NBA & college b-ball players, announcers in this movie and it made it even more believable. I think I saw Knick’s Allen Houston in there as well. Is Houston still on the Knicks? I don’t know, I don’t watch basketball that much. The acting of Shaq and Penny were okay, kind of stiff but what do you expect. This isn’t Kazaam after all! That’s one quality film right there folks!
I think the best scene in the movie is when Pete Bell goes ape shit at the end and comes clean with reporters, alumni and everyone there at the press conference. At first it started out playful and him being a wiseass to Ed O Neill’s character, then he just went off on the game and what he had become. Something he never wanted to turn into. Another scene I liked is when Pete is searching for all the players to recruit. For each player, they practice a different religion, so Pete says he is part of that religion just to make them happy. It’s kind of funny. Shaq had some funny moments as well.
If you haven’t seen Blue Chips yet, it’s a good sports movie because it shows the sport in a different light. This movie started Shaq’s brilliant acting career. Yup, that’s sarcasm.
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Favorite Scenes: recruiting players, Pete Bell’s press conference at the end of the film.
Running Time: 107 minutes