HOW NOT TO PLAY BASKETBALL 101- THE ONE WHERE HALLE BERRY TRIES TO PLAY BASKETBALL…

Basketball, as a sport through the lense of a camera, is a difficult art to master. Some scenes capture the flow and rhythm of a game, with all its starts and stops along the way culminating in a final shot. Some dive into the small idiosyncracies and traits of individuals in a casual pick-up setting, warts and all, a pretty good indicator of their real-life personality. Some others reflect the furious back and forth, aggression and chippiness that comes when there’s more than just a game* to be played.

And then there is this scene, from the immortal superhero movie Catwoman

Just for context Patience (Berry) and Tom (Benjamin Bratt) have decided to catch up for a date**, and a basketball is the catalyst for sexual tension/chemistry or what ever the fuck was depicted in the above scene. Oh god, I don’t even know where to start with this atrocity exhibition, so we’ll break it down second by second.


0:00-0:06. We enter the scene with characters talking about how much they work in their day to day lives. Patience has been described by her friend as “fun deficient”? What does that even mean? I’ve heard of iron deficiencies, calcium deficiencies, but someone being “fun deficient”? If any of your friend tell you that you’re “fun deficient”, they

1. Have a terrible command of the english language

2. Probably trying to cover up their “fun deficiencies” tenfold, so if you get a chance EXPOSE THEM, DRAG THEM!!! THEIR COMMAND OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND SENTENCE STRUCTURE IS WACK!

0:08-0:16. A kid then approaches and asks them if they want to play one on one. Seriously? In the history of pickup or shootaround basketball, has anyone approached you and asked you and your friend to play against each other, with their ball, like some lowkey shady voyeur??? I await your response…

0:18-0:23. Patience gets the ball, and attempts to recreate, what in her mind is some Skip to my Lou Rucker Park ball skills, but in actuality is closer to grade 7 Bundamba basketball stadium street SKILLZ!

0:25-0:33. Everything appears to be following the “trying mad hard to impress BAE” routine, until shit hits the fan… or the wall. SHE DOES A FUCKING WALLRUN!!! Why can’t this movie just follow societal norms as in dribble the ball up and down in a smooth, continuous motion, instead of this fucking edgy parkour bullshit? When was the last time you ran up a wall to show-off to a prospectus partner? If you didn’t quite see it, I positioned my index finger on top of my thumb and formed a circle…

0:33–0:38. Patience sheepishly shrugs and says “I haven’t done that since I was a kid”. Other lines that could’ve been added to this terrible scene…

“I guess I’m just FELINE myself ”
 “I can has basketballs”
 “I’ve improved LEAPS and BOUNDS since I was a child”
 “NYANYANYANYANNNYAAAANNYANNYANNYANYANYAAANYANYAN”
 “I guess you could say I’ve got nine lives… Plus no fundamentally sound understanding of the rules and regulations of basketball”

Take your pick…

0:38-0:52. Jackets are removed and business is about to start. Detective Tom starts dribbling incoherently, marking another favourite tradition of watching hollywood actors attempting to play sports.

Although this has nothing to do with this scene, Tom Cruise is the creator of the unintentionally hilarious actors portraying sporty types in movies. He’s got jockeyed off the ball in soccer, shooting free throws, and the scientology sidearm pitch when playing catch. He does get a pass on this scene, but I can’t comment on whether the net is FIVB approved, him being 4'2 and I’m pretty sure I saw a net touch in there at some point. However, he gets awarded no points for this attempt at seeming like he is in control of his motor skills, when in fact its L.Ron Hubbard wearing Tom Cruise’s skin, to put us all off the scent of the trail. Nice try Mr Hubbard, you’re not fooling me anytime soon…

0:52–1:17. So the next 25 or so seconds is this weird twilight zone where sexual tension is meant to building between these two characters, but instead we get this choppy, dysfunctional scene where the camera cuts at almost every bounce of the ball, but instead of it being a private intimate moment, there is about a hundred kids who come out of nowhere and surround the two lovebirds. We get a scene of Patience dribbling and twerking at the same time which should be added as an asterisk whenever we rate “FHM’s 1oo Sexiest Women In The World 2003” being given to Halle Berry, which means that FHM*** didn’t watch this movie… Shock horror.

1:18–1:25 FINALLY THEY GET A STUNT DOUBLE!!! Except instead of Sly Stallone’s immortal Cliffhanger, its a fucking one on one basketball game. A severe lack of this move makes the scene kinda invalid, but I digress…

1:27–1:31 All of a sudden, Patience from out of the stationary dribble fucking leaps from the three point line and YAMS it on detective Tom with no regard for human life, before landing cowgirl style to build this immense tension. I mean, did the director and editor even watch a basketball game before? I had to look him up on wikipedia to find out who he was. Get this… HE’S FRENCH AND HIS NAME IS PITOF! ONE WORD NAME! WHAT COULD BE MORE FRENCH THAN THAT???

After looking through his directorial credits, it seems as though he’s been blacklisted from Hollywood, not getting a call up for any big movies since Catwoman which is fair enough because he blacklisted my soul after I decided to sit through every single minute of his movie. I guess he deserve a pass in some ways because he did manage to put Halle Berry into tight leather which resulted in this…

HOT TAMALE! CAROLINA PEPPER FUEGO ALERT! So you’re alright with me Pitof, kudos to you in bringing to life many boyhood fantasies and anxieties over this immaculate body created by God… But your movie is Mariana Trench levels of bad…

1:37–1:43 After awkwardly pausing to gaze into each other’s eyes, visually undressing them with a glazed over look that best could be described as “WHY ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH DID MY AGENT RECOMMEND ME TO BE IN THIS CLUSTERFUCK OF HUMANITY???”, the kid asks “can we have our ball back” which in reality has the tone of “WHERE IS THE EYE BLEACH?”. Our two heroes then look into each others eyes before Tom looks at Patience and coos “you don’t seem that fun deficient to me after all…”. FUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKK ME, BOTH OF YOU MAYBE DESERVE EACH OTHER WITH YOUR INCOMPREHENSIBLY BAD MOTOR SKILLZZZ AND TERRIBLE ATTEMPTS AT BEING SEDUCTIVE. WHY DID I HAVE TO HEAR “FUN DEFICIENT” BEING UTTERED EVER? CAN WE JUST GO TO THE PART WHERE HALLE BERRY STRIPS DOWN TO NEXT TO NOTHING SO I CAN GET MY FIX AND THEN CLOSE THE BROWSER (watches the rest of the movie) nope, nothing to see here folks…

So there you have it. One of the worst basketball scenes, from one of the worst movies ever made. We are now dumber for having watched it, and even dumber for having read this.

FIN

*Losing Tupac didn’t hurt what was a fantastical musical legacy, but cut short a burgeoning acting career too. He was the first rapper turned movie star, even before Will Smith, paving the way for guys like Mos Def, Ice Cube and Ludacris. At least we have Above the Rim and Juice to remember his acting legacy, but it hurts the heart to think what could’ve been a storied movie career, cut far far too short…

**I still don’t understand why on earth a first date should take place at your place of work, on a lunch break, minding a fuckton of kids. Alarm bells should’ve been screaming CRAZY CAT LADY (forgive the appropriate wording) to this schmuck…

***Man, culture always comes in cycles ya feel? I can’t wait for Zoo, Ralph and FHM to make big comeback in the early 2020’s… It’s going to happen and you read it here first!
#Allearly2000softcoremagsmatter