Monday, March 20, 2006

Shoot it, Fatboy!

It's March Madness, boys! Thank the %$!# Lord it is finally here again! Just kidding. I actually watched a few games or parts of a few games, due in large to the Pot and my psychotic Villanova grad-dad who thinks he and his wife and 5 children actually play for the Wildcats, but that's another story. Anyway, the games were fun and I eat up every opportunity to root for any kind of underdog. I also remembered I kinda liked basketball. Little known fact about Sir Kettle? I was an All-Star on the St. Joseph's CYO team. Seriously. I am 99% certain I embarrassed myself in the All-Star game, however. Anyway, in honor of March Madness, I thought it would be fitting to have a basketball related post, but sticking to my strengths, I would have to put a cinematic spin on it. So without further ado, here is my selection for the best basketball movie ever....


Sorry all you Hoosiers fans. Ditto to any fans of Love and Basketball or Air Bud, god-willing. But those flicks can't quite hold a candle to Teen Wolf, which quite frankly, has it all.

I will review it quickly for those of you who might have forgotten this 80's high-school epic. Scott Howard (a plucky Michael J. Fox) is part werewolf. Except he doesn't know it. His widowed father, interestingly named Harold Howard, never told him and was hoping the werewolf tendency would skip a generation. It didn't. To complicate matters, Scott plays for his very sucky high school basketball team, The Beavers. And his childhood pal Boof (supposably female) has a way obvious crush on Scott.

Then in an amazing scene where underage Scott has to order a keg of beer, he almost morphs into said wolf. Not quite. When playing 7 Minutes in Heaven at a party, he becomes almost entirely wolf-like with Boof in the closet, but only leaves lovebites on her neck (Been there, Boof!) and tears her shirt. Fast forward to another embarrassing Beavers basketball game, and when Scott is jock-deep in a pile of players fighting for a jump ball, he turns full on wolf! As a wolf, Scott is great at basketball and is able to turn the Beavers' season around. Scott and his prankster friend Stiles ride around town in Stiles' van while Scott, as the wolf, breakdances to "Surfin' USA" on top. He even gets a very slutty classmate Pamela Wells to take off her clothes for him in her dressing room!

Things are going great! But Harold Howard is upset that Scott is misusing his powers. Presumably, the ability to turn into a werewolf is only supposed to be used for good. And even Scott is beginning to feel disenchanted with his new found celebrity and mystique.

I am now remembering this post was about basketball, so in the end, Scott and the Beavers are in the big championship game against their arch-rival The Dragons, whose best player Mick (hott!) dates Pamela and has it in for Scott. In an extreme act of bravery and sincerity, Scott decides to play the game as a human, not as a wolf, and low and behold, the Beavers pull out the victory. There are some great moments in the game, including some heavy trash-talking between Scott and Mick, Stiles pumping up the crowd, in typical Stiles fashion, and Boof cheering her heart out with Howard. But the heart of this movie really belongs to Chubby, Scott's 300+ pound friend and teammate, played by Pee-Wee's very own Francis, who scores on a mean right hook from the top of the key and ignites the Cinderella story.

Oh, and Scott chooses Boof... there was a horrendous remake Teen Wolf, Too, starrring Jason Bateman... and a Saturday morning cartoon, which was even worse. But there are some killer songs on the soundtrack, including "Win in the End" by Mark Safan, "Way to Go" by Mark Vieha and "Shooting for the Moon" by Amy Holland.

And I will close with this gem of advice from quintessiential high school coach, Coach Finstock:

There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.
(for more)

Go March Madness.

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