Michael Jordan’s Playground
March 31, 2016 § Leave a comment
It is about time that I’m getting to Zack Snyder and given the massive mixed responses with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that it is currently getting, I thought to myself on why not look into everything he has directed throughout this year but in a different kind of perspective so while I do dislike Sucker Punch and Man of Steel, I will watch and review those and see if there’s any appreciation to those along with few movies I enjoyed. Now there is not much said about Zack that has already been said since he’s a director whose works have been polarizing one way or another due to his trademarks and storytelling. And he has been compared to Michael Bay in that situation so take a long beloved property and mutated into something that angers its longtime fans is their notable passion and they both give no fuck about it.
But today, I am not taking a look at Zack’s remake of Dawn of the Dead even though I wanted to. Instead, I’m looking at his first work ever which is Michael Jordan’s Playground, a 45-minute short subject devoted to one of the greatest basketball players of NBA and yeah, he is known for that since I did see him play on television in the past as. So depending on the timing, it might be the shortest Zack Snyder-directed movie review I ever did… unless there is so much to look at so let’s see why Playground is one project of his that nobody talked about much.
We start the movie with the most 90s gregorian-style music opening involving a basketball player I ever seen and also what is quite possibly the first montage Zack has ever done (with a bit of Mike’s narration to boot). It then cuts to a montage of his life with photos and footage of the games (again, with his narration). We then cut to many players giving thoughts on him like Magic Johnson and Karl Malone. And after all that, we finally get to the story so this has been an… informative start!
We cut to Varsity Basketball Tryouts and meet up with college basketball players and yeah, it cuts to slow montage of them playing the game. After the game, one of the players Walt (Tyrin Turner) is one of the few people who didn’t get picked for the game and he became disappointed by this. Coach Davidson (Darryl Smith) then explains about Michael Jordan because why not? He talks about it while a montage of him happens to be playing. Following it, he plays alone in the street courts angrily and then all of a sudden, Michael Jordan appears in front of him.
Michael explains to Walt about his life and how he got cut which leads to a footage of him playing one game with narration. More talking heads appear and footage montage follows (and I do apologize if I’m being repetitive but this is what I’m reviewing so let’s see how I survive this). After all that, we return to the street court in which Walt explained he got cut because he got abused and Michael helps him by explaining his time as a rookie (and as you probably guess, montage footage follows). In fact, that’s all what this little movie really is. It’s a tale of a young basketball player learning his lessons from Michael with random montage footage and interviews that explains why he is awesome and it goes like that until the end.
Montage and Interview aside, Walt tells Michael everything about competing, afraid of losing his shot at winning the tryout tomorrow and so on while playing one-on-one. And what does Michael reply in return? He is helping him out and Walt is starting to get confidence so on his second tryout, he plays the game proper and is being congratulate by his coach and other players. And as before the movie ends, we get one more treat – a musical number by Full Force All-Stars with Michael Jordan and others dancing in background and a blooper reel.
Okay, before I talk about the positives and negatives, I would that I got what I came for. Really, I do expect a movie that mixes biographical accounts of a celebrity and a cheesy PSA storyline and this is obviously what I got. I’ve seen this type before and it is informational and teaches anybody to be like Mike (no movie reference pun intended) while getting to know him before he plays Baseball and so on. Now the positive and uh, I think I just explain what I’m watching but I do add one thing – it has an okay library music soundtrack.
And the negatives exists in this since about half of this is directed by Zack Snyder but the other is just archival footage of his plays that’s filmed by others. His trademarks do exists in this and it’s where he got his start. As for it being about Michael Jordan, this is honestly more of a vanity project type than Space Jam but surprisingly, it’s not the only NBA short movie involving him (there are actually others) so unless you want some short biographical video piece of somebody that’s made in the past, it’s best to look the person up in Wikipedia instead. And as for Zack Snyder completest (and yes, they possibly exists), I can agree with them thinking it’s the lesser favorite of his material. Well, at least when I look into his next one, it is a movie that I actually like so yeah, it’s April Fool’s Day and I am somewhat the fool on this one.