Film Review: “Uncle Drew”

Starring:  Kyrie Irving, Lil Rel Howery and Shaquille O’Neal
Directed by:  Charles Stone III
Rated:  PG 13
Running time:  1 hour 43 mins

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Lew Alcindor.  Nate Archibald.  Wilt Chamberlain.  Dr. J.

All of these basketball legends got their start by playing in Rucker Park in New York City.  But they all pale in comparison to the greatest streetball player ever…Uncle Drew.

Our story begins on the famous basketball court as it is being prepared for the 50th Anniversary Tournament.  Dax (Howery) is the coach of a team entered and he’s got a secret weapon – a big man named Casper (Aaron Gordon).  Dax goes out of his way to let Casper know he is loved, not wanting to lose him to a flashier (or better) coach.  Dax was, at one time, a promising basketball player, but an incident during a championship game, when a potential game-winning shot was blocked, his round-ball Karma hasn’t been very good.  And it gets worse when his girlfriend kicks him out and Casper runs to a team coached by Mookie (an obnoxious Nick Kroll).  At his wits end, Dax has a chance run-in with the infamous Uncle Drew.  He convinces him to get his original team together to play for chance to be the champs.  Go Moneys!

I don’t know why, but basketball players make good actors.  Michael Jordan in “Space Jam.”  Ray Allen in “He Got Game.”  Kareem Abdul Jabbar in “Airplane.”  Lebron James in “Trainwreck.”  Now you can add to the list current Boston Celtic Kyrie Irving.  Playing a character 40-plus years older than he is, Irving gives a strong, soulful performance.  And he is joined by fellow former superstars Chris Webber, Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Aloysius Miller (for some reason, whenever I speak of Reggie Miller I like using his full name), Nate Robinson and Lisa Leslie.  On the non-athletic side Howery, who was so good as the TSA employed pal in “Get Out,” continues his good performance streak here.

But the film is about more than basketball.  It’s about family and friendship, and when those values are discussed the film jumps to another level.  And basketball fans in the know will enjoy the humor (C. Webb’s character is reminded often that there are no “time outs” left, Shaq gets to call a fellow teammate that hogs the ball “Kobe”).  What I found funniest was that, even though past great players like Michael Jordan are referred to often, there is not one mention of Irving’s former teammate, Lebron James.  An error of omission or a quiet dig?  Either way, it’s funny.

Awesome Drew Struzan Inspired Poster Released for “Ready Player One”, in theaters March 29.

An adventure too big for the real world. #ReadyPlayerOne in theaters March 29.

FACEBOOK (@ReadyPlayerOne) |

TWITTER (@ReadyPlayerOne) |

INSTAGRAM (@ReadyPlayerOne) |


 From filmmaker Steven Spielberg comes the science fiction action adventure “Ready Player One,” based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name, which has become a worldwide phenomenon.

The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse.  But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance).  When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world.  When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.

Three-time Oscar winner Spielberg (“Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan”) directed the film from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline.  “Ready Player One” was produced by Donald De Line, Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah; with Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris deFaria and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers.

“Ready Player One” stars Tye Sheridan (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Mud”), Olivia Cooke (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” “Bates Motel”), Ben Mendelsohn (“Rogue One – A Star Wars Story,” “Bloodline”) and T.J. Miller (“Deadpool,” “Silicon Valley”), with Simon Pegg (the “Star Trek” movies, the “Mission: Impossible” movies) and Oscar winner Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “Dunkirk”).

Behind the scenes, Spielberg reunited his creative team from “Bridge of Spies,” including Oscar-winning director of photography Janusz Kaminski (“Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan”), Oscar-winning production designer Adam Stockhausen (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”), Oscar-winning editor Michael Kahn (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark”) and Sarah Broshar (“The Post”), and costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone (“Moonrise Kingdom”).  The music is by Oscar-nominated composer Alan Silvestri (the “Back to the Future” films, “Forrest Gump”).

Warner Bros. Pictures and Amblin Entertainment present, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, an Amblin Production, a De Line Pictures Production, a Steven Spielberg Film, “Ready Player One.”

Slated for release beginning Thursday, March 29, 2018, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.


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Book Review “The Art of Drew Struzan”

Author: Drew Struzan & David J. Schow
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: September 14, 2010

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

If you are reading this review, you shouldn’t be…simply go out and buy this book. This is one of the best “The Art of” book that I have ever read. He is the artist behind some of the most iconic posters of our time. He is also well known for his classic work with both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Just to name a few of the amazing posters he has done before we go into it more below, “Back to the Future”, “Jurassic Park” and “Indiana Jones” are just a few. We had the privilege of interviewing Drew Struzan in person for this book and he is just such an amazing guy and a legend of his time. You can check out the interview here.

The book starts of with of course one of my favorite “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. What I also have mentioned yet is that this isn’t just poster book. Drew has included personal recollections from each poster and its creation process. There is no empty space on these pages. “John Carpenter’s The Thing” is one of my favorite posters ever and Drew gives some really great background on the poster. “Back to the Future” series gets some serious attention in this book as well provided dozens of variant posters at different stages of completion. Honestly a dream for movie fans to see this work. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” also gets an amazing send off from Drew. One of my recent favorites of his posters though has to be “Hellboy”. It is such an amazing poster that Drew has even done a step-by-step DVD showcasing his work on this poster. Obviously I only scratched the surface on this book and I didn’t cover everything, it will just have to make you go and find out for yourself what other greats are included in here.

I have seen many poster books before but this is definitely something more than that for sure. It takes a look into Struzan’s poster artwork upfront but then goes down in depth into his process. Each poster that is included also with alternate and/or partial finished pieces of the same art. The foreword alone is worth the purchase of the book by Frank Darabont. It is a great send off to Drew Struzan and their collaboration. Drew worked on the following of Darabont’s films including “The Mist”, “The Green Mile” and “The Shawshank Redemption”. Poster and movie fans a lot this is a MUST purchase. If you own it already go out and buy one for your friends.

Book Review “Drew Struzan: Oeuvre”

Author: Drew & Dylan Struzan
Hardcover: 314 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: October 4, 2011

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

If you aren’t aware of the work Drew Struzan, first I suggest picked last year amazing release “The Art of Drew Struzan”. Drew Struzan has created artwork for over 150 movie posters, including “Star Wars”, Indiana Jones” and “Harry Potter”. This book features an additional 250 pieces of art and doesn’t just keep it to movie posters either. It covers movies, record albums, books, comics, stamps and even trading cards. It includes right up-to-date pieces of Struzan’s work including “Walking Dead” and “Cowboys and Aliens” but also of course some of the classics. What I like most about this release specifically is that it includes quite a bit of material that has never been published prior, including some of his personal work.

I feel that this book is a little more personal than “The Art of Drew Struzan”. This one really delves into the man, Drew Struzan, and his work. The first section deals with “Music” ranging from Alice Cooper to “Beauty and the Beast” and the works of John Williams. Next we comes to movies which is my personally favorite section. What I like most is the Struzan did a lot of variant posters that were never used like “Cowboys and Aliens”, since it shows the alien in the poster (sort of). I think it would have made for much better poster. Being a “Star Wars” geek though, the different drawings from that series are truly my favorite pieces of work. What makes this book unique is the commercial and personal works included ranging from portraits of the late Princess Diane to MAD Magazines to female portraits and abstracts. You can really see his range of work and explores some of the not so well known drawings.  This book covers it all.

The book is co-authored by Drew’s wife Dylan and they have been married for over 40 years, which is huge. Also you have to understand if you are married, a wife has a huge influences on their spouses work and I am sure she had her had in many of his famous works. The foreword is done by Drew’s longtime friend and collaborator George Lucas…that’s right THE George Lucas. He really gives a great send off for Struzan’s work and this book. Overall if you follow Drew’s work and are a fan of REAL posters not today’s photoshopped terrors than this is a no-brainer.