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A Great Basketball Movie Arrives

We love documentaries. You could show us a film on banana slug racing and we're in.

Basketball documentaries are unfortunately hit and miss, however, and basketball movies are almost always bad, if only because the actors are usually not credible on the court. The movie about Earl Manigault was dreadful for that reason and it's impossible to do a movie about Wilt Chamberlain if only because not only are there not that many 7-0 actors around, but there are none who are also freakishly athletic.

But they're not always bad. Hoosiers is a touchstone, even though Gene Hackman might not have been the right guy for the role, and we loved the documentary recently on Bob Hurley. And of course there's the magisterial Hoop Dreams, which is brilliant in that it presents morality without forcing it on the viewer.

Anyway, it looks as if you can add one more to the list: the NBA's "The Dream Team" looks to be a real winner. It'll be on again soon, with the TV industry being the way it is today, so search it and set it! Among the interviewees: Coach K.

And one of the great joys of the film is archival footage of the practices.

By the way, speaking of such things, there is a little known movie from the '70s called Inside Moves, starring John Savage, who you may remember from the Deer Hunter.

The movie starts with Savage's character checking into a hotel with the express intention of jumping.

But he lives, although crippled. He finds a home of sorts in a run-down San Francisco bar full of handicapped people who band together.

Basketball is an important theme but not the main one. It's a little gem of a movie, much like Desert Bloom. Both of them force things on you you never see coming from the premise.