By Maggie Trinkle
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Nick Nolte air balls on the ficticious basketball court of Western University in "Blue Chips." Shaquille O'Neal just slam dunks.

Sports movies draw a certain crowd, thus the reason why every person in the "Blue Chips" theater had a ball cap on. But, the crowd will be dissappointed. Even Shaquille O'Neal's grin as he ducks under the doorways doesn't keep the viewer tied to the screen as a sports film should.

A ball game in reality has its own plot where storyline is revealed as the game goes on. Setbacks, rallys and technical fouls are encapsulated into a story of its own. Fans sit with beverage in hand cussing at the calls while entranced by the talent and coordination. A basketball game is the best-oiled movie with no plot flaws. To make a sports movie there can not be any lag in plot. The movie must show the players' talent and coordination, as if film itself played like a

The action shots in "Blue Chips" did not succeed in showing the skill and grace of the ball players. They switched from camera A to camera B for the ficticious games between Western U. and its rivals. As a result, the action scenes seemed watered down, and did not show the ultimate teamwork of finely tuned athletes.

"Blue Chips" takes the same premise as "Hoosiers," a big time coach and how he's fallen. Of all the paths "Blue Chips" could have taken, it ends up copping out and Western U.'s "friends of the program" take control, where money buys the players and recruitment efforts do not. Although the movie sets the viewer up for this, the viewer can't help but feel let down because sports is supposed to be pure _ a time where you break a sweat and hope for the play where everyone is right where they should be for the winning shot.

Shaquille O'Neal's acting far surpassed Larry Bird's in "Blue Chips." For some reason, Bird just seems fake on screen whether it's in a McDonalds commercial or in "Blue Chips." The Shaq and Matt Nover were believable. Their acting ability isn't just because it's a basketball movie and they have been completely typecast. Just look at Larry Bird.

Shaq's performance is realistic off the court too, as in the classroom when he stands up and challenges a teacher saying the class is culturally biased. It was natural sounding like the way the kid behind you in English class might speak.

Sports movies might be the most difficult to pull off. "The Natural" is what it is all about _shattering the lights with a ball after a confrontatation between pitcher and batter; life is not about a slam dunk.

This isn't just an arts reporter reviewing this, 90% of the Sports desk hated it also, with 10% saying they liked it before they'd seen it, just because it's a basketball movie. "Blue Chips" is playing at Century Gateway 12. (792-9000)

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