BLUE CHIPS (1994)









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Brief Movie Synopsis [courtesy of The Internet Movie Database]:

A college basketball coach breaks the rules in order
to get the players he needs to stay competitive.






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REVIEWS:






ANOTHER ONE:



"Nick Nolte is outstanding as college basketball coach Pete Bell in 1994's excellent sports movie 'Blue Chips', which includes some of the best and most realistic on-the-court hoops action ever filmed. This one and 1986's 'Hoosiers' are my two personal favorites in this 'basketball' genre. ....
I find myself watching the opening scene of this film over and over again, which is a scene that has Coach Bell storming into the locker room multiple times and throwing a series of tantrums as he chews out his inept team -- and this is BEFORE that night's game even begins! .... The 'tantrum' scene in the locker room is followed by the movie's opening credits, which are accompanied by some great-sounding band music. .... Some people probably find this movie's ending to be somewhat contrived and unrealistic. But I like the end of the film very much. I think it fits Coach Bell's persona and utter love for the game of basketball quite well. It's a simple and pure love for the game that won't be defeated, even by what occurs just prior to that closing act in the movie. I had not even realized that one of my favorite movie directors, William Friedkin ('The Exorcist' and
'The French Connection'), had directed this movie until I watched a biography on Friedkin's career a few years ago. When I learned of that news, I knew I wanted to see 'Blue Chips'. And I'm glad I did."

-- David Von Pein; October 2006







"William Friedkin, who directed 'Blue Chips' from [Ron] Shelton's screenplay, obviously loves basketball. Together, they give 'Blue Chips' a vigor that works well even for the sports-impaired, and that keeps the film scrappy and exciting almost all the way through. Only late in the game do they make an unforgivable mistake. 'Blue Chips' falls apart when the film makers, figuratively speaking, haul their soapbox right onto the court. Most of the time, 'Blue Chips' is too energetic to sound self-righteous. And indeed, it begins at fever pitch. Pete Bell (Nick Nolte), one of those fanatically dedicated coaches most often found in the movies, starts off by browbeating his players so savagely that Pete looks ready to burst an artery. What this is supposed to mean is that Pete really cares about his college athletes. What it also means is that no matter how much he cares (i.e., screams), he can't make them good enough to win. .... The film's realistic elements include a lot of bona fide college players, who make the action scenes suitably intense. Other real sports figures like Bob Cousy and Larry Bird heighten the mood. .... Mr. Friedkin's direction is so brisk and taut that it's bound to appeal to the Boston Celtics, with whom (according to the production notes) he has worked out for each of the last 17 years. They're sure
to ask him back for another season."

-- Excerpt from The New York Times; February 18, 1994







"['Blue Chips'] contains a certain amount of basketball, but for once here's a sports movie where everything doesn't depend on who wins the big game. It's how they win it. .... What [Director William] Friedkin brings to the story is a tone that feels completely accurate; the movie is a morality play, told in the realistic, sometimes cynical terms of modern high-pressure college sports. .... And at the end of the film, after the coach makes his decision and the final credits are rolling up the screen, we reflect that 'Blue Chips' projects a certain cynicism even in the midst of its bedrock morality. The message seems to be that although one man can take a stand, the system has been too
corrupt for too long to change."

-- Roger Ebert; February 18, 1994




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