In the spirit of
Chanukah, Hanukkah, Hanukah and Christmas, we are going to dive into the two greatest religiously/ethnically charged basketball movies that Disney has produced. Of course I am referring to The Luck of the Irish and Full Court Miracle.
The Luck of the Irish is described on IMDB.com as “A teenager must battle for a gold charm to keep his family from being controlled by an evil leprechaun.” Kyle Johnson must navigate through some tough obstacles and figure out his heritage, while at the same time leading his basketball team to a middle school state championship (do those exist?).
Full Court Miracle is described on IMDB.com as “An African American college basketball star becomes the head coach of a yeshiva’s struggling basketball team in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after a knee injury forces him to leave the game. Based on the true story of Lamont Carr.” This intrigues me because I’m pretty sure the movie was about Alex Schlotsky leading a terrible team with the help of an NBA player. Anyways, Schlotz has a dream to be a champion, and will do anything and everything to make it happen.
So, the question is, who ya got? What’s the better movie? Take into consider the following 4 factors and figure it out for yourself.
We all know Kyle Johnson is a stud. I mean, he’s the popular kid in 8th grade who is the best player in the state. He is described as the luckiest kid in the world, often finding money on the street and guessing correctly on his tests. Pretty sweet. Plus, he allegedly never misses jump shots and has a black best friend. Just killin it on all levels. Even more, he’s got a crush on a half black half Spanish chick who also happens to have a crush on him. What a stud.
Alex Schlotsky is the best player on a struggling team full of the worst athletes ever. To make things worse, one of his teammates leads the league in technical fouls. I’m torn here, because on the one hand its pretty easy to be the best player on this team, and it’s almost a given that his stats will be inflated just due to the fact that no one else does anything. But, on the other hand, the dedication and determination to make the team better is heartwarming and definitely earns him some brownie points. He loves Dr. J and The Answer, so I kinda dig that.
Edge: Kyle Johnson. Schlotz can’t compete with that kind of swag. Lotta heart, not much swag.
Kyle has to battle Seamus McTiernan in a series of traditional Irish games such as hurling, throwing a giant wheel and some sort of field goal kicking competition. He’s kind of a douche, grown men shouldn’t be taking advantage of 8th graders just for some gold necklace. He almost pulls it off…except it’s a Disney movie so Kyle pulls out the W. Seamus gets what he deserves…no one wants to be banished for ever to Lake Eerie. I mean, when you climb out of it, you’re in Cleveland. Yikes.
Tyler is the d-bag best player in the city who rolls deep with black kids and tall kids. Unlike Schlotz, Tyler is the best player on a good team. He’s got one of those vibes that screams, “no one actually likes me but I’m kinda good at basketball so no one says anything.” Not a good look. He led the charge on trying to stall the game and run the energy out, thus winning the game by default. He should’ve manned up and won the game straight up, but he’s a douche. He also screamed out when Schlotz was shooting a free throw. Gotta respect the game bro.
Edge: Tyler. Both guys are huge d-bags, but Tyler is the bigger one. Can’t give off that kinda vibe, with a stacked team of kids who can basically dunk, and lose to Schlotz and the boys. Gotta walk the walk #nawimsayin?
Lamont Carr is a former All-American from the University of Virginia. Due to two bum knees he was thrown off the path to NBA stardom. For some reason he decided to go to Philly and just “get a call from the Sixers.” Right. Anyways, he gets the whole “giving back to my community” by coaching some kids at a Jewish school. Then, after a friendly game of one on one with NBA journeyman Jerome Williams, gets a 10 day contract. He told Schlotz that he averaged a triple double in the CBA, so dude’s got game. I’m pretty sure he’s a guard, so 10 boards a game in the CBA should get him more than a 10 day contract. Whatevs. Dude can ball.
Russell Halloway (no relation to Natalee) plays second fiddle to Kyle, and while he is the second best player on the team, I’m not seeing the skills. He is shown a few times missing lay ups and stuff. His overbearing dad might be the problem, but with a BFF like Kyle, you gotta step your game up and get on his level. Props for him sticking by Kyle during the Irish challenges, but overall I’m pretty hung up that he’s not better at basketball.
Edge: Lamont Carr. It’s not that Carr has NBA level talent and Halloway doesn’t…it’s just that Halloway kinda sucks. Lamont Carr is ill. Russell Halloway isn’t. Moving on.
Random Basketball Moment that Doesn’t Make Any Sense
Too often, Disney will overlook things that just wouldn’t happen in real life. Kinda like that time the blonde twin travels in the final moments of the game. Both of these movies have their moments.
In The Luck of the Irish, in one of the first scenes, Kyle wins the game by diving and slapping the ball 30 feet for a perfect swish. Ok guy. In Full Court Miracle, the refs just stand by idly while Tyler and the Warriors take a 3 minute time out. They are actually shown just standing there with their foot on the ball, for 3 minutes. Like really?
Edge: Two pretty ridiculous moments. I gotta give the edge to The Luck of the Irish, because it’s kinda like they didn’t even try to make it realistic. In Full Court Press, you wouldn’t really notice the refs if you weren’t truly paying attention. In The Luck of the Irish, everyone knows it’s an absurd play. Kinda feels like the director is playing a joke on us, and I’m ok with that.
Welp, according to my scientific study, we got ourselves a tie. This makes sense, since these are two phenomenal movies. I suppose I’m going with my gut, but I gotta say that The Luck of the Irish is the better movie. It’s a classic, and arguably one of the best Disney Channel Original Movies ever made, not just a great basketball movie. Kyle is such a stud, and had the presence of mind to banish his enemy to Cleveland. His best friend is black, and is tappin a half black half Spanish chick. The dude has it going on. Schlotz puts up a great fight, and I love that movie, but in the end, The Luck of the Irish kills it. Great flick.
One last note: Why the hell didn’t Kyle’s parents tell him they were Irish? I really never got that. I understand that they are leprechauns but like in this day and age you can’t get by just being American. Heritage is a part of the deal. No one is just American…gotta be something. Also, how dumb is he to not figure it out? Check the internet bro.
– Ya Boy
Clip of the Day: