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Longshots 

"Our neighbourhood is filled with crack, and the CIA won't take it back," Ice Cube raps on his new album Raw Footage. But where's the link between the street tales of this self-proclaimed west coast war lord and his penchant for family movies like The Longshots? Today, Cube is probably much closer to being his kids' football coach than someone who has to walk near crack addicts. But it's Cube's ability to handle both roles with sincerity that makes it feel like he's not scamming either audience. Still, Cube must be a very good sport to take direction from Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst on a movie that views black domestic life through the prism of a syrupy 1950s Disney melodrama. The problem is that Durst's effort to be inspiring misses the emotion of both his and Cube's music: Its empowerment isn't fueled by anger. Nothing much is at stake as bookish Jasmine (Keke Palmer) is put on a football team by her deadbeat uncle (Cube). Palmer (so good in Akeelah and the Bee) is poorly directed, and the game scenes generate no thrills. Ice Cube's had prouder moments, even playing this family circuit. (MP)

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Vol 24, No 39
February 23, 2017

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