Monday, July 8, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 153


 
 









 
Bow Wow scores big in ‘Mikei

By Andrew Beard
The Daily Cougar

Are you noticing a new trend in Hollywood? Every other week, it seems another music star leaps onto the big screen with little or no
acting experience. The onslaught of this trend recently brought us Glitter, On the Line, Crossroads and The Wash. It continues next
year with iNSyncis Grease 3 and Brittany Spearsi untitled NASCAR project.

You might notice that none of these films do well at the box office. So why do production companies continue to produce such
projects?

The answer is simple. No matter how badly the movie flops, itis guaranteed to make money. The production cost is low because of
the recording artistis asking price.

Although well known in the music world, musicians canit point to their resume and say, "I was in Saving Private Ryan, which made
$160 million, so I want $15 million for my next picture." 

Instead, the artist trades a low salary for the opportunity to promote a new album, fashion line or whatever else they want. The studio
then sells product placement advertisements to sprinkle throughout the film, and before itis even released, the movie has made
millions.

All that aside, Like Mike is entertaining, largely because of the efforts of Lil Bow Wow (excuse me, itis just Bow Wow). He plays
orphan Calvin Cambridge, a dreamer who claims "Every orphan has a destiny, and that destiny is to have a family." As drippy as that
may sound, Bow Wow does a good job of keeping it genuine.

Cambridge and his best friend Murph, played by Jonathan Lipnicki, whose driveris license will say "that kid from Jerry Maguire," sell
candy to exiting patrons at Los Angeles Knightsi basketball games. They donit do it because they want to, but because the
Mussolini-style head of their orphanage makes them.

This is a funny cliché in movies. Are there no nice orphanage owners? Why are Gestapo tactics used to get kids to go to sleep?

One night the coach of the Knights spots Calvin and gives him four seats to the next game. The night before, Calvin discovers a pair
of shoes once worn by a famous basketball player with the initials "MJ" on the tongue.

During a halftime contest, Calvin realizes he has magic shoes (not the kind Forrest Gump wore) that help him dunk over his idol. 

Director John Schultz deserves credit for the scene as the entire crowd and Calvin remain stunned for several seconds. Isnit that
what would happen if a kid dunked in front of 30,000 people?

Midway through the film, the director clouds the story with musical montages, product placements and a few references to the plot.
Most of it has been done before, but Bow Wow spills his energy onto the crowd.

Unfortunately, the ending is predictable. As usual, this reviewer wonit reveal too much, but if youive seen Angels in the Outfield, you
have a cheat sheet to Like Mike.
 
 
 

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