Sunday, May 19, 2024

30 for 30: The Luckiest Guy in the World (2023) movie review.

Walton’s life story is in excellent hands with director James, who has a rare touch for sports and the people who play them (“Hoop Dreams,” “Prefontaine”). On long drives, James reflects on specific games with those who shared the spotlight with Walton, especially when Walton reached the NBA Finals with the Blazers in ’77, and later the Celtics in ’86. But the interest in this formal but compelling project is mostly about emotional memorabilia, and so we’re treated to a plethora of memorabilia from his peers like Larry Bird, Abdul Jabbar, World B. Free and others. James creates the kind of reunions where friends, family and teammates are one and the same, and anecdotes abound. It makes you cringe to hear what was released off the record, but in this rare instance, it’s clear nothing bad was said about Walton.

James describes this career on the court in loving detail, with a heavy focus on his emotional meltdown when leg and knee injuries began sidelining him for hundreds of games in total, while contracts ensured he made money in the process. . The documentary doesn’t show how a bicycle-riding hippie could also become the highest-paid player at the time, but it touches on the emotional core of how those deals didn’t make up for Walton’s lack of play, and the guilt from frustration. of teammates, is easier to accept. In less cheerful moments, Walton has a seriousness to the camera that hints at how he felt during his darkest years.

Throughout James’ run, Walton has been wearing tie-dye shirts, proclaiming a love for the Grateful Dead that has been abiding and soulful. He discovered the music of Jerry Garcia and company while rising as a basketball phenom and has only sought to transmit the vibes. (“Bill turned us all into Grateful Dead fans,” notes Larry Bird.) And the band helps tell its story: James lays a whole stack of Grateful Dead songs over footage of Walton playing and sets up a frame of complete for doctor’s pictures. typical photo driven sections. As “The Luckiest Man Alive” goes back and forth through his career, highlights teammates like Maurice Lucas, and shows Walton’s rocker-themed bedrooms, the presence of the dead here becomes instructive. This four-hour documentary is jamming, man.

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HomeReviews30 for 30: The Luckiest Guy in the World (2023) movie review.

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