Music fans acknowledge that there are album people and there are singles people. (I’m definitely an album person.) Similarly, I think that cinephiles should recognize that there are movie people and movies on TV people. I find the ad-break every ten minutes to be super distracting; I don’t like the way TV shows the same movies over and over; the convenience of stumbling across an old favorite is not worth the trade off of having to watch a version that’s been edited for content. But that’s just me; your mileage may vary.
When I first read about Above the Rim on Grantland, it sounded like something that would be a lot of fun, but I forgot that it was being recommended by movies-on-TV people. I can see why this would be a great movie on cable. Some of the details of the movie are so crazy they are funny, like the opening scene where a guy named Nutso falls to his death after playing basketball on a roof… but there’s also a lot of serious stuff about gang banging that’s less fun. Tupac Shakur’s performance is very captivating… but his character is underused, playing (at best) third fiddle to two lead characters that are less charismatic. A lot of the basketball scenes are fun if you like basketball… but there isn’t enough focus given to the big tournament at the end to give the movie the storyline momentum you want from a sports movie. Having this on in the background while you do something else around the house would be ideal, but I made the mistake of popping in a DVD and watching it straight through.