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"LIKE MIKE"
(2002) (Lil Bow Wow, Morris Chestnut) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*Minor None Heavy Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Mild *None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: After being given a pair of old tennis shoes that may have belonged to Michael Jordan, a young orphan suddenly becomes a basketball sensation and joins a pro team.
PLOT:
Calvin Cambridge (LIL BOW WOW) is a young teenage orphan who's been living at the Chesterfield Group Home Orphanage with his friends, including Murph (JONATHAN LIPNICKI) and Reg (BRENDA SONG), and other kids such as Ox (JESSE PLEMONS), the resident bully. Run by Stan Bittleman (CRISPIN GLOVER) and Sister Theresa (ANNE MEARA), the orphanage tries to find homes for the kids, but has a hard time with Calvin and the rest of the older ones.

As luck would have it, Calvin suddenly finds himself in possession of some old, donated tennis shoes that Sister Theresa believes belonged to a famous basketball player in the past. When Calvin spots the initials "MJ" inside them, he wonders if they possibly belonged to NBA star Michael Jordan. Calvin's luck continues when he happens to run into Coach Wagner (ROBERT FORSTER) of the Los Angeles Knights who invites him and his friends to a game.

It's there that Calvin's seat number is picked in a raffle and he's chosen to play in a brief exhibition match of one-on-one with Knights star Tracey Reynolds (MORRIS CHESTNUT). While Reynolds isn't crazy about participating in the publicity stunt arranged by team manager Frank Bernard (EUGENE LEVY), he and everyone else are shocked when Calvin beats him with various shots, including a slam dunk that's all the more amazing since Calvin is only four and a half feet tall.

Nevertheless, Frank and a reluctant Coach Wagner sign Calvin onto their team, and are happy when they suddenly start winning and filling seats. With Calvin partnered with Tracey while on the road, the two become something of an odd couple pairing, but Tracey eventually begins to warm up to having the boy around him. As they take the team closer to the playoffs, Calvin must then deal with his sudden fame, various people who want to undermine his success, and his continual hopes that someone will eventually adopt him.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Lil Bow Wow, anyone else in the cast, or movies dealing with basketball, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For brief mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • LIL BOW WOW plays a young teen orphan who finds his life turned upside down when an old pair of tennis shoes turn him into a basketball sensation. Despite being signed to play with a pro team, he mostly stays grounded and remains close to his friends, all while hoping that a family will adopt him.
  • JONATHAN LIPNICKI and BRENDA SONG play his close friends and fellow orphans.
  • JESSE PLEMONS plays another fellow orphan who's the resident bully who picks on Calvin and the others.
  • MORRIS CHESTNUT plays the pro basketball player who initially wants nothing to do with Calvin (or his own father), but eventually comes around in both regards as he starts to care for the boy.
  • CRISPIN GLOVER plays the man who runs the orphanage with Sister Theresa and initially seems to have Calvin's best interests in mind. Yet, he then turns out to be a greedy and despicable sort who wants to take advantage of the boy for his own financial gain.
  • ROBERT FORSTER plays the pro team's coach who looks out for Calvin and values him and his talents.
  • EUGENE LEVY plays the team's manager who signs Calvin to play with the team in an effort to increase attendance at the games. He uses some brief profanity.
  • ANNE MEARA plays the nun who runs the orphanage with Bittleman.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief look at the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG. The rating comes from profanity and includes a handful of minor expletives, while some colorful phrases are also uttered. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes including a bully and an adult who takes advantage of a boy for his own financial gain.

    Some instances of imitative behavior are present, as is some mild violence (some struggling and some slapstick style material, etc.). A few moments could be a tiny bit suspenseful to younger viewers, some of the film deals with orphaned kids wanting to be adopted, a few women (mostly cheerleaders) are seen in somewhat revealing attire, and a pro basketball player brings a woman back to his hotel room at night (but nothing happens and we don't know their exact intentions).

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs during a thunderstorm.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A family that's prepared to adopt Calvin might be having wine (it looks like it, but it's hard to be sure, especially since Calvin seems to be having some as well - and it could be grape juice, etc.).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Ox has a bad attitude toward Calvin and his friends and comes off as the home's bully.
  • Upon seeing Calving selling candy to raise money for his orphanage, a miscellaneous man tells others not to give money to "a kid like this" stating that it's a scam.
  • Ox tries to take Calvin's shoes from him and then throws them over a power line running above the playground. He later tries to take them again.
  • When Calvin wins a raffle at a game to go down to the court to play with Tracey, Ox tries to take his winning ticket stub from him.
  • Tracey initially has a bad attitude toward playing a short exhibition with Calvin during halftime as well as being his on the road roommate and mentor (but he eventually changes his opinion of Calvin and their relationship).
  • Bittleman turns out to be a greedy man who's only looking out for himself and tries to use Calvin to make money (although he puts on an act for a while about caring about the boy). He also lies to Calvin about not being able to be adopted while he plays for the team (saying that's a clause in the team contract when it really isn't), calls Ox an "idiot," burns Murph's lone picture of his mom to make him say where the magic shoes are, and steals Calvin's shoes so that his team will lose and Bittleman will win a big bet.
  • Tracey tells a white lie to Calvin about not having a father (because he doesn't get along with his dad).
  • Calvin leaves an adoptive family waiting in the parking lot for him (when he's decided he doesn't want them to adopt him anymore).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Wanting to retrieve his shoes that have been thrown some sort of line above the playground, Calvin climbs a tree during a thunderstorm and then inches his way out on a less than sturdy branch toward them (from which he nearly slips), all while lighting strikes around him. While doing so, lighting strikes the utility pole and sends a charge down the line, zapping the shoes and Calvin, and sends him falling to the ground below (but he's otherwise okay).
  • Some kids might not like a scene where Bittleman burns Murph's lone picture of his mom (to make the boy state where Calvin's shoes are).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Hey punk," "Take a number, cuz you're about to be served," "Put some asses in those seats," "You little runt," "In the crapper," "Snotty-nosed kid," "Damn straight," "I can't see squat," "Dang" and "You idiot."
  • Wanting to retrieve his shoes that have been thrown some sort of line above the playground, Calvin climbs a tree during a thunderstorm and then inches his way out on a less than sturdy branch toward them, all while lighting strikes around him.
  • Calvin lets out a loud belch after eating a lot of food.
  • Calvin and Tracey (and later Murph) playfully toss and throw paint onto each other.
  • The kids tape Bittleman to his chair (by running tape around him in it).
  • A kid drives over the top of a car on his motorized scooter.
  • Calvin sends his motorized scooter at Bittleman, hitting and knocking him down.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful and adventurous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Some songs had lyrics that couldn't be understood, thus offering the potential of possible objectionable material in them (but considering the tone of the rest of the film, if anything were present it probably wouldn't be anything too bad).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 damns, 1 ass, 1 variation of crap and 2 uses of "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • On several occasions, we see the team's cheerleaders dancing around in their rather skimpy outfits (sports bra-like tops and short skirts).
  • While we don't know his exact intentions, Tracey brings a woman back to his hotel room late at night (but nothing happens when she sees Calvin there and then fawns over him). That woman, however, shows a lot of thigh in her short skirt as she sits.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Calvin and the other orphans don't have parents but desperately want them.
  • Tracey says that his parents are gone, but we later learn that his father is still alive, although they don't get along and Tracey refuses to talk to him (although he eventually does).
  • Bittleman starts to burn Murph's lone picture of his mom (to make him say where Calvin's tennis shoes are), all while Ox and another boy restrain Murph who's visibly upset by this turn of events.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The life of an orphan and Ox's comment that visiting would-be parents view the older kids as "dogs" and adds that they only want "puppies" (younger kids).
  • Wanting to retrieve his shoes that have been thrown some sort of line above the playground, Calvin climbs a tree during a thunderstorm and then inches his way out on a less than sturdy branch toward them, all while lighting strikes around him.
  • Whether the tennis shoes were magic or if Calvin had the magic inside him all along.
  • How to deal with bullies.
  • VIOLENCE
  • There's some brief tussling between Ox and Calvin, with Ox grabbing him by his jersey.
  • Ox purposefully tears Calvin's basketball jersey while wearing it.
  • Wanting to retrieve his shoes that have been thrown some sort of line above the playground, Calvin climbs a tree during a thunderstorm and then inches his way out on a less than sturdy branch toward them (from which he nearly slips), all while lighting strikes around him. While doing so, lighting strikes the utility pole and sends a charge down the line, zapping the shoes and Calvin, and sends him falling to the ground below (but he's otherwise okay).
  • There's some struggling over Calvin's shoes as Ox tries to take them (with other kids grabbing Murph to keep him away).
  • Some slapstick style material has some people accidentally being knocked over, Calvin accidentally driving a car over some construction signs, the sounds of a car and later a golf cart crashing into something while going backwards, Murph wiping out on his motorized scooter (but is okay), and an out of control vending cart running into a man.
  • Bittleman starts to burn Murph's lone picture of his mom (to make him say where Calvin's tennis shoes are), all while Ox and another boy restrain Murph.
  • The kids tape Bittleman to his chair (by running tape around him in it).
  • Calvin sends his motorized scooter at Bittleman, hitting and knocking him down.



  • Reviewed June 18, 2002 / Posted July 3, 2002

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