High Flying Bird

2019

Drama / Sport

146
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 4,263

Synopsis


Downloaded 14,847 times
June 8, 2019

Cast

André Holland as Ray Burke
Kyle MacLachlan as Ray Winter
Sonja Sohn as Myra
Zachary Quinto as David Starr
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
769.24 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
90 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.45 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
90 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bennyantlang 8 / 10 / 10

This Is Not A Basketball Movie, It's Much More

There is very little basketball to be seen here - in fact I think there's only one scene where any characters actually play ball. But that lack of on-court action is the very point & purpose of the movie; the plot is driven by an NBA lockout wherein the players are being denied the opportunity to play the sport they love (and get paid for it), all because the "Powers That Be" feel they aren't making enough money from it themselves. This is a very real issue in modern sport, and this film seeks to confront many aspects of it; from the rich insular Establishment of western societies in general, to the very concept of human endeavour becoming a commodity for profit. And as the majority of NBA players are black and the owners white, the movie doesn't shy away from the issue of race either. Comparisons with slavery may seem heavy-handed, but the reality is that these black athletes' livelihoods are completely at the mercy of rich white men; their blood & sweat turned into dollars to fill their owners' pockets. These are big, political issues atypical of your standard sports movie - anyone expecting a "gutsy underdog" story or a heartwarming tale of redemption through hard work & team spirit, will be sorely disappointed. This film is all about social commentary and witty dialogue, and the intentionally-underwhelming ending is clever yet pragmatic. There's no Rudy or Coach Carter to be found here; the central character has lofty ideals, but realistic expectations - he knows he's always playing someone else's game, and the rules are rigged against him. High Flying Bird feels real, modern and urgent, in stark contrast to the feel-good dreamy nostalgia of most sports movies. Soderbergh makes his point well, and always delivers technical excellence in his filmmaking, so your appreciation of this film will depend entirely upon how interested you are in the issues it presents. But it feels like something of a landmark moment in the sports movie genre.

Reviewed by screenotes 8 / 10 / 10

Small camera, big issues

Soderberg's latest experimentation with the iPhone focuses on a struggling idealistic player agent during an NBA "lockout". You may wonder how so small a camera manages to capture or at least replicate the drama of fast-paced sporting action, particularly the pinnacle grandstand moment of that ole rags to riches sports tale. Without spoiling anything, let me tell you it doesn't. Or more to the point, High Flying Bird is less concerned with the sport of basketball itself than it is with "The game on top of the game". Instead of an arena, the game is played out in offices and instead of action, there is dialogue. Considering the constrained budget and production schedule, it is a testament to the cast and to the screenplay that the film holds together at all. And yet it does. The performances are naturalistic while the story moves along at pace, generally eschewing exposition. In keeping its focus narrow, centring on a small cast of characters, Tyrell Alvin McCraney's screenplay cuts to the core of issues of race and power in the NBA without a whisper of melodrama. In fact, considering the wider story it is telling High Flying Bird remains upbeat and inherently promotes a message of positivity. High Flying Bird will not be for everyone, it could be accused of being a little dry. However it is an intriguing experiment in film-making which finds a new way to tell a story which needs telling.

Reviewed by BodyDoubleFilms 8 / 10 / 10

It's a B-Movie - But In Great Way

As Steven Soderbergh made his way back to feature film directing, bringing us the rough round the edges psychological horror Unsane - shot on iPhone 7+ smartphones. By contrast High Flying Bird was not shot on iPhone 7+ phones... actually iPhone 8+... Soderbergh spoke about a new age of B-Movies. Not in the sense of second rate - but going back to the golden age of cinema, when b-movies were cinema fillers for huge audiences. They were shot on low budgets. Often with limited lighting and not too many stars or spectacular sequences, with crowds of extras. Instead, the director had to work around his limited means creatively, often filling a lot of the film with dialogue - as it's much cheaper to shoot: if you can't film all those scenes, you can always have one character tell another character what happened. Be in no doubt, although a lot of those old B-movies were fillers, some were remarkable pieces of cinema. All the better for being forced into creative use of limited resources. Indeed, this was how film noir was born. And that is very much what High Flying Bird reminded me of. Those old b-movie sports pictures which couldn't afford the big action scenes so left the sport part in the background while the action focused on the backroom talk. I loved the cinematography. And it was absolutely refreshing to see old school camera angles instead of the tedium we get now - when every kid with a few hundred dollars to spend sports a DSLR and Bokeh inducing lenses. Boken is no excuse for cinematography. And this is why the use of smartphones is a breath of fresh air. Without those boring ricks to fall back on (do we really need to see another extreme shallow depth of field close up?), every shot in this movie was thought about. Every shot had a purpose. And how great to have the wide depth of field of smartphones bring the surrounded architecture into play. Not a shot or a building was wasted. And that's what this is all about. Instead of cinema fillers we have Netflix fillers. Who knows, just like the last time some of them may just turn out to be little gems. Soderbergh knows he'll never win any Oscars for these new b-movies. As did those movie directors of old. But he knows he'll have the freedom to make the films he wants to make and have fun doing it.

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