‘White Men Can’t Jump’ : Special Screening and Conversation

 White Men Can’t Jump is scheduled to be released on May 19, 2023, on Hulu.

Thanks to Verizon for a fantastic day of events. Media outlets got to learn about the upcoming customized Verizon myPlan (see below) with Disney+. And Hulu for an exclusive screening of ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ with a special Q&A.

Monday, May 15, 2023
AMC Lincoln Sq.
New York

I got to watch an exclusive HULU screening of “White Men Can’t Jump” and attend a special live Q&A with Jack Harlow, Sinqua Walls and Director CALMATIC. Verizon held a special screening at AMC Lincoln sq. for press, and film crew and guests. The special event featured an interesting panel discussion about the film, basketball training, race and the making of this film.

White Men Can’t Jump is an upcoming American sports-comedy film directed by Calmatic (House Party 2023), with a screenplay by Kenya Barris and Doug Hall from a story they co-wrote with Ron Shelton. It is a modern remake of the 1992 film (of the same name) about a pair of basketball hustlers who team up to earn extra cash. … Play Hard. Hustle Harder. 

The remake stars Sinqua Walls (The Blackening) and rapper Jack Harlow, in his acting debut – Harlow was cast in the role originally played by Woody Harrelson, and Walls was cast as Kamal Allen, the equivalent of Wesley Snipe’s character. The film features a talented roster including Teyana Taylor, Laura Harrier, Vince Staples, Myles Bullock, and Lance Reddick in one of his final performances before his sudden death earlier this year.

 Walls and Harlow make an incredible pair and were unexpectedly a lot of fun to watch. I love when a movie surprises you. The remake directed by filmmaker and music video director Calmatic takes great care in showcasing California, basketball culture and mental health. It tells a story about redemption, friendship, family and the evolved racial divide. In a time of unnecessary reboots and remakes, going in with no expectations, this movie was not one I particularly anticipated to enjoy.

PeopleSinqua WallsJack Harlow
TitlesWhite Men Can’t Jump
Photo by Peter Lovino/Peter Lovino – © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The movie was actually pretty funny, the duo had great chemistry and Harlow was quite entertaining for his first jab at acting. During the panel he discussed taking on the role, preparing for his lines and always being on time for set. He took it very seriously and left an impression on his cast members Sinqua recalls. The two had good comedic timing and funny banter throughout the film cracking stereotypical jokes without overstepping. The movie could’ve pushed the limit a bit more but in a time of sensitivity you can see why they kept it pretty safe in terms of racial jokes.

The film does a pretty decent job of portraying mental health and how men struggle with combating gender norms and expectations when it comes to expressing feelings and dealing with anger. During the panel discussion Calmatic talked about deciding to shoot the film in order so that the actors would come across as authentic in their initial meeting and developing a friendship. This translated well on-screen as the duo built a connection in real life.

Sinqua, who grew up in California actually played college ball and it definitely shows. The movie made sure to depict California pick-up ball accurately and hired actors and background that can play basketball and showed their skills on the court. Harlow did most of his stunts as well although he admitted to being the least skilled on the court in real life.

The Director also discussed his focus on humility, family and the way he wanted to tell this story visually. He knows Los Angeles, and shot on well-known locations and wanted to portray the way he knows California. Race is dated so what’s the next conversation ? The remake focuses on other struggles from health, to relationships and financial struggles. Color divide is the backdrop, as the movie focuses on what both men are struggling with internally, it’s more of a redemption story.

Aside from addressing mental health and facing your personal demons the movie also centers on family, friendships and does a great job of portraying women. Teyana Taylor who plays Kamal’s wife Imani is very strong, independent and extremely supportive of her husbands endeavors. Laura Harrier is also a strong independent career focused woman who is concerned with the well-being and choices of her partner Jeremy (Harlow).

Overall, the remake was a pretty decent enjoyable watch, and a bit of a homage to the original 1992 cult classic within a modern context. It features a good soundtrack, entertaining basketball sequences, and touches upon important topics such as mental health, family and not giving up on your dreams regardless of the obstacles you face.

More photos from the event below!

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