‘More Than A Game’ more than a movie

October 1st, 2009

“More Than A Game” is not your typical documentary.  

Through his excellent cinematography and devotion to the characters in the film, first-time producer and director, Kristopher Belman, was able to tell the story of LeBron James and his high school teammates in a compelling and unforgettable way.

“More Than A Game” chronicles the incredible seven-year journey that the “Fab Five” (LeBron James, Dru Joyce, Romeo Travis, Willie McGee and Sian Cotton) experienced individually and as a team.  

Watching the documentary, it’s easy to see that their strong bonds on and off the court are what helped this team from St. Vincent-St. Mary work their way to the top and win the National High School Championship in 2003.

The film’s structure was very well thought-out by Belman. Rather than focusing the movie on the NBA superstar, he took an in- depth look at each player from the Fab Five, as well as their coach, by delving into their personal lives with private interviews from family members, never-before-seen home videos and memorable photographs. 

Through rare behind-the-scenes practice footage and thrilling game footage, Belman was able to illustrate how each member grew athletically and personally over the years. 

 He was also able to highlight how each one of them truly contributed to the success of the team as a whole.  

This film is very well-balanced. It makes viewers laugh in some scenes, like when LeBron and his teammates rap on the buses to and from games. It keeps audience members on the edge of their seats as they watch the final minutes of crucial games.  

And finally, it touches hearts when adversities, such as James being suspended in his senior year, threaten the team’s hopes and dreams.Also, fans of James get to see a side of the King that they don’t normally see on the court. 

James doesn’t hold back in private one-on-one interviews where he describes his humble beginnings, his relationship with his mother and his appreciation for finding four lifelong friends.  

He is sincere and modest, even getting choked up at times, and viewers can see that he is truly thankful for where he is today. 

The movie doesn’t solely focus on the sport, but is a depiction of the power of friendship and loyalty.  

It also puts a huge emphasis on the importance of family and is an inspiration to people of all ages to pursue what they really love in life, even if it seems impossible.  

The documentary took first runner-up at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, losing to “Slumdog Millionaire.” “More Than A Game” opens in New York,  Los Angeles, Cleveland and other select theaters Oct. 2, 2009.