Fast & Furious 6
The Hangover Part III
Inside Llewyn Davis
James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo's taut, engrossing 2004 documentary on Chinese basketball player Yao Ming's first year in the NBA offers insight into the game and its stars.
The film never feels like some sort of shill, but an actual historical document of this strangest of cultural immersions for a national superstar.
| Original Score: A-
The film is happily as fast paced as the sport of basketball itself: there are no bearded, stuttering academics discussing any aspect of the story.
| Original Score: B
there's plenty to see in this engaging film
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Should be a natural for NBA fans and please non-enthusiasts as well.
| Original Score: 3/4
A surprisingly layered portrait of a rookie with the hopes of a nation -- a big nation -- riding on his shoulders, and the frustrations and small victories that entails.
Sporadically charming basketball documentary.
| Original Score: B-
Easily the best basketball film I've seen in years.
| Original Score: 4/5
The movie's focus on Yao is limited by his lack of narrative abilities.
Sure, it's fun to watch big-screen close-ups of Yao battling with O'Neal, though it feels like another ESPN special.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
From language barriers to international political barriers, Yao promises something most documentaries miss entirely -- insight and hope.
...while their subject is amiably charismatic, the filmmakers fail to fully get beneath his skin. Still...it's a sports documentary that can be enjoyed by anyone...
The excitement on the court and the banter and good-natured ribbing in the locker room is handled by the book by the behind the camera crew.
A very compelling sports documentary.
| Original Score: 3/5
Win or lose, in an era of sports idols as rock stars, Yao is a breath of fresh air.
One expects it to be a feel-good, emphasize-the-positive kind of movie, and it is. But there are several other fascinating angles to be found here.
| Original Score: 8/10
Welcome to the new Ming Dynasty.
You don't have to be a hoops fanatic, or even a sports aficionado of any sort, to enjoy The Year of the Yao, slickly entertaining docu.
A skillful and winning piece of honest booster portraiture directed by James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo.
| Original Score: B+