Friday, August 21, 2009


Photos by Teddy Blackett --BFree Paparazzi (first three pics) and Ma'atology YOURS TRULY, Ma'at Atkins in cam pose at the Red Carpet premiere for the locally filmed STREETBALLERS held at Ronnie 20 in North County. Check out the other pics of events that was happening last nite!

St. Louis rapper Ebony Eyez (with mic) entertains the packed crowd at Lure. She was celebrating the release of her 2nd CD, "Nice Girlz Finish Last" at Liquid Assets' Red Hott Thursdays.

STL rappers Chocolate Tai and Penelope Jones also attended the party. The two ladies did guest feature parts on Ebony Eyez' newest CD.
NOTE: Also in the house were singer Aloha Mi'sho, rapper Koko Severe, Close to Famous' Triky and socialite/STL fashioneer Craig Minter. They also had auditions for ring girls for the upcoming Deandre Lattimore fight at ScottTrade Center.

We checked out the premiere of STREETBALLERS at Ronnie's 20. Pictured is the movie poster.

The Red Carpet.

Sydney Galvin takes a pic with STL rapper Chingy.

The crowd coming inside the lobby for the event.

The film's stars, crew, family, friends and supporters were there.

Some of the cast and crew take a pic for the OUTCAM from left: including actress Peggy Neely, a representative for producer Vernon Whitlock, actor/producer Patrick Rooney, actor/producer/director Matt Krentz ,actress Adriene Perez, a film crew assistant and actor/producer Craig Thomas.

Krentz takes a flick with Evening Whirl Entertainment Editor Jason Bailey.

The music team Shock ballz from Memphis attended to the premiere. They assisted on the music on the soundtrack.

Therre's rapper Chingy giving local TV personality and advance film screener James Thomas a piece of his mind.

The Shock Ballz getting their ticket for the show.

Moviegoers gettin their popcorn, juju bees and soda.

STL rapper Hakeem tha Dream attended.

The lovely STL singer Sineta also attended.

St. Lunatic member Kyjuan and his wife, Asia made an appearance.

Thomas interviews some film supporters while an overexcited singer Aloha Mi' sho is in the background.

Aloha poses with one of the film's stars Jordan Ward.

Krentz and his family takes a flick.

Actor Justin Tatum and his wife

STL native b-ball player Larry Hughes and his wife, Carrie.

Thomas interviews St. Louis Post Dispatch Pop Critic Kevin Johnson.

People in the lobby.

People gettin their tickets.

Loose cannon's SLIM and his homeboy in the cut. SLIM played one of the hood ballaz in the film.

Mocha Latte and her daughter, Sydney poses with Thomas. Latte was instrumental for the local PR machine for STREETBALLERS.

People going in the theatres to see the film, It was shown on two screens simultaneously.

Krentz with his wife and Mocha and Sydney.

People filling in the seats in Theatre 9.

Theatre 9. Recognize anyone?

People filling in Theatre 10.

Krentz addresses the crowd before the showing of the movie as Thomas, Rooney and Whitlock's rep looks on.

A group shot of some of the film's cast, crew and supporters.

Aloha gets interviewed about the film by a Video Vault TV host.

DIVA DOS: Sineta and Aloha pose with the STREETBALLERS poster in the lobby.

SLIM flanks up with three STL sista stars Mocha latte, Aloha and Sineta.

NOTE: The film's star Northern European basketball Leaguer Jimmy McKinney could not attend the premiere. He was in Germany preparing for a game. STREETBALLERS WILL BE SHOWING IN ST. LOUIS AUGUST 21-23 at WEHRENBERG RONNIES CINE, 5320 S. Lindburgh Blvd. (800-FaNDANGO ext 2401) and Tivoli Theatre, 6350 Delmar in the Loop. (314.995.6270)
REVIEW: 'Ballers' aim at race issues, breaking type
STREETBALLERS is a surprise as far as the film's content. On the surface, the film--which was filmed in 2007-- looks like the typical urban hood b-ball flick ala ABOVE THE RIM but, when you inflate the basketball and cut the b-ball net, you get an intelligent analysis of race relations between the Irish and African American community in St. Louis as well as the strong "sides" in the community (North Side v South Side). Picture WHITE MEN CANT JUMP meets BRIANS SONG.

Directed by and starring St. Louis native Matthew Scott Krentz, STREETBALLERS--which has received several independent film prizes on the festival circuit--tells the story of two best friends John and Jacob (Krentz and NEBL's Jimmy McKinney) of different ethnic (John's Irish and Jacob's black) and neighborhood backgrounds who are b-ball players at a junior college and their involvment in the underground of street ball and its hood characters.
What distinguishes STEETBALLERS from the rest of the gritty hood ball lore is its poetic and Shakespearean influenced storytelling (i.e. flashing quotes from famous artists like Ralph Emerson, Albert Einstein and George Bernard Shaw between each scene and McKinney's character quiting Henry the V while b-ball practicing) as well as focusing more on the different yet similar home lives of the two main characters' strong debut performances (especially McKinney's). For authenticy, showing the sights of St. Louis, casting a St. Louis native cast and highlighting the city's culture (Dogtown St. Patricks Parade, Mtero link, the gritty North Side) helped in telling this so-St. Louis story.
STREETBALLERS also deals with the expected racial polictics involving college b-ball students with NBA potential (whites go into coaching vs. blacks getting a pass to go pro) as well as their forced acculturation with street b-ball culture. There also was a mystical side of the film involving Krentz's character "talking with his past" involving the tragic end of his childhood friend as well as his current best friend that also helped to lift the film into another reality.
There were a few drawbacks. Although Krentz was impressive in his screen debut, it is noticeable that wearing both hats of director and actor were spreading a bit thin in some of his acting scenes that needed explosive emotion especially during the tragic scenes. Also missing was some of the background of McKinney's character's family background. Although he stays with his Aunt Rose (played nicely by Peggy Neely Harris) and ne'er do well brother Damon (played by Craig Thomas), there was no discussion on what happened to the brothers' mother (or father at that matter). Plus, the "black ethos" after a tragedy such as death also was nil.
Beside the story's shortcomings, STREETBALLERS has great performances, a bangin hip hop and Irish music set off to the b-ball scenes and clever camera shots (ala Spike Lee). It is definitely worth the admission to see and what the buzz has been about on this St. Louis effort.
We give it ** 1/2 stars out of ****4 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment