[box cover]


It's impossible to work up much enthusiasm for the Martin Lawrence family comedy Rebound (2005). After all, it's just another bland, junior-high-basketball riff on The Bad News Bears formula — one that takes every single dramatic cue from the underdog-sports-movie playbook. However, its plot synopsis — which feels like the stuff of a thousand "Disney Sunday Movie"s — might just make for a fun game of "Mad Libs." See if you can fill in the blanks half as well as the screenwriters did!


Martin Lawrence plays [punchy, one-syllable man's first name] — an [adjective], disgraced [type of sports professional] who gets one last chance at redemption: To get back into the [sports league], he has to coach a bunch of [adjective] junior-high students on a hopeless [verb ending in -ing] streak!

The kids are [adjective] caricatures straight out of the underdog playbook. There's the [adjective] kid who loves [type of food]. There's the [adjective] kid who wears [article of headgear]. There's the [adjective] girl who [verb ending in -es] anyone who makes fun of her. There's the [adjective] kid who refers to himself in the third person. And of course there's the kid who [verb ending in -es] when he's nervous, and who is, of course, named "Ralph."

Because these sorts of formula movies need to have a [emotion] interest for the star, the most [adjective] kids' mother is a [occupation] at the school — and [slumming sitcom actor] assigns her to keep an eye on Lawrence, making sure he doesn't lose his [noun] the way he did when he lost his [verb ending in -ing] job.

All the major dramatic questions are answered exactly as you'd expect them to be. Do [plural noun] attract? Does Martin Lawrence re-discover his [emotion] for [sport]? Do the kids beat the [adjective] suburban team coached by [another slumming sitcom actor]? Is there oodles of [adjective] slapstick involving [slumming "SNL" actor]?


I'd tell you how the professional screenwriters filled in these blanks, but it's a few days later, and I can barely remember seeing the film. Oh, wait — I've got Rebound's press notes right here:


How the screenwriters filled in the blanks: Roy; arrogant; college-basketball coach; NCBA; misfit; losing; cute; fat; cupcakes; clumsy; goggles; tough; punches; cocky; pukes; love; talented; music teacher; Megan Mullally; temper; coaching; opposites; love; basketball; evil; Patrick Warburton; lowbrow; Horatio Sanz.


Fox's DVD release of Rebound feature a clean anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras include a commentary by screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (who describe the script as "massively collaborative," effectively supporting the "Mad Libs" above), an alternate ending (1 min.), storyboards, and a theatrical trailer. Keep-case.
Mike Russell

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