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The Basketball Diaries [Blu-ray] [Import]

Leonardo DiCaprio , Lorraine Bracco , Scott Kalvert    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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The pre-Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jim Carroll, the poet and musician who spent much of his adolescence addicted to heroin and shooting hoops with fellow Catholic high school kids. As a biography, the film doesn't amount to more than the sum of its gritty scenes of smack use, violence, perversions (poor Bruno Kirby plays a lecherous coach who comes on to young Jim), and the usual scream-and-puke dramas that go along with a cold-turkey session. Director Scott Kalvert doesn't seem to realize that most people don't know who Carroll is and therefore can't possibly understand why they should care about his gutterball youth. DiCaprio, having nowhere to go with his performance but maintain Carroll's tailspin, is boring and redundant. Some kind of allusion to the literary and rock & roll life that follows the mess we're watching might have been helpful. The DVD release offers the choice of a full or widescreen (letterbox) picture, plus interviews. --Tom Keogh

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie about a young man's life on the edge Jan. 6 1999
By A Customer
I think this movie, especially Leonardo as Jim Caroll, excellently portrays the life of someone hanging on by a thread. Jim starts out as an excellent basketball player, and one night, when his friend takes him to his girlfriend's house, her sister gives Jim drugs to make him better in bed. He gets totally addicted to these drugs, and can't stop. His game slacks, he ends up on the street, giving anything for money to buy drugs. Eventually, after 6 months in jail for theft, robbery, and street roaming, he straightens himself out. The end of the movie, he goes onstage, and explains why you shouldn't get into a drug. This was an excellent film that shows exactly what would happen if you got into a drug. Leonardo DiCaprio portrays an excellent example in the movie. Acting is very well done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well done Dec 28 2003
By A Customer
This is the most accurate depiction of dope addiction I've seen (drugstore cowboy too). From sticking a cutoff straw in a bag for a toot in the highschool bathroom or lockerroom, to the sick daydreams, to the fiending, the pure exileration of copping bags, to the allure of the needle. I started doing dope at 15 (1994)and stopped at 19, 6 years ago in 3 days. I saw this movie in 97 and I havent seen it since. Definitly not a movie you will want to watch over and over.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Right Words July 9 2002
By kca
You know it's funny, it takes a movie like this to demonstrate what we already know. I'm gonna cut the legs on this review short. From experience, I can vouch for the movies message that the emotion is real. This has no correlation with the actors, nor' the directing, simply on the story, which in fact is derived from a true one. I'm a fan on the depiction of the human condition; and after watching this movie, I had to catch my breath. The Human suffering, the tragedy, it all comes full circle here, and you just want to reach out your hand, but then again it's just a movie. This movie grips you, and entangles you in a web of emotions, showing you the inner-workings, as though the human condition was an organ. I like the thought of that, indeed. So you have my opinion, that this movie is for any fan who likes to be knee deep in a gripping tale. But don't worry, you can't overdose on this, like I said, it's just a movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth hurts..... Nov. 13 2001
By A Customer
A great movie about the world of drugs and drug-users. Leonardo is a superb actor in this movie-- the best I've seen him. This film is very sad but does give the brutal truth about heroin. Not necessarily a happy movie but it does get my vote! Buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fate's Direction Oct. 31 2001
What is spectacular about "Basketball Diaries", you ask? The acting, for one, is superb. Leonardo DeCaprio is at once, cool-minded, suave, insightful, and, (playing a character who was once revered for his skills on the basketball court and in writing but who faces a serious drug problem), deadly accurate in playing the role of what drugs and taking a wrong turn can do to a person. The plot starts off pleasantly enough. Leo is an aspiring writer living in the poor side of New York City. He is a star athlete who hangs around three buddies---all with goals of mischief, basketball, and being just boys. One fateful night, one pal introduces the easily influenced Leo to drugs and sex......and the plot then focus almost exclusively on his downward spiral of a new life filled with drugs, hustling, theft, and homelessness. He, along with another addict friend (played by Mark Walburg---who is also a serious character actor and excellent), quit school, leave home and turn into thugs. The aspiring writer can no longer function; he is derilict, dependant on herion and crack, and without a family. And it is here that DeCaprio displays a superb range of acting skills. He is so believable in his reactions to life on the streets, in crack houses, and the wild display of emotion, of self-hatred, of dispair is beautifully portrayed. In fact, I found myself often shaking my head at the life thrown away. Though the story ends on a positive note and with a wake-up call, the themes of how a single life can take a disasterous turn in one night is strongly felt. I agree with what one other reviewer says: the message of this movie actually "screams" to teenagers that drugs are evil, as is throwing one's life down the drain, along with all hope, opportunity, and a potentially bright future. Between the acting, the storyline, and the turns in plot, "Basketball Diaries" is a great movie. I highly recommend this intelligent film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars diaries to life July 31 2003
By A Customer
This movie is a tale of young man's struggle through his teen years. In the beginning, he has it all, but then starts using drugs for a thrill. When his habit becomes and addiction, this movie takes you on a ride that brings the dark side of drugs to life. DiCaprio's work in this movie is sheer genius.. A must see!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An strong unique drama on the world of Drugs. Jan. 29 2002
Based on a true story on the life of the early gritty world of Poet and Author:Jim Carroll (Leonardo DiCaprio), a Catholic-School basketball players, who draws himself on the World of Drug Addiction, it`s becomes Nightmarish until he finds Redemption.
Directed by Scott Kalvert (Deuces Wild) made a strong believable film with Terrific Performances from the Cast, Including-Lorraine Bracco, Mark Wahlberg, Ernie Hudson, Bruno Kirby, Patrick McGaw and James Madio. This film was a Box Office Flop but it gained a Cult Success on Video. Grade:A.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of DiCaprio's best performances yet. Oct. 24 2001
By Rebecca
Leonardo DiCaprio is definitely not my favorite actor of all time. Yes, I am a teenager, and yes, I'll admit I was madly in love with him when TITANIC came out but not so much anymore. Now I just respect him as a good actor. I saw THE BASKETBALL DIARIES on Broadcast TV a few years ago so I really don't remember the entire film and probably didn't see the actual whole film because I am sure parts of it were edited out. But from what I remember, this is an excellent film. Yes, not many people know who Jim Carroll is, but that's not really the point of this whole film. The point of this whole film was a teenager who got addicted to drugs and what happened to him. The main character could have been anybody, really. There are lots of young teenagers and kids out there who are addicted to drugs and this is the kind of thing that can happen to them. I think that is what director Scott Kalvert was trying to show the world...not a story about Jim Carroll, but a story on how drugs can affect your life and everyone else in it. The entire cast of THE BASKETBALL DIARIES is absolutely superb, especially DiCaprio (who stars as the young Jim Carroll), Mark Walhberg, and Lorraine Bracco. The filmming is excellent, and the story and plot are unique and amazing. I love THE BASKETBALL DIARIES and strongly recommend it to everybody...and I can't wait to see Leonardo DiCaprio hit the big screen again this winter in GANGS OF NEW YORK! :-)
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do...
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Read more
Published 12 months ago by F. Marra
1.0 out of 5 stars I cannot tolerate this movie
This movie makes me think of the Kirsten Dunst movie, The Virgin Suicides. I assure you I cannot tolerate this movie because it is horrible to me, just as if The Virgin Suicides is... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kevin Barton
5.0 out of 5 stars Those are the people who died.......
Jim Carroll's autobiographical life story is the basis for this cult classic of the early 90's. Leonardio DiCaprio plays Jim Carroll a poet writing basketball star at a Catholic... Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by N. Damiano
5.0 out of 5 stars Basketball Diaries, Great Movie
This is a great movie it has hot stars Leonardo Dicaprio, Mark Wahlberg, and James Madio. They are great together and this is a great movie. Read more
Published on July 7 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars a movie one MUST OWN!
this movie is simply exelent! it's intresting for adolecents to see... so i think that parents should give their children the chance to see this movie. Read more
Published on June 20 2000 by Kallina
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great movie and a true story make it special
Starring Leonardo DeCaprio this is a great flim, loved it. About some teens with a drug problem can Jim pull himself out of his addiction and help save his life with the help of a... Read more
Published on April 22 2000 by Danielle
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