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Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Review of ‘Amare Stoudemire: In The Moment’

If you’re a normal person, you’re probably unaware that Amar’e Stoudemire had an hour long documentary, In the Moment, released on Epix back in April. I stumbled upon the documentary on Netflix the other night and decided to check it out, the thought being, “It’s the offseason, and besides, I really want to rediscover the Amar’e love of 2010-2011. So what the hell?”

The documentary begins with a mix of STAT highlights and a monologue about winning a championship. It’s pretty clear Amar’e is not the most comfortable guy with one-on-one interviews — or the most realistic — but as the film goes on, he gets better.

What he does do is go into some startling specifics about his childhood. His mother was in-and-out of jail for the majority of Amare’s formative years, and it is revealed that she actually tried to abort Amare at one point during her pregnancy. STAT then talks a little bit about the passing of his father, and how much of an emotional wall Amare built as a kid because he never really found it in him to cry.

We then get to see some of STAT’s old high school tapes — footage that makes Amare look like Dwight Howard amongst boys. He was just so much bigger and stronger then everyone on the court, and it showed. At one point, Amare’s mother talks about trying to persuade Amare not go to college, and declare instead for the NBA Draft.

The best part of the documentary, to my mind, is the look-in at Amare’s current family, and how good he is not only with his own kids, but all the kids and fans he encounters. For what it’s worth, Amar’e always seems to have a smile on face when meeting fans — a look vastly different from the one we normally see, particularly in interviews where his injuries and disappointing last few seasons are discussed.

Footage of STAT’s workouts with Hakeem are short, but the one thing I took away from the highlights was that Hakeem, even at 50 years old, could still beat Amar’e — along with a lot of NBA players — one-on-one. It should also be noted that Hakeem’s spectacular ranch has been added to my bucket list of places to visit.

One other positive aspect of the documentary is the insight into Amare’s children’s book, and the tour he’s undertaken to encourage kids to take up reading. Yes, a lot of professional athletes do this, but Amar’e definitely exudes that this is a very important pillar in his life.

The greatest — and worst — moment of the documentary came when one of Amare’s young fans was talking about Amar’e and commented, “He’s always going to log out those minutes you want him to.” I don’t think the camera guy had the heart to pull him aside and give him the bad news.

In the Moment isn’t exactly groundbreaking, and a lot of the information is stuff most fans already know, but there are definitely some cool tidbits in the film that make it worth watching — particularly if your view of Amare has shifted more towards the negative. It’s not going to win any Oscars, but this film will definitely help many fans rediscover why they liked Amar’e in the first place.

 

7 comments on “A Review of ‘Amare Stoudemire: In The Moment’

  1. yellowboy90

    Being a Florida boy pretty much made me a fan of Amar’e since he came out of H.S. One thing in the Doc that stood out to me was after discovering he needed a six surgery he was “joking” about “how maybe after 7(sacred number) it would be time to hang em up”. Then of course he has his seventh surgery later in the year.

  2. danvt

    Thanks for this review. It’s interesting to see the real person. I’m glad the conversation is back to Amar’e for a minute. He’s obviously a tremendous x factor for this season. Maybe the most important variable. Also, he has huge significance to the, up until now, unmet aspirations of this era of NYK basketball.

    I thought he came back very well off the first debridement and that’s why I think the second one was elected. He was back before the end of last season with no setbacks. I was thinking we might have a chance of having him healthy for the last two years of his deal. The news that they’re already considering some type of Joba rules for him was disconcerting. Reading this blog makes me think he’s as good as retired. What’s the truth? Mcdyess had a productive second act. Are we definitely looking at Amar’e part two? Does Amar’e have a part two?

    I was thinking what a shame it was that, if we had had vintage Amar’e against IND we would have just crushed them. I mean check fucking mate! Really too bad. That’s obviously too much to ask for right now but what can we expect?

  3. dtrickey

    I’ve always been a STAT fan, even during his days in Pheonix. I really do hope he can bounce back this year. I think a healthy STAT is our x-factor and what a lot of eastern conference predictions for next year have failed to account for. Obviously this is depednant on him being healthy, but it sounds like the coaching staff are going to take it conservatively to start, which propably isn’t terrible.

    I really want to see him do well for the Knicks (not just to justify the cash). He was the first big name free agent that actually wanted to play for us. He was the first to take the challenge and really got the ball rolling with this team. I can honestly say it made me excited about this club for the first time in a long time when he declared “the Knicks were back”. I know it was mostly just a bit of sales puffery and showmanship, but the guy generated some feeling that hadn’t been associated with the franchise in ages.

  4. Hubert

    Ok didn’t want to nitpick earlier but I figured by now someone would have figured it out and corrected… The name of the film is In the Moment.

  5. Frank O.

    I watched it last night. I am inclined to like Amare.
    But some of his NBA-speak, the platitudes and over-worn media training phrases really made this a drag. I would rather not see him speaking into a camera.
    He is not inspiring and compelling in that medium.
    It was self-conscious, as one might expect when the subject of the piece has so much control over it.

  6. Z-man

    I like Amare too, but thought it sucked, and that the timing could not have been worse.

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