Review: Q BALL Is A Meaningful But Somewhat Uneven Documentary

FIRST IMPRESSION

Q Ball could have used a bit more development... and a bit more ball... but as a whole, it is relatively enjoyable and accomplishes what it sets out to do.
Directing
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Q Ball is a new documentary film directed by Michael Tolajian and executive produced by Kevin Durant. The movie tells the story of the San Quentin Prison basketball team as they set out on a quest of rehabilitation and redemption. It debuted at the 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival.

The film’s story is quite interesting because of its potential social impact. Frequently the news around the prison system is dominated by talk of recidivism and the failures of the system. It is nice to see a program like this that is actually achieving success. Of course, a program that works in one place isn’t sure to work in another, but it is interesting to look at the aspects of it that could be taken and applied to the system as a whole.

The message of the movie is a quite inspirational one about redemption and second chances. The film does a great job of showing both sides of the argument regarding imprisonment. The movie’s main purpose seems to be to show that, despite the mistakes that these people have made, they should not be defined by them. However, the film also acknowledges the fact that these people need significant work in order to become a successfully contributing member of society.

One thing that the movie could have done better is developing its subjects individually. The film does a good job of making the group likable as a whole, but it could have done a far better job presenting them on their own. For example, one of the prisoners has a desire to become a professional basketball player once he is released from San Quentin. The movie should have explored this arc with more depth.

Additionally, the film may have a hard time connecting with some sports fans because the inclusion of sports scenes is minimal. This results from the fact that the movie is more focused on the social impact of the program rather than the competitive aspects. The film ends up falling in a weird grey area where there are too many sports sequences there for you to ignore them, but not enough for you to feel satisfied.

The pacing of the movie was somewhat inconsistent too. The first half of the film is relatively slow, as this is where the movie is introducing you to its themes and subjects. That being said, this could have been done just as effectively in a shorter period of time. On the other hand, the second half of the film was much more interesting, containing a majority of the movie’s conflict. The film is never boring, but the second half is definitely more entertaining.

On a technical level, the movie was pretty good. The cinematography ls great, especially during the establishing shots of the prison. The interviews are rather well-shot too, with framing that is aesthetically pleasing. The technical qualities of the film are definitely much better than you would expect from the average network documentary like this.

Overall, Q Ball was a pretty good documentary. Although it has some issues in developing its subjects individually, it is a mostly entertaining and touching story of which you likely haven’t heard before.

Q Ball opens in theaters on May 17 and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 on May 28.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

The Great British Baking Show (Collection 8) | Official Trailer | Netflix

The competition heats up as a fresh batch of bakers — and a crispy new presenter — put their sweet spin on delectable edibles. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide…

Sound of Metal – Official Trailer | Prime Video

During a series of adrenaline-fueled one-night gigs, itinerant punk-metal drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) begins to experience intermittent hearing loss. When a specialist tells him his condition will rapidly worsen, he thinks his music career — and with it his life — is over. His bandmate and girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) checks the recovering heroin addict…

INTERVIEW: Actor Celeste M Cooper Fights For Her Life In Range Runners

Range Runners is a new film from director Philip S. Plowden and starring Celeste M. Cooper as a woman on a personal mission through the wilderness that’s derailed by the macabre intentions of two psychopaths.

Best of Awkwafina as Billi Wang in The Farewell | Prime Video

Grab those tissues because Awkwafina's emotional performance in The Farewell will leave you in tears. » Watch The Farewell on Prime Video: https://amzn.to/32Cz40V » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About The Farewell: In this funny, heartfelt story, Billi's (Awkwafina) family returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodby to their beloved matriarch…

Fargo | Installment 4: Hunt Teaser | FX

Don’t lose track. Fargo’s back with an all-new installment September 27th on FX. Next day FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Fargo clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX The fourth installment of Fargo is set in 1950 Kansas City, where two crime syndicates fighting for a piece of the American dream have struck an uneasy peace. Chris Rock…

‘The Loyalty Dinner’ Official Clip | The Comey Rule | SHOWTIME

President Trump (Brenden Gleeson) invites FBI Director James Comey (Jeff Daniels) to a one-on-one dinner and has one expectation from him during his tenure. Watch the premiere on September 27 at 9/8c on SHOWTIME. #SHOWTIME #TheComeyRule Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel: http://goo.gl/esCMib Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now: https://s.sho.com/1HbTNpQ Get SHOWTIME merchandise now: https://s.sho.com/33FGC1D Get…

Watchmen: Regina King Is Angela Abar | HBO

Regina King’s masterful Emmy Award-winning performance as Angela Abar (aka Sister Night) is everything we need it to be: fierce, poised, heartfelt. Get to know Watchmen’s nun with a gun. #HBO #WatchmenHBO #ReginaKing Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Based on the graphic novel co-created and illustrated by Dave Gibbons and published by DC, Damon…

‘Cartoons Eric & Don Jr. Invent a COVID-19 Vaccine’ Ep. 10 Clip | Our Cartoon President | Season 3

With coronavirus preventing the party of the century, Cartoons Don Jr. and Eric Trump try to synthesize their own vaccine by experimenting with bleach and other household poisons. Watch new episodes of Our Cartoon President on Sundays at 8:30/7:30c on SHOWTIME. #OurCartoonPresident Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel: https://goo.gl/esCMib Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now: https://s.sho.com/1HbTNpQ…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here