The Top 5 Movie Phones

Got the latest music phone? That’s so 1998. If you’re keeping up with the ever-increasing multimedia processing power of cell phones, yours should be streaming movies by now. But if you’re watching your favorite flicks on a tiny touch screen … sorry, dude, you’ve fallen behind again. The big trend in mobile phones now is size: screen size, that is. The perfect movie phone is still a work in progress, as you’ll see in our reviews, but here are our top five picks of the big-screen babies currently -- or soon to be -- on the market.


LG Thrill 4G
The 4.3-inch, 800-by-480-pixel screen on this one is a good start. But what makes the Thrill, well, thrilling, is that it provides 3-D visuals by overlaying a “parallax barrier” on the screen -- in other words, you don’t have to wear wonky donky glasses. In addition to exclusively integrating YouTube 3-D, the Thrill can capture high-def movies in 3-D, and the dual-core 1GHz processor means 3-D games don’t get choppy or laggy. There is a catch, though: The screen design needs your head to stay in its sweet spot for the 3-D effect to work. In other words, forget catching the latest Harry Potter on a jolty road trip.
LG.com

HTC TITAN
HTC phones were already pretty hot before the TITAN came along. But with a 4.7-inch and 800- by 480-pixel screen, the aptly named TITAN takes the crown. It’s a bit of a lump in the pocket, sure, but nowhere near the oversized Dell Streak or Samsung Galaxy Tab. And on top of great visual real estate, it offers an 8MP camera, high-def video recording (at 720p) and the new Windows Mobile 7.5 OS, all backed by a speedy 1.5GHz chip. The downside? Windows Mobile is still lagging way behind Android and iOS for apps. For movies, though, this one’s a blockbuster.
HTC.com

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab
Straddling the divide between the phone and the tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The 7.4-inch, 1024- by 600-pixel screen means there’s a huge and bright high-resolution display for Web surfing, movie watching and other multimedia munching. But don’t try making a call on it unless you’re going for laughs; it’s strictly for use with a hands-free headset or inline mic/earbuds. While it would be a tight squeeze to fit this device into your jeans pocket, it’s full of features, which include loads of movie codex support (including DivX and Xvid) and great n-level Wi-Fi as well as mobile data options.
Samsung.com

 

Samsung Galaxy S II
With a 4.5-inch screen and 800 by 480 pixels, there’s not quite as much resolution on this one as there is on the iPhone 4 (see below), but the Galaxy S II has pretty much dominated sales of smartphones in Europe and the Far East. That’s because it hits the perfect balance of features (8MP camera, 1080p HD recording, 3G/4G and Wi-Fi, etc.) in a long-lasting, beautifully compact, well-designed Android package. It certainly isn’t the ultimate movie phone, if you must munch popcorn on the subway. But it’s probably the current frontrunner for the title of “ultimate do-it-all device.”
Samsung.com

 

Apple iPhone 4
The iPhone remains one of the best all-around smartphones in the business. Though its screen, at 3.5 inches, is not the largest, its bright, clear Retina display is the best on the market, boasting an 800:1 contrast ratio and a 960- by 640-pixel resolution. So it’s pretty damn great at playing movies. But it’s also great for all the other stuff too, because the iTunes Store remains the most stuffed for justifiably popular apps and games. Of course the wireless elephant in the room is the iPhone 5. While the launch has been long-rumored, current projections are that it’ll land its big hoofs sometime in October. Buy an iPhone 4 before then and you may be obsolete soon after.
Apple.com

Love Lessons From Teen Movies of the ’80s

In the golden age of teen flicks, it seemed like everybody got lucky on the big screen. Turns out these classic movies offer some real life lessons -- especially when it comes to dealing with the ladies. Here, five films that are entertaining and educational.



The art of love is a delicate thing. That’s why we take our cues from the experts. We’re talking about the classic big-screen, teen-steam machines … like Anthony Michael Hall, Jon Cryer, and the Pepé Le Pew of the pubescent scene, Kevin Bacon!

Yes, these high school anti-studs, who somehow bumbled their way into the hearts of some of the finest teen babes from The Breakfast Club to the Joel Goodson bordello, offer a fine road map to finding romance -- even if you’ve already made that wrong turn at Albuquerque.

Here, some of the key lessons you need to study to score an “A” in Love 101 … or just to score.

Footloose (1984)
Sex education: You may not be in the cool clique, but if you dance (like a man), baby, and stay true to thyself, you’ll step right into her heart forever!
Big-city Kevin Bacon might as well be ET when he crash-lands in a one-plow town where American civil liberties apparently don’t apply. No music! No parties! No dancing! Hell, no freakin’ Flock of Seagulls! So when the moussed-up, future Mr. Sedgwick shows up in shrink-wrapped jeans and a ripped-up sweatshirt, he executes a foolproof plan to dance his way into the heart of the hottest girl in town (Lori Singer), defeat her fire-and-brimstone-preaching pop (a dance denouncer) and bring joy to the masses in the process. But once Bacon kicks off his Sunday shoes, the town loses its oppressive laws, Pop loses his religion and Lori Singer chucks her virtue into the bargain. The lesson here: You gotta be you … unless you happen to be Kevin Bacon -- he’s stuck with being him. If you have confidence to let your freak flag fly, women will know you’re the real deal.

Weird Science (1985)
Sex education: You can manufacture confidence, and when you do, it’ll bring you action.
It would take a miraculous scientific breakthrough for super nerds Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Illan Mitchell-Smith) to get a girl to notice them … so they plug a program into their SUV-sized computer and … Oingo Boingo! Say hello to the hottest digital development until the iPod: virtual vixen Lisa (Kelly LeBrock). Her mere presence alongside Gary and Wyatt makes these guys the coolest kids in school and the high schoolers with the hottest chicks. But it was more than just the virtual girl that got them action; it was the real confidence she gave them to prove that geeks can get freaky with the best of them. So remember: You don’t have to be cool to draw some heat … just gotta act it.

Pretty in Pink (1986)
Sex education: If you’re a good friend, you’ll get a girl -- it just might not be the girl.
Money-challenged Andie (Molly Ringwald) is in love with richie-rich Blaine (Andrew McCarthy). But Blaine’s snobby buddy, Steff (James Spader), wants him to dump her for someone more appropriate to his social set. But even more tragic is that Andie’s Salvation Army-styled best friend, Ducky (Jon Cryer), who’s hopelessly in love with her, has to convince Blaine that she’s worth more than all his friends combined. Sadly, he’s successful and Blaine blows off the snobs for Ducky’s dream doll. But wait! Ducky then gets plucked from the prom crowd by smokin’ hot, future vampire slayer Kristy Swanson … who admires his character! The lesson here? Friendship and loyalty lead to love -- at least for Jon Cryer, who gets action that’s way over his head. So be nice, kids -- clearly it pays off!

Risky Business (1983)
Sex education: Put yourself at risk for a chick, and you can melt her heart.
Joel is a good kid with hydrogen-fueled hormones. He’s working to get on Princeton’s short list, but he’s no genius with the ladies (which is kinda weird since he looks suspiciously like Tom freakin’ Cruise). So when his friends dial up a not-quite-lady of the evening, who directs him to a sweetie with more up top and less between the legs … it’s unlikely love at first credit card swipe with superhot Lana (Rebecca De Mornay). And while Joel looks like an easy mark, his selfless efforts to save her from her somewhat menacing pimp (we actually think L. Ron Hubbard is scarier than Joe Pantoliano) cause her to fall head over hooker heels for him. Also? He gets into Princeton! Remember, though: Paying for sex never pays off … unless, you know, you’re Tom Cruise and you’re in a movie that says it does.

The Breakfast Club (1985)
Sex education: Clichés can date outside their own species.
Wondering what happens when you gather a jock, a geek, a thug, a princess and a freak in the same room for detention? To find out, you must first find some actors who are at least eight years out of high school to play them. (Hello, Judd Nelson! How’s the AARP treating you?) Then, despite the fact that they all hate everything the others stand for … they’ll just open up to each other like they never have to even their closest friends or parish priests. Once they discover they’re all just struggling, decent kids underneath their choreographed exteriors, they’ll mate like bunnies in a breeding farm -- except for the geek (Anthony Michael Hall), of course -- he’s got a girlfriend in Canada! So don’t despair! Remember there’s someone out there for anybody -- as long as you’re willing to ditch your own adorable, antisocial persona … and you’re into the ‘80s band Tears for Fears.


Photo: @iStockphoto.com/domin_domin

Avoid These Movie Shaving Bloopers

Some shaving scenes in films should warn, "Don't try this at home." For the best razor experience, learn from these characters' mistakes.



In the same way you wouldn’t trust Ron Burgundy to educate you on the duties of an anchorman, you can’t necessarily count on movie characters to be good shaving mentors. In fact, some movie men make perfect role models for what not to do: They scrape when they should glide, sting when they should soothe and drive the razor north when they should roll south.

Health and beauty expert Kyan Douglas, best known as the grooming guru on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and present host of TLC’s 10 Years Younger, took a sharp look at the shaving scenes in some popular flicks and shows us why they should be recut.

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)

In Front of the Mirror:

Jim Blandings (Cary Grant) must battle for real estate in front of the bathroom mirror as his freshly showered wife (Myrna Loy) cuts in front and foils Grant’s attempt at achieving uninterrupted shaving.

The Wrong Cut:

Douglas concludes that a shaver needs to be able to focus on the task at face.

“There are times when I’m rushed or in a hurry,” says Douglas, “and those are the times I knick my Adam’s apple. And then those become the most inconvenient times -- because now you’re still late, and you’re also bleeding. So just give yourself the time to really respect your face. It’s delicate skin, your face. Take care of it.”

In the same way you wouldn’t trust Ron Burgundy to educate you on the duties of an anchorman, you can’t necessarily count on movie characters to be good shaving mentors. In fact, some movie men make perfect role models for what not to do: They scrape when they should glide, sting when they should soothe and drive the razor north when they should roll south.

North By Northwest (1959)

In Front of the Mirror:

In the men’s room of Chicago’s Union Station, Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant again) must shave to disguise his identity but only has access to a teeny women’s pink razor (the property of his romantic foil, Eva Marie Saint).

The Wrong Cut:

Sure, Grant had to make do with whatever kind of blade he could get; after all, he was on the run from the law, mistaken for a killer. But obviously, you should avoid using a woman’s razor on your face.

“Women often use those kinds of disposable razors,” notes Douglas. “I don’t know that ‘lady shavers’ -- if that’s what you want to call them -- are really designed to get the close kind of shave the way the men’s razors are. Plus, on a very practical level, you really shouldn’t be sharing razors with anybody -- it’s not sanitary. Things can definitely be transmitted, like warts. And because it can be a bloody situation, sharing razors has even been linked to transmission of Hepatitis C.”

As for the teeniness of that pink shaver, Douglas adds, “It’s not so much the size of the equipment, it’s really the quality.” And Douglas opts for a good multiblade razor.

The Graduate (1967)

In Front of the Mirror:

While attempting to scrape off some bristle (stroking the razor upward on his neck), Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) gets a visit from his mom who basically asks him if he’s tomcatting around at night. Shocked at the question, Hoffman slits his finger on his safety razor.

The Wrong Cut:

“This is kind of an almost iconic image of a man shaving,” says Douglas. “He’s got his chin up, he’s lathered up, he’s going against the grain -- shaving up from the Adam’s apple. But here’s the deal: One is supposed to go with the grain.

“Now what if the hair on your neck grows in different directions, as it does with many men? Or around your chin, for example? Shaving up is perfect if your hair grows upward. If you get a 5 o’clock shadow very easily and you want to control that, rather than go against the grain, you can go sideways into the grain -- it’s not as traumatic on the skin. You’re less likely to get razor bumps and irritation.

“But the lesson is to really pay attention to the grain of your facial hair and do your best to shave with it,” says Douglas.

And the other lesson?

“Don’t talk about sex with your mother while you’re shaving.”

Home Alone(1990)

In Front of the Mirror:

In an iconic motion-picture moment, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) indulges in bathroom grooming capped off by a splash of aftershave -- resulting in the sting heard round the world.

The Wrong Cut:

Forget that the 8-year-old in the movie never actually “shaves.” The takeaway involves the use of boozed-up post-shave elixirs (which can really smart a freshly shorn face).

Says Douglas: “It’s just a very old-school mentality about aftershave -- that stinging is good because it’s disinfecting. It should be used to soothe the skin.”

The Aviator (2004)

In Front of the Mirror:

Because he needs to emerge from seclusion, Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) must finally shave off his ratty beard. Helping him perform the deed: Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale).

The Wrong Cut:

Based on our shave-with-the-grain rule, it would seem this scene gets it wrong, since Beckinsale slides the razor up DiCaprio’s neck, against the grain. But after careful inspection, Douglas concludes the scene actually got it right.

“Straight-blade professionals will often shave against the grain,” notes Douglas. “But only after they’ve shaved the face once with the grain. And it looks like that’s what she had done: There was just a little bit of shaving cream on his cheek, but the rest of his face had been shaved.”

Starsky & Hutch (2004)

In Front of the Mirror:

Ken Hutchinson (Owen Wilson) shaves in the police department men’s bathroom.

The Wrong Cut:

At first glance, it would seem Wilson has his technique wrong, holding his razor nearly full-on vertically. Were you to follow suit with a modern-day razor, you’d be gaffing.

But for this scene, Douglas blames Wilson’s equipment: the retro safety razor (the movie’s set in the ’70s). “With those old-school razors, it’s really like working with a straight blade,” explains Wilson. “The angle in which you hold it is really important. So I think the actor was holding the blade the way it actually needs to be held, so he didn’t cut himself.”

Douglas adds, “One of the things I really like about this scene is that Owen Wilson really seems to be taking his time -- taking small strokes, sort of like doing detail work. And that’s really great if you’re someone whose facial hair growth pattern goes in many different directions.”

Hancock (2008)

In Front of the Mirror:

About to emerge from prison to commit acts of super-heroism, John Hancock (Will Smith) first decides to clean up his act. He parks himself in front of his cell’s sink, applies shaving cream and shaves … using his fingernails. 

The Wrong Cut:

Since we mere mortals can’t fairly evaluate the effectiveness of fingernails as razors, Douglas found another flaw.

“What struck me about that scene is that he didn’t use any water,” says Douglas. “He just put the cream on there and just … thwack. And in our imaginary Shaving 101 lesson book, the first thing you talk about is applying water to soften the beard. You should really first wash your face, or take a shower, or splash water on your face for a minute or use a wet hot towel -- something that keeps moisture and heat on your beard long enough to moisten that hair shaft.”


How to Be a Leading Man

Just in time for Valentine's Day and Oscar nominations, we honor the silver screen's best men -- guys who set the bar for how to treat a woman. And our awards go to . . .



Forget Oscar-nominated actors. Sure they can teach us about acting, but to learn how to be the kind of leading man a lady craves, we found a different bunch of characters to honor: the best movie boyfriends/husbands. Here are our picks for:  

Best Husband Ever

Paul, Julia Child’s husband (played by Stanley Tucci), Julie & Julia

He loved the hell out of his civil-servant-turned-culinary-icon wife -- even though it wasn't practical for older women to have second-act (or first-act) careers at the time. Even though she was as kooky as a baked Alaska. Even though she had, like, a good 6 inches and 20 pounds on him. Even though she didn't (maybe couldn't) give him children.

Follow the leading man:

Like Paul, be the best husband ever by looking past your differences and going with your heart.

Most Romantic Husband

Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Edward Asner), Up

Carl, a widower, rigs up his old house with a million balloons (give or take about 900,000) so he can airlift it and pilot it to South America. The fearless act is all driven by sentiment, done in memory of his wife -- his best friend, fellow dreamer and inspiration -- to fulfill an aspiration they had during their whole life together.

Follow the leading man:

You’ll be the most romantic dude ever by following through with a crazy pipe dream you concocted with your better half.

Most Intense Boyfriend

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), Twilight series

While some find Edward the vampire a little obsessive and almost stalkerish, the girls in the audience (and their moms) think he’s smoldering hot. The combination of dark, brooding and potentially dangerous yet tender makes him the Beauty and the Beast-type character we’ve seen throughout the centuries. Plus, not only must he work out like a bastard to look ripped for his Bella (though we never see him at the gym), he’s willing to sacrifice his entire happiness just to preserve her soul.

Follow the leading man:

Have your girl pine for you by working on your intense gaze and all-or-nothing attitude. (Bonus: Muscle up.)

Most Patient Boyfriend

Anton (Andrew Garfield), The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

(Runners-up: the Bride Wars fiances, who put up with all kinds of bridezilla shenanigans.)

An actor in an impoverished traveling circus troupe, Anton tolerates living in squalor and being ridiculed by drunk audience members. Why? So he can be next to his secret love, 16-year-old Victoria (Lily Cole). Unfortunately, she has a penchant for bad boys (played by Hollywood’s finest: Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Heath Ledger and Colin Farrell). But have no fear! Patience wins when Victoria finally realizes bad boys are bad news and Anton is her true love.

Follow the leading man:

Why put up with subpar living conditions and wedding-day antics? In hindsight, she’ll interpret it as an indicator of your undying love.

Best Change of Heart

Stu Price (Ed Helms), The Hangover

Dentist Stu is a spineless masochist when it comes to his mean-spirited, snobby girlfriend, Melissa (Rachael Harris), who’s cornered him into marrying her. While in Vegas for a bachelor party, he meets the down-on-her-luck, sweet, doe-eyed escort Jade (Heather Graham), who also happens to be the mother of an infant. Cut to the ending: Stu leaves his shallow fiancee behind for the sweet, hot, single mom.

Follow the leading man:

This is the “Hail Mary pass” of the dating world -- scoring the win right before the clock runs out. It proves that, no matter how many cruel women you come across out there, you can still come across a princess who loves you. (Just leave out the escort part when introducing her to mom and dad.)

Best “Save” of a Relationship

Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), I Love You, Man

In the bromance I Love You, Man, Peter overhears his fiancee, Zooey (Rashida Jones), talking about how he doesn’t have any real male friends. Ideal fiance that he is, Peter tries to remedy this (and find a best man for the wedding in the process) by going on a series of painful, blundering “man dates.”

Follow the leading man:

The moral of the story? Sure she wants to be your everything, but she also wants you to be a well-rounded individual with your own friends and interests. It’s never too late to work on yourself.

Best PDA

Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), The Proposal

In The Proposal, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) is forced to get engaged to his bully boss, Margaret (Sandra Bullock), in her effort to avoid being deported to Canada. The plan unravels after many legal and familial complications, but Andrew finds himself falling for Margaret as he gets to know her better. He confesses his love for her in front of the entire office and proposes marriage just before the Department of Homeland Security whisks her back to Canuck-ville.

Follow the leading man:

Chicks love having an audience when it comes to professions of love. Whether you write it in the sky or get on one knee after a family dinner, remember: the more public bells and whistles, the better.

Movies to Make You a Better Man

Looking for a get-smart shortcut? The right mix of flicks will serve as a veritable Cinema U: You can really learn something by watching them. Here’s our brain-boosting lineup.



Where can you find a better blueprint for life than the movies? These days we look to cinematic fiction for answers to life’s most perplexing questions, such as, Where else can an over-the-hill fat dude like Jack Nicholson be paid zillions to parody himself again?

Ah, but we digress. Educationally speaking, the movies don’t just lecture you like a burned-out, tenured professor: They put you in the action. Plus the movies can out-multimedia just about any lecture class. Watch enough of the right flicks, and you may just qualify for a degree in business, politics, sociology -- even grifting. And think how far all that will go when time comes to make career choices, sound witty at social mixers and impress a worthy lady.

Yes, Cinema U is officially in session. These flicks are packed with smart bombs that’ll serve you well for the rest of your life. Watch and learn:

Shanghai

Check It out: September 4

John Cusack is a U.S. intelligence operative desperately trying to find his missing American buddy in Shanghai just days before the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. As he frantically tries to find his friend, the search is complicated by local gangsters, Japanese invaders, a Chinese chick (Gon Li) who runs sweet and sour on him, and the realization that he’s not sure he can trust his own government.

The Smart Bomb
Cusack’s undercover navigation of pre-war Shanghai reveals a fascinating, culturally rich -- but also slightly seamy -- melting-pot community we never knew existed. The film shows that pre-World War II Shanghai was an international community of refugees, artists, spies, and best of all, breathtakingly beautiful Gon Lis.

Also …
Creativity cannot be stifled. Shanghai’s international community was the birthplace of China’s thriving film industry, which was squashed by the Japanese occupation during the war. The industry clandestinely slipped out of what became Red China and off to Hong Kong to give birth to the careers of our favorite imports: Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

Whiteout

Check It out: September 11

Based on the wildly popular 1998 graphic novel, Whiteout is the story of the world’s hottest United States marshal (Kate Beckinsale), who is, um, hot on the trail of the first and only serial killer in the world’s coldest place, Antarctica. The problem? Winter is only three days away (so forget about seeing Kate slip into a bikini at the polar ice cap). Also, with winter come six months of darkness … in which she would be stuck with the Abominable Snowciopath.

The Smart Bomb
Geography meets criminal justice studies meets ice-onography. The story offers the eye-opening and groin-freezing scenario in which we see how U.S. marshals are the only law enforcement agency charged with protecting the world’s largest and least inviting continent. When Carrie Stetko (Beckinsale) is sent to the most isolated, barren and scariest landmass on earth to shut down a serial killer terrorizing a U.S. research base, she has to do it in temperatures that drop to 120 F below 0, winds that will rip your skin off at up to 200 mph and a serious absence of backup when the bodies begin to pile up -- all of which leads us to wonder who her high school career counselor was.

Also …
In the original graphic novel, Stetko was a little overweight and got a bit of help from a female U.N. investigator … with whom (it was implied) she melts a little ice. In the film, though, the investigator is a dude (actor Garbiel Macht). Maybe we should go back to using comics as reference books.

The Informant

Check It out: September 18

Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) was bored working at an Illinois food processing company. So, more to make himself feel important than to actually help anybody, Whitacre goes undercover for the FBI to uncover his company’s massive price-fixing scandal -- while he’s in the midst of stealing $9 million bucks himself. True story.

The Smart Bomb
Aside from focusing on Whitacre’s clueless efforts to be a hero, this story offers riveting detail about how the food industry holds not only your tummy hostage but also your wallet. In real life, Whitacre wore a wire for three years and helped record video footage of high-level meetings, where execs conspired with each other to set food additive prices well above market value so they could stuff their pockets as you stuff your face.

Also …
Elaborate FBI stings follow white-collar crime everywhere -- even in boring industries. That’s right: Somebody’s making dough by charging too much for, um, dough. So if you’re jacking up the sugar packets at your local 7-Eleven, watch your back, Jack. And if you’re going to be an informant, you may want to avoid being a thief while working for the man. Whitacre’s prison term was three times longer than that of the guys he helped nab.

Capitalism: A Love Story

Check It out: September 23

Michael Moore, that hefty dude with the baseball cap and suspicious nature,  celebrates the 20th anniversary of his breakout film Roger & Me -- about the suspicious collapse of the auto industry -- with a new film about the suspicious collapse of the overall economy. The new flick takes a comical look at the corporate and political high jinks that culminated in what Moore has described as “the biggest robbery in the history of this country”: the massive transfer of U.S. taxpayer money to private financial institutions to bail out fat guys with billion-dollar bonuses.

The Smart Bomb
Forget smart bomb -- this one’s an all-out genius bomb: A study of economics, politics, business and thievery all in one! Were this one to translate to college credits, you could cash it in for a quadruple major.

As in his previous documentaries, Moore blindsides his targets when they least expect it. Here, he corners top corporate and banking executives as they fly to their private islands on personal jets that they bankrolled with bonuses they set aside for themselves -- despite managing funds that bankrupted investors. Then Moore gets them to not explain how they can live with themselves on our money.

Also …
Moore details how these guys siphoned funds, pensions, savings and more while the people who trusted them with their life savings went broke. So if you’re up to no good, you may want to stay on Moore’s good side.

More Than a Game

Check It out: October 2

This documentary follows five poor kids from Akron, Ohio, through their high school hoop careers. Not unusual, except when you consider that one, LeBron James, has gone on to become the world’s best player and that they wind up playing for the national championship.

The Smart Bomb
The kids are shown dealing with the pressures of poverty, publicity that comes with competing in the national media spotlight and the heat from that spotlight intensified 100 times because James has been earmarked by the media -- and NBA scouts -- as the best high school player in the cosmos. But despite everybody wanting to get their hands on James, nobody is able to pull these five guys apart. Even when James is banned from a game for allegedly accepting the gift of a car (a no-no he was later cleared of), the kids rely on the bond they formed in Akron to keep them together and help them achieve their individual goals -- as a team. 

Also …
Be true and loyal to your friends, and teamwork will always win out. (Of course, it’s easy to win games with LeBron James on your team.)