A clumsy young math whiz at an east Brooklyn high school (Dempsey Pappion) suddenly finds himself on the cusp of college baetball stardom, thanks to a magical pair of canvas high-tops that turn him into an air walker. For a teen transformation fantasy, this video feature takes some surprisingly sharp jabs at the packaging of black athletes and sports footwear alike; at one point the conflicted hero declines a new pair of aerodynamic sneakers on the grounds that they're too expensive, making kids who can't afford them feel like “nobodies.” (I wanted to stand up and cheer.) Other revelations arrive with the genial modesty one might expect from director Gregory Hines, who can be forgiven his own twinkly-eyed cameo. Screenwriter Mark Saltzman adapted a story by Jeffrey Rubin; with Vanessa Bell Calloway, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and a wonderfully wicked Vincent D'Onofrio as a sneaker magnate working on his pronunciation of the word “homey.” 108 min.
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