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Says Something When Sinatra Is Making Your Phone Calls
Runnin' Rebels of UNLV (2011)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Very entertaining documentary from HBO Sports taking a look at Jerry Tarkanian's arrival at UNLV and everything he was able to accomplish there in nineteen years. The documentaries main focus are the various battles that the school had with the NCAA but also that magical year where they ended up finally winning a National Championship only to quickly have everything fall apart. I was just old enough to where I started paying attention to basketball so this championship team is one that I'll always remember. I thought this documentary did an extremely good job at showing the highs and lows of this program, which certainly isn't an easy thing to do. I think a filmmaker could look at this school as something pure evil while someone else could really show how great their accomplishments were. What makes this film work is that it takes the middle ground and looks at everything openly and honest. I really liked that they didn't try to cover up the various run ins with the NCAA while at the same time not taking away from what these teams did. This is especially true when we take a look at the championship team and have Greg Anthony talking about how bad the team felt that they were being labeled as "thugs" and other such terms. Tarkanian himself is here talking about his entire run at the school and we get interviews with several players, members of the media as well as people like Jimmy Kimmel and Mike Krzyzewski. Fans of college basketball and especially UNLV should really enjoy this documentary as it perfectly shows what was going on during this era.
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