Baseketball (1998)

(In theaters, August 1998) For a reason I cannot fathom, Baseketball flopped badly, pulling in less than $5M on its opening weekend to finish 11th at the box office tally. It was at our local dollar-theatre its second week. For $2.75C., it couldn’t be much of a disappointment, and wasn’t. Baseketball is funny. Not a classic, not a very good comedy, but a relatively satisfying one. Moments of cleverness lurk behind the remainder of this enjoyably silly movie. I predict a certain cult-status among late-night movie fans. Give or take a star whether you like cheerleaders in tight black leather underwear or not. It’s that kind of movie.

(Second viewing, On DVD, August 2002) I was one of the few supporters of the film when it was first released (and then promptly sank at the box-office), but a look at the film four years later only confirms my moderate enthusiasm. Hey, I still think it’s one of the most solid spoofs of the late nineties, but I’m not quite as taken by the (relatively modest, given its latter contemporaries) degree of gross-out humor or the often-inconsistent pacing. The film sets itself in a familiar narrative structure that’s very comfortable but doesn’t do much to spoof itself. It’s too bad that the film’s tone never equals its brilliant first two minutes about the decline of professional sports. There are several lulls, and a lack of background gags but there are also a few good moments and the two lead actors pull their own. Give it a try if you still haven’t seen it. The DVD contains a perfunctory making-of, but not much more.

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