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BASEketball (1998) – Movie Review

BASEketball poster

Written by: Lewis Friedman, Robert LoCash, Jeff Wright & David Zucker
Directed by: David Zucker
Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Yasmine Bleeth, Robert Vaughn, Jenny McCarthy

My Advice: Matinee.

There is a subgenre that has been suffering recently. That’s right, it’s called “Damn Silly Movies.” We’ve been torn between Mel Brooks, whose last semi-inspired foray was Spaceballs back in 1987, and Leslie Nielsen, who hasn’t had a really funny one since the first Naked Gun back in 1988. I’m pleased to announce that this movie is downright damn silly, and it’s funny…all the way through to the other side. I know, I know. You’re skeptical because you’ve been burned before. But go with me on this one.

[ad#longpost]Basically, Coop and Doug (Parker and Stone) are childhood friends and long-time losers who want someday to be sports heroes. When cornered at a party full of L.L. Bean models and asked to play a game, they improvise a game from the “hood,” BASEketball. It’s basically Horse meets Basketball meets Baseball meets The Dozens. (And if you don’t know The Dozens, then ask George Carlin). Before they know it, they’re at the center of a National BASEketball League and the demands that go along with pro-stardom.

You’ve seen this film before, it’s formulaic: fame and the love of the same girl tear apart two good friends. And yes, when it seems it’s going to lapse completely into that Velveeta-laiden paradigm, it weakens a bit. But even as it conforms, it destroys. A scene with the obligatory “come on guys” speech being delivered by a talking pineapple is only one example of how expectations are turned on their collective ear. The thing that’s amazing to me is how
they got these people to do these things: Jenny McCarthy to…lay some carpet, Bob Costas to…talk about his nipples, and Victoria Silvstedt, Playmate of the Year to…yeah. But there’s plenty to keep people in stitches, including the “psyche outs” you use to keep a player from scoring, the constant abuse of team member “Little Bitch” (Dian Bachar), and a plethora of background sickness that you have to pay attention for. Keep in mind that this film isn’t for everyone–if you’re not fans of the type of vulgar humor displayed in South Park, then you had best keep your distance. However, if you’re a really twisted sicko like the Widgeman, run don’t walk to the nearest cineplex.

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