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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Hebrew, Greek, Russian, Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Featurette
  • Music video - Reel Big Fish
  • Outtakes

BASEketball

Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 99 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

When social losers Joe Cooper and Doug Reemer accidentally invent a ball game, it isnít long before the worldís waning interest in sports is rekindled by its originality and access by Ďeverymaní.

"You donít care about Jenna! You were just in a hot tub naked with Victoria Silvstedt, Playmate of the Year!"

Matt Stone and Trey Parker portray the two inventors of BASEketball to hilarious and sometimes disgusting effect, whilst a large ensemble cast of whos-whoers will have you picking faces in the crowd. This isnít a serious film by any stretch of the word, and if you like the humour of the Naked Gun and Police Squad seriesí, you will find much to laugh at in this actually quite intelligent spoof of modern sports. Sure, some of the gags are banal or downright vulgar, but there runs beneath a sadness at the loss of sports to the dollar sign, when sports were originally created for everyone. Now sport is owned by global corporations and players are traded back and forth like stock at phenomenal salaries and projected profits. It makes kicking a ball around the backyard seem like a copyright violation at times.

It is with this in mind that writer/director David Zucker gives us BASEketball, a 99 minute slap in the face to big sports and big sporting goods manufacturers (thereís a socially redeeming scene of children working a sweatshop in Calcutta with hard hats and all.) Stone and Parker, well known for their scripted animation South Park have brought their own unique personalities to the screen, even bringing with them Dian Bachar, a longtime colleague we last saw share the screen with these two in 1997s Orgasmo. Itís vulgar, itís disgusting (who shares chewing tobacco?) and itís politically incorrect, but it is funny and well worth checking out next time your after something light and distasteful. A college friend and I used to sit up watching this film and there are some scenes that still get a laugh, even after multiple viewings (I give you the entire tequila drinking sequence with Squeakís girlfriend.)

  Video
Contract

The Sony DVD Center Ė always reliable - have created yet another fabulously clean transfer to DVD. I could detect no artefacts at all and a crystal clear picture that beats my old videotape reject hands down. The colours are bright and clean keeping the eye moving through the colourful sets to pick up minor sight gags and asides, while all flesh tones are great and the shadows true black. Thereís no loss of detail in shadows either and happily no greens or greys among them. The picture is truly awesome and the 16:9 enhanced transfer gives us the whole picture screen. There are always gags happening behind the main action, so the widescreen is particularly helpful for picking these up. Itís always good to see a film make full use of the screen, especially if not an outdoor or landscape piece and BASEketball performs very well in this regard.

  Audio
Contract

Superb Dolby Digital 5.1 in no less than five languages brings all the fun of the film to the screen, though I couldnít help but feel it was a little wasted. Donít get me wrong, Iím glad they treated the sound with such respect, itís just that there wasnít really so much going on as to warrant the whole surround dealy. Be that as it may, the sound still kicks arse. The levels are all perfect with music aiding, not dominating, although it does get a little loud in instances, but this tends to go with the spirit of the film. Featuring live performances from Reel Big Fish and a classic DVDA rendition of a glam rock radio style song, the soundtrack is excellent and well placed within the movie.

All dialogue is well spoken and clear, again important when jokes are being made, and there are no examples I can come up with of indistinctness or muttering. Sound effects, too, leaned away from the 'zany' (happily) and were well used with limited stock footage.

  Extras
Contract

This part is a bit pitiful. Thereís the Theatrical Trailer of course and a ten minute Spotlight On Location bit with sound bites, small interviews and clips from the movie which is okay, but it doesnít really give us any more information about the film.

Also included is a Video Clip by the Reel Big Fish performing A-Haís Take On Me, which runs for a typical three and a half minutes. Finally, we get 17 minutes of Outtakes which I was really looking forward to watching, but was disappointed by the poor editing of. Some just went too long, whilst others looked very different from the final versions. And whilst some did have genuine hilarity, most looked like there was some huge joke that we werenít really privy to. Trimming to 12 minutes would have made this batch better and funnier.

  Overall  
Contract

Not a great success at the cinema and now, probably not a great success in home theatres. This is a very funny movie with a heartfelt point to make about the sports industry, but somehow something is slightly amiss. Many films in a similar Ďintelligentí vein have also been overlooked by the public (including Zoolander, Undercover Brother and even Starship Troopers), which is unfortunate as they all have good messages beneath but perhaps the public just arenít interested in digging a little to find them.

It isnít a hard film to watch, in fact itís quite easy and the laughs are well placed to keep it moving. Fans of Stone and Parkerís work will recognise these guysí footprints all over it, but it is mostly a classic Zucker-written vehicle of silliness. A great night in with friends and beer, but likely will appeal more to the guys than the gals.


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      And I quote...
    "No, not Oliver Stone, Matt Stone. And Trey Parker."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nintaus DVD-N9901
    • TV:
          Sony 51cm
    • Receiver:
          Diamond
    • Speakers:
          Diamond
    • Surrounds:
          No Name
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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