Sunday, July 30, 2006

BASEketball (1998)

Starring Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Dian Bachar, et al
Rated R, 103 minutes

“BASEketball” was unfairly written off when it came out because it starred “those South Park guys.” What really needed to be noticed was the top of the poster – “from the director of Naked Gun.” What the film ends up being is “Naked Gun” starring Trey & Matt, or a cross between David Zucker films and the humor of “South Park.”

Parker & Stone play childhood friends Joe Cooper and Doug Remer. Faced with a challenge from some jocks, the two create “BASEketball,” a game that rewards their skill at shooting baskets, but deemphasizes running, dribbling, and all that stuff. It turns from a driveway game, to a neighborhood favorite, to a national sport. The guy who once tried to shut off their gas, “Squeak” Scolari (Bachar) becomes part of the team.

So like I said, it ends up being more like “Naked Gun” than it does “South Park.” There are lots of throwaway gags in the background, deadpan seriousness in the face of tragedy – all the Zucker staples. A lot of them get injected with the humor of Trey & Matt, and the results are great.

I can’t even begin to mention the other famous players in the movie: Ernest Borgnine, Jenny McCarthy, Robert Vaughn, Yasmine Bleeth, Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Robert Stack.

It’s not quite as rapid-fire as the “Naked Gun” movies are, and it does feel a tad lengthy, but if you’re fan of the Zucker films, the “South Park” TV show, or both like I am, then you’d be smart to see this one.


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