[Screen It]


(1998) (Trey Parker, Matt Stone) (R)

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Comedy: Two best friends invent a new sport -- a combination of baseball and basketball -- that soon becomes a national favorite in this sports movie parody.
Joe "Coop" Cooper (TREY PARKER) and Doug Remer (MATT STONE) are lifelong friends who invent a new backyard sport, Baseketball -- a combination of baseball and basketball, where the only defense is to humiliate or "psyche out" the opponent. After its popularity increases over the years, wealthy businessman Ted Denslow (ERNEST BORGNINE) wants to buy their idea and turn it into a national sport and the guys agree.

Soon everyone's playing the new game and Joe and Doug are national sports figures. At one of their games, the guys meet Jenna Reed (YASMINE BLEETH), the comely director of a make a wish foundation for sick kids. Both guys try to hit on her, but they have bigger concerns when Denslow dies and leaves their team, the Milwaukee Beers, to Joe. Not only are Doug and an old friend and diminutive teammate, Kenny "Squeak" Scolari (DIAN BACHAR), concerned about this, but Denslow's widow, Yvette (JENNY McCARTHY), is understandably upset as well.

She gets into cahoots, however, with Baxter Cain (ROBERT VAUGHN), the owner of another team, who wants to change the league's structure to more closely resemble other professional sports where everyone gets rich. As Joe and Doug face the pressures of Baxter's offers, they must also deal with the fact that if they don't have a winning season, ownership of the team will transfer to Yvette who will surely go along with Baxter's plan.

If they're fans of parody films or of cable TV's "South Park" show (that's done by this film's two stars), they probably will.
For strong language and crude sex-related humor.
  • Considering the nature of this genre, none of what occurs in the film is meant to be taken at face value and the same holds true for its characters.
  • TREY PARKER and MATT STONE play buddies who invent a new sport and become national stars. While playing the game, they participate in all sorts of crude and unsportsmanlike conduct (an accepted part of the game) to distract their opponents.
  • YASMINE BLEETH plays the director of a Make A Wish Foundation for sick kids.
  • ROBERT VAUGHN plays the greedy owner of an opposing team who does whatever it takes to wrest control of the team from the two guys.


    OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
    Nearly every sports fan has, at one time or another, tried to invent a new sport. As kids we used to sit around the backyard brainstorming for such ideas, hoping that something insightful would pop into our heads. Unfortunately not much did, and whenever something managed to pop up, we immediately decreed it as stupid and we went on to something else, like trying to invent new comic book heroes.

    Thus the intrigue of "BASEketball," a parody film of sorts that targets sports movies and our national obsession with sports overall. Just like our childhood backyard failures, however, this film's newly invented sport should have been quickly rejected. That's because it's neither very interesting nor -- especially important for the movie -- very funny. While its defensive tactic of annoying, humiliating or "psyching out" the opponent offers a few laughs, the overall concept isn't funny and that immediately hurts the film.

    It also suffers from a horrible case of timing in that it's the third gross out/parody film to come along in as many weeks and will no doubt suffer from the audience's overexposure to such material. Although it's directed by David Zucker (part of the team responsible for the "Naked Gun" and "Airplane" movies) and stars the creators and vocal talents of the hit animated cable TV show, "South Park," it's doubtful this film will last long in the theaters.

    Since its general concept isn't funny, the film needs to either "excel" at the gross out material (such as in "There's Something About Mary") or use the comedic machine gun approach by throwing out as much goofy and stupid material as possible and hope that the audience finds at least some of it amusing or better yet, outrageously funny.

    While the film does offer a few good laughs (all depending, of course, on what you find funny), it's easily the weakest of this month's parody films and surprisingly doesn't have as much humorous ammunition for that comedy machine gun as one would expect.

    Certainly tasteless, vulgar and guaranteed to offend at least some moviegoers, I found the film occasionally funny, but overall quite weak. Perhaps it's having recently experienced two similar films, but this one had the least "sophisticated" (if you can even use that phrase in this genre) or clever humor of any such entries in this genre in a long time.

    For every parody gag that works -- a funny, but potentially offensive bit such as "Road Kill Caught on Tape" (that spoofs the FOX TV network's sensationalistic programming), and the jokes about the corporate-sponsored stadiums (such as one named after a certain feminine hygiene product) -- there are many more gags that don't work.

    A bit involving "free range chicken night" at a game (with chickens all over the field/court) might have seemed funny on paper, but falls flat in execution. So do scenes featuring jokes about "The Horse Whisperer" as a sleep-inducing sedative and a bit featuring Ernest Borgnine dancing to Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" song (which, like the macarena scene in "Mafia!," is a few years too late).

    For a film that's supposedly spoofing sports movies, the filmmakers -- considering their "pedigree" -- have surprisingly missed a great deal of "spoof worthy" material. While there's some brief stuff involving "The Natural" (the baseball film starring Robert Redford), the scenes are nearly more homage than parody based, and so few people saw that film more than a decade ago that they -- and especially today's teens -- won't get those particular jokes.

    I kept waiting for funny bits on "Bull Durham" and "Field of Dreams" ("If you build it, he will come"), or even other sports films such as "Rocky," but they never appeared. Considering the slam on today's sports, the perfect film that should have been the focal point of the movie -- "Jerry Maguire" -- is nowhere to be found. After a funny opening monologue about the decline of sports and a brief scene showing celebrating football players breaking out into an Irish line dance, the film pretty much drops the ball.

    Instead, it goes for less inspired laughs -- mainly the taunting of opposing players during the "game" -- and includes a long scene with Robert Stack doing his "Unsolved Mysteries" bit where the only joke is hearing him cuss. For "South Park" fans, a few voices from the show briefly appear and one of the characters is named Kenny (although he doesn't get killed despite being abused throughout the film).

    Not surprisingly, the performances aren't much here, and Trey Parker and Matt Stone demonstrate that they're probably better suited behind, rather than in front of, the camera. Longtime film stars Robert Vaughn and Ernest Borgnine can't do much with their weakly written characters, and both "Baywatch" babe Yasmine Bleeth and former MTV host Jenny McCarthy are pretty much used just as "eye candy" (especially McCarthy). Of course that should please this film's target audience of high school and college aged males.

    Unless you fall into that group, you probably won't get much out of this film, although you may find yourself laughing a few times at some stupid or gross out moments. Even so, this is a pretty weak effort, especially considering the track record of director Zucker. Sadly, as is in the world of sports, you can't always hit a home run and sometimes end up striking out instead. We give "BASEketball" a 3 out of 10.

    Obviously, given a film of this nature and its genre, none of the material is meant to be taken seriously or at face value. Nonetheless, here's a quick look at its content, all of which is played for laughs. Profanity is extreme with nearly 20 "f" words and a large assortment of other words and phrases.

    A great deal of the humor originates from sexually based material, and we also see several men's bare butts (and a partial glimpse at obviously faked and oversized genitalia) as well as many views of scantily clad cheerleaders (with most of their bare butts being exposed).

    Beyond that, viewers may find some or a lot of the material to be vulgar and tasteless (obviously dependent on individual tastes), or a poor choice for comedy (such as scenes involving terminally ill kids played for laughs).

    Some faked gore is also present, as is a moderate amount of tempting material that some kids may want to imitate. Since kids might want to see this film, and due to its wide variety of comedy generating material, we strongly suggest that you look through the categories to determine whether this film is appropriate for them or anyone else in your home.

  • Considering the nature of this genre, none of what occurs in the film is meant to be taken at face value.
  • Coop and Remer bring beer to a party where others drink beer and/or cocktails.
  • The team the guys play for is the Milwaukee "Beers" and we see several people wearing "mug heads" (large beer mugs over their heads).
  • Players spray champagne in a locker room.
  • Remer, Coop, Kenny and a sick, underage boy all drink margaritas and appear to be rather intoxicated while participating in a drinking game based on the Jerry Springer show (anytime a fight breaks out they have to drink).
  • Considering the nature of this genre, none of what occurs in the film is meant to be taken at face value.
  • We briefly see the decapitated (and somewhat bloody, but obviously fake) head of a hockey player slide across the ice toward the goal (leaving a little bit of a bloody trail).
  • Although neither bloody nor gory, we do see Coop urinating into a plant on the front steps of a house (hosting a party) that they're about to enter, and moments later Remer drinks from a bidet like it's a water fountain.
  • Likewise, we see the "Beers" mascot (a guy dressed like a beer barrel with a spigot down near his crotch) stand at a urinal, open that spigot, and relieve himself.
  • Coop tells and shows another player that he's sucking fat -- which was "liposuctioned" from "Marlon Brando's ass" -- through a straw.
  • Acting like he's a nursing mother, Remer (somehow) shoots milk from his nipple(s) toward other players.
  • Baxter wipes his hand on his face and smears chicken poop on it.
  • Coop gives an opposing player "the finger" right before squeezing it off his hand. Blood then squirts everywhere and we see that he's holding a fake hand.
  • We hear Kenny and Remer throwing up into metal buckets (from being drunk and feeling sick).
  • It looked like there was blood on a shirtless guy's chest who was wearing a ribbon pinned to his chest.
  • We see several (obviously fake) animals being hit by cars on a "Road Kill Caught On Tape" video.
  • We briefly see a bit where it's "anal probe" night at the game, and see fans holding many of them.
  • Considering the nature of this genre, none of what occurs in the film is meant to be taken at face value. Even so, some may find the film's use of the following for humor to be in bad taste:
  • Most of the material listed under "Sex/Nudity."
  • A man needing CPR and then dying after inhaling a hot dog.
  • Some sick or terminally ill kids being called "health challenged and survival impaired," or Remer throwing a baseketball toward one of the kids (not knowing he's blind) and having it hit him in the face and knock him down. At one point, Coop asks a kid what's wrong and the boy responds, "I'm gonna die." Coop replies, "We're all gonna die," and the kid comments, "Yeah, but not this week." Later, there are jokes about the guys sitting on the sick kid's ventilation tubes, as well as shocking him off the bed with a defibrillator.
  • The San Francisco team is named the "Fairies" and their cheerleaders are men wearing nothing but tightfitting, short pants.
  • We see several (obviously fake) animals being hit by cars on a "Road Kill Caught On Tape" video.
  • Beyond all of that, Baxter is a greedy team owner who wants to change everything about the new sport so that he can become rich from it. In doing so, he schemes and blackmails the guys.
  • The Texas team's motto is "F*ck the Mexicans."
  • Remer becomes conceited after making money from the sport.
  • The hard hats worn in a Calcutta factory are hardened versions of traditional head wear instead of normal hard hats.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Considering the nature of this genre, none of what occurs in the film is meant to be taken at face value.
  • Phrases: "C*cksucker," "Pig f*cker," "Eat sh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "Jacksh*t," "D*ckhead," "Jacking off" (masturbation), "Loser," "Sucks," "Chicks" (for women), "Bitch" and "Little Bitch" (what the guys call Kenny), "Ass wipes," "Pissed them off," "Nuts" (crazy), "Dingleberry," "Idiots," "Rat's ass," "Shut up," "Homos," "Pissed off," "Fart," "Twerp," "Kicked ass," "Numbskulls" and "Screwed" (nonsexual).
  • Coop and Remer continually call each other "dude" throughout the movie.
  • We see Coop urinating into a plant on the front steps of a house (hosting a party) that they're about to enter.
  • Part of the baseketball game is to do whatever you can to make the opponent miss the shot. As such, Coop spits beer onto a guy, Remer tells another, "I f*cked your sister," Remer has his hand inside his pants as if he's playing with himself, and later says "I want to feel you deep inside me," and we see Kenny's bare butt as Coop pulls his pants down to distract another player.
  • Some people stand on a home's roof and do the "wave" while watching a neighborhood game of Baseketball.
  • Fans throw eggs at the players on "dozen egg night."
  • Coop gives an opposing player "the finger" right before a bloody sight gag, and later the guys all give Coop "the finger."
  • Remer, Coop, Kenny and a sick, underage boy all drink margaritas and appear to be rather intoxicated while participating in a drinking game based on the Jerry Springer show (anytime a fight breaks out they have to drink). During this, the boy also belches loudly.
  • A dog suddenly jumps on Kenny (done for laughs).
  • None.
  • A parody song on the radio includes a slang term for male genitals ("d*ck").
  • At least 19 "f" words (3 used sexually), 24 "s" words, 3 slang terms using male genitals ("c*cksucker," "c*ck," "d*ck"), 1 slang term for female genitals ("p*ssy"), 1 slang term for breasts (the "t" word), 16 asses (3 used with "hole"), 10 hells, 6 damns, 2 craps, 1 S.O.B., and 5 uses of "Oh my God," 3 each of "G-damn," "God," "Oh God," and 1 use each of "Oh my God," "Jesus," "Oh Christ," "Sweet Jesus" and "Holy Mother of God" as exclamations.
  • Considering the nature of this genre, none of what occurs in the film is meant to be taken at face value.
  • A stadium is named "Maxi Tampons" and we see a Maxi Tampon blimp flying along with a string hanging from it.
  • Entering a house hosting a party, Remer comments about a particular woman there, "I really want to f*ck her." Moments later, he and Coop are going through what they think is the woman's underwear drawer. They pull out the underwear and smell it, and Remer then pulls out a vibrator (and says, "I'm so jealous of you") and begins licking it (and stops when they're told they're going through the woman's mother's underwear drawer.) Minutes later, Remer comments that he's pulling pubic hairs (from the vibrator) from his mouth.
  • Trying to "psyche out" another player, Remer tells the guy, "I f*cked your sister."
  • Seeing the tiny box that Remer states is his new bed, Kenny asks, "How am I supposed to get a chick into that?"
  • We see many shots of the team's buxom cheerleaders in a variety of skimpy outfits (ranging from S&M leather to soft, lacy "Fredericks of Hollywood" type stuff), all of which show a great deal of cleavage as well as most of the women's bare butts in the thong-like bottoms. They also occasionally do some suggestive dancing (pelvic thrusting, etc...) in a few scenes.
  • A nude man swings through a locker room on a rope and we briefly see his bare butt.
  • We see Jenna's cleavage as she asks Coop "Would you mind signing these" and he prepares to sign her breasts, but she then holds up two "baseketballs."
  • Commenting on Denslow's disinterest in making a profit, Baxter tells his widow, "I hope that quality isn't sexually transmitted."
  • Yvette shows some cleavage, and Baxter tells her, "Maybe we could lay some carpet, if you know what I mean." Later, we a lot more cleavage while observing her making sexual-like sounds and moving while kneeling on the floor, but then see that she is putting down carpet.
  • Denslow mentions on his will videotape about Coop having "the crabs."
  • To distract an opposing player, Remer has his hand inside his pants as if he's playing with himself, and later says "I want to feel you deep inside me" as another distraction ploy.
  • The cheerleaders for the San Francisco team are men in tightly fitting, short pants, who caress their own bodies.
  • We see Kenny's bare butt as Coop pulls his pants down to distract another player.
  • When a sick boy says that his last wish is Chelsea Clinton, one of the players says, "That's a tall order. You'd have a better shot at Bill."
  • The guys make a comment to Kenny about others "catching you jack off before the game." He replies, "You saw that?"
  • After making a comment about an opposing player's mother being "deaf," the guy says she's "dead," and Kenny responds, "I guess that's why she didn't move very much" (suggesting he had sex with her).
  • We see Remer kissing the playmate of the year in a hot tub, but don't see anything else.
  • We see both Remer and Coop's bare butts several times, as well as a brief glimpse of part of their exaggeratedly long penises (obviously fake) that hang to the floor. As Coop spins around, Baxter reacts to the swinging mass (we don't see it) that nearly hits him.
  • Moments later, Jenna walks in and sees them and (trying to comment on other things) says, "It's not endowed like...." "Who can argue who has the biggest penis," and "Throbbing c*ck."
  • Robert Stack (playing himself on "Unsolved Mysteries") makes a comment that if he were a woman responding to Coop, he'd have his legs wrapped around him and later be "in the spoon position."
  • Remer and Coop exaggeratedly french kiss each other for several moments.
  • Remer shows an opposing player part of his T-shirt that shows a picture of a woman bending over. The guy says that it's his wife, and Remer shows the rest of the shirt and says "that's me" as we see him standing nude behind the woman pressed up against her from behind.
  • Sports announcer Bob Costas tells Al Michaels, "You're excited? Feel these nipples."
  • Coop spits out some chewing tobacco juice, then takes out the wad and gives it to Remer who puts it in his mouth and then spits.
  • We see a guy in a mystery show reenactment smoking a cigar, and some sports reporters also smoke, and Baxter holds an unlit cigar.
  • Yvette's husband dies, but not much is made of that.
  • The big business world of professional sports.
  • Considering the nature of this genre, none of what occurs in the film is meant to be taken seriously, or at face value.
  • We see some typical sports violence and then briefly see the decapitated (and somewhat bloody) head of a hockey player slide across the ice toward the goal (leaving a little bit of a bloody trail).
  • A dog attacks Kenny and we then see his body fly across a gate and onto the ground.
  • Some people fall from a home's roof while doing the "wave."
  • Trying to motivate him, Remer repeatedly bashes Kenny into a fence, who later slaps Remer after he's pumped up.
  • Fans throw eggs at the players on "dozen egg night."
  • Remer throws a baseketball toward one of Jenna's kids (not knowing he's blind) and it hits him in the face and knocks him down.
  • We briefly see TV footage of post sports victory fighting and looting on the streets.
  • A free range chicken is sucked into some sort of grinder and we see its feathers flying up from the unit (implying it met the grinder).
  • We see some "fights" on an episode of the Jerry Springer show.
  • Coop repeatedly slams a bar counter door onto Remer's head.
  • A little kid gets "clotheslined" by the top of a door frame as he's carried out on Coop's shoulders.
  • The guys repeatedly knock down Kenny in a hospital, pull a blanket off a bed that sends another patient flying into the wall, and later repeatedly shock a sick boy via a highly charged defibrillator (that also shocks Remer) after hitting him on the chest. Later, Coop and a nurse are shocked when a syringe goes into an electrical outlet.
  • Remer hits an opposing player with a large board and Coop then comes along and kicks him.
  • A player falls and the ball hits Remer in the crotch, and as Coop celebrates, he kicks up his heels and hits Remer in the same spot, as does the beer barrel mascot with his spigot.
  • In the background of several shots we see players throwing Kenny around, and then using his head like a small practice boxing ball.
  • Coop grabs Remer by the nose.

  • Reviewed July 28, 1998

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