Get it, they're balls.
"Two guys invented a game... and turned the sports world upside down!"

Welcome to Friday gang, welcome back to the Tagline, where now ball jokes are king until the end of this post at least. As part of my spectacular series on films you can stream on the Netflix garbage superhighway, today I will be taking us back to 1998, to talk about one of the great late 90s oddities, BASEketball (yeah it's really spelled like that just look at the cover, but I'm not going to spell it like that again). Before I go into the movie, let's study a little history. Like I just mentioned, this movie was released in 1998, in the end of July to be more precise. This would mean that it was released approximately one yeah after Trey Parker and Matt Stone began work on South Park. South Park was an immediate success, though at that point it was still a new thing and not the culturally immovable point it has no become, and so this I guess opened up some new opportunities for these... fine gentlemen. BASEketball is notable as being the only production Stone and Parker have been involved in to date that they did not write, direct, or produce in some way. They apparently did have some creative input with the director David Zucker (noted for such jewels as Airplane!, The Naked Gun movies and several of the latter-day Scary Movies unfortunately) so I guess there IS that. This movie's core concept was actually centered around a game Zucker had actually made up, which is sort of like a combination of Horse, Around the World, and being an asshole to the other players. The movie focuses on loser best buddies Coop (Parker) and Remer (Stone) inventing the game to occupy themselves during unemployment, which presumably is ongoing. The game has rules that allow them to level the playing field between themselves and more athletic individuals, and it becomes popular rapidly. Eventually a rich old guy, Ted Denslow (our second Ernest Borgnine performance this week how about that), offers to make the sport a major league of its own, and to keep it from becoming a corporate shit show like other sports.

It's okay, she's just installing carpeting. 
Of course, we need some conflict to act as the backdrop for all of our dick jokes, so enter the owner of the Dallas team, Baxter Cain, who wants to seize control of the league so that he can make lots of money off of it via the same corporate sponsorships that Denslow was opposed to, before he choked to death on a wiener (a hotdog at a game you sickos! Obviously). In Denslow's will he gives ownership of the Milwaukee Beers (the team Remer and Coop play on) to Coop, assuming that Coop can lead them to victory that year. Also he reminisces about some gross stuff that they may have done together. Anyway if Coop doesn't pull it off, the team's ownership will revert to Denslow's gold digger widow (Jenny McCarthy), who will sell sell sell in a second to Cain. So basically it's like the plot of every Happy Madison film ever created. Hero has a thing, that is good, but will lose it if he/they/it doesn't do X, where X is some high stakes event, often involving a competition of some variety. Also there is a romantic plot involving an incredibly beautiful woman out of the main character's league, who is an actual adult charmed by his man-child behavior. In this case it is Yasmine Bleeth (of Baywatch and later burnout cocaine addiction fame) who is in charge of this movie's equivalent of the make-a-wish foundation.

If you wanna get down, get down on the ground, cocaine. 
So okay, that is probably more than you need to know about the plot of the movie, but let's talk about everything and anything else. For starters, even though they didn't write or direct in any way, Matt and Trey's fingerprints are all over this movie. In particular they managed to sneak a song by their band DVDA into the movie charmingly entitled "Warts on Your Dick". Niiiice. These two jokers just can't go five minutes without a ridiculous song, but I guess that's them playing to their... strengths. Otherwise the movie is amusing in a sort of gross way, but it's not really anything special, particularly in retrospect. The vague plot outline I listed above is essentially the plot of every single movie of this type ever, and while Parker and Stone are funny, there's only so much they can do to a movie they aren't directing. At the same time there is a vestige of the humor found in Naked Gun in this movie, and that elevates it ever so slightly in my esteem at least. There are also moments in this movie where I can't help but be reminded of later South Park episodes, that seem to riff on similar ideas (although after running for approximately 17 years I'm sure they have at this point riffed literally everything in the world).

Also Matt and Trey Make out... so yeah.
The movie was financially weak, grossing about a third of its 23 million production budget, and met mixed reviews that look a lot like what I just said. Other highlights of the movie include its Reel Big Fish laden soundtrack, which features more ska than most people have probably heard in their whole life (so like four or five songs) and actually I should also mention that Reel Big Fish appear in the film, performing at a game. Also there's a Smash Mouth song, so that's something to think about. Think about Smash Mouth right now, I demand it be so. Okay, you can stop now. I SAID STOP.

If you like dumb movies (and there's nothing wrong with that) and need one to serve as background noise while you fall asleep on your couch or are otherwise hanging out, this one is good for a few laughs if nothing else, but it is no Team America, but then again what really is? That's it for this week, next week brings us ever closer to my Christmas nightmare.

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