For the Kids

When Baseketball remembers there’s a story to tell, it’s genuine in mocking sports super stardom. Amid baseball’s steroid scandal, pro sports strikes, and social dumbing down in general, Baseketball found its target back in 1998. For director David Zucker, it’s a gold mine.

For South Park’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker, it’s the same, fit for their crass raunch, racism, and now quite dated sexist (and homophobic) barbs. The two styles don’t always mesh, leaving Baseketball at 50/50 success rate.

… no joke is too low and Baseketball is proud of it

Those hits, however, land hard. Background gags, Zucker at his best, keep the purposefully dopey dialog scenes lively. Mocking sports culture and the masculinity that drives it, Baseketball turns Parker and Stone into straight parody as total idiots, yet trying to do right by a kid’s charity.

Baseketball’s setup is that of drunken stoners against the team’s wealthy owners, the obvious plot, if perfect for this satirical premise. And it’s every aspect of this culture, from the player egos, the owner’s greed, and the memorabilia hoarders in Baseketball’s view finder. Heroes are made of those who reject all of this, inspiring kids to restore sports to their glamour days. It so happens that’s done by catering to beer-swilling dudes seeking to relive their high school glory days for profit.

Juvenile as possible, no joke is too low and Baseketball is proud of it. While the critique of pro sports is often lost between the competitive romantic drive led by Stone and Parker, quick visual gags soften that loss. Those inconsistencies – and a definite late ‘90s consciousness – keep Baseketball from classic status, although it carries the Zucker spark that allows it to exist alongside his lesser directing/writing efforts like High School High. Still amusing, still funny, still quotable, but flimsy.

Video

Originally released as Best Buy exclusive, Mill Creek sends Baseketball onto the wider market using the same master. That’s a shame. It’s pretty terrible. Gross edge enhancement mars the natural film look immediately, leaving halos everywhere. Hideous grain replication isn’t helped by low-grade compression, chunky artifacts and all.

A terrible master barely qualifies for a DVD release. Dismal resolution allows zero detail of consequence, hindered further by a dirty print. Dust is everywhere. Some smothering and waxiness looks like a filter was applied, although this didn’t dim the grain.

Dull color reproduction barely replicates flesh tones, let alone other primaries. Baseketball collapses further since black crush is a common problem, and flat contrast limits the depth.

Audio

While crowds envelop the soundstage, that’s the highlight of this minimal DTS-HD track. Surrounds find little use otherwise. Flat range barely uses the subwoofer. Overall volume stays low, requiring a bump to reach anything adequate. At least the fidelity fares well.

Extras

Totally empty in this department.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Baseketball
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras

Movie

While the humor styles of Stone/Parker and David Zucker clash, Baseketball offers comedic barbs a plenty.

Overall
4
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User Review
3.5 (2 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 36 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray: