'Major League [Blu-ray]'
(Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, et al / Blu ray / R / (1989) 2009 / Paramount)
Overview: She's beautiful, smart, goal-oriented, and she just inherited the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately, she wants to move the franchise to Miami, and a losing season is her only ticket to Florida. So she signs the wildest gang of screwballs that ever spit tobacco. They're handsome, but they're hopeless ... and you know the rest!
DVD Verdict: Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Charlie Sheen, and Wesley Snipes star in this fun film about the woeful Cleveland Indians baseball team and how a group of misfits and castoffs came together to make the Indians pennant winners again.
Berenger stars as Jake Taylor, a former all-star catcher who has been toiling in the Mexican league. He gets a call from the Indians GM to come to spring training to be the team captain and help mentor the younger players. These players include Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes), a speedy outfielder who can only hit pop flys, Rick Vaughn (Charlie Sheen), a flame-throwing pitcher fresh out of the California penal league who possesses a blazing fastball but has no control, and Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert), a hard-hitting Cuban who defected for religious freedom. He can crush fastballs, but nothing else. He also has a shrine in his locker with an idol named Jobu. Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen) is a high-priced third baseman who cares more about his investment portfolio than he does about baseball.
Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitten) has inherited the Indians after the death of her owner-husband. A former showgirl, she is determined to move the team to Miami, where she will cash in on several perks from the city. But to do this, the team's attendance must fall below a certain level. Determined to get what she wants, she begins taking things away from the team, such as whirlpools, and even their private plane. Soon the team is travelling to games by bus. However, the team has Lou Brown (James Gammon) as their manager. He is determined to make the Indians winners, regardless of what Rachel does.
The season starts off slowly for the team, and they are in their traditional last place position. But the GM lets Lou in on Rachel's scheme, and things begin to change. The players realize that the only option they have other than becoming free agents or being released is to win it all. And that's what they set out to do.
I'm a big baseball movie fan, and this movie is one of my all-time favorites. The story is excellent (being a Cubs fan, I'm glad the producers didn't pick them as their team to use), and the acting is tremendous. The choice of Bob Uecker as Indians announcer Harry Doyle was a stroke of genius. His announcing and one-liners really add a great dimension to the film. Rene Russo does a good job as Jake's on again, off again girlfriend Lynn Wells. Its fun to watch their ups and downs throughout the movie. There's even a take-off on the then-popular "do you know us?" American Express Card commercials. I give this teriffic movie my highest recommendation. [JM] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the following Special Features:
Commentary by Writer/Director David S. Ward and producer Chris Chesser
My Kinda Team
A Major League Look at Major League
Bob Uecker: Just a Bit Outside
Alternate Ending with Filmmaker Introduction
A Tour of Cerrano's Locker