Major League – Another Sequel?

As my team craps the bed with the worst record in baseball, thoughts turn to happier rawhide moments. I don’t know of any baseball fan who doesn’t love the movie Major League. There are several great baseball movies, from Fear Strikes Out to Bull Durham, but none is as quotable.

Talk now centers around another sequel, either the second or the third, depending upon whether you count Major League III (sorta the Godfather III of the franchise). Many of the major actors are not only available, but willing. Let’s face it, Corbin Bernsen and Tom Berenger aren’t getting a lot of A-list offers, and Charlie Sheen has some time on his hands. Dennis Haysbert – and don’t you wish you had President Palmer handling our problems in 2011 – has given thumbs up as has Bob Uecker.

I found it hilarious that director David Ward hired Uecker as the announcer based upon his funny Miller Lite commercials, not realizing that Uecker was the announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers. Just goes to show you that when ESPN thinks only two teams matter, many Americans follow suit.

I’m hoping they do this. Baseball is such a rich subject, with so many in-jokes as low hanging fruit, that making a funny script should be easy. The trick will be finding actors who look convincing playing baseball. Things like this just won’t pass muster these days.

But damn, I’ll miss James Gammon.

Click here to read Sports Illustrated’s oral history of the film.

Click here for ten revealing facts about the original film.

Lou Brown plays for the angels now...

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5 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Film/TV

5 responses to “Major League – Another Sequel?

  1. Paul Sikorski

    Last Saturday morning I bumped into a rerun of Eight Men Out on versus as I was walking by the TV. I stopped what I was doing and couldn’t take my eyes off it. I remembered how impressed I was with John Cusack and Studs Terkel the first time I saw it 20+ years ago. I didn’t know who John Mahoney was then, so it was fun to watch him with new eyes. And a very young Charlie Sheen turns in a credible performance as well.

    The script, pacing, and visuals are note perfect. It still mesmerizes.

  2. drbristol

    I love Terkel and Sayles in that movie. But yes, pitch perfect casting from the gangsters to the baseball owners/managers to even the bit players. (“Ohhhhhh Dickie!!!!”

    (Okay, the street urchins were a little much…)

  3. Paul Sikorski

    Agree on the urchins. The “say it ain’t so, Joe” scene actually made me squirm. It especially sticks out because they did such a great job of making the players–and their various levels of comprehension of what was going on–so three dimensional.

    The contrived scene at the end, with Cusack watching Joe in a minor league game in Hoboken was also a little stiff, but at that point they had done so much right that I just thought of it as the fade-out at the end of a very good record.

  4. drbristol

    Agree on that last scene, and I looked at it much the same way you did, but I looked at it like a tribute to Buck Weaver’s lifetime of trying to clear his name and the (idealistic) theory that Joe Jackson was just a pure ballplayer regardless of the stage. I’m no D.B.Sweeney fan but I really liked him in this movie.

    Another line that made me cringe was David Strathairn’s “yeah, we were crooked…we were crooked” confession. If you can make Strathairn look cheesy, you know it’s bad writing. One of my favorite actors. And just loved Kevin Tighe, Bill Irwin, Christopher Lloyd, the great Michael Lerner…the crooks were as much fun to watch as the players.

  5. Paul Sikorski

    Re: the Straithairn scene, I really wondered what they were doing there–were they consciously trying to make us think of Cagney as if that somehow made it period-correct? Whatever, they missed the mark by a mile and landed directly in your aforementioned cheese.

    In addition to the crooks’ and players’ storylines, the reporters’ characters were also developed, so there were really three movies going on there. Christoper Lloyd was sneakily great. I think it’s the only time I’ve ever watched him that I wasn’t thinking, hey, that’s Christopher Lloyd. Admirable restraint from a born scene stealer (not intended as a slam).

    Separately, you’re scorching on your subjects right now. If I weren’t already so chatty, I’d have responded to the Elvis and Brian Wilson posts. Believe it or not, I’m actually capable of restraint!

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