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Starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Written by David Zucker & Robert LoCash & Lewis Friedman & Jeff Wright
Directed by David Zucker
Website: www.baseketball.net

IN SHORT: It's kind of like playing right field. You find yourself waiting around a lot. .

Pale and gasping for breath, the aged Cranky staggered out of the movie theater. The flashbacks wouldn't stop. The game, the horror called BASEketball, was real. Cranky played this game, in which basketball shots translate into baseball hits, when he was a kid. He had forgotten. He liked that game, then. He only wishes that it had occurred to him and the other ten year olds to dress cheerleaders in negligees or leather dominatrix outfits and have them dance around on the side of the driveway.

Who the hell knew from negligee clad cheerleaders at age ten? It was a simpler time. Thus, the horror, 'cuz now we know about sex and, speaking for us male breeders, the negligee clad cheerleaders are about the only thing consistently interesting about BASEketball.

Cranky gets paid to watch this stuff. You shouldn't have to . . . pay, that is. The ads for BASEketball didn't lie. Stars Trey Parker and Matt Stone are the creators, and very funny men, of Comedy Central's South Park. Which Cranky likes a lot, BTW. They are not, on the other hand, the writers of BASEketball, which is a terribly unfunny hundred minutes of waiting for the next joke.

All but four of the funniest jokes have probably been seen by y'all if you watch enough TV or have seen the trailer. Of the four funnies you'll be surprised by, only two are not about sexual parts, acts or bodily functions. Which means, to be kind, BASEketball is batting .500.

To be very kind, I'd advise you to wait 78 minutes and then settle down in a theater seat. At about minute 80, Robert Stack shows up in a rip-roaring parody of his Unsolved Mysteries TV show that is about as funny as BASEketball gets. But it's too little, way too late.

co-Writer/Director David Zucker was one of the triumvirate that unlocked the Pandora's Box of eleven gags a page movies, with the incredibly funny Airplane! He and his partners, brother Jerry (My Best Friend's Wedding -- funny) and Jim Abrahams (mafia! -- also funny) split the directorial chores. It is now obvious who was in charge of the effeminate gags and "romantic rip your heart out" parody, 'cuz BASEketball is top heavy with it. Jasmine Bleeth and Jenny McCarthy are the sex objects, and their purpose is to set up a lot of jokes which I couldn't describe here, even if I were of a mind to give 'em away. Only one of 'em falls into that ".500" referred to above, and it is decidedly below the waist gag.

The roar of the crowd was sparse -- more like a consistent run of chuckles with an occasional guffaw -- except for the guy sitting next to me. For the first half hour, he was splitting his guts. Laughing out loud on every line. At the thirty minute mark he checked his watch and left. Never came back. Interesting . . .

Cranky hopes the guy didn't hurt himself laughing too hard -- 'cuz anything else would make me think he was a plant. Not a chlorophyl spewer, but the kind whose job is to get an audience primed for consistent yocks. Cranky only reports what he sees and hears folks. He saw this guy laugh and walk out. He saw lots of others who didn't laugh, and they walked out, too.

The weirdest thing is that, while watching BASEketball, Cranky felt a gnawing at the back of what passes for his brain telling him that he'd seen all this before. I don't mean Airplane! type comedy movies. There was something annoyingly familiar about the gags up on screen. It bothers the beejeezus out of me that such a lousy movie is going to preoccupy my thoughts until I figure the mystery out. I hate that. On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to BASEketball, he would have paid . . .


Austin Powers, which nailed the legendary Zero, was funnier than this. The difference is that Michael Myers pissed Cranky off royally by repeating the funny gags up the wazoo. If BASEketball had done the same thing -- well, it sometimes does, but not to the same extent -- Cranky would have had to go into negative numbers.

Like demanding a refund for the $6 me it cost for popcorn and soda.

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