"The Empire of Sleeze Strikes Out"
A new low in sex and toilet comedies, BASEKETBALL tells the story of two foul-mouthed, beer-guzzling, crude, and lazy young men who invent a new sport and must protect its "innocence" from an evil team owner. Many of the jokes are deliberately crude and vulgar, the characters are not as funny as they should be and the movie has a romantic worldview with strong socialist elements.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the crude animated Cable TV show, SOUTH PARK, have teamed up with David Zucker, one of the creators of the AIRPLANE and NAKED GUN movies, to create a new satire about America’s obsession with professional sports. Called BASEKETBALL, the movie represents a new low in R-rated juvenile sex and toilet comedies.
This movie opens, however, with one of the funniest satires on American pro sports. After showing a scene where a boy named Joe Cooper, sitting in the outfield bleachers, catches Reggie Jackson’s third home run in a famous World Series game with the New York Yankees, the movie launches into a narrated prologue about how greed, fame and television corrupted the innocence of our favorite national past times. Highlights of the prologue include a group of football players dancing in the end zone like the tour company from the Irish folk dancing show RIVERDANCE, stadiums named after business products such as Preparation H and team owners using inter-league, then inter-sports, play to increase audience interest.
The filmmakers of BASEKETBALL would have been wise if they had followed this relatively, but not completely, clean opening with more of the same. Instead, they pick up Joe Cooper (Trey Parker) as a foul-mouthed, beer-guzzling, crude, and lazy young man years later. He and his equally low friend, Doug Remer (Matt Stone), develop a new sport that combines the basketball game “HORSE” with baseball rules including singles, doubles, triples and homeruns. Popularity of the game grows until a billionaire named Ted Denslow decides to start a professional league. To help keep the sport “pure” and “innocent,” league rules prevent team owners from trading players and stop them from moving a franchise to another city. They also prevent players from commercially profiting from their celebrity. Despite these efforts, an evil owner, played by OUR MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. star Robert Vaughn, tries to subvert the sport by developing a scheme that drives a wedge between Joe and Doug. His plot is foiled, but not before the audience is bombarded with lots of obscenities, a few strong profanities and scads of sexual jokes, scatological humor and other crudities.
The problem with BASEKETBALL is the deliberate cruelty and vulgarity of many of the jokes, most of which are done in a haphazard manner with no sense of comic progression and little sense of timing. For example, for no apparent reason at all, Joe and Doug treat their nerdy friend and teammate Squeak, played by Dian Bachar, rudely by calling him a vulgar name that usually refers to a female dog. Early in the movie, they make dumb, sick jokes about watering flowers and about peeking in a woman’s underwear drawer. Also, the sport they invent doesn’t allow players to block a person’s basketball shot but they do allow players to psyche the shooter out so that he misses his shot. The movie is filled with countless “psyche outs” that add to the haphazard quality of the humor. Many of them involve things such as Joe pretending to cut off a finger in front of the shooter to Doug flashing a nude T-shirt photo of him having sex with a shooter’s wife. Most of these jokes just aren’t very funny. Neither are any of the adult characters in BASEKETBALL. Perhaps worst of all, this movie enlists actual, well-known athletes and sportscasters to do some of the sex and toilet gags.
Finally, this movie has an unbiblical worldview, romanticism. It says professional athletes are essentially good and noble but are corrupted by society. As in other works with this worldview, the heroes in BASEKETBALL are controlled by their emotions, not their intellect. Immoral paganism and hedonism are often the result of such a worldview. Thus, it is no surprise that this movie is filled with the kind of immoral sex and toilet humor described above.
(RoRoRo, PaPa, So, B, LLL, VVV, SSS, NNN, AA, D, So, Ho, M) Romantic worldview with some moral elements but also many pagan as well as socialist elements; 68 obscenities, 5 strong profanities & 18 vulgarities; one scene of graphic violence where man cuts off finger & much slapstick violence such as hitting head on rim of basket, men give electric heart shocks to little boy & vehicles hit several animals during "road kill" scenes; many sexual jokes & references including man handles woman's underwear, man licks sex toy, graphic homosexual kissing depicted & implied, bestiality implied, men step in dog dung, several scenes with urinating, graphic sex between nude man & woman depicted on T-shirt, man & woman take sexual innuendoes literally, implied naked man & woman in locker-room hot tub, team holds unmentionable "probe night," man sprays phony human milk in other people's faces, & references to sexually transmitted diseases & masturbation; women in underwear, skimpy cheerleading outfits & sadomasochistic gear, upper & rear male nudity, upper female nudity, & nude man & woman depicted in sex act on T-shirt; beer-guzzling & people drink shots of tequila with child who needs liver transplant; smoking; minor pro-socialist theme regarding sports athletes & team owners; and, borderline ethnic humor about people who live in India, making fun of the disabled & ill, & undertone of satire about sport values at end of movie despite stated veneration of same.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the crude animated Cable TV show, SOUTH PARK, have created a new satire about America's obsession with professional sports. Called BASEKETBALL, the movie represents a new low in R-rated sex and toilet comedies. Parker and Stone play two foul-mouthed, beer-guzzling, crude young men who invent a new sport and must protect its "innocence" from an evil team owner.
Many of the jokes in BASEKETBALL are deliberately crude, vulgar and haphazard, with no sense of progression and little sense of timing. For example, the sport they invent allows players to psyche the shooter out so that he misses his shot. Many of these "psyche outs" involve things such as Joe pretending to cut off a finger in front of the shooter or Doug flashing a nude T-shirt photo of him having sex with a shooter's wife. Most of these jokes aren't very funny. Finally, this movie has an unbiblical worldview that says professional athletes are noble but are corrupted by society. Thus, the movie's heroes are controlled by their emotions, not their intellect, which is one reason why they engage in the immoral sex and toilet humor that fills BASEKETBALL