Sunday, April 01, 2007

Just a Bit Outside

Major League

The DVD format has been around so long now that almost every movie has been released on it. But unfortunately there are a few movies that just get released and that’s it, no special features or anything. These are mostly older movies that wouldn’t have had much in the way of special features because there really wasn’t need for them back when they were released, but at the very least they could throw in the trailer for the movie on the disk. One of the more egregious examples was one of the greatest sports movies of all time; and this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, Major League which has gotten two releases on DVD with a combined zero extras.

Well that is going to change as the movie is finally getting the special edition treatment with the release next week of Major League: Wild Thing Edition. And they didn’t skip on the extras either as you can expect an audio commentary from Commentary by Writer/Director David S. Ward and Producer Chris Chesser. There are also a couple featurettes including My Kinda Team which includes interviews with Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Tom Berenger, Dennis Haysbert, and Bob Uecker, A Major League Look at Major League, and Bob Ueker: Just A Bit Outside. There is also an alternate ending, a tour of Cerrano's locker and the very lucrative photo gallery (has anyone actually looked at photo gallery included on a DVD?).

The movie itself hits close to home as a life long resident of Northeast Ohio who, back in 1989, had never seen the Cleveland Indians end higher than sixth. In fact even my parents couldn’t remember the last time the team had a winning record. What’s worse, in retrospect, was the storyline of a team moving out of Cleveland thanks to an evil owner actually came to fruition less than a decade later thanks to evil Art Modell and the horrible coaching job of Bill Belichicken.

But enough about the Browns. Watching Major League is a trip down memory lane for me because I lived with the Tribe losing so much that I actually preferred the team back then compared to the team of the nineties when they brought in hired thugs like Joey “corked bat” Bell and Robbie” I spit on umpires” Alomar. I even remember as a child seeing Greg Swindell’s first major league start where he gave up seven earned runs on no outs. For those keeping track at home, that’s an ERA of infinity. Those were good time.

The fake Indians were just as pitiful leading the team’s owner to bring in a bunch of has been’s and never were’s to try out for the team (sounds suspiciously how they cast Dancing with the Stars) in hopes that they will be so bad the team can move to Florida. The team is anchored by Tom Berenger (Eddie and the Cruisers), a catcher with chronic knee problems and had spend the last couple years in the Mexican League. But I guess that is more respectable than Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men), a pitcher with a lot of speed and little command, who came from the California Penal League. Then there is Corbin Bernsen (LA Law) as an athlete we see way too often these day, the one that doesn’t try as he bides his time until free agency.

The movie also a few unknowns who because breakout stars thanks to their roles including Wesley Snipes (Demolition Man) who ungraciously didn’t return for the sequel as the brash centerfielder who had a penchant for popping out. Also in her first major role was Rene Russo (The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle) as the token hot chick and love interest for Berenger. Then there is Dennis Haysbert who would go on to become president and Allstate pitchman, but, along with Jobu, stole every seen in Major League with his voodoo antics. But no one stole the movie more than former baseball player Bob Uecker (Mr. Belvedere) who has reverted to drinking while doing commentaries on the games.

As great as the movie is, the film has actually Also had a lasting impact on Major League Baseball as it become common place for relief pitchers to come to the mound with accompanying music just like Sheen did in the film with The TroggsWild Thing (as performed by X in the film). The film also introduced that song to an all new generation including myself. So I’ll definitely be picking up the DVD on the 10th and hope to see you in line. Now hopefully a fully loaded Major League II DVD won’t be far behind.

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