BASEketball (1998)

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Released 11-Jun-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Featurette-Spotlight On Location
Music Video-Reel Big Fish- "Take On Me"
Outtakes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 98:53
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (51:04) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By David Zucker
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Yasmine Bleeth
Ernest Borgnine
Robert Vaughn
Jenny McCarthy
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Reel Big Fish
Matt Stone
Trey Parker


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Portuguese
Dutch
Swedish
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Hebrew
Arabic
Russian
Turkish
Greek
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, a final farewell.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Buddies Coop (Trey Parker) and Remer (Matt Stone) are well into adulthood, but are still living as though they were in high school - not having any luck with employment or women, and showing little prospects for the future. Desperate to win a bet while at a school reunion party, they invent a game on the spur of the moment that mixes Basketball skills with Baseball rules - and BASEketball is born. The popularity of the game quickly builds and the sport becomes a prosperous national league, financed by billionaire businessman Ted Denslow (Ernest Borgnine). It isn't long before corporate greed threatens to ruin the spirit of the game, and it's up to founders Coop and Remer to stop Denslow's wife Yvette (Jenny McCarthy) and the maniacal Baxter Kane (Robert Vaughn) from commercialising the game into a farce.

    Director David Zucker actually invented the game Baseketball in his own driveway many years ago, along with some like-minded friends. Word spread about the new sport and a small tournament began. At one point, Baseketball was actually given coverage by local Los Angeles TV stations.

    The laughs are consistent in this film, probably due to the sheer volume of them - though admittedly not all hit the mark. A particularly good recurring joke is an element of the game called a Psyche-Out, which involves the defending team trying to distract their opposition into making an error - by any means possible. I must have seen this movie a dozen times, but I still manage to notice something new with each viewing. People familiar with the Naked Gun series will recognise the visual gags aplenty, subtly placed in the background where you least expect them. Like Naked Gun, this is certainly the kind of comedy that stands up to repeat viewings.

    This is a hilarious, light, simple film that isn't too straining on the grey matter. The performances aren't Oscar material, and it won't change your life by any means, it's just an hour and a half of great laughs - and there's nothing wrong with that!

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is altogether a good video transfer, for a recent film.

    The transfer is presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, with 16x9 enhancement.

    The level of sharpness is quite good, apart from a small sequence in the opening scene which uses some television stock footage of a Baseball game. The poor resolution is very noticeable during these portions, and I'm at a loss as to the reason why stock footage was used. Besides this small section, there are no problems with the rest of the transfer. Shadow detail is excellent and no low level noise could be seen. Some slight grain creeps in now and then, but is hardly worth mentioning.

    Colours were bright and showed no signs of oversaturation or bleeding. Skin tones appeared both true and consistent.

    Absolutely no MPEG artefacts were present, and aliasing ranged from very mild to barely noticeable when it did occur. Tiny film artefacts can be seen throughout, but are in no way distracting.

    The English subtitles double-up on the location titles, and are moderately accurate. They are very blocky and ugly, and I found them difficult to read.

    This disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change occurring at 51:04 in a silent, unobtrusive moment.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    I was pleasantly surprised by this audio transfer.

    There are five Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks on this DVD; English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. I recommend flicking through the other languages to hear the overdubbed voices that were chosen for actors Matt Stone and Trey Parker - some are classic.

    Dialogue was always crystal clear and easy to understand, which is a must for comedy such as this. I couldn't detect any audio sync or ADR issues with the English soundtrack.

    The rock music in this film is contributed by many different artists, most notably Reel Big Fish and Smash Mouth. Matt Stone and Trey Parker perform the most hilarious musical highlight, under their alias D.V.D.A. (you have to watch another of Matt and Trey's films - Orgasmo - to appreciate the acronym).

    Surround activity was constant, ranging from subtle atmospheric background noises, to loud audience cheering and Foley effects such as doors slamming. A little directional vocal panning was done to the rears for characters off camera (71:00) but this wasn't common. I wouldn't go so far as to call this an aggressive surround mix, but it is certainly immersive.

    The subwoofer was put to great use, particularly during any soundtrack music. The Celtic tune in the film's opening sequence is a great example of this - the drum pounds away very nicely.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This is a good little collection of extras to round off the package. All are presented in 1.33:1, full frame with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Menu

    The main menu is 16x9 enhanced and is animated with scenes from the film, including audio.

Featurette - Spotlight On Location (10:08)

    A brief collection of interviews with cast and crew, discussing the production and the good vibes on the set.

Music Video: Reel Big Fish - Take On Me (3:44)

    A ska retread of the 80s hit by A-Ha. The clip was filmed on set and features some images from the movie and the band shooting hoops.

Outtakes (18:01)

    A long reel of failed takes and some extended scenes. Some great laughs here, but it gets a bit repetitive seeing many failed takes one after the other.

Theatrical Trailer (1:08)

    A simple effort, with the obligatory American voice-over, it covers the humorous moments of the film without giving too much away.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Region 4 misses out on:

    Region 1 misses out on:

    The winner is Region 4, hands down. Our disappointed Region 1 friends may be interested to know that the outtakes are available for download from the official Matt Stone and Trey Parker website.

Summary

    BASEketball is a genuinely funny film, with a likable cast and creative direction. Personally I don't enjoy it as much as Orgasmo or Cannibal: The Musical, but anybody who even remotely appreciates other David Zucker films like Naked Gun or the humour of South Park will love this DVD.

    The video transfer is good for a relatively recent production.

    The audio transfer is very immersive for a dialogue based comedy.

    The extras are interesting, and the added bonus of the outtakes reel makes this a great little package for Region 4.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Saturday, August 09, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-525, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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Comments (Add)
We ever going to see a Region 4 Orgazmo? - Andrew (Read my Bio.) REPLY POSTED