Daily Archives: July 28, 1998

Baseketball

Well over a dozen movies have by now been made because of Airplane!, a movie closely based on a 1957 potboiler called Zero Hour; among the spin-offs were other lampoons by the same team (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker), then further lampoons by Abrahams (Hot Shots!, Mafia!) and David Zucker (The Naked Gun 2 1/2, BASEketball), while Jerry Zucker went on to direct Ghost. The main difference between Abrahams and David Zucker seems to be that the former cares slightly more about gags while the latter gives slightly more emphasis to character and plot. BASEketball, silly and sometimes likable and written by many hands, works a dumb and dumber premise involving a new sport devised by two geeks (South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone), flogs the premise until it whimpers, and throws in a lot of bad-taste gags for spice. I was bored well before the end, but found the first half hour pretty funny. With Dian Bachar, Yasmine Bleeth, Jenny McCarthy, Robert Vaughn, and Ernest Borgnine. (JR)… Read more »

Your Friends & Neighbors

This static tale about three dysfunctional couples, Neil LaBute’s first feature after In the Company of Men, could be the biggest disappointment of the year. If the mean-spirited characters of the earlier film offered a political provocation, the ones here reek of Carnal Knowledge and early Edward Albee; they seem left over from theater workshops, which is the only place their generic unpleasantness might possibly work. The cast is OK, and LaBute still has an eye, but the uses they’re put to seem contrived and arty. Filmed in ‘Scope; with Amy Brenneman, Aaron Eckhart, Catherine Keener, Nastassja Kinski, Jason Patric, and Ben Stiller. (JR)… Read more »