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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.76%
Worth A Look: 5.88%
Pretty Bad: 5.88%
Total Crap: 5.88%

2 reviews, 5 user ratings

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Battlefield Baseball
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by Brian McKay

"If Baseball were like this, I might watch it . . . for about 20 minutes."
3 stars

If there are two things the Japanese love, it's Baseball and a bit of the ultra-violence (as if Americans are any different). So, it was inevitable that someone would eventually get around to combining the two. Yudai Yamaguchi's BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL is not just excessively campy, but patently absurd, redeemed only by its sporadic fits of hilarity.

Set at Seido High School (even though nobody in this thing looks under the age of 25), the school baseball team is gearing up for the big tournament. The overexuberant principal is sure that the Seido team can win, especially with new student and baseball prodigy Jubei (Tak Sakaguchi of Versus) on their side. The only problem is, Jubei don't wanna play. After some ponderous backstory (much of it told through amusing but ear-shattering musical montages), we learn that Jubei accidentally killed his own father while tossing a baseball around, because he didn't know the strength of his own pitching.

Forced to play in their first game without him, the Seido boys find themselves up against the dreaded Gedo team, who look like a bunch of zombified rejects from a really bad 80's post-apocalyptic B-movie. Toting an array of swords, clubs, and other bludgeons, they quickly annihilate the Seido team, leaving guts and body parts strewn across the field. Spurred into action, Jubei takes the field - and gets killed too. Luckily, everyone comes back to life about ten minutes later and heads over to Gedo High for a little payback.

Now, I won't lie - I laughed out loud several times during Battlefield Baseball. While I have to admire its silly exuberance (It's like a coked-up Japanese game show), it's just far too ridiculous and random to be consistently entertaining. Vacillating between cartoonish violence and mock sentimentality, it eventually becomes an exercise in endurance that's almost as grueling as the faux bloodsport it portrays. While Sakaguchi can toss his long hair about and pull off a fight scene with his male model looks and athletic prowess, he's not much of an actor (and, as you will see in the aforementioned music montages, he damn sure isn't a singer, either). And the title aside, there isn't really anything that actually resembles Baseball anywhere in the film - just a bunch of guys running around the infield and bonking eachother over the head with oversized bats. Even with a movie as silly as Baseketball was, at least Trey Parker and Matt Stone bothered to make up a fake game with real rules, giving it some credibility as a sports parody. If Yamaguchi had found some creative ways to incorporate the carnage into an actual game of baseball, it might have proved a resource for some much more consistent laughs.

Just funny enough to not be a complete waste of time, but not funny enough to ever merit a second viewing (unless you're really, REALLY high), BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL is almost as interminable as the real deal - although at least nobody spits or scratches their crotch.

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originally posted: 03/26/04 12:20:06
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 San Francisco Horror Film Festival. For more in the 2004 San Francisco Horror Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/03/05 Ralf Hard to endure on fast foreward. Newest entry in my "one of the 5 worst movies ever" 1 stars
6/04/05 Denise Gannon skip the main feature & watch "Ramen Baka Ichidai" (short film) first! it's better than BB! 4 stars
5/31/05 Dan Helmick If you're into self-abuse or paint thinner, watch this movie. 2 stars
8/20/04 Justin Hilarious 5 stars
6/06/04 Erg0n Cult movie fav 5 stars
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  01-Jan-2003 (NR)
  DVD: 17-May-2005



Directed by
  Yudai Yamaguchi

Written by
  Yudai Yamaguchi
  Gataro Man

  Atsushi Ito
  Tak Sakaguchi
  Hideo Sakaki

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