Mr. Baseball Reviews
January 14, 2015
clone of Major League movie, but then major league takes the japan part in the second. still not as good as major league
January 10, 2015
In all honesty this movie looked very much like a 'Major League' clone judging by the title and poster, hell they even cast Dennis Haysbert who played the menacing Pedro Cerrano in that movie. So is this a crazy kamikaze comedy with over the top characters, wacky situations and foul language? well no actually.Believe it or not this is actually a sensible light-hearted romcom which showcases the cultural differences between Japan and their baseball traditions, and America and their baseball traditions.
Tom Selleck plays the obligatory aged fading baseball star who is transferred to Japan to play professional baseball whilst also becoming the clubs poster boy. Naturally Selleck's character is against this move and has a hard time getting to grips with the cultural differences both on and off the ballpark. Spoiler alert (as if you need it)...eventually he comes around with the help of his new love interest and helps the team...well I'm sure you can guess.
Yes the tale is a predictable one that has been covered by virtually every sports flick ever, but that's not the point of the movie. The main point here is providing an insight into Japanese culture and how they play and watch the game of baseball, its like the sport version of 'Lost in Translation'...almost. Just like that film this story delves deep into the Japanese traditions, routines and rituals that make up their sport, how the Japanese made baseball their own. This naturally provides many giggles with Selleck's big bold brash arrogant cowboy-like character stepping on many toes and accidentally insulting everyone or harking bad luck. Its not all giggles though as we see much of Nagoya and its surrounding areas, how Japanese people live in parts and indeed how they watch baseball...munching on bowls of noodle meals with lots of colourful fanfare mainly. Its actually very interesting and I enjoyed watching these segments, being interested in Japan helps I guess.
For me the one thing I didn't really like was Selleck's character. I realise this guy is suppose to be a cocky hotshot star player and the whole point of the movie is to have him be a jackass...but boy is he an unlikable jackass! He obviously doesn't take the Japanese game seriously and treats the players, staff, media and coach with disrespect, this of course sets up the plot twist midway through. But generally I found his character to be whiny, rude and obnoxious, he never even gives the Japanese culture a chance, he constantly takes the piss and ignores the rules. Now lets be serious here, I know this is just a movie but I think even the most arrogant player/person wouldn't really act like this from day one. Sure over time people could lose their rag under strange circumstances, under stress with different cultures in a foreign land, but I think most would give it a shot and at least be polite to a degree to start with sheesh!
The fact that he doesn't like anything about Japan and constantly moans about how he hates it even though he's a popular sports icon earning money just makes him unlikable in my book. Sure its a come down for this character but he's still treated like a star and everything is provided for him, not too shabby really.
Anywho apart from the bitchy Jack Elliot (Selleck) the other cast members are very good and add much gravitas to this soppy tale. The best of these easily being Ken Takakura as the cliched hard nosed team coach who must put up with Elliot's sulky behaviour. Think of this guy as a Mr. Miyagi type character, he doesn't say much, grunts a lot, looks very serious and stern all the time, hides a few tricks and in the end wins your heart (much more so than Selleck's character). The film isn't as cliched as you'd think at times, there is the slimy ponytailed agent of Elliot who you'd swear blind will turn out to be the bad guy and somehow screw Elliot over...well you'd be wrong.
Its definitely a solid movie and its nice to see baseball through the eyes of another country even though there aren't too many outside of the US to choose from. The baseball sequences are visually pleasing and realistic whilst the action is as you would expect with lows followed by a training montage and then highs. The final scene gives you a reasonable adrenaline boost as the entirely predictable plot unravels before your eyes. Relaxing fun from the land of the rising sun, its just a shame about the main character being a complete douche.
September 27, 2014
Having actually grown up in Nagoya and having been a fan of the Chunichi Dragons, this movie holds a special place in my heart. It gives a decent effort to show how complicated it is for a MLB player to actually play in Japan and also shows how fanatical are about their national pastime. First half is definitely a 5 for me and the second falls to a 3 based on the plot. Overall this is one of my favorite baseball movies.
February 14, 2010
(First and only viewing - Late teen years)
June 7, 2014
Terrible. Tom Selleck has the worst acting performance in history. The fact that MLB Network still plays this movie is pitiful, as the plot is awful, the acting is awful, the writing is worse. There is nothing, nothing about this movie that I enjoy. The fact that I can't give negative stars is currently getting to me because I would give it lower than anything. This movie was pure torture.
April 2, 2013
Fish out of water baseball film starring one of my favorites, TS. He is let down by a poor story, and even his charm cannot make this a winner.
February 20, 2013
It was gr8, good movie only if you know the game.
July 7, 2007
Good idea...poorly executed.
October 30, 2012
Reasonably entertaining. Quite funny at times, but, unfortunately, also mostly predictable and not a little bit cheesy. Good fun, overall.
September 12, 2012
not such a bad movie. tom selleck is such a bastard to the japanese people. we watched this twice in year 7 japanes because our teacher mr cuddon couldn't be bothered teaching us anything. but the film is okay, but not much sustains it. the whole length of it is about the man trying to fit in with the japanese culture, and to impress his new teammates. some quirky laughs and overused jokes are a consistant prescence, which does diminish what drama there might have been in the life of tom selleck's character while he spends months in japan. his translater is a highlight though.
May 31, 2011
Only a good movie from the sense that you are a baseball fan and are interested in Japanese baseball. Otherwise it's clunky and kind of dumb.
May 28, 2012
if you like baseball movies, you'll like this one
May 28, 2012
This movie really isn't that bad at all and is perhaps Tom Selleck's greatest. I can understand how this would have been badly criticzed in 1992, but it's pretty good by current standards. What other Hollywood film is there which shows proper Japanese bathing protocol? None that I am aware of.
June 29, 2006
I already don't have a high tolerance for sports films, but I was even less impressed with this one than usual. It takes about three different cliched formulas, smushes them together into one movie, and then waters it down until it's completely uninteresting. Even now as I think back on it, I have to work really hard to remember the plot details. Sports movies have to be *really* good to overcome the genre handicap for me, and this one didn't even come close.
May 4, 2012
A competent but formulaic sports drama.
May 1, 2012
Have seen this many times since I first saw it in the theater. Still an entertaining watch.
March 16, 2012
This movie holds a special place in my heart. As movies go it's not at all good.
June 17, 2011
"I don't believe this. What's next? Somebody going to tell me how to take a crap?"
Synopsis: Jack Elliott's baseball glory days are over, or so it seems. No longer the athlete he once was, he's traded to a pro team in Japan, where he promptly angers everyone around him with his arrogance and ignorance.
Jack is an arrogant, annoying, childish, and an ass of a man. Such a character is fine, but do not try to make me like the man by having him stress the value of fun after he makes it clear he is a 11 year old stuck in a 38 year old man's body. And don't you dare say all this selfish, childish, belligerent, and completely asinine behavior is what makes a incredibly beautiful woman attracted to him. I mean, after mistakingly assuming Hiroko wants to engage in a sexual relationship, Jack decides to shout at her and insult her country on their very first date, yet, she falls in love with him anyway, i guess japanese women have a thing for taking care of 40-year old babies. Oh yea, Tom Selleck turns in a razzie-worthy performance as well.
The rest of the writing while entertaining, is just a bunch of cliché's. The team plays poorly at first, but once our hero's attitude, SURPRISE, does a 360 degree u-turn; the japanese team turns into the New York Yankees, all the problems in Jack's love life is settled, and by the end all the characters live happily ever after.
It's a shame that the film suffers from such fundamental flaws, as it does have some quality to it. The actual directing is rather solid and the picture is well filmed, as the action on the diamond (apart from the sound design) has a rather authentic look and feel to it.
Despite a good time and solid directing, Mr. Baseball's screenplay is cliche'd and manipulative.
September 13, 2010
Not bad, was hoping for something better but still a descent baseball movie, with Tom Selleck doing a good performance.
September 5, 2010
Not one of Tom Selleck's better movies. Not being the player he once was he is traded to a Japanese pro team where he must adapt to their culture. Just nothing about this movie was good, story on or off the field.