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Major League: Wild Thing Edition (DVD Review)

1 Apr, 2007 By: John Latchem

Street 4/10/07
$14.99 DVD
Rated ‘R' for some sexual humor and language.
Stars Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Wesley Snipes, Dennis Haysbert, Rene Russo, Margaret Whitton, James Gammon, Charles Cyphers, Chelcie Ross, Bob Uecker.

Grab a gob of Big League Chew and prepare to laugh and cheer, as one of the great guilty pleasures of cinema finally gets the DVD treatment it deserves.

Major League may be formulaic, but it sure is fun, and it never gets old. It even comes in Astroturf packaging. What's not to love?

This 1989 sports comedy is one of the most eminently quotable movies of recent times. ESPN announcers constantly refer to it. The concept of closers running in to a thundering rock song can be traced to this movie.

The cast is great, featuring a reunion of Platoon co-stars Sheen and Berenger, and the first notable roles for Russo, Snipes and Haysbert, who, before playing President David Palmer on “24,” was mostly known as “that guy who played Cerrano.”

The most interesting extra is the alternate ending, involving a surprise revelation from bitchy team owner Rachel Phelps (Whitton). Test audiences convinced the filmmakers to take her character in a different direction, and the movie is better for it.

The DVD has four fun featurettes, with behind-the-scenes interviews and thoughts from real professional ballplayers. One pitcher says he watches the movie before every start.“Bob Uecker: Just a Bit Outside” offers a retrospective with the man who played everyone's favorite wisecracking sportscaster, Harry Doyle. The featurette includes some alternate takes that are pure gold.

I would have loved to see a feature about how the movie was re-dubbed for television, similar to what was done for the Basic Instinct DVD. Some of these dubs are so bad they have become their own classic quotes to many of the film's fans.

In the commentary, writer-director David S. Ward mentions that the movie's abundant swearing meant kids couldn't see it. That may explain why the ‘PG' sequel is basically a remake without the salty language — and one reason the follow-up movies aren't as fun.

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