Monday, February 11, 2013

Battlefield Baseball

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Battlefield Baseball – 3 out of 5

I came across this film while reading an article on one of my favorite comedy sites on the internet; Cracked. When I heard the premise, I knew this was a movie I had to watch because I love weird, completely fucked up movies and no one can out fucked up like the Japanese.

For example, Japan has a bleach blond thinner Carlos Mencia...who doesn't steal jokes.

Battlefield Baseball is about a small high school; Seido, that hopes to make it to the big baseball tournament only to discover they are going to be battling against the most dangerous team to ever exist; Gedo. These dudes don’t just play the game; they straight up massacre their opponents. And I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean they literally kill all the players on the other team. The principle of Seido is now quite forlorn as his dreams of being a champion are raped and murdered before they even had a chance to bloom...that is until a mysterious outsider arrives at the school by the name of Jubeh (Tak Sakaguchi). 

"I am a stranger and I am mysterious."

Jubeh is a troubled youth with an insane talent for baseball. His pitches are so fast and so dangerous that he accidentally killed his father with one pitch and is now out to see his school, along with other characters so lovingly named Gorilla and Four Eyes, beat Gedo in a game that can leave you losing more than just your perfect record.

"I'm fine...why do you ask?"

If you’ve ever played a Japanese video game or watched a Japanese martial arts comedy than you know how strange their entertainment can get. If you’re not familiar with this then imagine the strangest movie and/or game you’ve ever experienced…now times that by 10 and add copious amounts of drugs—all drugs; legal and illegal. Add everything from liquor to heroin, caffeine to cocaine and make sure you heap on the hallucinogens and possibly add in some food poisoning to really feel the uncomfortable parts and you have yourself a Japanese video game or martial arts comedy. They are a strange breed of entertainment but they are awesome! Awesome to play and awesome to watch and Battlefield Baseball definitely is something else to watch.

Unless you're that girl...then it just bores you and you start to text.

The action is strange, the story is really strange (to get an idea, the evil Gedo team looks like a pack of zombies, a dog narrates the ending and one character get resurrected twice in the film and it’s seen as normal) and the comedy jumps from incredibly witty to cartoon-quality slapstick. It’s hard to put this film into perspective but let’s stick with the drug imagery I went with early and say this movie looks and feels like it was soaked in high quality liquor and LSD before it was produced…basically, this movie is a walking talking stereotype of what Americans think when they are asked to picture a Japanese comedy…more specifically, this film is probably exactly what you would expect if you were told to image a sports comedy about baseball that takes place in Japan.

Actually, this is normal in Japan.

Even stranger is the fact it's really difficult to give this film one genre thanks to the sports-heavy story, the deranged comedy and the horror elements of a zombie baseball team that trives on murder.  I'm surprised they didn't put in a love triangle and a monkey side-kick.

Cyborg Baseball's no monkey side-kick but it'll do.

The biggest thing that needs to be mentioned about Battlefield Baseball is the fact that almost no baseball is shown throughout the movie. The opening of the film shows a little bit of some baseball action but the rest of the film is a lead up to a game that you never see and the rest of the film is extracting revenge on Gedo for massacring Seido’s team. Oh sure, the fights take place on a baseball field, there are three cheerleaders ready for action and you see a lot of baseballs and bats being used but you never actually see a baseball game. This is probably the best joke of the entire film.

Rarer than Bigfoot in this film.

If you’ve never tried drugs in your life, Battlefield Baseball will make you feel like you are a veteran of the drug game. A film like this could never be released in America without it becoming a hokey joke and American audiences wouldn’t get it. Only Japan could craft a film like this. Sure some of the acting is bad, a lot of the jokes are lame and you can’t escape the fact that the film’s premise is one giant “what the fuck” moment but it’s in the fact the film is a walking stereotype of what we expect from Japanese entertainment and the fact it is a giant “what the fuck” moment that makes the movie strangely awesome.

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