Those of you who have had the pleasure of reading Mike Matheny's pointedly accurate dissection of the Jonathan Lucroy All-Star "attack advert" will not be surprised to learn that he is a movie enthusiast who has had a series of reviews syndicated in top quality publications worldwide. Luckily, this extract from his forthcoming anthology ("The Unwritten Rules of Film-Making: Break These and I Break Your Face!") allows him to share his insightful commentary with a new and undoubtedly appreciative audience.
This has to be one of the worst documentaries I have ever seen in my life. For the highly trained forces of Globo Gym to lose to the lazy and unprofessional squad from Average Joes is about as credible as the Cardinals being behind the Brewers after a couple of months of this season. Totally crazy and thus casts doubts on the veracity of the reportage! On top of that, the ill-judged message that sport should be fun is not just tantamount to communism and the type of nonsense that is dragging the nation into inhuman barbarism but is obviously not something any children unwittingly viewing this film should be hearing.
The only redeeming character in the whole film is Patches O'Houlihan, a grizzled coach who believes in playing the game the way it is meant to be played, namely the traditional way. Some may say that training players by getting them to dodge traffic and throwing wrenches at them is dangerous and inappropriate but I say if it was good enough for them back in the day it is good enough now. Besides, only the other day myself and Kirk Gibson were having a good laugh about how funny it would be if we could bean people using crude iron tools rather than baseballs!
The Naked Gun
I'll admit to having been slightly conflicted when I first heard about this one – there's weaponry mentioned in the title (positive) but, if you really examine the name of the film for a few minutes, also a subtle and understated reference to nudity (negative). The only way to judge the accuracy of this film is therefore through examining the way the film represents baseball and here the film proves itself sadly lacking, with a depiction of an umpire so self-absorbed that he would be totally unbelievable were it not for the existence of Joe West. One to avoid.
Clearly 100% made-up and therefore fraudulent. They expect us to believe there's a place called Kazakhstan?
A heartfelt, well-judged and sensitive examination of the difficulties a group of heavy metal "rockers" face in their attempt to attain stardom. The scene where they mistake their units of measurement and band-member Nigel orders a replica of Stonehenge that is 18 inches rather than 18 feet tall was particularly touching. Raising awareness of this type of serious issue is particularly important and, in my case, necessary – I'm only just recovering from the abuse I received last week from Tony La Russa for mistakenly buying him a 12 ounce bottle of beer when he claims to have actually requested one that weighed 12 pounds.
If it made mathematical sense I'd give this one an eleven out of ten, but that would be incredibly stupid because you can't get more than ten out of ten (something I think the people involved in this film should have remembered!).
A film so strange, dense and impenetrable it must have been made by the French and certainly the least coherent investigation of journalism that I can remember ever viewing. A dog that can communicate with bears? A newsreader so idiotic and stupid that he makes Yadier Molina seem intelligent? A reference to the meaning of San Diego that is not just completely untrue but uses made-up (or possibly French) terminology such as "veginah"? A supposed "fight scene" that appears tacked on as a flimsy element in a plot that makes little sense anyway? A man who is called "Brick" when there are many decent, wholesome, trustworthy, non-hypocritical, red-blooded American names out there like "Jhonny"?
You should also be warned that there is a disgraceful "adult" scene in this film involving two supposedly consenting individuals (regrettably for some reason the film did not show the necessary signed and notarised letter of consent signed in full by both parties to prove it was genuinely agreed upon). It's true that the film-makers do not actually screen the act itself, but the fact that they leave this part up to the imagination of the viewer makes it even worse – people should not be encouraged to dredge up filth from their own depraved minds to fill in the gaps. Plus, there's a reference in the film to Milwaukee which just shows that if there is one country in the world that has no understanding whatsoever of culture it is the French.
Ultimately, beneath the exotic French references this is nothing more than yet another failed cinematic attempt to examine the inherent difficulties and pressures of modern day reporting. It clearly relies on many of the tropes of "All the President's Men" but, unfortunately, misses most of the historical and political context that is necessary to match that particular work.
Undoubtedly one of the funniest films ever made, with a number of hilarious cameo roles by some great comic actors. Honestly, if you and your children aren't doubled up in laughter by the end of this then you're breaking one of the unwritten rules!