Charlie Sheen is making headlines and seems to be on every talk and radio show there is. It’s the latest celeb meltdown craze that ALL the entertainment shows, magazines and mainstream media is feeding the hungry public and they’re eagerly eating it up. Radio, television, telegraph, smoke signals, pony express, the story of Charlie Sheen’s latest clash with drugs, co-workers, porn stars, CBS and Thomas Jefferson, it’s become the latest popular Hollywood scandal story.
Now I will say I’m not a fan of Sheen’s Two and Half Men show. I’ve never seen it and really was never planning to. So the likelihood of it ending doesn’t make me flinch. Sheen hasn’t been on my radar for a long time, but all this craziness and attention did make me think of one of my favorite projects he’s done that I always enjoyed. Major League (1989).
Over twenty years ago Major League was basically a grown up version of The Bad News Bears. The premise was simple: the new season beginning for the cursed Cleveland Indians, who for decades have been at the bottom of the league with no chances of being a success.
Cue the greedy, cynical owner (Margaret Whitton) who purposely puts together the worst team possible so they’re guaranteed to lose and she can move the team to the more pleasant surroundings of Florida.
But things don’t go according to her plan when the team starts…..WINNING!!!!
Sheen, along with Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Wesley Snipes and Dennis Haysbert make up the misfit team with their tired coach trying his best with what he’s got (the late James Gammon).
There are plenty of laughs at their total ineptitude, amusing sight gags and the characters are genuinely funny. With the help of some classic montages of training, the unlikely teammates start working together and start chalking up some wins. Indian Fever finally engulfs Cleveland and you’ll be right alongside the city cheering on the team.
Maybe Major League isn’t the funniest film ever or even the funniest baseball film ever, but everytime I stumble onto it I stay tuned right until the end. All the actors are very good in their parts and I’m a sucker for these kinds of underdog stories. And Bob Uecker has some classic lines! He’s hysterical as the Indians announcer Harry Doyle.
There were two sequels, Major League II (1994) and Major League: Back to the Minors (1998), neither is as funny or entertaining as the original.
Supposedly, Sheen is readying for another step up to the plate returning as Ricky ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn in a new Major League film. I’m not sure how much of a success it will be though. I think Sheen has got enough on his hands as it is. Plus, I doubt a new entry will be able to recapture all the components that made the first one such a funny film.