(fr) wrote: Despite the presence of Brendan Fraser, this film is cute, clever, innocent, and thoroughly enjoyable. Great cast and hip script make for a fun film.
(br) wrote: I remember watching this movie all of the time when I was little. It's worth watching just to see the late, great Donald Pleasance. I think now they could have showed some better horror movies in their compilation.
(fr) wrote: A bit hard to follow initially, but it was a nice story, the actors and actresses have believable performances, I liked it.
(us) wrote: Despite its good moments - and there really are a handful of them, largely thanks to the presence of Woody Allen -, this average comedy is so harmless in many ways that even its sweet message about loneliness and connection gets diluted by how perfunctory the plot is.
(de) wrote: Great acting all round, especially Ben Kingsley playing Amir Behrani, a general from Iran. After moving to America to live the dream, he finds it hard to make ends meet. That's until he purchases a cheap house after the previous owner is evicted due to the none payment of taxes. Unfortunately Kathy Connelly believe she is still the true owner of the house because of a misunderstanding. Amir though is keen to sell the house on at nearly four times as much as he bought it. Meanwhile Cathy gets involved with a Police officer who threatens Amir with deportation. Everything escalates before the finale. Good film.
(au) wrote: Jack Elliot (Tom Selleck) is an aging American baseball player unsuspectingly put on the trading block during Spring Training in 1989 by the New York Yankees in favor of "rookie phenom" first baseman Ricky Davis, and there's only one taker: the Nagoya Chunichi Dragons of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. Upon arrival in Japan, the arrogant Elliot clashes with the Japanese culture and the team's manager, and before long he alienates his new teammates. He believes the rules and management style of his new skipper, Uchiyama (Ken Takakura), are ludicrous, and continues to do things his way, which leads his already dwindling performance to suffer even more. His only ally on the team is another American ballplayer, Max "Hammer" Dubois (Dennis Haysbert), with whom he commiserates about his frustrations, but even Max becomes fed up with Jack's attitude and lack of respect for the game and his team. At the same time, Elliot develops a relationship with the beautiful Hiroko (Aya Takanashi), who is, he later learns, Uchiyama's daughter. After one too many outbursts, including knocking out his interpreter (during a brawl), Elliot is suspended from play. After meeting Hiroko's family, including Uchiyama, Uchiyama admits to Jack that he hired him over the objections of management (they wanted Pete Clifton from the Boston Red Sox) and now his own career, not just Jack's, is in jeopardy. After hearing this, Elliot swallows his pride and admits his deficiencies. Uchiyama becomes his mentor. In a rare show of humility, he apologizes to the team in Japanese and the team rallies around him and teaches him the value of sportsmanship and respect for hard work. Uchiyama lifts his suspension and begins to work with Elliot on improving his play. The reinvigorated Elliot's enthusiasm for team play is contagious and the mediocre Dragons become contenders for the Central League pennant... Bill Diehl of ABC called Mr. Baseball "uproariously funny," while Steve Wille of Sports Illustrated glowed, "Tom Selleck deserves a baseball Oscar." Siskel and Ebert, in their review of the film, commented on its formulaic plot and lackluster writing, but also praised the film for its realistic crowd shots, direction, and Jerry Goldsmith's soundtrack. Janet Maslin of The New York Times singled out Selleck's performance for praise, writing, "The character of Jack, whose being sent to Japan is the impetus for "Mr. Baseball," provides Mr. Selleck with something unusual: a movie role that actually suits his talents. Mr. Selleck's easygoing, self-deprecating manner works particularly well when he lets himself look silly, as he often does here." At the first sight "Mr. Baseball" might look like "Major League" from 1989 and that sort of light sports comedy we have seen many times, but compared to the latter "Mr. Baseball" digs a bit into the study of American values contra Japanese values and each culture. The feeling of ending up in a culture you first of all dont understand which makes you feel completely outside of everything, the struggle to work around it and the values of eventually becoming a part of the specific culture. The clash of cultures is nothing new either, but I reckon director Fred Schepisi manages to create a balance between being entertaining but also showing a deeper side within this comedy. Its also about growing up and understanding the self and others as well. Yes, it is a clichridden film, but you have to take it for what it is. This is the sort of film that really fits Tom Selleck and his acting skills. He is perfect as the arrogant and selfcentered Jack Elliot. The baseball scenes are quite good and realistic, the layers to the story are nice but yet subtle. All in all "Mr. Baseball" is entertaining and I would love to go to Japan in a near future.