I don’t care much for sports but I love sports movies — especially baseball movies. Thus it shouldn’t be a surprise that I like all the Major League films. But probably my favorite is Major League: Back to the Minors, which was released on this day, 17 April, in 1998.
The first two films in the series had the distinct advantage of starring Tom Berenger as fading catcher Jake Taylor. But this was offset by the casting of Charlie Sheen as bad-boy pitcher Ricky Vaughn. I have no problem with Sheen, who I think is really talented. I just don’t much like him in these kinds of parts.
Back to the Minors features Scott Bakula. And I don’t care what people say: I like him. He’s a kind of low-rent Keanu Reeves. He makes a very appealing protagonist. I will generally watch anything just because he’s in it.
Contrasting with him is Ted McGinley, whose performance is fearless. But I guess you don’t make it through a decade of Married… with Children without that.
In addition, many of the minor characters are back from the previous films. It’s a lot like a family gathering. But unlike the second film, it doesn’t take itself seriously. Of course, critics hated both the sequels because that’s what critics do.
Also on 17 April
Also released today: The Watcher in the Woods (1980), Caveman (1981), Lion of the Desert (1981), Delicatessen (1991), The Object of My Affection (1998), Suicide Kings (1998), Paulie (1998), and Romance (1999).
Major League III image via Amazon under Fair Use.