Major League II

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Major League II
Major league ii.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David S. Ward
Produced by James G. Robinson
David S. Ward
Screenplay byR.J. Stewart
Story byR.J. Stewart
Tom S. Parker
Jim Jennewein
Based onCharacters
by David S. Ward
Starring
Music by Michel Colombier
CinematographyVictor Hammer
Edited by Donn Cambern
Kimberly Ray
Paul Seydor
Frederick Wardell
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • March 30, 1994 (1994-03-30)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$25 million
Box office$30,626,182 [1]

Major League II is a 1994 American sports comedy film and sequel to the 1989 film Major League . Major League II stars most of the same cast from the original, including Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Corbin Bernsen. Absent from this film is Wesley Snipes, who played Willie Mays Hayes in the first film and who by 1994 had become a film star in his own right. Omar Epps took over his role.

A sports film is a film genre that uses sport as the theme of the film. It is a production in which a sport, sporting event, athlete, or follower of sport are prominently featured, and which depend on sport to a significant degree for their plot motivation or resolution. Despite this, sport is ultimately rarely the central concern of such films and sport performs primarily an allegorical role. Furthermore, sports fans are not necessarily the target demographic in such movies, but sports fans tend to have a large following or respect for such movies.

A comedy film is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. These films are designed to make the audience laugh through amusement and most often work by exaggerating characteristics for humorous effect. Films in this style traditionally have a happy ending. One of the oldest genres in film – and derived from the classical comedy in theatre –, some of the very first silent movies were comedies, as slapstick comedy often relies on visual depictions, without requiring sound. When sound films became more prevalent during the 1920s, comedy films took another swing, as laughter could result from burlesque situations but also dialogue.

<i>Major League</i> (film) 1989 film by David S. Ward

Major League is a 1989 American sports comedy film produced by Chris Chesser and Irby Smith, written and directed by David S. Ward, that stars Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, James Gammon, Bob Uecker, Rene Russo, Dennis Haysbert and Corbin Bernsen.

Contents

Major League II also welcomes some new faces to the team. David Keith plays Jack Parkman, a selfish superstar catcher who is looking to replace the aging Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) as the starter. Takaaki Ishibashi, of Japanese comedic duo Tunnels, is outfielder Hiroshi "Kamikaze" Tanaka who helps excite the team. Eric Bruskotter is rookie catcher Rube Baker who is getting used to the MLB life. Unlike the first film, which was rated R, Major League II is rated PG and is distributed by Warner Bros. instead of Paramount Pictures.

David Keith American actor and director

David Lemuel Keith is an American actor and director. His breakthrough role was that of aspiring Navy pilot Sid Worley in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), for which he was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. The positive reception for this role led to leading parts in the films The Lords of Discipline (1983), Firestarter (1984) and White of the Eye (1987). Keith had notable supporting roles in features including The Indian in the Cupboard (1995), U-571 (2000), Men of Honor (2000) and Daredevil (2003).

Catcher defensive position in baseball and softball played behind home plate, facing the field

Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his/her turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the (home) umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. In addition to this primary duty, the catcher is also called upon to master many other skills in order to field the position well. The role of the catcher is similar to that of the wicket-keeper in cricket, but in cricket, wicketkeepers are increasingly known for their batting abilities.

Tom Berenger American television and motion picture actor

Tom Berenger is an American television and motion picture actor. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Staff Sergeant Bob Barnes in Platoon (1986). He is also known for playing Jake Taylor in the Major League films and Thomas Beckett in the Sniper films. Other films he appeared in include Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), The Dogs of War (1980), The Big Chill (1983), Eddie and the Cruisers (1983), Betrayed (1988), The Field (1990), Gettysburg (1993), The Substitute (1996), One Man's Hero (1999), Training Day (2001), and Inception (2010).

Plot

In the previous season, the Cleveland Indians won the division title by beating the New York Yankees in a one-game playoff, but were defeated in the ALCS by the Chicago White Sox.

Cleveland Indians Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Cleveland, Ohio, United States

The Cleveland Indians are an American professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) Central division. Since 1994, they have played at Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Arizona. Since their establishment as a major league franchise in 1901, the Indians have won two World Series championships: in 1920 and 1948, along with 10 Central Division titles and six American League pennants. The Indians' current World Series championship drought is the longest active drought among all 30 current Major League teams.

New York Yankees Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in the Bronx, New York, United States

The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of the Bronx. The Yankees compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City, the other being the National League (NL)'s New York Mets. The Yankees franchise began play in the 1901 season as the Baltimore Orioles. In 1903, Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the franchise after it ceased operations and moved it to New York City, renaming the club the New York Highlanders. The Highlanders were officially renamed the Yankees in 1913.

The American League Championship Series (ALCS) is a best-of-seven series played in October in the Major League Baseball postseason that determines the winner of the American League (AL) pennant. The winner of the series advances to play the winner of the National League (NL) Championship Series (NLCS) in the World Series, Major League Baseball's championship series.

The success of last season has changed the attitudes of the Indians. Pitching sensation Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn has become a media sensation and as such is now more concerned about his public image than his pitching, causing him to lose the edge on his fastball. Instead, he begins to rely on highly ineffective breaking balls, to which he gives nicknames such as "Eliminator" and "Humiliator." Home run hitter Pedro Cerrano becomes a Buddhist and adopts a more placid, carefree style as opposed to the angry and aggressive player he was before. Center fielder Willie Mays Hayes is still as fast as ever but like Vaughn is more concerned with his self image, as he comes into camp wearing flashy jewelry and showing off his newly found batting power (which is not much). Hayes also appeared in an action film that was a flop and resulted in him spraining his knee. Aging catcher and team leader Jake Taylor has also returned, but once again is dealing with injuries to his knees.

Buddhism World religion, founded by the Buddha

Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognised by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana.

The team also has a major change at the very top. Rachel Phelps, the owner whose attempts to sabotage the team so she could move it to Miami were foiled, has sold the team to Roger Dorn, who has retired from his playing position to take the job. One of his first acts as owner is to sign Oakland Athletics all-star catcher Jack Parkman, which forces Jake to compete for his old position. Parkman is an arrogant player who does not respect the team. To further complicate things, minor-league catcher Rube Baker has also been invited to camp despite his inability to throw the ball back to the pitcher with any consistency.

Oakland Athletics Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Oakland, California, United States

The Oakland Athletics, often referred to as the A's, are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The team plays its home games at the RingCentral Coliseum. They have won nine World Series championships.

As the team breaks camp, Taylor confronts manager Lou Brown as to his status. While he made the team, the other two catchers did as well and since Parkman won the competition to start, it does not make sense for both Taylor and Baker to be on the active roster. Lou tells him that he is keeping him on as a coach and not as a player, which upsets Jake but he gets over his anger and decides to take the position.

Once again, the Indians start slow. Cerrano's religious conversion causes him to struggle, as even the slightest mishap causes him to lose focus. Hayes, with his new prima donna attitude, refuses to play even with the slightest injury. Vaughn's control issues return and once again he gives up far too many runs. Furthering the issue is the incompetence of the owner, as Dorn is in over his head and has to resort to various methods to raise cash such as selling advertising space on the outfield walls.

Perhaps the biggest problem of all is the team's new star. Parkman quickly becomes a divisive figure in the clubhouse as his ego is out of control. Parkman is also unafraid to let his frustrations out in public and eventually, Lou reaches the end of his tolerance regarding Parkman and decides to suspend him after Parkman criticizes the team in the local papers. Parkman then informs Lou that the suspension is moot as he has been traded to the White Sox. Lou confronts Dorn for not consulting him about the trade. Dorn explains that he could no longer afford to pay Parkman's salary and had no choice but to trade him. In return, Japanese import Hiroshi "Kamikaze" Tanaka, a gifted left fielder with a penchant for crashing into the fence, is sent to the Indians.

Finally out of options, Dorn sells the Indians back to Rachel Phelps. Rachel keeps Dorn on as the Indians general manager and his first order of business is to re-activate himself as a player. Phelps bought the team back as revenge for ruining her plan to move the team to Miami. With the Indians now in last place, she has another chance to do so. Lou suffers a heart attack in the clubhouse due to his frustration over the team's performance and Jake is given the reins of the team.

Things come to a head during a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox. When Rube is hit by a pitch in his ankle, Hayes is called upon to run for him but refuses to do it, which angers Jake. Vaughn quarrels with Hayes and the two begin fighting, which leads to the entire team fighting each other and getting ejected. After the game, Tanaka criticizes Cerrano for not having any "marbles" due to his struggles and Hayes makes a wisecrack at Baker about his injury, leading Rube to chastise Hayes and the rest of the team for their lack of passion and demand that he be inserted into the lineup for the second game of the doubleheader. Inspired by the speech, Hayes volunteers to run for the injured Baker in the bottom of the ninth inning of the second game and promptly steals second, third and home to tie the score. Cerrano, also inspired, demands that Jake insert him into the game to pinch hit and he responds by hitting the game-winning home run.

Boston Red Sox Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The Boston Red Sox are an American professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. The Red Sox have won nine World Series championships, tied for the third-most of any MLB team, and they have played in 13. Their most recent appearance and win was in 2018. In addition, they won the 1904 American League pennant, but were not able to defend their 1903 World Series championship when the New York Giants refused to participate in the 1904 World Series. Founded in 1901 as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox' home ballpark has been Fenway Park since 1912. The "Red Sox" name was chosen by the team owner, John I. Taylor, circa 1908, following the lead of previous teams that had been known as the "Boston Red Stockings", including the forerunner of the Atlanta Braves.

The win sparks a hot streak that the Indians ride all the way to a second straight division title, clinched by beating the Toronto Blue Jays on the last day of the season. Despite the team's hot streak, Vaughn continues to slump as his ineffective breaking pitches have caused him to lose confidence in his best pitch, his fastball. To make matters worse, he refuses to finish games he starts and has allowed the fans to get into his head.

In the ALCS, the Indians square off in a rematch with the White Sox and win the first three games of the series. This inspires Rachel to give the team a phony pep talk before Game 4, which is purposely designed to get in the heads of the players and distract them. It works, as a still struggling Vaughn gives up a game-winning home run to Parkman in the bottom of the ninth. With strong offense by Parkman, the White Sox defeat the Indians in the next two games, forcing a seventh game in Cleveland.

The night before the game, Jake goes to visit Vaughn at his home and tells him that he might be called on to pitch in relief in Game 7. Vaughn nonchalantly tells Taylor he will be ready, which infuriates Jake to the point where he lashes out at Vaughn. He calls Vaughn out for having lost his edge and strongly advises him to find it again before the upcoming game.

The White Sox jump out to an early 2–1 lead in Game 7 after Parkman bowls over Rube on a play at the plate, taunting him as he struggles to get up. With the Indians down by one, Hayes reaches base on a walk and taunts Parkman by saying he is going to score on the play without sliding. Rube then lines a drive to the left field corner and Hayes rounds the bases and heads for home. The ball gets to Parkman first, but Hayes, making good on his promise not to slide, hurdles over Parkman and lands on home plate. Parkman responds, however, by hitting a three-run home run in the seventh inning and the White Sox take a 5–3 lead into the bottom of the eighth.

Although the Indians get a runner on, two quick outs are recorded and Jake is forced to make a strategic move. To this point, despite multiple requests, he has not used Dorn in a game since he came back. Jake finally decides to use him to "take one for the team" and sends him up to pinch hit. Dorn takes the first pitch off his lower back and is pulled for a pinch runner.

Cerrano steps in, having apparently reverted to his more placid self. He greets Parkman, who reminds him that his team is still losing the game. After taking two pitches, Cerrano's teammates begin shaking little bags of marbles at him. With this, the Cuban slugger is able to find his focus and send the next pitch over the fence to give the Indians a 6–5 lead.

However, the go-ahead runs reach base with two outs in the top of the ninth. Jake calls on Vaughn to get the final out and to the crowd's amazement, Vaughn has taken Jake's message to heart and rediscovered his edge. To further this, he tells Jake that he intends to walk the current batter and pitch to Parkman instead, who is on deck. Knowing that an intentional walk will load the bases, Jake initially balks but takes confidence in Vaughn and allows him to face Parkman.

Vaughn throws a fastball that Parkman swings through for strike one, then follows with another fastball that Parkman fouls straight back. With two strikes on him, an impressed Parkman dares Vaughn to throw it a third time. Vaughn fearlessly complies with one more fastball dubbed the "Terminator" that Parkman swings through, striking out to end the game and send the Indians to the World Series.

Cast

Box office

The movie debuted at No. 1, knocking out D2: The Mighty Ducks , another sports comedy featuring Major League star Charlie Sheen's brother, Emilio Estevez. [2] In the United States, the movie grossed a total of $30,626,182 at the box office. [3]

Critical reception

Major League II received extremely negative reviews from critics, leaving the film with just a 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews. [4]

Notes

Cleveland Stadium was not used, as it was in the first film. Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore replaced Milwaukee County Stadium as the stand-in for the team's home. Although Oriole Park bore a stronger resemblance to the stadium that the Indians were playing in when Major League II was released (the now-Progressive Field), like Milwaukee County Stadium it was designed to represent Cleveland Stadium in the film as the new ballpark was not yet named at the time of the filming. The outfield scoreboard at Oriole Park reads "Welcome to Cleveland Stadium" at various points and scenes in the outfield are played in front of a blue wall, which Cleveland Stadium had (Oriole Park and Progressive Field both have dark green outfield walls). In one scene, a sign for the "Sheraton Inner Harbor" can be seen above an outfielder's head. The Sheraton Inner Harbor is a hotel located in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, not Cleveland.

Coincidentally, a year after this film was released, the actual Cleveland Indians team made it to the 1995 World Series, which was the team's first playoff appearance in 41 years. The Indians ended up losing in 6 games to the Atlanta Braves. In the lead-up to Game 3, the first World Series game played in Cleveland in 41 years, the PA system played "The House Is Rockin", the song from the end of Major League II. In another coincidence, Bob Uecker served as a commentator for the 1995 World Series television coverage on NBC, which shared broadcasting rights with rival network ABC, thanks to a strike that cancelled the final two months of the 1994 season, as well as the postseason and World Series. Two years after that, the Indians made it to the World Series again (also telecast by NBC and again with Uecker as a commentator) ended up with the same result, this time losing to the Florida Marlins in 7 games. It would be 19 years before the Indians returned to the World Series, which they would once again lose in 7 games to the Chicago Cubs; this came a mere four months after the city's NBA team, the Cavaliers, had defeated the heavily-favored Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals that also went seven games, and brought an end to a 52-year championship drought.

Sequel

David S. Ward announced in 2010 that he was working on a new film, which he called Major League 3, and hoped to cast the original stars Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes and Tom Berenger. The plot would see Sheen's character Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn coming out of retirement to work with a young player. [5] The film is being seen as the third film in the series, despite the fact that a third film, Major League: Back to the Minors , was released in 1998.

On April 6, 2011 in Cleveland Ohio, Charlie Sheen during his "violent torpedoes of truth" tour announced to the audience that he was working on a third sequel, titled Major League 3, and said "We are gonna shoot it right here in Cleveland!" He opened the show wearing a "Rick Vaughn" #99 Cleveland Indians jersey.

In 2017, Morgan Creek announced plans to reboot their classic films from '80s and '90s as either television series or movies, following the success of The Exorcist television series. Several films in the early stages of development include film series Young Guns, Major League, and Ace Ventura. [6]

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References

  1. Major League II at Box Office Mojo
  2. "Weekend Box Office : A Good Turnout for 'Four Weddings'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  3. "Major League II (1994)- Movie Info- Yahoo! Movies".
  4. "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Major League's' High Spirits". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  5. Published Wednesday, Jun 23 2010, 14:41 BST (2010-06-23). "Sheen returning for third 'Major League'? - Movies News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-07-08.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. Nellie Andreeva (October 26, 2017). "Morgan Creek Prods. Rebrands Itself, Plans TV & Film Reboots Of 'Young Guns', 'Ace Ventura,' 'Major League' & More". Deadline . Retrieved January 17, 2018.