Before I begin, I'd like to share with you my favorite screenshot from Major League that tells you, "Yes, this movie was released in 1989."
Each week Dan McQuade reviews a baseball movie. At-bat now in Cinema Varitek: Major League, the 1989 comedy about the Indians starring Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Rene Russo, Wesley Snipes, James Gammon and Dennis Haysbert; written and directed by David S. Ward (who wrote Sleepless in Seattle and wrote and directed The Program). These reviews usually contain spoilers.
Whatever the premise of a movie, it still must make sense. A movie can have dogs or girls (or dogs and girls) who play baseball or it can have an asteroid about to crash into earth. The characters in the movie must react like normal human beings. The details still need to be right.
Even the little things matter. At the end of Air Bud: World Pup, Buddy fills in for an injured Brianna Scurry (as herself) a save on the final penalty kick in the 2003 Women's World Cup to win it for the U.S. I know it's a kid's movie, but: What? Buddy is a boy. He shouldn't be allowed to play in the Women's World Cup. If I were a woman, I'd be offended.
The first time Buddy runs onto the field, the announcer shouts, "It's a dog!" Don't you kinda think a play-by-play announcer in a small suburban town would recognize the golden retriever that had just won the basketball championship? A dog like that, it attracts attention.
It's a bad sign for your movie if people are walking out of the theater talking about a huge plot hole, or a mistake or the couple next to them having sex during the movie's slow parts. A filmmaker can prevent the first two. And don't dismiss a movie's flaws just because it's a kids' film or a comedy (which mainly kids watch). Kids are the only ones who watch movies without being drunk or stoned or asleep. They'll notice this stuff.
Here's where I'm going: At the end of Major League, after the Cleveland Indians win the AL East (the movie's from 1989) in a one-game playoff, the movie ends.
There's no mention of the American League Championship Series, no mention of the playoffs. The players celebrate, the fans run on the field (again, the movie's from 1989), hey, end of movie. A movie doesn't need a 20-minute epilogue to set up the sequel like Spider-man 2, but an extra scene or two would be nice.
Major League has some funny scenes, and a couple good one-liners. And it has the Allstate spokesman/president on 24 shaving his head with a knife.
But it also has a a montage scene that goes all the way to clip (Q). Sports movies are cliched, baseball movies perhaps more so. But that doesn't mean the every character needs to be a one-note joke. We know virtually nothing at the end of the movie about the characters we didn't know when we first saw them. Whoo, let's celebrate!
Then again, the movie does have this: