HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
Lean on Pete
Carnival in Flanders
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
It Came from the Desert
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
   
 
Newest Articles
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
   
 
  Battlefield Baseball Take Me Out At The Ball GameBuy this film here.
Year: 2003
Director: Yudai Yamaguchi
Stars: Tak Sakaguchi, Atsushi Ito, Hideo Sakaki, Shôichirô Masumoto, Kanae Uotani
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Action, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Seido High School Principal is worried about the all important baseball championships that are about to be held, and whether his team will hold their own against the might of say, the Gedo team which is made up of aggressive zombies. While the Principal has nightmares about possible carnage that might erupt once his team step up to bat, the school is buzzing with rumours about the latest pupil to arrive: Jubeh (Tak Sakaguchi). He is supposed to have been expelled from his last school for murdering a teacher, or was it for murdering his parents? Whatever the reason, he is a terrific baseball pitcher, so can he be persuaded to join the team? When the Principal witnesses a baseball themed fight between Jubeh and a local bully, he sees his prowess, but Jubeh has made a vow: no more baseball. Ever. Can he overcome the tragedy that led him to this state and lead his fellows to victory?

If all you know about Japanese baseball is what you caught in a television showing of The Bad News Bears Go To Japan you were half watching while waiting for something better to come on, then I'd like to say that Battlefield Baseball will be welcomed as an enlightening experience. I'd like to say that, but actually the film's grip on reality seems tenuous at best - you remember that bit in The Naked Gun with the ridiculous sports TV outtakes where a player is attacked by a tiger and another gets his head knocked off? Well imagine a ninety minute, Japanese version of that sequence, only with martial arts fights, improbable soul searching and a musical number added for good measure. Sensible this is not.

It's no surprise that Jigoku Kôshien or Battlefield Stadium, to give the film its original title, was based on a Manga, this one written by Gatarô Man and adapted for the screen by Isao Kiriyama and director Yudai Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi worked with Sakaguchi on Versus and Alive, both of which he co-wrote the script for, but this was his directorial debut, and as a comedy it does inspire some good laughs, but mostly it's just weird. Jubeh has given up baseball pitching because nobody could return them, such was his force at throwing. Through the medium of song we are told that Jubeh's father took pity on him and offered to play catcher, but after a super-speed ball went right through him, killing him outright, Jubeh was so distraught that this was the reason he will never play again.

Except he will, of course, and this pussyfooting around all the persuasion it takes to get Jubeh taking part can be tiresome as we know fine well that he will be pitching again. After he escapes from prison, that is. The games have little to do with baseball and more to do with gang fights as the rivals of Gedo are armed to the teeth and once the whistle blows to start the proceedings, the zombies (offscreen) chop the Seido team into little pieces. There's no shortage of incident, with Jubeh finding his long lost family after an energetic fight with his mother, and previously dead characters returning to life, in some cases as robots. Although noticeably underfunded, the sheer exuberance carries the action's high spirits through its multiple plot twists, ludicrous as they are, and the whole thing has the gall to end with an inspirational message about the friendships you find in baseball teams being the most important aspect of the game. It's amusing, but just as likely to leave you looking quizzical as it is to make you chuckle.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3030 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: