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By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 31, 1998

  Movie Critic

BASEketball Matt Stone and Trey Parker star in "BASEketball." (Universal)

David Zucker
Trey Parker;
Matt Stone;
Jenny McCarthy;
Robert Vaughn;
Ernest Borgnine;
Yasmine Bleeth;
Dian Bachar
Running Time:
1 hour, 45 minutes
Under 17 restricted

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What kind of movie is it where Yasmine Bleeth is the best thing about it? In the disappointing sports spoof "BASEketball," the comely bimbette of "Baywatch" fame is a veritable Meryl Streep compared to her awkward and amateurish costars, i.e. the flatulence-obsessed Jenny McCarthy and "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. McCarthy is only there because of her mammary endowments and her willingness to joke about passing gas, and Parker and Stone are only there because of the popularity of their profane and hilarious Comedy Central cartoon.

Here, the undynamic duo play a couple of unlikable slackers who invent a hybrid of baseball and basketball in their driveway, then turn pro. "BASEketball," by "Airplane!" co-director David Zucker, is for the most part dark, dull, witless and hobbled by poor comic timing. Its best gross-out jokes (and there are several) are not as funny as those in "There's Something About Mary" and the crucial JPM (jokes per minute) quotient is far lower than the recent "Mafia!," by former Zucker collaborator Jim Abrahams. There's plenty to mock about the greed and vulgarity of professional sports and, in the movie's first few minutes, some of these targets are hit, but then the film degenerates into sophomoric name calling and a brand of insult humor that would embarrass Don Rickles. Parker even trots out his Cartman voice from "South Park," which only makes "BASEketball" seem sadder and more lacking by comparison    

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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