Baseball - America's pastime - was created in Cooperstown, NY in 1839. Since that time there have countless movies surrounding or inspired by the game. There have been stories about triumph against all odds or heartwarming tales about family bonds or neighborhood kids playing in a vacant lot. Some of the films are dramas while others are categorized as comedies. In 1989 one of the latter variety hit theaters to tell the tale of an underdog baseball team trying to win the World Series. Major League debuted thirty years ago and has become a classic fir baseball fans. It is back in stores now on Blu-ray.
Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton; The Secret of My Success) was a former Las Vegas Showgirl who married rich but when her husband passes away she finds herself the owner of the Cleveland Indians baseball team. Despising Ohio, she wants to relocate the team to Miami, Florida but she can't unless the team has an abysmal losing season. Determined to get her way, Phelps hires a bunch of has-beens and wanna be's to make up the new roster. While some of the players see it as their final hoorah, the younger members see it as their "big break".
However, when the team finds out that Phelps plans to replace them the next year– once she relocates them to Miami- they are determined to sabotage her plan. As the team starts winner Phelps tries everything she can to see that they do not succeed including refusing to pay for airplane transportation to games and broken down equipment. It eventually becomes a battle of wills between the owner and the players who include veterans Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger; Platoon), and Roger Dorn (Cobrin Bernsen; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and newcomers Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes; Blade) and Ricky " Wild Thing" Vaughn (Charlie Sheen; Two and a Half Men); an appropriate nickname considering Sheen's later real-life shenanigans.
While Whitton is a formidable foe to these determined males it is Berenger, Bernsen, Snipes, and Sheen, along with a strong supporting cast, including Rene Russo (Lethal Weapon 4) as Taylor's ex-girlfriend, that makes the film shine. They work together like a well-oiled machine, which is something you want when making a movie about a baseball team that is supposed to work together for a common goal. Even with a good script, the film could have been a flop if the cast did not "gel".
The 1080p high definition video quality with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 is decent but not extraordinary. There is some graininess that is apparent especially in the beginning of the film but it gets better as it continues. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is average but nothing special. I love the sound of the crack of a bat as the baseball connects but this version of the film just doesn't have the kind of depth. The Blu-ray combo pack includes the following previously released extras: My Kinda Team: Making 'Major League', A Major League Look at 'Major League', Bob Uecker: Just a Bit Outside, An Alternate Ending with filmmaker introduction, A Tour of Pedro Cerrano's Locker and a Photo Gallery.
It's hard to believe that this fun, creative film is turning thirty years old (making me feel VERY old!) but it still stands the test of time and is a joy to watch. So much talent on screen adds to the enjoyment and some well-known music will have you wanting to sing along. For baseball fans (Especially Cleveland Indians Fans) this is a must own movie to add to your collection along with some of the best ones out there on the market.