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Hops and Box Office Flops – There’s a Mediocre Moon Rising on the Cuyahoga River: The Laziness of Major League II

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Major League II is not a terrible movie. It certainly is a derivative one, though. It never really has its own story to tell. The plucky and charismatic underdogs from the first film return, mostly, but their journey here has nothing to say. They stink, and it’s up to Jake Taylor—in a managerial role this time—to figure out why.

For a team that is only a year removed from advancing to the American League Championship Series (ALCS), their struggles never feel earned. And the fact that their greatest tribulation—a loss to their new rival, the Chicago White Sox, in the ALCS—occurs offscreen only cheapens that lack of authenticity. There was a spirit to the first film. An energy. You pull for that team because they are expected to lose. It’s much harder to rally behind a group that is expected to win.

The similarities between this team’s plight and that of the first is inherently an underlying issue with sports sequels. They inevitably have to overcome the same circumstances that plagued them the first time. Sure, there is some fun to be found—the intense samurai spirit infused by Japanese acquisition Isuro Tanaka, the delightfully over-the-top trailer for Willie Mays Hayes’ action extravaganza Black Hammer & White Lighting, and a sheepish Roger Dorn moonlighting as a utility player/GM; it’s just too often lost amongst the haze of a tired script, overwrought with clichés and recycled humor.

I mean, there’s a reason that we’re covering this one, while its predecessor is making a much overdo appearance on The Rewatchables. So sit back, grab a double shot of Jobu’s special rum, and enjoy as I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), and the Irate Lover (who happens to love this movie) take you to the wonderous sites of Cleveland—city of light, city of magic—for the dismal second season to what had been the perfect Cinderella story.

This Weeks Segments:

  • Introduction – Our general reaction to the film and lingering questions we have. (00:00)
  • “Am I full of s**t or not?” – The Irate Lover attempts to debunk or confirm facts I discovered while investigating the interwebs. (49:32)
  • The Scale – Where does Jack Parkman rank on the Most Toxic Teammates Scale? (59:35)
  • Upgrade/Downgrade – We assess whether or not the insertion of Omar Epps in place of Wesley Snipes was an upgrade or downgrade. (1:08:30)
    • In addition, I’ve assembled four other famous instances of actors stepping into a role for the sequel to a hit movie.
  • Recommendations – We offer up our recommendations for the week and dive into a spoiler-filled discussion about Netflix’s Triple Frontier (the spoilers close out the episode). (1:21:30)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter (@HopsandBOFlops) to check out all the interesting factoids from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops, as always, on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, Podbean, and Spotify!

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Thomas L. Kelly

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