Tag Archives: Charlie Sheen

David S. Ward

Ward wrote The Sting, the best con man movie I’ve ever seen. It was his first script as well. But looking at the rest of his career, you wonder if he used up all of his genius out of the gate. Some writers make bad directors, but Ward really hasn’t had a great script either, though Major League comes close. His final script, Major League 3, was the only movie I’ve been an extra in. And I haven’t even bothered to watch it.

Major League II: Completely lifeless sequel. Omar Epps replaced Wesley Snipes, but the problems of the movie are much deeper. This is basically the same plot as D2: The Mighty Ducks, only it’s more obnoxious because it’s adults.  I remember liking this as a kid, but I saw it a few years ago again and wanted to drink lye to forget the pain.

Grade: F

The Program: A perfectly diverse bunch of kids play football at a university and try to cope with life and each other. Some individually good scenes with a few salient points about life and what matters, but also some fake drama and easy stereotypes that ruins any chance this could have been great.

Grade: C

Major League: One of the better baseball movies I’ve seen. Making fun of the (then) hapless Indians was great, giving them a bitchy owner reminiscent of Marge Schott (though not nearly as hateful) who wants them to tank so she can move the team. Tom Berenger is the main character because he’s the team veteran, but probably so we can get a pointless romantic subplot with Rene Russo. But the rest of the movie is just good fun. Everyone seems to be having a blast, especially Bob Uecker, who provides so many great one-liners as the play-by-play announcer that some of them were adopted by his real-life counterparts. What also helps is that for the most part, the baseball feels realistic. Charlie Sheen is the closer who is wild but has a crazy-good fastball; you don’t doubt it watching the movie. Sheen couldn’t quite hit 100 MPH, but he came close enough and his mechanics were sound. Little details like that are really appreciated by this baseball fan.

Grade: B

Other David S. Ward Movies You May Have Seen

Down Periscope
King Ralph
Cannery Row

Jim Abrahams

Apparently, the one way to tell if a movie is slapstick is if the title ends in an exclamation point. Abrahams was the third of the trio who directed Airplane!, Top Secret!, and Ruthless People. Abrahams went on to write David Zucker’s successful Naked Gun movies and then wrote and directed some more slapstick on his own. It’s really hard to tell if he or Zucker is more responsible for the good slapstick.

Hot Shots!: Top Gun parody is okay. Charlie Sheen is decent but not great at slapstick. Lloyd Bridges and Cary Elwes are a bit better at it. I didn’t remember Ryan Stiles being in these movies. This movie came out in 1991, around the time he started working on the British version of Whose Line. I also didn’t realize Jon Cryer was here as well.

Hot Shots! Part Deux: Rambo parody is a little funnier than the first movie, but still pretty uneven. A lot of the same cast from the first movie, plus Rowan Atkinson.

Airplane!: See David Zucker

Other Jim Abrahams Movies You May Have Seen

Top Secret!
Ruthless People
Big Business
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
First Do No Harm
Mafia!