JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Screwball (Director: Billy Corben) - April 1, 2019


4 4
105 min.

They all deserve each other

I have been to two MLB games in my life (one on opening day in Pittsburgh in the early ‘80s where the still-alive Montreal Expos beat the Pirates—I made some cash; the other 6 years ago when the Yankees easily beat the Blue Jays and I paid $15 for a beer).

Watching Billy Corben’s documentary about the millionaire baseball players upping their ante with their billion-dollar “professional” sport league has, once again, confirmed my decision to never set foot in a baseball “park” (a.k.a. money-sucking enterprise) again.

Ostensibly built around the steroid crisis involving “Doctor” (fake credentials resonating well in Trump’s view of America) Tony Bosch, fan extraordinaire (both in the tanning booth and the field of dreams) Porter Fischer, various reporters—notably Miami New Times’ Tim Elfrink) and New York Yankees bad boy, A-Rod, the combined effect of this production is to reinforce my love of amateur lawn bowling (where the most you can lose or gain after a match is a modicum of pride).

Largely set in Florida (a.k.a. the penis of America), where convicted criminals begin life “anew” (same crap, different modus operandi in the lenient state), thoughtful viewers will thank Corben for his insights and then hurry to wash. The rest will wonder what the fuss is all about.

The most inventive—and greatly appreciated—device is using young boys and girls to portray their elder counterparts in the numerous, inventively structured re-enactments. The irony of innocent, cherubic faces doing dastardly deeds is not lost, yet may lead some unsuspecting young souls to smile, wink and follow suit.

As usual, most of those who “live the life” or “need to see this”, never will. Not surprisingly opening on Opening Day 2019, the oft-touted adage, “Play ball” takes on a meaning that most fans will never want to hear, much less appreciate. JWR

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Director - Billy Corben
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