(Blogathon ’16) Mr. Go, if adapted for American audiences

This post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

Mr. Go. The classic tale of a girl, a gorilla, and the Korean Baseball Organization. Truly, one of the greatest Bizarre Baseball Culture entries of all time, and one you should totally consider purchasing if you are a fan of such things. But what if it was brought to American screens? How would it be adapted?

I have a few ideas:

The cute little Chinese girl, Weiwei, would stay, as would the backstory of her and her gorilla, Ling Ling. Similarly, the main antagonist of the film would be Liao Xiaogang, AKA “Tianjin Guy”, a corrupt nouveau-rich businessman/gangster.

This is a purely economic move. China is now one of the leading movie-going countries in the world, and the only way a baseball movie is going to get any attention there is if it has a Chinese person in it. Also, so much of what drives the plot is the fact that Weiwei is an outsider just trying to keep her friends and circus at home from being folded up.

The jerk-with-a-heart-of-gold scout, Sung Choong-Su, would instead be an American named Samuel “Sunny” Chance, played by James Franco.

For one thing, James Franco has experience with apes, and also he is able to do both comedy and drama, which this film would require. Also, I think civilization in general needs to see James Franco make drunken confessions to a baseball-playing gorilla who is also drunk.

Instead of going to the Doosan Bears, Ling Ling/Mr. Go would be a member of the San Diego Padres.

Don’t try to argue with me on this, you aren’t going to win.

The general manager of the Padres will have an expanded role and be played by John Goodman.

Because, really, imagine John Goodman delivering this line:

Jonah Hill would make a cameo as a sabermetrics expert who suggests how they can best use Mr. Go.

Both because he’s always in movies with James Franco, and as a reference to Moneyball.

There would be a subplot about how some people think Mr. Go isn’t playing the game the right way after he unleashes an epic bat-flip.

It’d provide realism to the affair.

After Mr. Go’s rampage, Weiwei and him would go on Jimmy Kimmel to prove he isn’t a monster.

Of course they would.

Instead of a bidding war between the Chunichi Dragons and Yomiuri Giants, it would be the Red Sox and Yankees.

Because of course it would be.

The veterinarian’s role would be expanded and made into a female love interest for Franco’s character, probably played by somebody quirky like Zooey Deschanel or wittily sarcastic like Anna Kendrick.

Because every goddamn movie, it seems, needs a love interest of some sort, and it sure as heck isn’t going to be Weiwei and Franco.

The NC Dinos, the main opponent of Doosan, would be replaced by the Dodgers. Also, the Division Series at the end of Mr. Go would be replaced with a final regular season series where the NL West title is on the line.

This both would better explain why every game is a home game for Mr. Go (in the Korean movie, they come up with an excuse about renovations at NC’s stadium) while still providing plenty of drama.

Leiting, the evil pitching gorilla who faces Mr. Go, will be renamed “Lightning” instead of “Zeros”.

Because Zeros was a dumb name.

The ending would be left more open to the “Football-playing Gorilla” sequel than the original movie was.

Every movie needs to have a opening for a sequel.

And, finally, it goes without saying that Andy Serkis would be playing Mr. Go.

Duh.

At 4 PM: AAA.

This post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

 

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The Best of 2014- BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE: “Mr. Go” is about a GORILLA PLAYING BASEBALL IN KOREA

This was originally published July 18, 2014. More “Bizarre Baseball Culture” can be found here.

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

Oh boy.

I have covered many strange things on Bizarre Baseball Culture over time. There was the story about baseball in 2044, there was the Pokémon episode, the comic where the hero basically uses PEDs, the comic where Billy The Marlin and Spider-Man had to save Jeff Conine from Doctor Doom, and, of course, all of those “Ultimate Sports Force” comics. But perhaps none can compare to the 2013 Korean/Chinese epic that is… Mr. Go.

Yes, Mr. Go. A film much beloved by people throughout the baseball internet for the sheer curiosity factor of those blog posts at places like Big League Stew last year, but rarely actually seen by it. I, however, was able to procure a copy of the film, in the form of a DVD from Hong Kong, acquired from a Canadian seller on eBay. All for you, the readership of the Baseball Continuum (and anybody who found this link).

So, buckle up, because below the jump, we dive deep on Mr. Go. Prepare yourself, because gorilla baseball, MLB cameos, banana-shaped thunderstix, pizza commercials, a bullpen-cart chase and other madness awaits you:

Continue reading

BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE: “Mr. Go” is about a GORILLA PLAYING BASEBALL IN KOREA

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

Oh boy.

I have covered many strange things on Bizarre Baseball Culture over time. There was the story about baseball in 2044, there was the Pokémon episode, the comic where the hero basically uses PEDs, the comic where Billy The Marlin and Spider-Man had to save Jeff Conine from Doctor Doom, and, of course, all of those “Ultimate Sports Force” comics. But perhaps none can compare to the 2013 Korean/Chinese epic that is… Mr. Go. 

Yes, Mr. Go. A film much beloved by people throughout the baseball internet for the sheer curiosity factor of those blog posts at places like Big League Stew last year, but rarely actually seen by it. I, however, was able to procure a copy of the film, in the form of a DVD from Hong Kong, acquired from a Canadian seller on eBay. All for you, the readership of the Baseball Continuum (and anybody who found this link).

So, buckle up, because below the jump, we dive deep on Mr. Go. Prepare yourself, because gorilla baseball, MLB cameos, banana-shaped thunderstix, pizza commercials, a bullpen-cart chase and other madness awaits you:

Continue reading

“Million Dollar Arm” trailer

Starring Jon Hamm, Million Dollar Arm is the loosely-based upon a true-story tale of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, two Indians who were discovered after winning a reality show in their home country meant specifically to find India’s first professional ballplayers. It looks like the movie is taking some liberties with the events, but, hey, it’s always good to see a baseball movie:

It’s the 20th Anniversary of “Rookie Of The Year”, here’s what I have to say about that

Pulling the curtain for a second, an admission:

I originally had this big plan where I would watch the now-20-year-old kid-baseball classic Rookie of the Year and figure out the statistics for it’s main character, Henry Rowengartner. But, alas, it was not to be: I inadvertently deleted it from my DVR, ruining my opportunity to bring the world such great baseball scholarship. One day, perhaps.

Still, some thoughts on Rookie of the Year:

Rookie of the Year was part of an early 90s mini-fad of baseball movies sparked by the late-80s success of Kevin Costner’s films and Major League. Other baseball movies from this time period include The Sandlot, A League of Their Own and Little Big League. I saw them on VHS when I was like five or six, possibly more times than was healthy. And, although in hindsight The Sandlot and A League of Their Own* were the best of the early 90s bunch, I think I watched Rookie of the Year and Little Big League more. It makes sense, come to think of it: They were wish-fulfillment tales. Who doesn’t wish to make it to the big leagues in some way? Heck, who doesn’t wish they could be doing it when they are still kids?

Anyway, for those of you who don’t know the story, Rookie of the Year is a semi-remake of an obscure movie called Roogie’s Bump. In the film, Henry Rowengartner, a baseball-loving boy in his early teens, suffers a strange injury that heals in such a way that his arm suddenly becomes able to throw MLB-level heat. The Cubs sign him, and, well, you can probably guess how the rest of the story goes.

While the film is unrealistic and pretty formulaic, it still is a fun watch, especially with John Candy as an announcer for the Cubs who opens up the movie with this ever-so-true line:

Opening Day at Wrigley, and oh what a sight! The diamond, the decorations, and the dread of yet another losing season.

 

Really, there isn’t much more that can be said, other than that as part of the Anniversary there have been a few articles about it.

For example, Yahoo!’s Mike Oz talked a bit to star Thomas Ian Nicholas (who has since gone on to star in the American Pie films) and director/supporting actor Daniel Stern about it. From it, I learned that, for example, John Candy was not originally involved with the film, but the studio liked the close-to-finished product enough that they let the producers hire John Candy to film a few scenes and voiceovers for the film.

Meanwhile, as a extra to Sports Illustrated‘s “Where Are They Now” issue, screenwriter Sam Harper revealed what happened to Henry after the film. Turns out that similar injuries led to him having brief careers in football and bowling.

So, if you see Rookie of the Year on cable in the coming days, feel free to think back to this post and those other articles. And also think how funky-buttloving (you’d get it if you saw the movie) awesome my look at Henry Rowengartner’s stats would have been.

*True story: I almost had a cameo in A League of Their Own as a redheaded toddler grandchild in the Cooperstown scenes at the end. But according to family legend, my parents didn’t want to drive all the way to Cooperstown for the shoot, especially since if I cried they’d probably just have some other 1-year-old do it and they’d have driven all the way to Cooperstown for nothing. And that, friends, is why Daniel J. Glickman doesn’t have an IMDB page noting his uncredited cameo in A League of Their Own.

Review of “42”

“Continuum Global News” will return next week, but better late than never, here’s my review of 42:

Jackie Robinson was, without question, the most important baseball player of the 20th century. While Babe Ruth may have been the most transcendent star, and Curt Flood proved a pivotal figure in the game’s labor history, Robinson’s effects did not simply stop at baseball. No, his effect was felt far beyond the diamond. How important was Jackie Robinson? Well, no less than Martin Luther King Jr. declared him an important member and symbol of the civil right movements. And, least we forget, Robinson was a great ballplayer as well, a career .311 hitter, a six-time All-Star, the Rookie of the Year in 1947 and MVP of 1949. Who knows what type of career he may have had (he didn’t make his MLB debut until age 28) if not for segregation and the war?

So given this, it’s sort of surprising that it’s taken this long for a modern biopic on Robinson. There was a biopic starring the man himself in 1950, and a TV movie about his court-martial in 1990 (starring Andre Braugher as Robinson), but nothing else. But, I guess good things come to those who wait, because 42, although far, far from perfect, is a fine movie that does well at honoring Robinson while also educating those who perhaps are not as familiar with the story.

(MORE AFTER JUMP)

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Today is the 20th Anniversary of “The Sandlot”

Today is the 20th Anniversary of The Sandlot. Two things:

A) This makes me feel old (I must have watched that movie on VHS 200 times as a kid).

B) If you haven’t seen this movie, well… you’re killing me, Smalls!