Major League: Back to the Minors (aKa Major League 3) is a 1998 sports comedy film written & directed by John Warren (The Curse of Inferno, Flashfire, Naked in New York, & The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.). It’s a sequel to 1989’s Major League & 1994’s Major League II. It’s actually considered more of a spin off to most people. It was produced by Gary Barber (Major League II, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, The Lookout, Unbreakable, True Romance, Freejack, Howling V: The Rebirth, Trial by Jury, Bad Moon, Young Guns II, Stay Tuned, & White Sands). The budget was $18 million & it grossed $3,572,443 at the box office.
Roger Dorn (played by: Corbin Bernsen from the Major League franchise, The Dentist 1/2, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, & L.A. Law) is now the owner of the Minnesota Twins. Aging minor league pitcher Gus Cantrell (played by: Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap, Lord of Illusions, Color of Night, & American Beauty) is planning to retire. Roger recruits Gus to be the manager of the Buzz, the Twins’ AAA minor league affiliate. Gus’s mission is to make a real team out of a bunch of players who include ballet dancer turned ballplayer Lance “The Dance” Pere (played by: Kenny Johnson from The Shield, Bates Motel, Sons of Anarchy, & Saving Grace), Rube Baker (played by: Eric Bruskotter from Major League II, Starship Troopers, The Fan, & Crimson Tide), Taka Tanaka (played by: Takaaki Ishibashi from Major League II, Sukiyaki Western Django, & Ultraman series), Pedro Cerrano (played by: Dennis Haysbert from the Major League franchise, Heat, 24, & The Unit), home run hitter Billy “Downtown” Anderson (played by: Walton Goggins from The Shield, Justified, The Hateful Eight, & House of 1000 Corpses), & plus a few other outcasts in the world of baseball. Gus clashes with Leonard Huff (played by: Ted McGinley from Married with Children, Revenge of the Nerds franchise, Wayne’s World 2, & Happy Days), the snobby manager of the Twins. Gus is now determined to turn this group of misfits into something special. Can he pull off this miracle? Or Is it finally time to call it quits?
Only Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert, Bob Uecker, & Steve Yeager return from the original for this. Just a warning, their roles are much smaller for the end of this trilogy. Eric Bruskotter & Takaaki Ishibashi also return from the sequel Major League II for this follow up. As you can see, most of the original & main cast had no interest in a third film for the Major League franchise. They went from big baseball to the minors for this feature which was an interesting approach & a nice attempt to change things from the other two which were very similar to each other. The script was solid but it more of a wannabe Major League rather than an actual sequel or spin off. It felt like it could have been a cheap knock off rather than actually being in the official series. Like I said before, I did enjoy that Back to the Minors tried to be different & stood out from the others. Luckily, this had a really good cast so it really helped out with the lackluster screenplay. Veteran actor Scott Bakula is always dependable & he fits the washed up player role perfect in this. Someone living in his past & always thinking what could have been. He makes a good leader & turns this odd team into something good from nothing. The supporting cast includes Walton Goggins, Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert, Bob Uecker (Major League), Jensen Daggett (Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan), Judson Mills (Walker, Texas Ranger), Ted McGinley, Kenny Johnson, Eric Bruskotter & Takaaki Ishibashi. They make this lower budget feature more enjoyable. Back to the Minors is the weakest entry from the series but it still has it’s moments. It’s hilarious & it doesn’t take it’s serious at all, it’s an entertaining baseball comedy with some familiar faces in it. Don’t get any big expectations & just turn off your brain for awhile.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Sony Pictures! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer looks good for being a lower budget sequel & catalog title. It’s definitely an upgrade from all the other past home video releases. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is solid & it’s the best it’s ever sounded. All the dialogue is very clean, the baseball action is elevated, & the music has a solid boost to it. It also has English SDH, French, Spanish subtitles. This release has no extras on it. It’s from Sony’s made on the demand line but it’s actually pro pressed. It’s available everywhere right now including MovieZyng.com, CHECK IT OUT!!!!