Bad News Bears

DVD Reviews | Dec 15th, 2005

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Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden, Sammi Kane Kraft, Ridge Canipe, Brandon Craggs, Jeffrey Davies
Written By: Bill Lancaster, Glenn Ficarra
Directed By: Richard Linklater
Studio: Paramount
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Yes, I never saw the original movie. Just never got around to seeing it for some odd reason. Shoot me! Ok, don’t shoot me, bullets hurt. But I did see a few parts of the movie so…This is an updated remake of the original 70’s classic that starred a bunch of brats with Walter Matthau. This one stars a variety of brats with Billy Bob Thornton. The film delivers quite a few laughs but I don’t think it was as funny as it could have been.

Bad News Bears starts out with Morris Buttermaker (Billy Bob Thornton) going to his job as rodent killer. Buttermaker also played in the major leagues for a little bit as well, but nothing became of it. Buttermaker heads to the baseball field, drinking of course, and he ends up talking to one of his players’ Mother. He realizes that the team he was picked to coach are beyond pathetic and most likely hopeless. You got kids that don’t speak English, you have a handicapped kid in a wheelchair, a kid named lupus, a big fat kid, a rebellious teenager and other loser kids. I’m sure this would have been the team I was stuck on. He tries to half-ass teach the loser 12 year olds how to play baseball, but it doesn’t look good for the kids. Buttermaker ends up getting into a big tiff with the good team’s coach, Roy Bullock (Greg Kinnear). He recruits his teenager daughter (who happens to be a great pitcher) to join the team and defeat the pompous Bullock. But he has to stop being such a lazy alcoholic and coach the team better before he can beat Bullock’s team.

Even though I didn’t see the original, I didn’t think a remake of the 1970’s classic was really necessary. I think it’s just another lazy attempt at cashing in on something. Surely there must be some good comedies out there, that are original and could have been made instead of this. Yes I know, stop calling you Shirley. But this wasn’t necessarily a bad movie, just not necessary. I thought the first half of the movie was better than the second half. Seeing Billy Bob be a horny miserable drunk and a grumpy bastard to the kids was some funny stuff! That’s how he was in Bad Santa and this is how he is here. But eventually the kids start playing better and he’s less crabby, making the film not as funny to me. I’m not sure how similar or different his character is to Walter Matthau’s but I liked what Billy Bob was. I liked how he was kind of racist and made stereotypical comments to the diverse team. Makes him more of a dick. It made for some funny jokes & gags in the movie. Greg Kinnear pulled off the pompous ass thing way too easy so it wasn’t hard to imagine him in this role. The kid actors were okay, nothing too special. You can tell that they cast some kids who played baseball first, and then worried about the acting later. Buttermaker’s daughter couldn’t really act too well, but she was a good baseball player. Even though the movie has a lot of great one liners and gags, it does show some heart towards the end. Maybe that’s why I got bored towards the end.

There’s some fairly good extras on the DVD. Some funny outtakes of every messing up their lines or adlibbing after they screw up a line. The deleted scenes were deleted for a reason and didn’t really have anything special in them. Just more character development and chemistry. Usually some deleted scenes you would like to see back in a movie but not for Bad News Bears. There were featurettes on the making of the movie and how they casted the kids, and what the writers, director and Billy Bob thought about the original movie. There was a featurette on filming the baseball scenes as well. I didn’t listen to the commentary but that’s included on the DVD as well. So there is a good amount of things to watch if you are interested.

Bad News Bears was a movie I felt was entertaining but I felt it could have been a lot funnier; especially how funny Bad Santa was. But then again, it’s sort of a teen movie so I guess it can’t been totally out there and explicit. The movie didn’t really need to be remade but the updated version isn’t all that bad. Worth watching on a boring Sunday afternoon.

Deleted Scenes & Hilarious Outtakes
Director’s Commentary
Video Baseball Cards
And More!

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, Spanish

Favorite Scenes: A lot of the scenes in the beginning where Billy Bob is a drunken curmudgeon.
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 113 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: