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|Index||28 reviews in total|
Folks, There is only one group of people who will truly enjoy and think
this is a great film-the group who it was intended for: those of us who
were in our pre-teens or early teens who saw this when it first came
out in the Summer of 1977.
The tale is pretty much the kind of thing that every red-blooded American boy of that age would dream about. The little leaguers fire their tyrannical coach and "borrow" a van to play at a little league championship in Houston. To avoid spoiling it, I'll just say that this deals with their adventures along the way and the results. A "Huckleberry Finn" of the 1970s, to be generous.
The overprotective parents and PC squads of today would have heart attacks at the scenes of the kids' foul language, cigarette smoking, chasing a grown woman, committing grand theft auto, and swiping Playboy magazines. But most of us who saw it at the time knew that this was over -the top and didn't take it that seriously.
Yeah, an adult viewer would agree that the story, writing, and acting are atrocious. But this wasn't intended to be Shakespeare. See it with a 13 year old mind and trust me, you'll "get it." For those of us who saw this as 13 year olds in 1977, leave your brains at the door and enjoy the nostalgia and the theme song "Looking Good." To everyone else-you've been warned!
Most of the standard crew (Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal are huge absences though) return for this feather-weight sequel to the highly popular original of 1976. This time juvenile delinquent Jackie Earle Haley and his teammates hit the road to Houston to play a little league game in the Astrodome. It seems that Haley's estranged father (William Devane) also lives in Texas and he becomes a focal point as the club lacks a manager. The kids are more grown up this time but their maturity seems to be on the decline as they only care about girls (who are all obviously older than they are) and getting into general mischief. The only real attraction is the Astrodome as the old scoreboard and the novelty of the eighth wonder of the world in 1977 make the closing act of the picture a nostalgic view to a part of sports history that many have already forgotten about. Overall the movie is a stinker with little else to recommend. 2 stars out of 5.
This second installment in Paramount's "The Bad News Bears" film series is (as most sequels are) not quite as good as the original film but it's not entirely bad either. William Devane does a fairly good job in his role as the new coach of the Bears little league baseball team. He has his sights set on big things including giving the team a shot for the little league world series and a chance to play at the famed Houston Astrodome. However, what could've made this sequel better was if some of the talent that came together to make the first film so enjoyable could've returned. The series was never the same without Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal.
Yikes...one of the most awkward sequels of all times. First they
replace the inspiring, easily recognizable soundtrack of the original
("Carmen") with some maudlin seventies fare that even Laverne and
Shirley would laugh at. Then they have a group of unappealing
adolescents known as the 'Bears' ride to the Astrodome in the back of a
cargo van (why the Bears were chosen to play in this game instead of
the Yankees, the team that actually WON the championship in the first
film, is conveniently glossed over). In between, there's a sandlot game
where, predictably, the Bears revert to their 'Bad News' ways. Yeech!
There are some sequels that should not be made when the star of the original decides to move on, and this is one of those times. Perhaps Matthau saw the script and realized that his career would follow that of Roy Scheider's if he participated in this atrocity. Other than a somewhat touching subplot involving Tanner's desire to win the game for "The Looper" (Timmy Lupus who appears in the sequel for about twenty three seconds), this film is more than worthy of a royal skewering from Mike and the bots of "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" fame.
The Bears are back but Amanda Whurlitzer and Buttermaker are gone.
Kelly Leak (Jackie Earle Haley) drives the new dictatorial coach
Manning away. The team is off to the Houston Astrodome to play the
Houston Toros. Leak brings on Carmen Ronzonni from back east to be the
new pitcher. The boys drive to Houston on their own. They discover that
they still suck after playing a roadside game. They get into trouble
for their van and Kelly decides to contact his estranged father Mike
Leak (William Devane). Sy Orlansky (Clifton James) is the local
businessman sponsoring the game.
Most of the gang is back with the exception of the big stars. It's too bad that Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal can't return but it may be asking too much for sequels of that era. The story isn't much. I don't know why the Bad News Bears get to play in the Astrodome. There are snippets of fun but mostly it doesn't live up to the original. That is until Tanner runs around and the Let Them Play chant. It's cheesy but effective and it's the Astrodome.
Probably like most kids my age at the time, I found this to be the
coolest movie of summer 1977 (gee, what do you suppose was the first).
with age comes awakening and through viewings in my later years the holes
this script broke out like jock itch. Although some of the gaps were
plugged in the paperback, it still left a leaky script up there on the
First bad play is the lack of explanation as to why the Bears, and not the league-champion Yankees, get to travel to Houston. Later, the kids are held on suspicion of grand theft auto for their van (which they earlier admitted to secretly "borrowing") but the issue is never resolved, so what's the point of making the vehicle hot in the first place? Of course, the hardest pitch to hit is the idea that a Houston home crowd would unanimously root for a visiting team, regardless of some sappy news story of a kid back home with a broken leg. On that note, the photo given to Lupus of his heroic catch from the first film is said to have been taken by Ogilvie's dad. Yet the photo is nothing more than the actual shot itself from the first film. That would mean that Ogilvie's dad would have to have been standing right next to Lupus in the outfield when that catch was made. Okay, okay. This one *is* nitpicky but I hate when movies flub little details like this. Finally, it's established that the winner of the Houston game will advance to a game in Japan. Yet in the next film, BNB Go to Japan (1978), no mention is made, even by the Bears themselves, of the Houston victory and they travel to the land of the rising sun for other reasons, which they address on a talk show hosted by Regis. Even back *then* the man was everywhere.
Trivia: In Paul Brickman's paperback adaptation of his screenplay, Ronzoni spins a tale of scoring with a babysitter. This monologue would later resurface verbatim years later in Brickman's script for Risky Business (1983), in which Tom Cruise, in an early scene, brags to his buddies about scoring with a babysitter.
I first saw this movie back in the summer of '77, just before my 9th
birthday, and enjoyed it so much that I joined a little league baseball
team the following year. Unfortunately, our team didn't end up winning
the state championship, and we never traveled 2,000 miles plus from
Arizona to Houston in a stolen van to play a baseball game. But, our
team had a lot of fun despite our constant parental supervision, and
lack of a feel good soundtrack. That's what this film did for my life.
While some have heavily criticized this sequel over the absents of Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal. However, I find their criticism is incompatible with the overall plot and theme of the movie, about a team of kids breaking away from the confines of their suburban existence in California, and seeking carefree adventures independent of any super imposed rules and societal precepts. Sort of like a cross between 'Easy Rider', and 'Bless the Beast and Children'. Except, without any Buffalo's serving as metaphors for the spirit of children, and stuff.
Therefore, the manager in the original Bad News Bears (Walter Matthau) can't be included in the sequel, or he might end up in jail for grand theft auto, kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency of a lot of minors. And, you can't have a preteen Tatum O'Neal traveling 2,000 miles in a van filled with a bunch of horny boys. Bad things are bound to happen. So these criticism are really unjustified, and you would have to have a completely different movie if the Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neil characters were included in this sequel.
However, what would be a fair criticism of the movie, is the fact that The Bad Bears are a really Bad baseball team before Kelly's separated father (William Devane) takes over as manager and converts them into champion players once again, after just a few days of practice.
This makes no sense at all, because the team has already won the California state championship before arriving in Houston. So, they shouldn't have any trouble hitting and fielding, even if their having trouble replacing Tatum O'Neil's pitching.
The obviously manufactured family drama scenes that inevitably occur when Kelly's role as "team leader" is threatened by his fathers assistance. That Kelly personally requested in the first place.(well, sort of)
This concludes with an over the top, Hollywood manufactured family drama scene at a pool hall between Kelly and his long lost father. That's followed by the equally easy quick resolution of long time buried family issues after the team manages to come from behind, and pull out the close game at the end of the movie.
Fortunately, I was too young back in '77 to notice these flawed script devices, and really enjoyed just riding along with the team, and experience their sense of adventure while breaking a few "grown-up" imposed rules while independently pursuing their quest to play the Houston Champions, and resolve a few father and son issues along the way.
While I realize that this movie is definitely not for everyone. But, if you were a kid in the 70's, or just want to reconnect with your lost sense of youthful mischief when the world was still just one big adventure? Then this is a must see movie.
Dolph Sweet as the "Bears" overbearing coach, and William Devane as his reluctant replacement, are the only reason to sit through this. Otherwise, what you get is a predictable bore of a baseball film, that is strictly adolescent material and definitely by the book. The will he or won't he play scenario seems pretty stale, and the father - son relationship tension doesn't work either. Devane is really wasted, essentially playing a one dimensional character, that is very forgettable. Most attempts at humor fail miserably, and even the big game is weak. This is probably a sequel that never should have been made. Billy Bob Thornton's abrasive character in the "Bad News Bears" remake seems like "Oscar" material compared to "The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training". - MERK
that features the town I grew up in, Houston. If it's a film about
paint drying, and was shot in the 70's, I'm there! But, about THIS
"BNB BT" is a decent, but weak follow up to the original. But then most "Part II" movies tend to be, right? Without Tatum O'Neal, and Walter Matthau, the movie seems to just coast. Now, I like William Devane, but it would have had more "bite" with the original leads.
The kids are cute, they play their hearts out, and you just love them. We have the sub-plot with Devane and his son, and then, the BIG FINISH!
Yeah, it was filmed inside the "Seventh Wonder of the World", the Astrodome, famed for such things as, The Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs "Battle of The Sexes" tennis match, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Astro's baseball, Oiler's football( and the short lived USFL Gamblers, too!), and countless other events. Part of the old school charm of watching anything in the 'Dome, was that scoreboard that lights up with the cowboy, and bull, all LONG gone....
It's fun seeing places you knew growing up, AND seeing people who went to your school! The character "Janet" was played by Michelle Fruge, was a cheerleader and was in my graduating class of 1980, from Dulles High School, in Sugar Land Texas. 6 on a scale of 10, for Houston. 4 on a scale of 10 for everything else.
After seeing The Bad News Bears, I have just been in love with that
film ever since my first viewing, so I figured despite the low rating
on IMDb, just to give the sequels a look. So, I just watched The Bad
News Bears in Breaking Training and while I didn't think it was so bad,
it lost it's substance of what the first one was, and that was a crappy
team with a lousy coach that didn't care if they won or lost. Now we
don't get to know the coach better, we get to know the team better,
well, I guess we didn't need to know that much.
Some of the team is back, mainly it seems like we are focusing on Kelly this time, but they want to go to Texas to win the big game in the Astrodome to win the game for Lupus and a trip to Japan or something along those lines. But the team gets a lousy coach to begin with, so on their road trip, Kelly picks up his estranged father and asks him to be the team's coach and help them practice. Of course, Kelly and his dad need some things to patch up before they can play any games.
The thing that was strange to me mainly, I don't know maybe because it's a different time, but I found it strange that the dad kept calling the boys "handsome" and patting their upper legs, but I don't know, maybe I'm just taking it too seriously or too PC. While, on it's own, it's not too bad of a movie, I wouldn't really suggest this movie for the hard core fans, but I rented both sequels, so I might as well see the next one, right?
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