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|Index||117 reviews in total|
This film is basically that type of film most of us growing up have
seen: a group of delinquent/reject/loser kid stereotypes are involved
in some sport. They suck badly. Along comes an unlikely coach. Insert
about an hour of the same jokes you'd expect, for example how gross the
fat kid is, how unsporty the nerd is, etc. Along comes an
aloof/rebellious outsider who is amazing and comes to help the team
out. They make it to the finals where they battle the other team, most
certainly made up of mean bully types with a narcissist for a coach! We
have seen this formula in a number of films: The Big Green, The Mighty
Ducks, Little Giants, and even the adult Chinese film Shaolin Soccer to
name a few. It's not a bad formula and while not super complex it is
nonetheless usually enjoyable and amusing. However this film has a
pacing issue I felt. Some things just didn't click as well as these
other films. It made me think how some scenes were just overstaying
Basically it's this: if you are wanting to watch the kids team underdog trope then you're better off with Mighty Ducks or Little Giants. If you want to watch Billy Bob Thornton make some comedy with some kids then watch Bad Santa.
As an 11 y/o when the original BNB was released, my opinion of the remake is as follows. This movie not only sucks,it swallows. Kid in a wheelchair? For crying out loud.So pc it hurts.Billy Bob Thornton is the only decent character in this tripe.Too bad some of the original cast were not invited to make at least a cameo. It is a trueism that most re-makes fail to hold a candle to the original. This one demonstrates that,cubed! Thanks for trying guys, but maybe one day we as a society will awake from all of this myopia, cut the chase and begin to allow filmmakers to "capture a moment" as it is/was, rather than insist that self esteem or some equally irrelevant concept must be applied to the process. Another addition to the wimpification of our once great film industry! Flame away all of you Dr feelgoods.
Boozing rat exterminator Billy Bob Thornton (as Morris Buttermaker) was
once a major league baseball player
for about three minutes. Then, he
got ousted for punching an ump. Presently, low-cut Marcia Gay Harden
(as Liz Whitewood) hires him to lead son Ridge Canipe (as Toby)'s
Little League team, against tight-shorted rival coach Greg Kinnear (as
Roy Bullock). Can Mr. Thornton transform a "ragtag group of inept
players" into a group of successful ballplayers? Well, duh...
The filmmakers were obviously struggling to see how many times they could get the letters "s", "h", "i", and "t" to appear consecutively in the script. Yes, "Bad News Bears" is a tailor-made PG-13-rated pre-teen pseudo-comedy. Yet, it manages to funny. You can watch it if you're post-teen, and occasionally laugh. Sammi Kane Kraft (as Amanda Whurlitzer) and the age appropriately cast baseball team are the most valuable players, overcoming clichés with natural performances.
***** Bad News Bears (7/22/05) Richard Linklater ~ Billy Bob Thornton, Sammi Kane Kraft, Greg Kinnear, Jeffrey Davies
First let me say I was raised on the original BNB series and have
tracked them all down on DVDs to share with my kids. I'm also a huge
fan of Thornton's however, was he not feeling well during this shoot?
His acting is sub-par. The casting directors also could have spent a
little more time finding kids who could actually act to play the roles
of Kelly and Amanda. The movie went down hill with their appearances in
This is also one of those stories that other than the clothes, needed no modernizations, IE: computers, Hooters Girls, Music, etc. Buttermaker should have remained a pool man and it would have made him a lot more interesting character than an exterminator.
I admit, they ALL had a tough act to follow, Tatum O'Neil (Amanda Whurlitzer), Walter Matthau (Morris Buttermaker), Jackie Earle Haley (Kelly Leak)and who could forget, Chris Barnes as Tanner Boyle!
Everyone I've talked to who has seen both the original and the remake agree that the 1976 version was lacking nothing and was a much more enjoyable film to watch.
Morris Buttermaker (Billy Bob Thornton) is a drunken lazy pest control
worker. He's a former pitcher who actually got to the majors for 2/3 of
an inning. Liz Whitewood (Marcia Gay Harden) hires him to coach the
little league team. Roy Bullock (Greg Kinnear) is an opposing coach.
The team is full of misfits and he recruits Amanda Whurlitzer (Sammi
Kane Kraft) to play for him.
This one pales in comparison to the original in almost every aspect. I even like Buttermaker's original job of pool cleaning better. Billy Bob Thornton is a great actor but he doesn't have quite as much apathy as Walter Matthau. His drunk acting isn't as good and his anger is more threatening. The kids just don't have the same charisma. And Sammi is no Tatum O'Neal even though she could really bring the heat. Director Richard Linklater is given not much more than a copy of the original to work with. And it toned down the edgier material. The original was a scathing indictment of kids sports leagues. This one is trying to be too cute about it.
Every change seems to make this inferior. The kid in the wheelchair idea is stupid. They dropped the lawsuit idea. The dwarf joke doesn't work. The kids don't have the same chemistry together. Tanner Boyle and Timmy Lupus had such a great feel the first time around. Greg Kinnear is nowhere near vicious enough. They whimped out on his key moment with his son and what his son did in the original is so much better. Then there is the lack of an Oscar winner as the girl. They figured that they can't match the acting so they didn't even try. Of course, there's no way they would even consider using real beers. They could have done so much more than simply whimpify the original.
Someone said it was pointless to compare this movie to the original
"The Bad News Bears" of 1976. What? This is a remake of that film, so
not comparing the two would simply be willful ignorance. But I suppose
ignorance is bliss to some.
However, even if you don't compare the two, anyone with a semblance of standards would realize that the 2005 "Bears" incarnation is simply a colossal waste of enormous talent, starting with director Richard Linklater (whose "Dazed and Confused" and "School of Rock" were spot-on), to its stars, the great Billy Bob Thornton and the sublime Greg Kinnear, to its co-stars, including the always great Marcia Gay Harden to a cast of some very talented child actors.
The 2005 script was, at best, a broad farce, whereas the original was sharp-edged and authentic. What's more, the new version includes a variety of pointless changes (changing the Yankees coach's name from Roy Turner to Roy Bullock?) alterations clearly designed to titillate (Councilor Whitewolf in 2005 is now a man-hungry cougar; the team's sponsor is no longer Chico's Bail Bonds "Let Freedom Ring" but a strip club; the league dinner has been moved from Pizza Hut to Hooters), yet the "evolution" reveals the new film's true lack of sack. (Appropriate, I suppose, since science is showing men now in their 20s apparently are exhibiting a decline in testosterone and other male reproductive markers.) Even the smoking-hot Turner's mom (Shari Summers) of the original film has been replaced by a thin-but-frumpy housefrau. Don't even get me started on the new Kelly Leak comparison to the ultra-cool one portrayed by Jackie Earle Haley.
Some other reviewer said if you liked "Bad Santa" you'll like this. I'm wondering if he saw either film: "Bad Santa" was brilliant, an amazing display of Thornton's unchecked id surrounded by career-making performances by Tony Cox, the late Bernie Mack and other talent at the top of their game. The 2005 "Bad News Bears" was simply a bummer.
The first time I saw a commercial for this, the first thought was "I
hate it when classics are remade". But after awhile, I decided it may
be worth seeing, so I rented it, it was better than I thought I'd give
it that, it's not what I'd call great, but it's worth renting or seeing
One of the biggest minuses if hardly any of the kid's in this movie couldn't act their way out of a paper bag. The only kid's who were believable when it came to acting would be Tanner and Engleberg. The rest....sorry kiddies, but no cigar. Then of course there was this remake Kelly Leak, uhh correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Kelly supposed to be tough!?!?! What exactly is tough about this guy? The old Kelly smoked, got arrested (or at least in trouble)by the police, and he looked small and weak but obviously wasn't. Maybe the problem with this Kelly is the problem with most of the character's, COULDN'T ACT, he and the actress who played Amanda in this showed no emotion whatsoever when they talked example: at the Hooter Bar, Kelly- "What time do you get off work?" he said it nowhere near as cocky as Jackie Earle Haley (original Kelly)when he said "I have a Harly Davidson, a Harly Davidson, does that turn you on??"but when this Kelly said his line, he said it with no emotion, he actually sounded rather sad, this teaches you to never let kid's with no acting experience past auditions, it's like American Idol, you don't let them through if they can dance but need to learn to sing, they get through if they can sing and you teach them to dance.
But aside from all that, Billy Bob Thorton takes Walter Mathau's shoes greatly with his hilarious one- liners and natural tipsy- like acting. And even though the kid's can't act, they still made this movie pretty good.
Since I finally remembered to rent The Bad News Bears at Hollywood
Video, I decided to rent the remake instead of the sequels first, to
see what the remake was all about and I thought that actually Billy Bob
Thorton was a great choice for Buttermaker, so I was kinda looking
forward to it. Of course, I watched the original first, so after almost
dying of laughter from The Bad News Bears, this film had a lot to live
up too. Unforutnatley, I don't think this film worked as well because
of the dates, the 70's, films still seemed like they could push it to
the edge, while into today's world, we have to be more PC. Not to
mention the kids were more annoying and punky than the lovable punky
kids in the original.
Buttermaker is a has been baseball player and now an alcoholic, he is given the job of a little league coach for the Bears since no other fathers are taking the job. But he's definitely taken back when he finds out that the team he is coaching are kids who are, well, I guess you could say "lacking" in the department of knowing how to play baseball. But he just wants to get paid and get the job over with, but when their first game comes along, the kids get creamed 26-0, Buttermaker is pressured to drop the team out of the league, but instead teaches the kids how to play and recruits a couple of new kids, a girl who's mother he used to date, and a rebel without a cause. The kids get better in each game, but it's a matter of Buttermaker getting his priorities straight when he lets the game get the worst of him... and he's an alcoholic!
Billy Bob did do a good job as the new Buttermaker, but he seemed to be the softer version than Walter, so I'd have to vote for Walter if I want the real Buttermaker. Tanner, I was incredibly disappointed with, because he just turned into an annoying brat than a fun little punk, not to mention I was ticked off that they changed the line "shove the trophies up your..." to the other kid, that was Tanner's line and rightfully so! While Bad News Bears had a couple laughs, it just wasn't needed, stick with the original.
I Had hoped that this would be a return to Bad Santa form for Billy
Bob. And while it starts out nicely in the first act, it slowly grinds
down to your average goody-goody-team-spirit flick. It doesn't work as
a comedy and as a pure children's/sports venture, it really isn't
And it is a shame too, because Bob's character - a disillusioned has-been and drunk - could really have been fun to watch, as he would struggle with his dark streak. But instead he almost instantly redeems himself as the winner coach of a talentless team against all odds.
Seeing that this is a remake, and not having seen the original, maybe I'm missing something here. But as a standalone feature, I don't see much to recommend here.
I don't mind foul and abusive language, it's my vernacular all day long. I've heard it reflects ignorance, but it's only ignorant when you work at swearing as hard as these producers did: (paraphrase) "Hey kid, get me a sh*tt*n' Coke, and hurry up you little sh*t". I'm not offended, I'm just bored. Who was the target audience for this? The language was geared to older teens, but the storyline to kids; so everybody loses. The gimmick with the wheelchair kid was funny, in a Matt Stone / Trey Parker kind of way, but they went no where with it. The sexual references were way inappropriate for the target audience, I loved explaining "got my period" to my 8 year old. I'm no prude, h*ll, I'm actually pretty liberal and cut my kids a lot of slack on language (I subscribe to the old 'sticks-and-stones...' theory), but even I was put off by this picture. Skip it, it's just ain't worth a sh*t.
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