Bad News Bears

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Bad News Bears
Review (3/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Bad News Bears is a remake of the 1976 classic of the same name. This time around Billy Bob Thornton stars as the Bears beer-drinking, cigarette-smoking coach Morris Buttermaker, the man in charge of organizing a bunch of misfit, outcast children into a legitimate baseball team. The team includes a kid with anger management problems, a kid in a wheelchair, a couple of intellectuals and a few other kids who should never have a baseball bat in their hands. He somehow manages to get the kids playing somewhat like a team and they soon find themselves in a showdown with the league's perennial champions, the Yankees, who are coached by the ever-so-serious Roy Bullock (Greg Kinnear).

I have to say, I went into Bad New Bears not expecting anything spectacular but hoping that this movie would surprise me like so many movies this summer have managed to do. Despite the fact that Bad News Bears has a few cheap laughs littered throughout the movie, in the grand scheme of things, I was not impressed. People expecting to see Billy Bob's Bad Santa dude up on the big screen are not going to see anything of the sorts. Thornton seems to grumble his way through the movie and rarely manages to get the audience to even crack a smile, let alone laugh. Director Richard Linklater, who was able to take a group of rag-tag kids and weave some magic into a wonderful film with School of Rock, does not have the same magic with this group. None of the kids in Bad News Bears really stand out as anything special. They swear, they smoke, they drink beer (although it is non-alcoholic), they fight - they pretty much do everything that would be any parent's nightmare. But this time around it is never cute or endearing. There is just not too much that is likeable, let alone loveable about this group of kids. Hell, even the strippers in the crowd managed to be unentertaining and for me not to be entertained by a stripper? Well, let's just say that's damn near impossible.

In the end, I am not too sure who would find a movie like Bad News Bears to be worth any sort of entertainment value. I have to say, I didn't mind the ending of the movie, as in the final moments of the championship game, but even that was ruined by an obnoxious celebration by the Bears. I'm sure there will be people who manage to chuckle their way through a movie like Bad News Bears but if you want my advice, there's much better movies out there to see than this. Take your kids to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory if you want the kiddies to have a good time. If you want them to see other kids acting like a group of dysfunctional brats, then Bad News Bears is definitely a movie for you.

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