"Remake Strikes Out"
What You Need To Know:
Paramount is marketing BAD NEWS BEARS to children, but the movie's rife with negative attitudes. It's full of foul language, alcoholism and strippers. The coach sleeps with the mother of one of his players, and there is sexual innuendo which children would want explained to them. The foul language is strong. Also, Buttermaker is a drunk who passes out in front of his team and even gives non-alcoholic beer to the children. BAD NEWS BEARS isn’t for children, or anyone with discriminating taste.
(PaPa, B, LLL, V, S, AAA, D, MM) Pagan-style morality with unapologetic alcoholism and meaningless sex, and a weak moral premise that says winning is not the most important thing; 89 obscenities, many uttered by children, seven profanities, and many epithets for homosexuals; slapstick violence includes baseball players falling and being hit by balls, team brawl, bullying, and child throws objects in anger; sexual innuendo, fornication implied, strippers sponsor a Little League team, and team celebrates at Hooters; no nudity; alcoholic Little League coach passes out in front of team, and he gives children non-alcoholic beer; smoking; and, children are highly disrespectful to adults, stealing, light racist jokes, jokes about child in wheelchair, adult advises child to lie, adults are too competitive, and bad sportsmanship.
The remake of BAD NEWS BEARS, starring Billy Bob Thornton, is being marketed to young audiences but is not appropriate for them.
Thornton plays Buttermaker, a has-been baseball player who has since become an alcoholic pest exterminator. To make extra money, he agrees to coach a baseball team full of youth who have been rejected from other Little League teams. His team, the Bears, lives up to its reputation and doesn’t know the first thing about playing. Buttermaker thinks it will be easy to cruise through the season and cash his check, but he is baited into competition by the reigning champions’ coach, played by Greg Kinnear at his slimiest.
Buttermaker begins whipping the team into shape, with pitching help from his ex-girlfriend’s daughter and batting power from the town’s resident skater punk. True to the original and sports movie tradition, even the young people who didn’t have a clue before are getting their act together, and soon they’re all headed for the championship game.
BAD NEWS BEARS is off-putting for a few reasons. Everyone’s comic timing is way off, likely because of the directing, which makes one wonder if some jokes were flubbed or just poorly acted. None of the characters have personalities or consistent traits, which means that instead of a plot, the movie is a chain of isolated events popping off. Further, Billy Bob Thornton is rarely engaging or funny here, as his ornery curmudgeon act is growing thin.
Paramount is marketing the movie to families, but it’s rife with cursing, strippers and negative attitudes. The coach sleeps with the mother of one of his players, and there is sexual innuendo which children would want explained to them. The foul language is strong and constant, and Buttermaker is a total drunk. He passes out in front of the team and even gives non-alcoholic beer to the children.
Don’t be fooled by memories of the 70s version with Walter Matthau. This BAD NEWS BEARS lives up to its name. It’s certainly not for children, or anyone with discriminating taste.