Bad News Bears

Bomb Rating: 

This is such a sickening and pointless attempt to make some easy money off an old film that I hardly know where to begin. With the exception of some minor updating, the film is virtually identical to its predecessor. It's a total scam.

What's most noticeable is that the filmmakers made absolutely no effort to get decent child actors. They all look like they were culled from some kind of retarded child actor's camp. The two worst are the two most important: Sammi Kraft, who plays Amanda, and Jeff Davies, who plays Kelly Leak. Sammi Kraft looks as though she's related to Billy Bob Thornton only through their shared monkey blood. I will say this though: There does appear to be some relationship between Kraft and Davies in their similarly stunted ability to emote. Any charm these characters offered in the first film has been utterly stripped here.

I will, however, say this for Sammi Kraft: She can throw a baseball. She actually looks like she can pitch. Once again, this raises questions about how she could possibly be related to Billy Bob Thornton's character, Morris Buttermaker. (I think she's supposed to be his daughter in this film, if I recall from the stupor I was lulled into). Supposedly Buttermaker was in the major leagues for two-thirds of an inning as a pitcher. He doesn't look coordinated enough to have been the mascot, much less a pitcher. A double amputee could get the ball across the plate faster than Thornton.

If I had to guess, I'd say that director Richard Linklater was one of those nerdy kids who always got picked last and sat on the bench for every team he ever played for. His understanding of sports might play well on the Knitting Channel, but here he looks like a complete idiot. I was particularly annoyed at how he changed the key scene involving Lupus. In the original, Lupus makes a key catch preventing a home run. Here, the ball bounces out of Lupus's glove and into the glove of the kid in the wheelchair. Lupus has his moment of glory later when he gets a hit. It's a lot easier to make a lucky catch than it is to get a lucky hit, especially when you swing the bat like Linklater-- I mean Lupus.

There was no point to this film. There was no point to sitting through it and, frankly, not much point to this review other than to point out the stunningly obvious. Really, the whole experience has been an utter waste of my time.

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