Fans of the original Bad News Bears movie from 1976 can relax. Nearly
30 years later, the Bears are still Bad News, and thatís good news for
anyone going to watch the remake of the classic baseball comedy. Itís
as funny, and as completely politically incorrect as the original.
story is simple and straightforward. An ex-ballplayer named Buttermaker
(Billy Bob Thornton) is paid by a desperate mom (Marcia Gay Harden) to
coach a baseball team made up of the rejects unable to get on other
youth baseball teams.
As bad as the team may be on the field, itís no match for Buttermaker.
Added to the drinking and smoking that Walter Matthauís Buttermaker was
known for, Thorntonís version of the character actually dives deeper
into inappropriate behavior. While the original team was sponsored by
Chicoís Bail Bonds, this version is sponsored by a local gentlemanís
club called ďBo-PeepísĒ that Buttermaker frequents. After a win,
Buttermaker takes the team for a celebration at Hooters.
Still, with the updates to both his character, and the members of the
team, the story remains very faithful to the original. Greg Kinnear
shines as the rival coach of the hated Yankees, Roy Turner. Despite the
ďAll-American DadĒ exterior, Turnerís Vince Lombardi-esque attitude in
an argument with his son, the pitcher for the Yankees, is actually one
of the most shocking scenes in the movie.
The original "Bad News Bears" obviously spawned an entire film genre
filled with sports teams made up of misfit kids and the coaches who find
their real swell selves thanks to coaching said kids. Just this summer
we've had "Rebound" with Martin Lawrence, and Will Farrellís "Kicking
and Screaming," both chips off the old "Bears" block.
But all those retreads miss the essential point. The difference is
the original "Bears" and this remake find a kind of purity in their bold
impurity. Buttermaker is not transformed into a saint and the kids don't
become heroes. The team is still a bunch of losers and Buttermaker wants
Despite its un-PC nature, itís actually refreshing to see for a