Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Bad News Bears


One of the Rules of Cinema is that it is always a bad idea to remake a good movie. But one of the Laws of the Universe clearly states that there is an exception to every rule, and this is one of them. If there is anybody in the world who can out-curmudgeon Walter Matthau, it is Billy Bob Thornton. You can’t really compare the two performances, even though some of the dialog is virtually identical; each man brings his own misanthropic character to the part, and the results in both cases are glorious. The writers also eschewed Hollywood’s own Rule of Remakes, which states that Step One in the process is to identify what made the first movie good, and then do your best to eradicate that quality entirely. There was very little tinkering here, the plots of the two movies are identical, except for a few small additions and necessary changes. One is the addition of a ballplayer in a powered wheelchair. At the end, even he gets to play. The writers are the same maniacs who did Bad Santa, and they just toned Billy Bob down a little here. I was laughing at line after line. Billy Bob watching a girl’s softball team: “I never thought I’d ever hear myself say, ‘Look at the ass on that second baseman.’ But look at the ass on that second baseman.” Or “You guys are swinging like Helen Keller at a piñata party.” In the first one the team’s uniforms show their sponsor: Chico’s Bail Bonds. In this one, it’s a “gentlemen’s” club. All the pole dancers are in the stands, cheering for the Bears. Trust me, if you liked the first one, you’ll like this one.