Thursday, March 20, 2014

03/20: The Bad News Bears (1976)

Today is the first day of Spring, or so the calendar says. That means Spring Fever is in the air! And what better way to celebrate warmer by the day weather than reviewing a kids baseball movie. The Bad News Bears was one of the top hits of the mid-70s, with Walter Matthau playing one of his greatest roles.

Buttermaker (Matthau) is pretty much a washed-up, former Minor League ball player who cleans pools. He's also an alcoholic, and he smokes cigars. He's recruited by a city councilman to form and coach a Little League team (sponsored by Chico's Bail Bonds), a team made up of losers. Buttermaker then recruits the daughter of an ex-lover (Tatum O'Neal, in another great performance) as well as the motorcycle rebel Kelly, who definitely has an arm. They face serious teams, especially the Yankees, as their confidence grows.

A fun, summer, kid and teen movie that would take anyone back in time. Its definitely one that would be inspiring, if you're in a hopeless situation.You may want to lecture your kids about the rude humor as well as the racial and ethnic slurs, as well as alcohol and tobacco use (which was fine back then). But its also one that tells an honest and cynical look at life, which can resemble our own. It's more than just another 'underdog' movie.

My rating: 8 out of 10

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