Bad News Bears

Rated 2.0

The 1976 original, starring Walter Matthau as a kids baseball coach, stands as one of the greater films about kids ever made. Director Richard Linklater’s School of Rock also gets that honor, but this useless remake of the baseball classic just shouldn’t have happened. Billy Bob Thornton takes over Matthau’s role of Morris Buttermaker, former pitcher and all-out drunk. This essentially provides Thornton with an opportunity to revisit his Bad Santa shtick, and although some pretty decent obscene riffing ensues, it doesn’t keep the whole from feeling useless. The remake is often very faithful to the original’s script—which means the changes seem jarring and just a little blasphemous. Greg Kinnear does semi-decent work as an opposing coach with control issues (played by the late Vic Morrow in the original). There’s just no reason for this thing.