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The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training

review by Zach B.

 

 

Running Time: PG

Running Time: 99 minutes

Starring: William Devane, Clifton James

Written by: Paul Brickman

Directed by: Michael Pressman

 

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $24.95

Features: Nothing!

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Mono 2.0, English Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection (12 Scenes)

Released: February 12th, 2002

 

 

Of course, after the monumental success of The Bad News Bears, a sequel seemed like something that could not be stopped as the forces at Paramount needed to rush something right out. So, the just two months and a year after the original, "The Bad News Years in Breaking Training" made its debut. Of course, the original writer Bill Lancaster didn't return, the original director Michael Ritchie didn't return and Walter Matthau didn't even bother to come back to the team. New writer, new director... but hey, you got a decent deal of the original kids from the first film.

So for the second "Bears" goaround, the team is invited to go to the Astrodome in Houston to play a game against the Texas team champions, the Toros. The Bears also dump their mean new coach, get a new pitcher, get a new coach and hightail it on a roadtrip to Texas after decieving their parents. Despite this, Kelly, who's reluctant to come back, joins the team so he can patch things up with his father (inset audience "awww" here).

I think "The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training" is rather horrendous. It seems writer Paul Brickman geared the sequel more toward families in general, not just any random person who can get into it. I think what was so good about the first movie was that even if it was a family film, I think it played on different levels. Here it seems for one set audience... families. With the morality of it, the themes and the humor seems a little bit stupified and predictable (there's some slight homages to the first movie, but I'd prefer to call it rehash). I found all that incredibly annoying... it's hard to describe, but the film felt just a bit too "sugary." There are some decent laughs in the film now and then, but these laughs don't come close in my book when you compare it to the slighest laughs in the first one. The mindset of this installment just seems a bit different and didn't appeal to me as much. The aim with this ball is completely different. There is just a different tone to this movie. It feels a bit thin and cheap, and not as rich or true. There's a lot of sentimentality to it and like I keep saying, very family oriented. The sorta mean humor from the first film isn't really here... it's more like unpredictable (read: PREDICTABLE) child behavior and their manipulation. The acting here from everyone seems somewhat forced and not as natural as in the first movie. And even if I did not compare this second part to the original flick, it couldn't stand on its own at all.

This is a decent family film I guess, but older fans of the film who haven't seen this installment will be disappointed. But families who liked the original and want to sit down for more baseball action... go nuts. But I bet you too will be disappointed in this movie. My advice? Stick with the original... just like with most movies that have sequels. "The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training" is simply bad news.

 

"The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training" is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. It looks pretty decent. The color saturation is actually pretty good, and there isn't much halo or noise to speak of like in the first film. But there's some grain, blemishes and pieces of dirt. There isn't much more to say about this transfer, except that it does look pretty sharp. A little bit above average, at best.

 

Besides English closed captions, English subtitles you have an English mono track. Fidelity is very low, but you can hear the dialogue and all the music and sound effects just fine. No scratchiness, hiss or distortion either. The dynamics here are very straightforward and basic... and that's it. There's not much to clean up, but if it was louder, that could have been better.

 

FOUL! Nothing to speak of.

 

Truly a mediocre sequel, "The Bad News Years in Breaking Training" is best avoided. But if you need it, the sound is low and the picture is actually pretty decent. But no extras... I think there are more worthy DVDs to spend 24.99 on, but that's me.