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Bad News Bears Special Collector's Edition—Paramount

Video: 3
Audio: 3
Extras: 3

On the Bad News Bears DVD, cowriter Glenn Ficarra says, "I think the way you remake a classic is not to change it too much." Apparently, director Richard Linklater agreed, as the 2005 movie is a near scene-for-scene remake of the 1976 version, and not for the better. But it does serve a purpose—to let the audience appreciate just how great the original is.

The biggest difference is that Billy Bob Thornton's Morris Buttermaker is a sex-crazed, alcoholic, degenerate ratcatcher instead of just the alcoholic, degenerate ratcatcher that Walter Matthau played. We also get to see Buttermaker at work. So, not only do you get a nasty coach and some pathetic kids, you get vermin infestations, too. There's also a new "loser" kid on the team—a wheelchair-bound player—and the "I'm so pathetic" jokes fall flat.

It's possible that the reason this film doesn't work is because the shocking irreverence that worked in 1976 just doesn't fly today. Does this mean that our society is beyond irreverent, that hearing kids swear is de rigueur? Or maybe it's just that this movie isn't very good. The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture is fine, as is the Dolby Digital 5.1, which brings out every synth-drum-driven beat of Edward Shearmur's score, which is adapted from Georges Bizet's Carmen. That's right—just as the original used Carmen, so does this one. (sigh)

Special features include an audio commentary, deleted scenes, making-ofs, and more.

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