linklater has two kinds of films – mainstream films and indie films. the indie films should have their own genre – the philosophy genre, because the major axis upon which those films turn is one of philosophical discussion and exploration. those films include slacker, waking life, before sunset and before sunrise. the mainstream films include this one, school of rock, and dazed and confused. i prefer the philosophy films, but i think that his other films do a decent enough job of entertaining. linklater apparently works pretty well with kids because the kid actors in this and school of rock are relatively decent. generally i think that kid actors aren’t very good, but in those films they hold up their end of the bargain. that said, the girl who plays amanda (sammi kraft) was a bit disappointing in a key role. it turns out that she’s a baseball player, not an actress, so that explains is. and since i’ve said in the past that i prefer directors pick athletes to play athletes, i guess i have to eat my words here. she was very believable as a pitcher, too bad she wasn’t a very good actress.
thornton turns in a decently caustic performance. unfortunately greg kinnear wasn’t quite up to task as his counterpart. towards the end kinnear was evil enough, but he came off as uninspired early in the film.
in a way i viewed the film as a statement of personal philosophy. the final shot, which shows the bad news bears celebrating their defeat on the diamond, pulls out and reveals a waving american flag. my first response was “ah, that’s retarded.” but i thought about it and the its source – linklater, who i consider a generally thoughtful person. perhaps it was meant to widen the scope of the picture. it made me reflect upon the rest of the film. the inability of the bears to get along with the other teams, the brash style, the lovable losers who embrace diversity and social outcasts and turn into winners as a result. and what of the inability of the all white yankees (winners of the championship) to accept the diversity of the bears? i enjoyed that aspect of the film, especially as manifested through the character of Ahmad Abdul Rahim (who wears #25 because mark mcguire is his favorite player). in him, and the bears in general, i saw a struggle between classes, races and lifestyles. i actually liked that the film poked fun at it while respecting it on the whole.
the film wasn’t as funny as it could have been, but i laughed enough. i felt that i got to know all of the players, which is something that a film with this many “main” characters usually neglects.Watched in theater