Thursday, January 22, 2015
Patience, Faith, and Time
Today was my first viewing of The Bad News Bears. Originally, from hearing its name, I thought this movie would be about actual bears, but instead it is about a baseball team called the Bears. They are a little league group, named after the Chicago Bears (although that is a football team). The film starts out with a guy named Buttermaker, who is almost always pictured drinking beer and/or smoking a cigar, similar to Quinlan from Touch of Evil, minus the "evil" part. When it comes to the team, let's just say that the struggle was real at first. The boys not only argued or fought with each other constantly, but they sucked at playing baseball, living up to the movie's title. On top of that, Buttermaker was often too busy smoking and drinking to coach his team, so naturally they failed miserably during their first game.
Shortly after this humiliating display, the team voted to quit. It had only been their first game ever, therefore all hope was not lost. With the commanding, compassionate power of Buttermaker, this plan never went through. He admitted that he was coaching them poorly, but that was then. This is now. They still all had a chance to redeem themselves, and they did. At the next game, the Bears performed much better, and things only improved as time went on. Amanda and Kelly, who were so reluctant to play for the team, ended up being its best assets.
Along the way, I picked up a lot of symbolism with this film. For one thing, it's important to have patience. When you are starting something new, you probably won't do so well. You can't become Derek Jeter overnight. Also, this movie stresses the importance of confidence. Amanda wasn't so proud of her baseball abilities; she even acted as though she had given up on the sport. Turns out, she was an excellent pitcher. GIRL POWER!
There were also some other interesting aspects to this film, such as the fact that the kids had acted like adults, and vice versa. Amanda wasn't even 13 yet, but she acted like she was 30. Kelly, on the other hand, smoked cigarettes (good luck with your lung cancer), and rode a Harley Davidson. He was the troublemaker in the town, and there was this one woman who really hated him. But, underneath his tough exterior was a great baseball player, who helped the team shed their awful reputation. I'm eager to see how this movie progresses, and what happens to all of the boys.
The makeup of the Bears team was quite interesting as well. There was an overweight kid who was humorously rude, a skinny shy kid who was always picked on, a black boy who dreamt of becoming like Hank Aaron, some other kid who has a cocky personality, two Hispanic boys who don't know any English at all, and some other mismatched players. In the colossally competitive world of little league baseball, will they conquer their enemies, or will they be conquered?