DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Bad News Bears Go To Japan
The Bad News Bears Go To Japan
Paramount // PG // February 12, 2002
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted April 18, 2002 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
When creativity has gone by the wayside, there's no easier plot device for lazy writers to exploit than to move familiar characters to a foreign land. Take Rugrats In Paris or The Toxic Avenger II, to name a couple. The title of The Bad News Bears Go To Japan ought to offer a sufficient indication as to what to expect: take what few members of the original Bad News Bears cast, fill out the roster with some new kids, and transplant them to the Far East.

A plot summary seems redundant, but I'll give it a go regardless. The Bad News Bears Go To Japan, the third Bears movie in three years, picks up immediately where the previous installment left off. Following an appearance by the Bears on a talk show, down-on-his-luck conman Marvin Lazar (Tony Curtis) schemes to make a bundle of money by escorting the team to the Far East and cashing in on their imminent failure against an indomitable Japanese team.

After finishing up the dreadful The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training, I wasn't overjoyed at the prospect of watching another sequel. With precious few exceptions, sequels rarely match the quality of their predecessors, and I'm not a gifted enough writer to fully describe my distaste for the second Bad News Bears installment. To my surprise, I found The Bad News Bears Go To Japan to not be all that bad. It's not any more creative than The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training, of couse. The bulk of the film is dedicated to The Cool Kid (I still can't be bothered to remember anyone's name, though I affectionately refer to this character as Ratboy) attempting to strike up a romance with a local gal, as well as the younger brother of one of the players acting as Lazar's conscience and eventually steering him towards turning into a moderately stand-up guy. Again, baseball takes a backseat to the characters' travels, though I guess that's to be expected. After all, the movie is titled The Bad News Bears Go To Japan, not The Bad News Bears Play Baseball For Any Appreciable Amount Of Time In Japan.

Much of my moderate enjoyment of The Bad News Bears Go To Japan can be attributed to Tony Curtis, who appearanced in this movie just four months before daughter Jamie Lee broke out in the wildly successful independent horror classic Halloween. Curtis takes a one-note role and has an infectious amount of fun with it. I'd imagine that without his presence, The Bad News Bears Go To Japan would be intolerable. Just as The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training had a couple of actors who were unmistakably familiar but difficult for me to place, this entry has George Wyner (Spaceballs), Jerry Maren (the Munchkin from The Wizard Of Oz that hands Dorothy the wowwipop), and the much more recognizable Regis Philbin. A couple of new kids have been added to the team, but none of them have any talent that distinguishes them greatly from the rest.

As a side note, The Bad News Bears Go To Japan was penned by none other than Burt Lancaster's son Bill, with whom I share a birthday. His only writing credit ouside of the Bad News Bears trilogy is John Carpenter's phenomenal 1982 remake of The Thing. Go figure.

Video: The anamorphic widescreen presentation of The Bad News Bears Go To Japan, like the other two films in the series, is at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Though it just barely has time on its side, The Bad News Bears Go To Japan actually looks a bit worse than the entry that preceded it. Grain is more prevalent, and the image overall looks murkier and a touch more poorly defined. On the upside, colors remain stable, and edge haloing didn't catch my eye nearly in quite the same way as in the previous installment. The presence of dust and assorted specks wasn't any greater than expected.

Audio: The Bad News Bears Go To Japan sports a Dolby Digital mono soundtrack, much like the film that came before it. The results are much along the same lines, sounding flat, lifeless, and occasionally distorted. I was able, thankfully, to drop down to my preferred settings after fiddling with the volume for The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training. An altogether uneventful monaural outing.

Again, there are English subtitles and closed captioning for the hearing impaired.

Supplements: Absolutely nothing. Not even a trailer or the usual cast/crew biographies are included. I suppose the lack of filmographies is understandable, though. None of the seven returning cast members went onto anything particularly notable, though Brett Marx did manage to score a role in the immortal Thrashin', the favorite movie of one of my best friends from junior high. Good times...

Conclusion: Paramount would do well to adopt Fox' and Artisan's likely-abandoned idea of grouping mediocre follow-ups in a single package. I'm not in the market for Revenge of the Nerds II, Porky's II, Wishmaster II, or The Arrival II, but lump 'em together in an affordable set with their predecessors and a purchase seems much more worthwhile. If The Bad News Bears Go To Japan and the relatively worthless The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training were packaged together in a single $19.99 disc, I might've been incrementally kinder in my reviews. Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't recommend it anyway, but a purchase wouldn't seem quite so outlandish. The Bad News Bears Go To Japan may be worth buying for those looking to round out a collection, but even though it trounces Breaking Training in most every way, it's still better suited for a rental. There are far too many movies out there in the same price range for this DVD to warrant so much as a second glance.
Popular Reviews
1. Snowpiercer
2. Nightbreed: The Director's Cut
3. Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Complete Series
4. The Purge: Anarchy
5. The Vanishing
6. Mad Men: the Final Season-Part 1
7. La dolce vita
8. Gone With the Wind: 75th Anniversary Edition
9. Nekromantik
10. Deliver Us From Evil


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use