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IFC.com’s 2012 Fall Movie Preview Guide

IFC Fall Movie Preview Guide

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We’ve finally exited the bombastic season of summer blockbusters, but by no means is Hollywood through with us. September through December is when studios release some of their most original and interesting films, often with an eye towards Oscar gold. Given that dozens of films are on the release calendar during this period, we’ve put together a handy guide showcasing some of the best and brightest of the fall fare. So with that in mind, take a gander at our substantive Fall Movie Preview Guide.

Select a monthSept | Oct | Nov | Dec

9/7 – “BRANDED” (Roadside Attractions – Jamie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Dulerayn – Sci-Fi)

A scene from BrandedWhat use does anyone have for subtlety when Max Von Sydow is out there forcing us to eat hamburgers, buy smartphones and have sex in cars? A variation on John Carpenter’s “They Live” with something resembling a “Matrix”-sized budget, “Branded” stars Ed Stoppard as just another working stiff in a sprawling (and vaguely green-tinted, as these things usually go) metropolis who suddenly starts seeing the world as a series of Xbox 360 cutscenes gone stark raving mad, a glimpse behind the curtain of the Big Brother corporation that’s controlling our instincts, desires and even personalities via some sort of implant. Consumerist satire is nothing new to science fiction (did we mention “They Live”?), but “Branded” at least has what looks like a unique gonzo visual style courtesy of the writing and directing team of Jamie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Dulerayn. Jeffrey Tambor and Leelee Sobieski are also in this, which just makes it all the weirder.


9/7 – “THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE” (Wrekin Hill Entertainment – Ben Palmer – Comedy)

A scene from The Inbetweeners MovieSuburban teenagers Will (Simon Bird), Jay (James Buckley), Neil (Blake Harrison) and Simon (Joe Thomas) pack up their adolescent angst and raging libidos and trade the rainy doldrums of England for the sunny climes of Malia, embarking on a much-needed vacation that doesn’t quite end up being what they expected. Seedy hotels, public humiliations, run-ins with drug dealers and more than a few sexual misadventures are the name of the game in this feature film adapted from the popular British television series (which this film brings to a definitive end), an inspired-looking bit of cinematic mayhem that could very well dethrone “Project X” as 2012’s number-one party movie that parents hope their kids will never see. What better way to take the edge off of going back to school than by spending some time on a Greek island with a quartet whose coming-of-age always takes the most extreme route possible?


9/7 – “THE WORDS” (CBS Films – Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal – Drama)

A scene from The WordsWant to plunge yourself into the deepest existential crisis you could ever imagine? Commit plagiarism! “The Words” follows an aspiring writer (Bradley Cooper) who finally achieves the success he’s been craving when he publishes the next great American novel – an epic romantic tome that he didn’t write himself. The consequences are dire when the truth comes a’callin’, made all the more ominous by being embodied by a strange old man on a park bench (Jeremy Irons) whose cryptic storytelling reveals the reality behind the fiction … and vice-versa. After “Limitless” and now this, Bradley Cooper can play a grinning doofus whose new ultra-life comes with a very high price in his sleep, though the film itself seems a bit confused when the sudden appearance of the song “Demons” by Imagine Dragons over the last part of the trailer makes it seem like an MTV movie that should be starring Zac Efron and Miley Cyrus. Still, “The Words” earned some good buzz from Sundance earlier this year, and it’s not like anyone should turn down the chance to see a supporting cast that includes Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Dennis Quaid and J.K. Simmons, who plays a businessman who has to tell his perpetually broke, pushing-40 artiste son that maybe writing should just be a “hobby.”


9/14 – “THE MASTER” (The Weinstein Company – Paul Thomas Anderson – Drama)

Philip Seymour Hoffman in The MasterPaul Thomas Anderson’s first film in five years (following 2007’s excellent “There Will Be Blood”) comes with a bit of pre-packaged controversy as his post-war fable about a wandering soul (Joaquin Phoenix) who’s “saved” by a spiritual guru (Philip Seymour Hoffman) bears more than a passing resemblance to the life story of L. Ron Hubbard and the rise of Scientology. Indeed, Anderson has tried to cut off any potential (and probably inevitable) grumblings at the pass by already showing the film to what could be either his greatest ally or worst enemy in this endeavor: his “Magnolia” pal and number-one Scientology celebrity champion, Tom Cruise. Cruise reportedly has “some problems” with the film but certainly doesn’t seem to be all up in arms about it; hopefully, we’ll be able to judge “The Master” on its own terms and not as the “propaganda film” some might claim it to be. The fact that Anderson has never made a bad movie certainly sets the bar pretty high; personally, we have a feeling this one might even end up being his all-time best.


9/14 – “RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION” (Sony Pictures – Paul W.S. Anderson – Action/Horror/Sci-Fi)

Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: RetributionMilla Jovovich is back doing what she does best in the fifth (!) installment of the action horror series that no one really likes but apparently can’t help but watch. It looks like business as usual (and once again in 3D, as with the 2010’s “Afterlife”) as Alice (Jovovich) grabs her double guns and teams up with a resistance movement that’s determined to take down the ever-corrupt, ever-untouchable Umbrella Corporation, the uber-conglormerate responsible for turning most of the world’s population into ravenous zombies and other mutant monsters. “Retribution” makes for something of a reunion as several series alums are making appearances (whether they died in previous installments or not), including Michelle Rodriguez (absent since the 2002 original), Sienna Guillory (as fan favorite Jill Valentine), Oded Fehr and Shawn Roberts (as supervillain Albert Wesker). What, no Mike Epps? What kind of show is Paul W.S. Anderson running here? Anyway, “Retribution” reportedly marks the “beginning of the end” for a franchise that somehow keeps getting resurrected almost in spite of itself.


9/21 – “DREDD 3D” (Lionsgate – Pete Travis – Action/Sci-Fi)

Karl Urban in Dredd 3D“I AM DA LAW!” Sylvester Stallone made a go at Judge Dredd, the judge, jury and executioner of the popular British comic book series “2000 AD,” back in 1995 with a failed film adaptation that didn’t stand a chance against opening opposite “Apollo 18” (or opening opposite anything, really). The character’s definitely got a cult following, so it was only a matter of time before someone gave him an upgrade and a hearty R rating for some rather extreme “RoboCop”-level violence. Karl Urban, who can play anything from a Middle-earth warrior in “The Lord of the Rings” to a scowling Russian assassin in “The Bourne Supremacy” to, well, Bones in “Star Trek,” plays Dredd this time around, a mighty and at times merciless enforcer of justice in the irradiated future world of Mega City One, a sparawling metropolis overwrought with crime and corruption. The film screened earlier this summer at the San Diego Comic-Con, where it received some praise for not pulling any punches in bringing to life a city where bullets fly like there’s no tomorrow.


9/21 – “END OF WATCH” (Open Road – David Ayer – Drama/Mystery)

A scene from End of Watch“So why do they call you Big Evil?” “’cause my evil’s big.” Writer-director David Ayer once again hits the mean streets of Los Angeles with this crime drama in which two LAPD officers (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña) make what seems like the bust of their careers when they confiscate a bunch of money and guns during a routine traffic stop. Unfortunately, this act of protecting and serving makes them the targets of a powerful drug cartel that likes to do things like shoot up homes with machine guns in the middle of the night – for starters. Ayer, who wrote “Training Day,” “S.W.A.T.” and “Dark Blue” and wrote/directed “Harsh Times,” is obviously right at home with this kind of gritty cop tale, and with “End of Watch” he goes for a “found footage” kind of look to up the sense of realism and intensity. If only we didn’t have such a hard time accepting Gyllenhaal as a grown-up – we still only see the kid from “Donnie Darko” every time we look at him.


9/21 – “HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET” (Rogue – Mark Tonderai – Horror/Thriller)

Jennifer Lawrence in House at the End of the StreetIt was probably only a matter of time before someone put Jennifer Lawrence, the rising star of “Winter’s Bone” and “The Hunger Games,” in a white tank top and made her stake her claim as a modern-day Scream Queen. Lawrence plays Elissa, a teenager who moves with her newly divorced mother (Elisabeth Shue) to an upscale (and almost surely isolated) country community, where she becomes involved with the cute guy next door (Max Thieriot) who harbors a deadly secret involving murder and mayhem. Lawrence’s perfectly art-directed grimy, sweaty cleavage should sell some tickets, though whether she’s a true movie star outside the realm of Panem remains to be seen; meanwhile, we’re having trouble with the fact that the hottie from “Adventures in Babysitting” is now old enough to have a teenager of her own. The film’s already been nominated for Best Sound Editing by the Directors Guild of Canada, so we know all those creaking floors, high-pitched wails and various bumps in the night will at least sound good.


9/21 – “TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE” (Warner Bros. – Robert Lorenz – Drama)

Clint Eastwood in Trouble with the CurveIt’s been a while since baseball was used as a metaphor for the various unpredictable victories and defeats of … well, life, so leave it to Clint Eastwood, Hollywood’s seemingly tireless MVP, to take us back out to the ball game. Eastwood plays Gus, a longtime talent scout who’s got one good trip left in him; his estranged daughter (Amy Adams) accompanies him on his last swing for the fences, during which he encounters a longtime rival (Justin Timberlake) who’s got eyes for his little girl. “Trouble With the Curve” marks Eastwood’s first acting gig since 2008’s “Gran Torino” and his first starring role in a movie he didn’t direct himself since 1993’s “In the Line of Fire”; calling the shots (and pitches) is Eastwood’s longtime pal and producer, Robert Lorenz, making his feature directorial debut. Expect this one to be a grizzled yet gentle fable that might do for fathers and daughters what “Field of Dreams” did for fathers and sons.


9/14 – “THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER” (Summit – Stephen Chbowsky – Drama)

Emma Watson and Ezra Miller in The Perks of Being a WallflowerStephen Chbosky directs his own adaptation of his own novel, a “period piece” of sorts (it takes place in the early ’90s, which, in many ways, might as well be 100 years ago) about a high school freshman (Logan Lerman) who’s taken under the wing of two seniors (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller) as he deals with first love, the suicide of his best friend and other seemingly insurmountable challenges of transitioning into adulthood. The exceptional book definitely has its fans, but the real draw here is seeing Emma Watson in her first major post-“Harry Potter” role; she’s apparently determined to still be seen as a student, unlike her colleague, Daniel Radcliffe, who jumped right into playing a widowed father in “The Woman in Black.” Early buzz says that Chbosky has been blessed by John Hughes, which is certainly a “Perk”; God knows we’re extremely overdue for a truly insightful, witty and unironic film about teenagers.


9/28 – “SOLOMON KANE” (Radius-TWC – Michael J. Bennett – Adventure/Fantasy)

A scene from Solomon Kane“I am not yet ready for hell!” An old-fashioned morality tale told as an epic fantastical action-adventure, “Solomon Kane” stars James Purefoy as a brutal mercenary of Queen Elizabeth I who changes his violent ways when he finds out that he’s headed straight for you-know-where. He successfully lives a life of peace until he’s called back into action after an evil sorcerer (Jason Flemyng) kidnaps a Puritan girl (Rachel Hurd-Wood) and has her family slaughtered in front of her. Time to set stuff on fire and turn dramatically to the camera to say “Follow me!” in the mostly grimly determined way possible! This one’s been held at U.S. customs for three years now, as other countries have been enjoying “Solomon Kane” since late 2009; the film now serves as a warm-up of sorts before director Michael J. Bennett unveils his big Hollywood debut, “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D,” a month later. “Solomon Kane” also marks one of the last films of the late, great Pete Postlethwaite, who, along with Max von Sydow, provides old-timer gravitas to all the sword-swinging chaos.


9/28 – “LOOPER” (TriStar Pictures – Rian Johnson – Action/Sci-Fi)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in LooperWe’ve been waiting almost 17 years for something to be referred to as “the next ’12 Monkeys,'” and it looks like we’re finally getting it in the form of Rian Johnson’s new sci-fi action film – which, appropriately enough, also features the doomed hero of “Monkeys,” Bruce Willis. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the writer-director’s unofficial muse (they previously rocked the house – or the high school, rather – with the noir mystery, “Brick”), plays the title role, a future-world assassin who incorporates time travel into his work; things go completely meta-bonkers when his latest target ends up being his older self (Willis), who manages to avoid being the victim of what would’ve been the most mind-bending case of murder-suicide in history. The trailer released a few months ago was amazing enough, but the extended look given at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con promises a film that’s going to be as exciting and entertaining as it is thought-provoking and smarty-pants cool (just like “12 Monkeys” before it).

Continue to October >>

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The Breakfast Club Paul Gleason

The Mean Team

The 10 Biggest Jerks From ’80s Teen Movies

Catch Footloose and The Breakfast Club during IFC's '80s Weekend.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures/Everett Collection

The ’80s gifted us with many glorious things like “Thriller,” dance aerobics, and Tab, but none quite as glorious as the teen movie jerk. Often a gentleman, but occasionally a lady, these deliciously douche-y antagonists sauntered around the halls of our favorite cinematic high schools with perfectly feathered hair, popped collars, and a general air of smugness. Before you travel back in time to the Reagan Era for IFC’s ’80s Weekend, check out our list of the biggest jerks from ’80s teen movies. Shoulder pads and Aquanet are totally optional.

1. Steff, Pretty in Pink

No man rocked a linen suit and loafers in the ’80s (or really SINCE the ’80s) quite as well as James Spader’s hunky, “richie” bad guy from Pretty in Pink. Steff looks old enough to be in grad school, which may explain why he’s always seen idling in the halls with a cigarette coolly hanging off his lips instead of actually going to class. He’s also the kind of guy who has house parties where he roams around in open silk robes, rolling joints, and condescending to pretty much everyone including his supposed best friend Blane. Steff may harbor a secret crush on polar opposite Andie, but we’ve always had a love/hate crush on him and his ridiculously great hair.


2. Troy, The Goonies

Yes, the Fratellis are the real villains in our favorite flick about a ragtag group of teens searching for pirate treasure, but without number one tool, Troy (Steve Antin), and his equally terrible father trying to turn The Goondocks into a country club expansion, there’d be no reason for the pirate treasure search in the first place. Troy is the epitome of the Letterman jacket-wearing, convertible-driving preppy jerk we’ve come to know and hate from ’80s films. His sole aim is to “make it” with girl-next-door Andy (Kerri Green) so when she refuses to ride up his wishing well bucket (in more ways than one) and sends up his embroidered cardigan instead, he angrily yells, “ANDY, YOU GOONIE!” At least he has his sweater back to keep him warm from the cold shoulder Andy just gave him.


3. Hardy, Some Kind of Wonderful

The highly attractive Hardy Jenns (Craig Sheffer) has many less-than-attractive traits including being cruel, misogynistic (“She’s gonna have to beg!”), cheating on girlfriend Amanda (Lea Thompson), and being a total rich snob. Like fellow John Hughes movie tool, Steff, Mr. Jenns also loves a beautifully cut suit and perfect hair, which may be the only thing bigger than his oversized ego. But none of that is enough to keep him from losing two things he can’t just buy back with his gobs of money: his pride and ex Amanda. Looks like THIS Hardy boy has more than a few mysteries to solve, starting with how to become a less terrible person.


4. Heather Chandler, Heathers

New World Pictures
New World Pictures

Lunchtime poll: would you rather be Heather Chandler or kill Heather Chandler? Such is the dilemma faced by frenemy Veronica (Winona Ryder) whose life (and everyone else’s for that matter) is made a living hell by the resident queen bee of the Heathers clique. Ever stylish, Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) favors violently red power suits with huge shoulder pads and matching hair scrunchies. She’s as ruthless about tormenting anyone who gets in her way or barfs on her designer shoes (ahem, Veronica) as she is her croquet game, and frankly, her acid-tongued, NSFW comebacks (some involving chainsaws) are totally legendary. What’s her damage? Oh, just ruling Westerberg like she’s the queen of Westeros. How very.


5. Biff, Back to the Future

Universal
Universal Studios

Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) is basically your typical school bully: pushy, a little dumb, and egged on by a gang of equally pushy, dimwit friends in Converse sneakers and 3D glasses. He also can’t take a hint from pretty Lorraine (Lea Thompson) who clearly wants nothing to do with him either inside or outside of a car. Like most bullies, Biff’s main target is resident school nerd, George “HEY McFly!” McFly (Crispin Glover), whom he forces to do all his homework and beats the crap out of on a regular basis. Speaking of crap, though, Biff gets a truckload dumped on him during a game of chicken with George’s son, Marty (Michael J. Fox). Hey, Biff — if you need us to help you clean up, we’re gonna make like a tree, and get out of here.


6. Johnny Lawrence, The Karate Kid

Columbia
Columbia Pictures

No list of ’80s teen movie villains would be complete without mentioning the weirdly prolific William “Billy” Zabka. Johnny Lawrence is, without question, the greatest of his bad guy personas. A top karate student at Cobra Kai, blond jerk Johnny immediately dislikes grasshopper Daniel (Ralph Macchio) after he notices him getting a little too chummy with ex-girlfriend Ali (Elisabeth Shue) at a party. Naturally, this is the catalyst for the showdown to end all karate showdowns, and Johnny will do anything to win; even an illegal move against an already injured Daniel. In his leather jackets and karate bandanas, Johnny is the ultimate dreamy bad boy you love to hate and hate to love. Sweep the leg? More like he swept us all off our feet.


7. Principal Vernon, The Breakfast Club

Universal
Universal Studios

Good ol’ Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) — or Dick, as Bender (Judd Nelson) would call him — and his 1,000-word essay during Saturday detention are all that stand between our Brain (Anthony Michael Hall), Athlete (Emilio Estevez), Basket Case (Ally Sheedy), Princess (Molly Ringwald), and Criminal (Nelson) and freedom. With a wardrobe possibly raided from Barry Manilow, Vernon is overly stern and harsh, especially to John Bender, whom he locks in a closet and gives detentions to as freely as Oprah gives away cars. Hey, you mess with the bull, you get the horns, right? (Click here to see all airings of The Breakfast Club on IFC.)


8. Reverend Moore, Footloose

There are overly-protective fathers and then there is Reverend Shaw Moore (John Lithgow). Stubborn and pious, Moore refuses to lift the ban on dancing and rock music in Bomont, putting an even bigger wedge between himself and wild daughter Ariel (Lori Singer). Moore is all fire and brimstone in the pulpit, preaching against the very things — like sex, drugs, dancing, and alcohol — he believes led to son Bobby’s death in a car accident. When Ren (Kevin Bacon) stands up to him during a town council meeting and quotes joyful passages about dancing from the Bible, Moore’s demeanor begins to change. Come on, Reverend. No one can resist a slice of Bacon! (Click here to see all airings of Footloose on IFC.)


9. Jeanie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Paramount
Paramount Pictures

Much like Principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) is less-than-amused by brother Ferris’ (Matthew Broderick) shenanigans, especially considering he never seems to get in trouble for anything with either their parents or school. But Jeanie’s attempts to catch her brother in the act wind up landing her in the police station where she finds time to make out with a drug dealer and throw some serious shade before speeding off with her mother to try to beat Ferris home. Jeanie Bueller’s day off is decidedly not quite as fun as Ferris’.


10. Stan Gable, Revenge of the Nerds

26 year-old Ted McGinley was cast as cardigan-wearing jock Stan Gable partially based on a calendar-modeling gig he’d had, which explains a lot about what you need to know about Stan. The alpha male of the Alpha Beta fraternity pretty much coasts by on his good looks and athletic abilities while delegating all his dirty work to doofus best friend Ogre (Donald Gibb). But make no mistake, Stan has it out for any and all nerds who try to steal both his spot as big man on campus and his girl. Never cross a man in a cardigan.

Flashback with IFC’s ’80s Weekend July 29-31st!

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Pokémon Go   Hollywood   YouTube

Catch 'Em All

Pokemon Go Goes Hollywood, Real Life Futurama, and More of This Week’s Funniest Videos

This week we're laughing at Indiana Jones catching Pokémon, Donald Trump meeting Grimace and more.

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Photo Credit: Lucasfilm / Nintendo / YouTube

It pains us to say this, but this summer is not even half over. Beaten on all sides by weather, current events, and anyone behind a podium, we could definitely use a breather. Luckily, we have a handful of funny videos before you break for the weekend.

From a scarily accurate real-life version of Futurama to Trump meeting a beloved McDonaldland character, here are five funny things from this week you need to watch.

1. The Best T-Shirts in Film

From Wayne and Garth to your neighborhood skateboarder, everyone loves a great T-shirt. In fact, the quickest way to humanize a character to a viewer is to put ’em in a novel-T, and there’ve been a few cinematic greats through the years — which YouTuber Travis Greenwood compiled in a supercut worthy of a mall kiosk.


2. I’m Afraid to Talk to Men

Comedian Chris Fleming has a knack for outrageous characters and bizarrely catchy earworms. Give a listen to his latest ditty about his fears that any encounter with dudes will lead to him talking about birds or mentioning Stevie Nicks. Looks like we found our 2016 summer song.


3. Real Life Futurama Fan Trailer

In a gorgeous and dazzling abuse of intellectual property rights, this teaser for Fan-O-Rama — a fan-made, real-life version of Futurama — shows a keen eye for detail and a big heart for the animated series. Cinema Relics clearly went all-out for this one, from a fully articulating Bender to a jowl-wobbling Nixon head, and it definitely has us looking forward to the full-length video.


4. Pokémon Go Hollywood

As more and more countries are invited to clog the overloaded servers, there’s no denying Pokémon Go is a cultural phenomenon. And while it didn’t take much prodding to get us all into Pidgey-wranglin’, YouTuber Darth Blender conceived of a Hollywood filled with Pokémon-sponsored product placement. Set to the cartoon theme song, Indiana Jones, Deadpool, and Mad Max are determined to catch them all.


5. Donald Trump Meets Grimace

A testament to his staunch honesty, integrity, and humility, Donald Trump continues to run a flawless presidential campaign with absolutely no cause for concern, alarm, or emigration. But despite the media’s intense vetting process that begat zero scandals or impeachable acts, Trump does have one small blemish from his past: a series of embarrassing McDonald’s ads featuring him alongside Grimace. But thankfully, for the lives and safety of this planet, this is the only regrettable thing he’s done.

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The Bad News Bears Walter Matthau

Batter Up

10 Surprising Facts About The Bad News Bears Movies

Catch the Bad News Bears movies this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Paramount/Everett Collection

The Bad News Bears has become one of the most popular sports comedies in movie history. For some fans it’s a classic underdog story. To others, it’s an honest depiction of kids. Regardless of what you get from the movies, you can see all four of them on IFC this month: the original Bad News Bears (1976), the Richard Linklater remake (2005), the sentimental sequel The Bad Bews Bears in Breaking Training (1977) and the bizarre cash-grab The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (1978) –- where a Little League player battles a Kaiju monster.

Before you tee up with the Bears, check out a few things you might not know about the enduring rough-and-tumble baseball movie franchise.

1. The cast got paid to ad lib.

Bad News Bears Stretcher
Paramount Pictures

The original 1976 Bad News Bears is beloved for its warts-and-all depiction of a group of rowdy youngsters. To make the dialogue feel more real and unpredictable, director Michael Ritchie would pay the actors a dollar each for the best ad-lib of the day. Some of the funniest lines were improvised, including the throwaway bit after Ahmad gets hit in the crotch. Coach Turner calls for a stretcher and Toby asks, “A stretcher for his balls?”


2. The first Bears film originally had a different ending.

Kelly Leak
Paramount Pictures

The original ending of The Bad News Bears had Kelly Leak stealing a Mercedes after he found his Mom was having an affair with Bob Whitewood (the Councilman who hired Buttermaker). There was a police chase that ended up at the stadium where a game is going on. Kelly grabbed a bat, hitting the winning home run but couldn’t go to home because the police were waiting there for him.


3. You can thank ‘Nam for the Bears losing in the first film.

Bad News Bears Team
Paramount Pictures

Richard Linklater (who directed the 2005 Bears remake) noted on the DVD commentary that adult test audiences wanted the Bears to win the big game, but kids loved that the Bears lost. Linklater adds that it was necessary for the Bears to lose in the original, because America was coping with the outcome of the war in Vietnam.


4. The Bears came from all over the country.

Bad News Bears
Paramount Pictures

The filmmakers saw over 1,000 kids in Los Angeles, but felt they couldn’t be natural. Director Michael Ritchie said professionally trained child actors had too many bad habits and “talked like kids in The Brady Bunch.” The filmmakers auditioned young actors in New York (where they found three Bears, including Tanner) and Texas (where they discovered Engelberg) in order to assemble the ragtag bunch.


5. Where’s Engelberg Now?

Engleberg Bad News Bears
Paramount Pictures

12-year-old Gary Lee Cavagnaro, who played Bears catcher Engelberg, had never acted before. His mother worked in the shopping center where they held the auditions and saw a sign reading: “WANTED: Kids who weigh more than 160 pounds.” Gary weighed 205, but after the movie he lost 65 pounds and grew four inches, losing his role in the sequel. He was offered a part in Jaws 2, but turned it down because he wanted to play football instead. Today he works for an electronics company in his home state of Texas.


6. Tatum O’Neal did her own pitching.

Tatum O'Neal Bad News Bears
Paramount Pictures

O’Neal, the youngest actor to ever win an Oscar, did her own pitching in the key scenes on the mound. A pitching coach from USC worked with Tatum for five weeks where she learned to throw a curveball, which she could only occasionally throw during filming. (For every one pitch that was used, there were 60 takes left on the cutting room floor.) Despite all this effort, many critics wrote that the film must’ve used a pitching double.


7. The Bears almost met Castro.

Bad News Bears Cuba
Paramount Pictures

In 1978, comedy legend Carl Reiner was approached to direct a fourth Bears movie. Paramount had arranged for Fidel Castro to co-star in The Bad News Bears Go to Cuba, featuring the Revolutionary Leader playing catch with the Little Leaguers, giving a pep talk and throwing out the first ball of the World championship game against the United States. In the script, the game ends with a tie of 0-0 and the two teams share the trophy six months at a time. (Die-hard fans will remember that the last line of The Bad News Go to Japan is Tony Curtis’ character scheming an exhibition game in Cuba.)


8. The Bears inspired a low-budget rip-off.

Bad News Bears Cuba
American International Pictures

The Bad News Bears Go to Japan opened in theaters two months after the release of Here Comes the Tigers, an obscure Bears rip-off directed by Sean S. Cunningham. (The filmmaker would later find fame with Friday the 13th, a title he’d wanted to use for a kids’ soccer comedy.) Tigers follows a reluctant coach, a juvenile delinquent, a “booger-eating moron” named Timmy and features a soundtrack of classical music. Fittingly, IMDB classifies Tigers as a remake.


9. Corey Feldman was a Bad News Bear.

Corey Feldman Bad News Bears
CBS

In 1979, the Bears came to the small screen with a cast of younger players. The TV version has Buttermaker (played by Jack Warden) coaching rather than spending a year in prison after driving a client’s Cadillac into a swimming pool. The cast included eight-year-old Corey Feldman, in what would be his first regular television role. Presumably the producers cast young actors so they wouldn’t get too old if the show proved to be successful. Unfortunately, it only lasted two seasons.


10. The Bears remake had to be booze-free.

Bad News Bears Beer
Paramount Pictures

The 2005 Bad News Bears remake established early on that Buttermaker drinks non-alcoholic beer. (Director Richard Linklater couldn’t use real beer or include actual brand names.) In the victory scene, Buttermaker hands his team bottles of non-alcoholic brew. Despite these compromises, co-screenwriter John Requa was pleased with Billy Bob Thornton’s ability to keep the film from becoming too sentimental, noting that the actor is “incapable of delivering corn.” Even if it means drinking “Goldweisen.”

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