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Blu-ray Review - Wildcats

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In 1976, director Michael Ritchie created "The Bad News Bears," which went on to become a comedy classic and a beloved sports-themed film. It dealt honestly and hilariously with the realities of team sports, capturing a refreshingly honest underdog movie experience. In 1986, Ritchie returns to the same concept with "Wildcats," this time joined by Goldie Hawn, who plays the coach of a struggling high school football team, tasked with whipping slackers into shape, a job the character isn't sure about. For his second time around, an older Ritchie doesn't have the same dedication to nailing the nuances of the sport or the team dynamic, put in charge of Hawn-branded entertainment, which was big business in the 1980s, finding the actress riding the success of "Private Benjamin" into several cheery knockoffs. "Wildcats" isn't nearly as sharp as it could be, with Ritchie and writer Ezra Sacks ("FM," "A Small Circle of Friends") playing it safe with the material, dealing with broad humor and cliched personal problems. The whole thing is meant to be held together by Hawn's charm, and there's plenty of that, but the production is missing a strong screenplay, giving the sport and its participants some needed Buttermaker-approved grit. Read the rest at Blu-ray.com

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