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THE BENCHWARMERS

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After seeing some dweeby kid get picked on ... OK, technically he was farted on ... Gus (Rob Schneider) decides to start a baseball team for a couple of grown-up nerds he knows ... Clark (Jon Heder), a booger-eating momma's boy, and Richie (David Spade), an emotionally stunted man-child. With backing from a nerd-turned-billionaire (Jon Lovitz), the pathetic team of three launches a winning season against some Little Leaguers. Yup, Dennis Dugan's underdog sports comedy is another Bad News Bears clone, a familiar retread of spilled pop, balls to the crotch and jerks who get a comeuppance. The four stars nail a line or two; you'll chuckle here and there. Not that anybody should over-think such a formulaic outing, but be prepared for a plot switcheroo in the eighth inning that makes no sense. Fortunately, soon after, somebody gets hit in the nuts and the mindless laughs continue. (AH)

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