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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Jake Kasdan
Cast:
Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel, Lucy Punch, Phyllis Smith, John Michael Higgins, Dave Allen, Jillian Armenante, Matthew J. Evans, Kaitlyn Dever
Writing Credits:
Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg

Tagline:
She doesn't give an "F."

Synopsis:
A comedy centered around a foul-mouthed, junior high teacher who, after being dumped by her sugar daddy, begins to woo a colleague - a move that pits her against a well-loved teacher.

Box Office:
Budget
$20 million.
Opening Weekend
$31.603 million on 3049 screens.
Domestic Gross
$201.800 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish

Runtime: 92 min. (Theatrical Cut) / 97 min. (Extended Cut)
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 10/18/2011

Bonus:
• “JAMS Yearbook – Hidden Moments”
• Gag Reel
• Outtakes
• Deleted Scenes
• “Way Behind the Scenes with Jason and Justin” Featurette
• “Raising More than Funds” Featurette
• “A Very Odd Blacksmith Story” Featurette
• “Swimming with the Dolphins” Featurette
• “Good Teacher” Featurette
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Bad Teacher [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 11, 2011)

In the same misanthropic vein as the similarly titled – but unconnected - Bad Santa, we get 2011’s Bad Teacher. Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) teaches middle school but does so only as a stopgap until she marries a wealthy man and lives a life of luxury. Alas, fiancé Mark (Nat Faxon) eventually sees through her gold-digging ways and dumps her.

This sends Elizabeth back to John Adams Middle School while she attempts to find another eligible bachelor. An opportunity drops into her lap when do-gooding rich kid Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake) shows up as a substitute teacher. Elizabeth immediately sets her sights on Scott even though he’s on the rebound and not ready for a new relationship. Elizabeth also ignores the advances of gym teacher Russell Gettis (Jason Segel) and battles with chipper super-instructor Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) for Scott’s affection.

Elizabeth worries that she needs to enhance her assets to snare Scott, which means she schemes to raise money for a boob job. In the meantime, she engages in many illicit activities and essentially ignores her students, though she sends her teaching skills into overdrive when she learns she might earn a bonus for high performance – a bonus that could pay for her new knockers.

Chalk up Teacher as a missed opportunity. I work in education and know quite well how much room for mockery exists there, but the film doesn’t usually capitalize all that well on its natural environment. It derives most of its attempted humor from Elizabeth’s crudeness; some of this plays against expectations of a good educator, but a lot of it simply goes for semi-shock value.

At times, this amuses, but much of the material seems forced. We get the impression the filmmakers resort to easy drug/sex/profanity gags just because they can’t think of anything more creative. There’s a definite “been there, done that” feel at work, as we’ve seen all this sort of material before – and seen it done better.

This doesn’t mean that Teacher comes devoid of entertainment. It throws enough at the wall that inevitably some of it sticks, and a good cast helps. I must admit Diaz disappoints, however. I think she’s a comedic talent, but she never quite connects with her role here. Perhaps she sensed the mediocrity of the basic material, as Diaz never seems to really invest in her role. She goes through the motions and does little to elevate her part.

Come to think of it, I find it hard to cite anyone else who does much to make the movie zing. None of them dog it, but they just don’t seem especially into the whole thing, so there’s a certain feeling of spinning wheels about the production. The actors exert enough effort to provide some humor, but no one can do much to add punch.

Except for Punch, perhaps. Miss Squirrel is a relentlessly one-dimensional part, but Punch still gives the character enough chirpy energy to make her funny. We know she’s the nominal “villain” and she’ll lose in the end, but Punch creates amusement as we watch her spar with the lead role.

To a degree, that is – and not to a sufficient degree to rescue Bad Teacher from mediocrity. Again, this isn’t a movie that I’d call terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s also nothing that ever becomes particularly interesting, either. The project has potential but stays with predictable material that doesn’t allow it to prosper.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

Bad Teacher appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The image was good but not better than that.

For the most part, sharpness looked positive. At times, wider shots tended to be a little soft, but those examples weren’t terribly intrusive. Much of the film appeared pretty accurate and concise. No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to create problems.

In terms of colors, Teacher tended to stay with a natural palette. Hues took on a light golden tone at times, but that stylistic choice didn’t overwhelm. Instead, the colors appeared pretty clear and concise. Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows showed good delineation. Overall, this was a pleasing presentation but not a great one, mostly due to the light softness.

I thought that the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Teacher seemed fine but it didn’t excel because of a lack of ambition. Like most comedies, the movie featured a limited soundfield that strongly favored the forward channels. It showed nice stereo spread to the music as well as some general ambience from the sides.

Panning was decent, and the surrounds usually kicked in basic reinforcement. A few scenes opened up better, though, such as those in a club. However, most of the movie stayed with limited imaging.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech was natural and distinct, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects sounded clean and accurate, with good fidelity and no signs of distortion. Music was perfectly fine, as the score and songs showed positive dimensionality. This track was good enough for a “B-“ but didn’t particularly impress.

A few extras fill out the set. First of all, the disc includes both the film’s theatrical version (1:31:58) as well as an unrated extended cut (1:37:38). What does the added footage show? We get a lot of tiny extensions to existing scenes but only a few major changes. One long sequence shows Elizabeth’s attempts to pick up a rich guy at a bar, and another shows a chat about Scott between Elizabeth and Lynn as well as the state assessment pre-test.

Elizabeth’s roommate Kirk (Eric Stonestreet) receives more screentime here; he pops up in a couple of new scenes. We also learn one of the reasons Scott earns so much time as a substitute teacher. None of the added/extended scenes seem memorable, though I do like the expansion of the Kirk role. The film’s overall impact remains the same, though.

JAMS Yearbook – Hidden Moments allows you to “meet” four students and eight teachers. This allows us to read small blurbs about the characters and see “Memorable Moments” reels that mix movie footage and shots from the set. We don’t learn much, but this is a mildly fun compilation nonetheless.

A Gag Reel lasts four minutes, 58 seconds. It shows the standard run of silliness and mistakes. Nothing particularly interesting arises here.

Under Outtakes, we get a compilation of four clips with a total running time of three minutes, 53 seconds. Some of these fall into the “blooper” category, but many of them show unused/alternate lines. That helps make them more interesting, though I could live without all the giggles that come along for the ride.

Six Deleted Scenes fill a total of five minutes, 44 seconds. In these, we see Elizabeth chat about her potential implants with her doctor, and another lets her bond with Garrett. A third shows Amy’s attempts to counsel a student, and the next provides more of the time Scott subs for Elizabeth. Scene five adds more to the class field trip – and Elizabeth’s relationship with Garrett – while the final sequence expands the movie’s final sequence.

It’s a bad sign the filmmakers didn’t think any of these merited inclusion in the unrated cut, but the clips tend to be decent. Nothing especially funny pops up here, but the bits tend to be reasonably enjoyable.

Five featurettes follow. Way Behind the Scenes with Jason and Justin runs five minutes, 38 seconds and gives us a comedic chat between actors Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake. Mostly this means they rag on each other in a funny way and make this an amusing piece.

During the three-minute, 31-second Raising More than Funds, we hear from Segel, co-writer Lee Eisenberg, director Jake Kasdan, costume designer Debra McGuire, and actor Cameron Diaz. They discuss the movie’s sexy car wash sequence. A few decent notes emerge, but it’s too short to add up to much.

Next we get A Very Odd Blacksmith Story. It goes for two minutes, eight seconds and offers comments from Eisenberg. He gives us a tongue-in-cheek discussion of his cameo as a blacksmith. It’s mildly fun and that’s about it.

After that we move to Swimming with the Dolphins. This one lasts three minutes, 35 seconds and offers notes from Kasdan, Diaz, executive producer Georgia Kacandes and actors Lucy Punch and John Michael Higgins. They chat about Higgins’ character’s obsession with dolphins and the actor’s improv skills. This is another comedic piece that gives us some minor enjoyment.

Finally, Good Teacher fills four minutes, four seconds and delivers comments from Diaz, Kacandes, Segel, Timberlake, Punch, and actors Eric Stonestreet, Kaitlyn Dever, and Matthew J. Evans. They tell us what it takes to be a good instructor, though they usually opt for comedic thoughts. It’s another pleasant but insubstantial piece.

The disc opens with ads for Friends with Benefits, 30 Minutes or Less, Attack the Block and Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. These also pop up under Previews along with promos for A Good Old Fashioned Orgy and Colombiana. No trailer for Teacher appears here.

Despite the potential to become a biting black comedy, Bad Teacher never quite ignites. The movie has its moments and remains consistently watchable, but it feels like a mediocre missed opportunity. The Blu-ray delivers fairly good picture and audio along with some generally insubstantial supplements. This is a moderately entertaining flick at best.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main