Screen Junkies » Jake Kasdan http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:13:12 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Review: Bad Teacher http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-bad-teacher/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-bad-teacher/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2011 04:02:37 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=217075 Doesn’t quite go all the way into dark comedy but it’s unapologetically cynical and that makes for good laughs.

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Bad Teacher is a solid, consistently funny comedy. It doesn’t quite go all the way into dark comedy but it’s unapologetically cynical and that makes for good laughs.

Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a relentless antihero. She’s saving up for a boob job so she can better attract rich guys in bars. Her old fiancé caught onto her motivations so she has to resort to her teaching job until she picks up a new sugar daddy. Wristwatch heir Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake) seems like a good prospect but he’s more interested in good girl teacher Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch).

Cameron Diaz Leaves No Child Behind In ‘Bad Teacher’ Red Band

With an R-rating, Elizabeth can talk about going down on a guy. She can smoke, speed on the road, and spit out the cookies her students kindly bake for her. She insensitively tells a kid why he’s not getting laid, and she’s right. Basically, her vulgar indifference towards the kids is cynical enough to be funny. It could go darker, but it’s funny.

Her bad teaching isn’t so shocking as it is blatant. She shows movies in class so she can just zone out. Scamming parents for tutoring money is pretty outrageous. She only steps up to teach when she’s motivated by a bonus for high test scores. Then she gets even worse. Her paper grading is really funny.

6 photosCameron Diaz

There was a TV show in the ‘90s that kind of did this. “Drexell’s Class” had Dabney Coleman as an alcoholic schoolteacher. I remember it being pretty funny and there were complaints about exposing children to that bad behavior. Obviously it’s okay to do the same premise 20 years later in an R-rated movie, and Bad Teacher compares favorably.

Squirrel becomes the nemesis in an ‘80s movie goody goody way and Punch sells the hell out of it. Her bathroom talk with principal Snur (John Michael Higgins) is funny and there are good old fashioned poop jokes. Jason Segal is funny as the gym teacher Russell Gettis, pretending to take the other teachers’ insignificant concerns ultra urgently.

The film definitely handles the story right. There are no big shenanigans in the end. They just resolve the character relationships. Most importantly, nobody learns any lessons! Elizabeth almost realizes a lesson but then she shakes it off. So no morals, no contrived plot, just jokes.

 

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Jake Kasdan Talks ‘Bad Teacher’ And The Underrated ‘Walk Hard’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/jake-kasdan-talks-bad-teacher-and-the-underrated-walk-hard/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/jake-kasdan-talks-bad-teacher-and-the-underrated-walk-hard/#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2011 18:11:56 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=216891 He promises that there isn't any penis in the R-rated comedy.

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Bad Teacher may be the sexy comedy where Cameron Diaz lets it all hang out, but for me it’s the next film by the director of Walk Hard. That spoof of musical biographies and the American hero’s journey has been my ultimate movie of the last 10 years. I got to interview him for the one where Diaz washes a car in short shorts.

The film is rated R for Diaz’s language and some raunchy scenes involving dry humping and drug consumption. Kasdan tells Screen Junkies how he kept his Teacher bad, and a little bit about the upcoming TV series “The New Girl.” Kasdan directed the pilot of the new Zooey Deschanel Fox comedy.

Cameron Diaz Leaves No Child Behind In ‘Bad Teacher’ Red Band

Q: Were there any fights with the studio to keep the film unapologetic?

JK: There really weren’t. They were sort of on board with what this was from the beginning and knew that you couldn’t really make this movie any way but this way. Even though it’s not what you’d expect, the truth is they were really completely supportive of that endeavor at the point where they decided to make the movie. They knew what they were getting.

Q: And it’s R-rated, but not really hard R.

JK: Well, it’s a fairly hard R in terms of it’s unambiguously R. The language makes it a clear and strong R. It has no penises in it.

Q: Well, she talks about sucking dick but it’s not lik South Park language.

JK: Just the fucks and the cursing count makes it unambiguously R-rated but yeah, in terms of how hard it is, it’s a funny one because you’re right. Pound for pound, it doesn’t chalk up the PG-13 violations the way that some movies do. But I think because the character is outrageous, it strikes people as being very R-rated.

Q: Did you ever consider having her show The Substitute as one of her teacher movies?

JK: Oh, we did talk about The Substitute. We were afraid that it wasn’t a clear enough thought.

Q: Some of us would have recognized it.

JK: Yeah, that’s the thing. There were a few that we talked about that we knew a few of us would love but you’re unsure of how universal the imagery is.

6 photosCameron Diaz

Q: Was it important to you that no one learn a lesson in this?

JK: It was sort of important to us that we not make it that thing. When people change, they change in very small increments. To the extent that her worldview was going to change at all, it was going to change in only the smallest possible way which is she considers a different kind of guy.

Q: Walk Hard is my favorite movie of the last ten years.

JK: Really? Nice, I love to hear that.

Q: It is the American hero’s journey. Was that the concept?

JK We were satirizing a certain kind of mythmaking, yeah. So to some extent we were very conscious of the scope of the joke and eager to see it through as completely as we could for sure.

Q: None of those songs could get nominated for an Oscar?

JK: That’s what we were saying. Come on.

Q: I’ve watched the director’s cut twice because sometimes you want to see the subplot where he marries Cheryl Tiegs in the ‘70s.

JK: American Cox we called it.

Q: You did the pilot for “The New Girl.” Will you stay on the series?

JK: I will be around as they get “New Girl” kicked out the door, for at least the beginning. I’ll be helping them get it launched.

Q: Is it tonally like your movies?

JK: It’s tonally more like the TV shows I’ve worked on I think. It definitely I think is in some ways related to “Freaks.” It has a little bit of that energy to it.

Bad Teacher his theaters this Friday. “The New Girl” premieres on Fox this fall.

 

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Director Jake Kasdan Might Be Working On Innovative ‘Family Getaway’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/director-jake-kasdan-might-be-working-on-innovative-family-getaway/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/director-jake-kasdan-might-be-working-on-innovative-family-getaway/#comments Thu, 05 May 2011 16:08:33 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=210614 It's action! It's comedy! It's an 'action-comedy'!

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Jake Kasdan is done with the same-old same-old in Hollywood. His latest project, Bad Teacher, is changing the way America thinks of public education and Justin Timberlake. And now, he’s reportedly seeking to direct a movie that would do what no other movie has done before: Combine the genres of “action” and “comedy,” resulting in an “action-comedy.” So there would be violence, fight scenes, and jokes! How will audiences know when to laugh and when to be held in suspense? Only Kasdan knows!

The script is from Jeremiah Friedman and Nick Palmer, who are also working on the upcoming remake of The Bodyguard, coincidentally written by Jake’s famous father Lawrence Kasdan. Hopefully negotiations between Jake Kasdan and Warner Bros. will go smoothly – I’d hate to go without seeing an action-comedy after reading so much about it. (LA Times)

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