By no means is Bad Teacher a good film but Cameron Diaz, as well as Jason Segel for his limited part, gave it their best in spite of a script with few laughs and a flat plot that never really came to life.
Sony | Unrated – 97 min. – $35.99 | October 18, 2011
Directed by: Jake Kasdan
Writer(s): Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg (written by)
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch, John Michael Higgins, Jason Segel
Theatrical Release Date: June 24, 2011
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Gag Reel, BD-Live
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
Plot Outline (from Blu-ray back cover): Elizabeth Halsey (CAMERON DIAZ) is a foulmouthed, ruthless, and inappropriate teacher. She drinks, gets high, and can’t wait to marry a meal ticket to get out of her bogus day job. When she’s dumped by her fiancé, she sets her sights on a rich, handsome substitute (JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE) while shrugging off the advances of the school gym teacher (JASON SEGEL). The consequences of her wild and outrageous schemes give her students, co-workers, and even herself an education like no other!
Dark comedies is an interesting sub genre and certainly not for everybody. I haven’t seen Bad Santa as of yet, but I think the writers for Bad Teacher tried to take inspiration giving audiences a main character with little redeemable values, relying on the laughs to carry the picture rather than a predictable plot. Now, with this film it does wander into cliché-land towards the end.
In terms of the acting, I’m still not sure what to make of Cameron Diaz. When she burst into the mainstream in the gross-out comedy There’s Something About Mary, she personified that cool chick one would love to hang out with and although for me she still gives off that vibe, I think she’s similar to Jennifer Aniston: an actress who is on the A-list and gets top billing, and top dollars, yet doesn’t have much to show for it. It could be her choice in scripts and that outside of Being John Malkovich hasn’t shown much range and when she tries to do a project with supposed depth, the script once again fails (see Richard Kelly’s The Box).
As far as the supporting cast is concerned, Jason Segel gives it his best with a limited role, but he still gets a couple of the film’s funniest jabs in there. I consider Segel along the same lines as Seth Rogen as neither have much range, although Segel has a leg up at least. Also, at this point I don’t know what to think of Justin Timberlake. He is a far better compared with some musicians-turned-actors and has a certain amount of comedic charm but at the same time, the character is kind of one note.
Bad Teacher was written by writing duo Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky who worked on “The Office” from 2005 through 2010 and was directed by Jake Kasdan who has been bouncing around Hollywood working on a variety of projects like “New Girl” but also has the horrible Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story on his resume. Well, I will say Bad Teacher is a better than that film… Take that for what you will.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
The disc contains the Theatrical Version (91:58) and Unrated Version (97:38). While watching either version, you can turn on the movieIQ feature which gives basic details about the cast, crew and other tidbits (it’s not worth it, though). Also included is an Added Footage Marker so when you watch the unrated version, an apple icon will be displayed for the new scenes.
Jam’s Yearbook: Hidden Moments – This is an interactive feature where you can select the students or teachers and read their yearbook page where you can read their favorite quote (taken from the movie) and interests. You can also select “Memorable Moments” and check out interview with that cast member, behind-the-scenes footage and footage from the film. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Gag Reel (4:58; HD) – This contains your usual line flubs, giggle-fests and on-set antics. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Outtakes (3:53; HD) – Here are four scenes that contain even more giggles from the cast. Seriously, I don’t know why these weren’t included in the gag reel other than to make the reel an exclusive for the Blu-ray…
Deleted Scenes (5:44; HD) – Now we get six scene that didn’t manage to get into either version of the film. None of them are particularly special and wouldn’t have added anything to the final picture.
Way Behind the Scenes with Jason and Justin (5:38; HD) is a feature with the two actors bantering/doing a skit with one another. Obviously it’s not a serious feature and thus really unnecessary… Some of it is actually pretty funny, though.
Raising More Than Funds (3:31; HD) covers the gratuitous car wash scene with Cameron Diaz getting all wet and wild. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
A Very Odd Blacksmith Story (2:08; HD) – One of the writers got a cameo in the film as a blacksmith re-enactment actor. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Swimming with the Dolphins (3:35; HD) takes a look at the principal character’s favorite mammal. It also covers the improv skills of John Michael Higgins. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Good Teacher (4:04; HD) has the cast and crew talking about what makes for a good teacher and contrasting it with what the bad teacher does in the film. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
BD-Live – Portal where you can check out features and trailers for Sony titles. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Previews – Friends with Benefits, 30 Minutes or Less, Attack the Block and Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
VIDEO – 4.25/5
Bad Teacher passes the test with a sharp looking 1080p high-def transfer. The movie is presented in its original 1.85 widescreen transfer and has some good detail level throughout and a fine array of colors. I won’t say it’s the best video transfer around, especially considering it’s a new release, but it still looks good in HD.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
Likewise, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, although not amazing, is effective enough especially for a comedy. The most depth it has is with the songs while the dialogue levels remained clear.
OVERALL – 3.25/5
By no means is Bad Teacher a good film but Cameron Diaz, as well as Jason Segel for his limited part, gave it their best in spite of a script with few laughs and a flat plot that never really came to life. The Blu-ray itself has an OK set of features but good audio/video transfers. I suppose if you’re a fan of the movie, it might be worth checking out… but only via rental.