Tag Archives: Brian Sostak

TAKE TWO: Horrible Bosses

22 Jul

Horrible Bosses

Rated: R

Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey

Director: Seth Gordon

Chris’ Take: Summer comedies are hit or miss most of the time. This summer has been primarily composed of some serious misses. We’ve gotten The Hangover 2, which while decent was far below expectations, Bad Teacher which had a lot of potential but floundered it in the final 10 minutes, and The Zookeeper…which at 15% on RT requires no explanation. I felt like I was wandering in a desert of poor comedy until I stumbled across the oasis that is Horrible Bosses.

Most people, at one point or another, have dealt with a horrible boss and made off-handed comments about “killing” them. The film Horrible Bosses takes this premise and runs with it. Nick, Kurt and Dale (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day) are close friends and each are dealing with a uniquely terrible boss. Nick’s boss, Dave (Kevin Spacey), is a twisted man who leads Nick on by promising promotions that he never intends to give and tricking him into drinking at work. Kurt’s boss, Bobby (Colin Farrell), is a crazy cocaine addict who fires people he doesn’t like or who creep him out. Dale’s boss, Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), sexually harasses him while he is trying to remain faithful to his fiance. When all three bosses cross the line, the friends plot to kill each others’ boss and move on with their lives.

A great buddy comedy, even if it is a dark one, relies heavily on the chemistry between its leads, and Horrible Bosses came out in spades. Bateman, Sudeikis and Day provided great complements to each other, which is nice to see  because each of them have been floundering around in low caliber comedies recently, trying to make a stand without any support. Bateman never plays an out and out funny character, he is at his best when he can play the deadpan straight man to someone else’s zaniness.

Of course, there is one exception...Pepper Brooks.

Sudeikis’ comedy usually gets lost in a poor script, which he was able to overcome this time, and Charlie Day…

He was pretty much right at home.

Right below the stellar lead cast was a strong foundation of supporting characters. Kevin Spacey played the smart and cruel boss perfectly, giving the audience plenty of reason to make him the out-and-out bad guy in the story. Jennifer Aniston definitely let her more vulgar side show, and came out being funnier in this than anything she’s been in…ever. Colin Farrell was my personal favorite out of the three, because he plays the eccentric superbly. Outside of these three, there was another pleasant supporting actor, Jamie Foxx, who plays the man they hire to give them advice. I don’t normally like Jamie Foxx, but he was hilarious in this cameo and had several scene stealing lines.

The premise for the film is obviously preposterous, but I like how Seth Gordon and the writers made sure to not go completely dark with it. They ensured that each lead explored other options for coping with their bosses and reasons why they couldn’t just quit. While reaching the decision to kill their bosses is still outlandish, it was  at least nice to have a little nod towards intelligence.

There are few films where I think that should’ve had more time. Most of the films that are coming out these days could leave a good half hour of their films on the cutting room floor. Horrible Bosses comes in at 98 minutes, which is decent for a comedy, but it seemed to go by so quick and there were so many great characters that I felt each of them could’ve been fleshed out a little bit more. While Spacey plays a great role, he kind of hogged screen time from Farrell and Aniston, who were playing equally humorous parts in the story.

So, if you’ve been waiting for a comedy to catch your fancy this summer, and you enjoy yours a little on the dark side, this is the film you’ve been waiting for. The laughs come from start to finish and you will get wrapped up in the great chemistry and misadventures of these eccentric, yet relatable characters.

OVERALL: A-

Pac’s Take:  Horrible bosses excels because of a good script and a great cast.  If you look at some of the great comedies of recent times you’ll probably notice there is a trend, it takes more than one star taking the spotlight to make good comedy, or any good film for that matter, but I think Hollywood is just now starting to realize this.  Ensembles like Old School, Anchorman, andThe Hangover perpetuate this belief; and Horrible Bosses is the next great comedy in a growing list of shared star power.  As Chris stated, the three leads worked well with one another and the chemistry and reality of their friendship connected the audience with their plight.  The supporting cast: Spacey, Farrell, Aniston, and Foxx were excellent as well, though they probably all could have benefited from more screen time.

As evidenced from Farrell's end credit outtakes

 Chris also touched on how well the script covered its bases by forcing its characters into this situation.  Though it’s a comedy, it would have been a distraction to think that these characters resorted to murder when they simply could have quit.  It was a joy to watch their plans spiral out of control and it never felt unnatural as the three leads bumbled through their situation.  I was pessimistic that Charlie Day was going to skate into this film on the success of his role in It’s Alway Sunny in Philadelphia and disappoint his fans (which admittedly, I am not one).  However, I owe credit where it is due because he really shined in this film; and though it was scripted to be this way, he delivered most of the trio’s laughs. 

Finally, it was a joy to see Jennifer Aniston in this role.  There is no doubt that Jennifer Aniston is a talented actress but she’s made her career starring in mindless, boring romantic comedies.  To see her shed that skin (and some clothing) to play the sexually harassing boss of Charlie Day was a refreshing change of pace from her typical fare.  Odds are she’ll return to the same cookie cutter roles she previously occupied, but here’s to hoping this is the start of something new.

According to tabloids, playing crazy isn't much of a stretch for Aniston

The competition this season is not great by any means, leaving Horrible Bosses as a stand out comedy in a weak summer line up. 

OVERALL: A-

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Weekend Film Recommendation: Cop Land (1997)

15 Jul

When James Mangold was announced as the official director to take on The Wolverine, the next installment in the X-Men franchise, his work on Walk the Line, Girl Interrupted, and 3:10 to Yuma were often mentioned in the same breath.  While the often unmentioned Cop Land may not be his best or most recognized work, it deserves to be mentioned as one of Mangold’s many great movies.  Cop Land is the nickname for Garrison, NJ a small suburb of New York city that is the home to a number of NYPD officers.  The sheriff of the town Freddy Heflin, idolizes most of his constituents and their profession, but is limited to his role as Sheriff because he is deaf in one ear due to an accident.  His opinion of the officers and his abilities soon come into question as he starts to uncover corruption and conspiracy amongst them.  Aided by NYPD Internal Affairs officer Mo Tilden (Robert DeNiro), Freddy has to restore order to Cop Land.

The only way Stallone knows how.

Mangold put together a phenomenal cast for this film that works really well as an ensemble, supporting Stallone in the leading role.  Throughout the film these characters felt really close to one another, and as an audience member it is easy to connect with their group and believe they are all neighbors and coworkers.  In addition to Stallone and DeNiro, who are outsiders to the ensemble due to their characters’ role; Harvey Keitel,  Ray Liotta, Peter Berg, Michael Rapaport, Frank Vincent , Robert Patrick , Noah Emmerich, John Spencer, and Janeane Garofalo round out the cast.

This is a surprising turn for Stallone, who plays a much more subdued and humble character than he’s typically known for.  He does well in the role but his physical stature at times did not feel it suited the role, ironic because he actually gained forty pounds for the part.  Still, it may be Stallone’s best performance to date; it’s a shame he hasn’t done more roles with this much depth over the course of his career

Then again, who needs depth...

Cop Land is a movie that can be enjoyed through repeat viewings, because it is technically sound but also very entertaining.  While still at the beginning of his directorial and writing career, it is clear that Mangold took notes from his predecessors (Martin Scorcese in particular) and adapted those notes well into his own work.  While not a masterpiece, Cop Land is a great film that is definitely worth a viewing on Netflix.

Click here to add Cop Land to your instant queue.

TAKE TWO: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

15 Jul

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Frances McDormand, Peter Cullen

Director: Michael Bay

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a Michael Bay masterpiece. That should only mean something significant to 14 year old boys….and Pac. I’ll let him explain himself later.
This is where I usually put the plot synopsis. However, the plot was almost non-existent and only served as a backdrop to start the next fight, since the studio probably told Bay he had to have one somewhere and he couldn’t just do two hours of robots fighting through exploding nonsense. So, he probably walked out of the room mumbling out of the room under his breath, “Fine, I’ll do it, but I won’t make it logical.” “What was that, Michael.” “Nothing.” Anyway, if you really care to know something about the plot know that apparently the moon landing in 1969 was in response to alien robots crashing on the moon. They’ve been waiting there to come to earth to apparently prepare it for a huge robot invasion and now it is too late for the incompetent secret government agency behind the moon landing to realize that. Now, it is up to Sam Witwicky (Shia Labeouf), his cardboard cut out girlfriend, Optimus Prime and the Autobots to save the day.
There were numerous problems with this film, the plot being the one that bugged me the most. When I say plot, I also mean character development. I kind of liked how Sam, even though he had saved the world twice, was struggling in the economic times as well. Since unless you have numerous commercial deals, probably doesn’t pay well. However, this was the only time Sam or anyone else was a relatable character. I guess I feel bad putting it this way, but it was like a bad cartoon (which may have been what Bay was going for). Every character seemed static, they were either good or bad, nothing in between. Sure there may have been characters that you thought were good and then turned bad, but the reveal never felt compelling, it was more like a sneering man twirling his moustache instead of making even an attempt at showing us three-dimensional characters. I am not saying that I expected a whole lot from Bay in that regard, but at least try.

"Okay Shia, your character's motivation in this scene is to be...good....and...action!"

Speaking of three dimensions, the 3D for this film was decent, which is actually not a compliment considering the fact that this was touted as the ultimate 3D film this year. I was excited to see how Bay used this technology, and this was really the reason why I wanted to watch the film. However, I was a little let down. That is not to say that it wasn’t better than the other 3D films that have come out this year, but it just wasn’t as good as I expected. I am not really going to criticize though because I think the theater Pac and I watched this in, might not have been suitable to get the optimal experience. The one scene in particular I was looking forward to were the squirrel suits. I thought it was a really cool idea to use the 3D technology to show people skydiving and flying around the city. That scene did not disappoint at all, it was just far too brief.
The action scenes overall were very spectacular, but the key to make them interesting and intense is to have characters that you care about, and as I mentioned earlier, that was wasn’t there. Instead, at least for me, there seemed like a disconnect and I did not even have the slightest interest in what all these explosions meant or what was happening to the characters.

Some of them I just wished would die already.

On top of that, I think the 3D added to the discord in the action sequences as well. Not only did I feel disconnected from the characters, but from the actual screen itself. I was very aware I was watching a movie because the glasses create not only a physical, but a subconscious barrier between me and the film. I couldn’t feel engulfed in the action. All I could feel was a headache.
When all was said and done, the dust and explosions settled and I was staring at the screen in awe. Not because I was impressed, but because I didn’t expect it to be that bad. Even with the negative critical response, I went into this film with an open mind. Part of me wants Bay to succeed because I really am impressed with his passion for film. He truly loves what he does, but I can’t say that this film was in any way “good”.
If you’re here to find out if it was better than the second film, the answer is yes, but come on…is that saying much?
OVERALL: D

Pac’s Take:

If you went to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon to see great character development, story, and emotional conflict then you must not know Michael Bay very well.  I went to Transformers: Dark of the Moon with the anticipation of seeing some really cool action scenes, spectacular 3D, and some more really cool action scenes.  In those regards, this film delivered to about 75% of my expectations; but as most of my report cards from school will tell you, 75% is still passing.

The movie is about 2.5 hours long, and the first hour and a half is bad, I’m talking about laughably bad.  The only bearable part of the first half of the movie was Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, however not for her acting capability (though it was not a step down from Megan Fox). 

Chris touched base on all the flaws of the film, and for the most part I agree with them so there is no point to be redundant; however once the city of Chicago was introduced on-screen the movie really took off.  I didn’t care anymore that there was no plot, or there was no depth of character, all I cared about was watching the Autobots & humans battle the Decepticons while simultaneously destroying the windy city.  The last hour of the movie was awesome.  Two scenes stood out significantly in my mind, one being the squirrel suit skydiving sequence:

and the falling skyscraper sequence:

Remember, the first two Transformers film where you couldn’t tell which were Autobots and which were Decepticons.  This time around Michael Bay had an interesting and economical way to help the audience out. 

The Walmart car was probably a Decepticon.

I did not have a similar experience to Chris with the 3D, in fact I didn’t really notice it unless there was an intentional in-your-face shot.  I still contest that 3D is a waste of money, but if you’re going to see a movie in 3D regardless, this isn’t a bad choice.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not a good movie, but the last hour of the film was a very enjoyable experience.

 
OVERALL: C

Trailer Time: John Carter, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and The Thing

14 Jul

There is a lot we’ve yet to post this week and will be coming to you soon (New to Blu Ray, 2 Take Two’s, and a WFR), we promise.  However, I thought that this took precedent as a lot of new trailers have been released on the internet, one making quite a buzz.  Here’s a look:

John Carter

I’m not too familiar with the series of novels from which this film is derived, but there have been a lot of people petitioning for this film in one way or another for about 8o years.  There seem to be a lot of elements from other films and stories including: The Book of Eli, Prince of Persia, and Avatar.  The director/writer, Andrew Stanton has had a pretty succesful run of animated films for Disney/Pixar so it will be interesting to see if he can translate that success to live action.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 

I’ve been waiting for Guy Ritchie’s follow up to 2009’s Sherlock Holmes since I first saw it in theaters and we finally get a first look here.  In fact, I look forward to anything Guy Ritchie directs.  Though Daniel Day Lewis won’t be appearing as Professor Moriarty as originally rumored, Jared Harris seems suitable as an alternative, and the cast still remains stellar.  One face that is featured prominently in the trailer is Noomi Rapace, who seems to be making her breakout in America with Sherlock Holmes and Prometheus after her turn as Lisbeth Salander in the Sweedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its 2 sequels (Rooney Mara will play the same role in David Fincher’s American version later this year).

The Thing

The prequel to arguably the greatest horror movie ever made (though I’d argue against it, but not strongly), 2011’s The Thing chronicles the expidition of the Norwegian team that’s heavily referenced in John Carpenter’s 1981 film of the same name.  It appears from the trailer that they stayed true to Carpenter’s version and made sure the details of this film matched the references from his film.  One subtle not I noticed from the trailer, they even made sure to keep the old school flamethrowers that Carpenter featured. Even though it’s sure to be heavier on the blood and gore to appease the new generation, this film looks like it could be a worthy successor to the original.

BONUS:

If you haven’t heard by now, the first teaser for the highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises will preview prior to screenings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.  So far only bootlegged versions of the teaser are on the net and the quality of them are poor, so I won’t include it here.  Nothing about the plot of the film is revealed the teaser but it does include brief glimpses of Bane, Selina Kyle, and Commisioner Gordan in the hospital. 

New to Blu Ray DVD the Last 2 Weeks (June 28, 2011 & July 05, 2011)

7 Jul

Released June 28, 2011

  Sucker Punch

Rated: R

Starring: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens and Abbie Cornish

Director: Zack Snyder

Synopsis from IMDB: A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: Chris and I both passed on seeing this movie in theaters due to a lot of negative reviews, but given Zack Snyder’s track record and visionary style, it is worth at least a look on Blu Ray.

Season of the Witch

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman and Claire Foy

Director: Dominic Sena

Synopsis from IMDB:14th-century knights transport a suspected witch to a monastery, where monks deduce her powers could be the source of the Black Plague.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: Nicolas Cage, what else is there to say.  Back with his Con-Air style haircut, this film suffered at the box office due to poor reviews and negative audience feedback.  If you like medieval films or Nicolas Cage then you may want to rent this; I’ll pass.

Barney’s Version

Rated: R

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike and Jake Hoffman

Director: Richard J. Lewis

Synopsis from IMDB: The picaresque and touching story of the politically incorrect, fully lived life of the impulsive, irascible and fearlessly blunt Barney Panofsky.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: This is the type of role I like to see Paul Giamatti portray.  Though this is labeled as a drama, there seems to be a lot of comedic elements in the film. Barney’s Version jumps to the top of my queue for this week.

Beastly

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens and Mary-Kate Olsen

Director: Daniel Barnz

Synopsis from IMDB: A modern-day take on the “Beauty and the Beast” tale where a New York teen is transformed into a hideous monster in order to find true love.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: Though I have a soft spot for Vanessa Hudgens, there is no way I’m seeing this film.  Fortunately for me, Hudgens is in two of this week’s releases so I’ll definitely opt for Sucker Punch instead.

July 5, 2011:

Hobo with a Shotgun

Rated: UR

Starring: Rutger Hauer, Pasha Ebrahimi and Robb Wells

Director: Jason Eisener

Synopsis from IMDB: A homeless vigilante blows away crooked cops, pedophile Santas, and other scumbags with his trusty pump-action shotgun.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: Hopefully this turned out better than the last fake trailer-turned-movie from Grindhouse.  This is probably worth a viewing, but given it’s nature I’ll have to be in the right mood.

13 Assassins

Rated: R

Starring: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada and Yûsuke Iseya

Director: Takashi Miike

Synopsis from IMDB: A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: My list of foreign films to see, especially from the continent of Asia is continuing to grow.  13 Assassins looks like a welcome addition and I’m looking forward to seeing it, hopefully I’ll get to it before the inevitable Hollywood remake.

Of Gods and Men

Rated: R

Starring: Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale and Olivier Rabourdin

Director: Xavier Beauvois

Synopsis from IMDB: Under threat by fundamentalist terrorists, a group of Trappist monks stationed with an impoverished Algerian community must decide whether to leave or stay.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: This French import looks very well made, and given its accolades I’m sure it is.  It really isn’t my type of fare, however, so I doubt I’ll see it anytime soon.

Bloodrayne: The Third Reich

Rated: R

Starring: Natassia Malthe, Clint Howard and Michael Paré

Director: Uwe Boll

Synopsis from IMDB: Rayne fights against the Nazis in Europe during World War II, encountering Ekart Brand, a Nazi leader whose target is to inject Adolf Hitler with Rayne’s blood in an attempt to transform him into a dhampir and attain immortality

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: A director’s cut of a Uwe Boll film, this is probably all sorts of terrible.

 

 

Weekend Film Recommendation: Chasing Amy (1997)

1 Jul

Jay and Silent Bob might be the most popular and recognizable of Kevin Smith’s characters, but they started out as just supporting characters to others like Randal and Dante (Clerks), Brodie and TS Quint (Mallrats), and my personal favorites Holden and Banky from his third major film Chasing Amy.  In Chasing Amy, Holden (Ben Affleck) and Banky (Jason Lee) are comic book artists. Everything’s going good for them until they meet Alyssa, also a comic book artist. Holden falls for her, but his hopes are crushed when he finds out she’s a lesbian (IMDB).

Similar to my own experience with Amber Heard

I’ve frequently chastised romantic comedies on this site, and technically Chasing Amy falls into that category.  However, what separates this film from the other more formulaic attempts out there is the development of each of the three main characters and the reality of their relationship(s).  The complexity of the situation and the complexity of the characters involved in the situation cause for a much deeper connection by the audience than in other rom-coms, even Mallrats – another Kevin Smith film.

Though it's hard to get much deeper than this

The themes of the film may turn some off to the film, especially the discussions on sexual identity, but again this is what separates Chasing Amy from others in the genre.  It’s a film for adults with adult sensibilities.  And it is also funny as hell.  While Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams play it straight for most of the film (no pun intended), the supporting cast delivers the comedy and keeps the fare light enough to make this a very pleasant watch.

TAKE TWO: Bad Teacher

27 Jun

Bad Teacher

Rated: R

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel, Lucy Punch

Director: Jake Kasdan

Chris’ Take: Bad Teacher is shameless.

And I don't mean like the hilarious Showtime show.

Films like this, where the protagonist is the projection of the darker side of our nature, are usually good for a laugh. However, unless you have some sort of way to relate to this person as a decent human being, the jokes run ragged and it becomes confusing as to why we are rooting for this person.

Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) hates her job as a middle school teacher, and is set to quit. After her plans to marry a sugar daddy fall through, she is forced to continue educating the young until she can find another man to latch on to. The new substitute teacher, Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), comes from a rich family, so she immediately tries to seduce him. Elizabeth finds out that Scott has a thing for women with large breasts, so she buckles down by any means necessary to beat out arch-nemesis Amy (Lucy Punch) in the state’s standard test and get the bonus that will pay for implants.

I normally hate Cameron Diaz in just about anything, and I didn’t find her as annoying as I usually do. I liked her as the sarcastic and lazy Elizabeth Halsey. She played the role well and she did provide a fair amount of humor. However, the script didn’t offer her enough to work with to make her a well-rounded character. Films like this usually have moments where the character learns something, and then overcomes some sort of struggle which allows the audience to relate to them and share in the victory of the character (even if it is twisted), like in Bad Santa or Bad News Bears.

The old one, not the crappy new one.

The problem with Bad Teacher is that Elizabeth really doesn’t learn anything, she just kind of cheats her way into every victory without any consequence at all, so the movie really is without shame and it is kind of unsettling. I am usually for movies that find a way to defy conventions, and this one certainly did, but it was missing something to tie it all together and I can’t put my finger on it.

Jason Segel stole the show every time he opened his mouth. Justin Timberlake has proved he has comedic chops, and was touted as the second star of the film, but Segel outshone him in every scene.Unfortunately, he was not around very much in the movie, and the romance between him and Cameron Diaz was  forced and un-convincing. The only thing they had in common was that they liked to smoke pot and make fun of other teachers. Segel’s character didn’t add much to the movie as a whole either. He was like a side note, even creeping in each scene like he had no involvement in anything going on, making a welcome quip and then leaving.

The comedy was solid for a while, I laughed a fair amount, but it started to fizzle out about two-thirds of the way through the movie. Disgruntled, but witty lines from Diaz were soon replaced by more physical comedy and sight gags, and never found a good mix of dialogue and visually driven humor. Director Jake Kasdan has a talent for finding that balance, as seen in the under-appreciated Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, but it wasn’t prevalent here.

While I’ll try to refrain from spoiling anything in case you still want to see this movie, I thought the ending ruined anything positive that had been set up previously in the film. It didn’t make sense. It was like there were 15 minutes of character development that all of a sudden happened and we missed. It seemed like completely different characters showed up to film the ending scenes. I usually think movies could benefit by cutting several scenes, but I think Bad Teacher would’ve been better if it had maybe 10-15 more minutes in it to explain how we got to the conclusion.

I think this film could’ve been a solid “B” to “B+”, but because of the unlikability of its protagonist and the debacle of an ending, it falls far short of that. I still hold out hope for Kasdan’s feel for directing comedy, but if this movie proved anything positive, it’s that Jason Segel’s comedic future still looks bright.

OVERALL: C

Like Chris, I usually steer clear of all movies involving Cameron Diaz, at least since Gangs of New York, and I love that movie despite her.  However, this role seemed like a perfect fit for Diaz, and I had high hopes that she’d return to the comedic chops we saw in There’s Something About Mary.  While Cameron’s portrayal of Elizabeth Halsey was adequate, Chris is dead on in noting that the lack of character depth and her complete unlikability made it difficult to root for this character.  It was obvious while watching this film that the scriptwriters ( Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg) were trying to break some conventions when writing; however, these rules are in place for a reason and while the attempt is noble, the result was unfulfilling.

It’s clear from previous roles that Justin Timberlake has a talent for acting.  However, aside from sketch comedy, he hasn’t really proven his comedic abilities.  Whether it be the roles he is cast in, or something else holding him back, he is no different in Bad Teacher.  On the other hand, Jason Segel’s stock will continue to rise as he (once again) steals nearly every scene he is in.  In fact, the only flaw I saw in Segel’s performance was the forced chemistry between his character and Diaz’s, but I’ll chalk that up to poor scriptwriting.

Segel's extensive work with inanimate objects prepared him well for working with Diaz

Overall, I’ll say that Bad Teacher was a disappointment, simply because it seemed to have a lot more potential than it displayed.  Jake Kasden has created some successful comedies in the past with Orange County and the hilarious Walk Hard.  Like the last film we reviewed, Green Lantern, I think Bad Teacher could have benefited from a longer run-time to further develop the characters.  Bad Teacher was a disappointment but it certainly was not a failure, though I’d suggest it as a rental and not something that needs to be seen in theaters.

OVERALL: C