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By DP30 david@thehotbuttonl.com

DP/30: Bad Teacher, director Jake Kasdan

14 Responses to “DP/30: Bad Teacher, director Jake Kasdan”

  1. LexG says:

    Sounds EXACTLY like his awesome old man, and starting to look like him too; Saw this guy on the panel of at least one of those Apatow soirees they have at the Museum of TV constantly, seems like a great dude…

    Just, you know, as with Reitman Jr., kinda burns me up that I’d be Stanley Kubrick right now had I had an industry connection with even 1/10000th of their A-list entree into the biz.

  2. jesse says:

    I think Kasdan’s take on Zero Effect awareness is a little closer to reality than David’s, unfortunately. I vaguely remember that movie coming out, and wanting to see it, but it was gone within weeks. I caught up to it — still on VHS at that point — months later and LOVED it, and knew others did, too, but I feel like it was a pretty slow grower. I don’t get the sense that this was a groundswell starting in, like, February 1998, though.

    At the risk of sounding like some dude who always likes the first movie/album/etc. best, Zero Effect is still my favorite of his, and one of my favorite movies of the past 15/20 years or so. But his work on that and Freaks and Geeks and Walk Hard earns more or less lifetime interest from me.

    So even if it doesn’t do that well, Bad Teacher is going to be his highest grosser in a walk, right? His biggest hit so far is Orange County with its 50something gross. And maybe his weakest movie? Although I do have some affection for it; it’s gone of the better Wild Jack Black performances, and lots of good performances on the sidelines.

  3. storymark says:

    Really like Zero Effect. Should watch it again.

  4. General Butt Fucking Naked says:

    He mistakenly cites “Anchorman” as an R-rated comedy (it was PG-13).

  5. Mike says:

    Loved Zero Effect (also in my top 20 movies), but haven’t really liked much of his stuff since.

  6. Peter says:

    Watching Bad Teacher tonight. Hopefully it’s as funny as Bad Santa.

  7. actionman says:

    The TV Set is BRILLIANT

  8. Hopscotch says:

    Walk Hard is his weakest effort. Such great potential, but there’s about four funny moments and an hour of dead time and recycled jokes.

    The TV Set is just ok. Just re-emphasizes the same theme over and over. I was really hoping to like it, but I found it pretty blah.

  9. jesse says:

    Walk Hard is great. A few too many running gags, sure, but a spot-on spoof comedy, and one of the only spoofs you could say that about in the past 15 or 20 years. Any movie that feeds Tim Meadows awesome lines to nail is worthwhile. Silly stuff, yes, but often laugh-out-loud funny. Bought the DVD new, which I’ve done like ten times ever.

  10. Peter says:

    Saw the movie, it’s funny, not the same level as Bad Santa though, but then again that’s a high standard.

    I have issues with the last 5 minutes, otherwise it’s pretty fun. Not sure if this will do well in the boxoffice though.

  11. Mike says:

    Can I just say that Jake Kasdan should not be trying to pull off the bedhead-thing look. There’s a time, place, and certain kind of person who can pull it off, and Kasdan is not one of them.

    It’s like when I walk into a business meeting with a bunch of people in suits and the one guy in his 40s wearing jeans and the bedhead thing. I just want to go up to him and say, “Really?”

    But maybe that’s just a D.C. thing and not an L.A. thing.

  12. JKill says:

    Out of his feature work, my favorite is honestly ORANGE COUNTY. ZERO EFFECT is an awesome movie with a great screenplay and performances from Paulman and Stiller, and WALK HARD is killer funny, but I love how nice and affectionate OC is, especially how it marries an off-kilter tone with genuine drama. It’s the kind of Ashby-esq, shaggy 70s style comedy that we don’t get a lot of.

    Looking forward to BAD TEACHER.

  13. My wife doesn’t believe me that we saw ZERO EFFECT when it came out. It’s a constant source of semi-friction between us whenever it comes up. I liked it enough but have no desire to re-visit it just to prove to her that she’s seen it (especially ’cause she’ll probably still not remember it and still insist it was a previous girlfriend with whom I saw it).

  14. yancyskancy says:

    Kevin, does she hold that over you? —

    “Hey, Honey, let’s go see a movie this weekend.”
    “No, let’s not.”
    “Oh, come on. BAD TEACHER looks funny.”
    “No thanks.”
    “Pleeease?”
    “Why don’t you take your old ZERO EFFECT girlfriend? I bet she’d go with you.”

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DP/30

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“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many recappers, while clearly over their heads, are baseline sympathetic to finding themselves routinely unmoored, even if that means repeating over and over that this is closer to “avant-garde art” than  normal TV to meet the word count. My feed was busy connecting the dots to Peter Tscherkassky (gas station), Tony Conrad (the giant staring at feedback of what we’ve just seen), Pat O’Neill (bombs away) et al., and this is all apposite — visual and conceptual thinking along possibly inadvertent parallel lines. If recappers can’t find those exact reference points to latch onto, that speaks less to willful ignorance than to how unfortunately severed experimental film is from nearly all mainstream discussions of film because it’s generally hard to see outside of privileged contexts (fests, academia, the secret knowledge of a self-preserving circle working with a very finite set of resources and publicity access to the larger world); resources/capital/access/etc. So I won’t assign demerits for willful incuriosity, even if some recappers are reduced, in some unpleasantly condescending/bluffing cases, to dismissing this as a “student film” — because presumably experimentation is something the seasoned artist gets out of their system in maturity, following the George Lucas Model of graduating from Bruce Conner visuals to Lawrence Kasdan’s screenwriting.”
~ Vadim Rizov Goes For It, A Bit

“On the first ‘Twin Peaks,’ doing TV was like going from a mansion to a hut. But the arthouses are gone now, so cable television is a godsend — they’re the new art houses. You’ve got tons of freedom to do the work you want to do on TV, but there is a restriction in terms of picture and sound. The range of television is restricted. It’s hard for the power and the glory to come through. In other words, you can have things in a theater much louder and also much quieter. With TV, the quieter things have to be louder and the louder things have to be quieter, so you have less dynamics. The picture quality — it’s fine if you have a giant television with a good speaker system, but a lot of people will watch this on their laptops or whatever, so the picture and the sound are going to suffer big time. Optimally, people should be watching TV in a dark room with no disturbances and with as big and good a picture as possible and with as great sound as possible.”
~ David Lynch