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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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Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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