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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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“We don’t defy the laws of physics: There are no flying men or cars in this movie. So it made sense to do it old-school: real vehicles and real human beings in the desert. We shot the movie more or less in continuity, because the cars and the characters get really banged up along the way. The biggest benefit of digital technology for me was that the cameras were smaller and much more agile, so you could put them anywhere. We also spent a huge amount of time on spatial awareness—making sure the viewer could follow the action and understand what was happening. There has to be a strong causal connection from one shot to the next, just the same way that in music, there has to be a connection from one note to the next. Otherwise it’s just noise. Too often, if you just cram a lot of stuff into the frame, you get the illusion of a fast pace. But there’s no coherence. It doesn’t flow. It comes off as headbanging music, and it can be exhausting. We storyboarded the movie before we had a script: We had 3,500 boards, which helps the cast and crew understand how everything is going to fit together. Movies are getting faster and faster. The Road Warrior had 1,200 cuts. This one has 2,700 cuts. You have to treat it like a symphony.”
~ George Miller

“I was having issues with my script for It’s All About Love, so I called Ingmar Bergman and we ended up talking about everything but the script. He said, “Well, Festen is a masterpiece, so what are you going to do now?” At that point, I had not decided if I was going to make It’s All About Love, so I answered, “Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe this, maybe that.” There was just a long pause, and then he said, “You’re fucked.” I said, “Well, how can you know?” “Well, Thomas, you always have to decide your next movie before the movie you’re doing presently opens.” And I said, “Why is that?” “Well, two things can happen. One thing is that you fail, and then you’ll feel scared and humiliated. It’ll get into your head. Second, and even worse, you have success, and then you’ll want more of it, or you’ll want to maintain it. But if you decide on your next film while you’re in the middle of editing, it becomes a very nonchalant choice. And then it’s shorter from the heart to the hand.”
~ Thomas Vinterberg

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