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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 suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook