Archive for June, 2013


Bad Teacher (2011) Review

Believe it or not Cameron Diaz has been nominated for four Golden Globes during her career. However, it is less surprising to find out that these nominations came earlier in her career and her last one was actually in 2002 for Gangs of New York. Since then, she’s been more miss than hit with the likes of What Happens in Vegas, Knight and Day, The Green Hornet and The Box (called the worst movie ever upon release) all being panned by critics and shunned by audiences. When released in 2011, Bad Teacher made substantial profit grossing over $200million, but does the film warrant the commercial success?

The short answer is “no”. The longer answer is “no way!”. Cameron Diaz is the titular bad teacher Elizabeth Halsey who we meet leaving the school after just a year to get married to a really rich man so she never has to work again. However, when she returns home from school her fiance ditches her for that very reason and she is forced to return to her job as a teacher, the only thing she knows how to do (so how bad she is at everything else is anyone’s guess).

Elizabeth Halsey is arguably the worst ‘protagonist’ ever to grace the screen. She is a wholly unlikeable character and the combination of horrible writing and Diaz’s ‘sex sells’ performance make you beg for her comeuppance, which unfortunately never arrives (another flaw in the film after the lengths she goes through). But whoever thought that a gold-digging bimbo whose only ambition in life is to get a boob job and be lazy is a likeable character needs to be seriously punished.

When Halsey returns to the school we are introduced to Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) who seems to be an all round nicer character than Halsey and a moral compass in a world of wholly messed up characters (minus the gym teacher played by Jaseon Segel). However, about half way through Bad Teacher, the story changes and you end up disliking Amy Squirrel, meaning you are left with two horribly poor characters to watch in a tussle that you really could not care less about.

There are more laughs than expected but they fall well short of memorable. In fact, the only reason that they are funny could well be because they are placed against this canvas of nothingness. The children, or even Diaz’s interactions with the children, should be a source for much of the comedy but nothing is really ever made of this. There are references to other things that will be lost on many audiences.

Bad Teacher is a slightly entertaining joyride that seems to be cashing in on Cameron Diaz’s attempts to still look sexy. A few jokes hit the spot but the majority leave a horrible rotting taste in your mouth.

My Rating: 4/10.

Prisoners Trailer

UK Release Date: 4th October 2013

Stars: Denis Villeneuve (director), Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano.

Plot: A Boston man kidnaps the person he suspects is behind the disappearance of his young daughter and her best friend.

Even if you watch just the first seconds of the trailer without reading the synopsis, you can tell that Prisoners is not going to be a film that makes you cry with happiness. Watch it all and you’ll soon realise that what Prisoners is planning on doing is making you sit there pulling your hair out begging Hugh Jackman not to do everything that he does.

With coming up to seven films as Wolverine, it’s easy to forget that Jackman is an incredibly versatile actor. And with an October release date it looks as though Jackman has Oscar nominations in his sights again as Prisoners seems like a story that is going to resonate with a lot of people and the performances are going to have to be groundbreaking in order to convey such a threatening tale.

Paul Dano must feel a bit of an outcast being as though Jackman, Gyllenhaan, Davis, Howard, and Leo have all either been nominated or won an Oscar, while Bello has two Golden Globe nominations to go with that. However, he is a talented young actor who should hold his own.

Prisoners looks like a journey full of suspense. You get the feeling that there must be a twist to the story at some point. And whatever happens, it seems doubtful that Jackman’s character is going to have a happy ending.