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School for Scoundrels
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School for Scoundrels More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not the sequel to Napoleon Dynamite

Author: Rogue-32 from L A.
15 October 2006

I gave this film an IMDb 6 (the equivalent of ***) for one reason and one reason only: Jon Heder.

Don't get me wrong, I love Billy Bob too, but he's lame in this movie; his character is pathetically written, and he does the best he can with wretched material, but this is NOT Bad Santa. No, this is an inferior retread of a different movie, and it ain't Napoleon Dynamite, which everyone keeps referring to. It ain't that film OR that character, mainly because (1) ND was a far superior movie, and (2) Heder's character in this movie has far more edge (more like the Scorpio he actually is). I think Heder's a genius, really, which of course Billy Bob is too, make no mistake - I did see Sling Blade and the aforementioned Bad Santa - but in this context, it's Heder who comes out ahead because (1) his character was better written, and (2) the camera plain loves this guy; no matter what he's doing he comes off sympathetic and credible. I believe eventually he should play a serial killer and he would prove this beyond all doubt.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not worth the price of an admission ticket. Actually, it's not worth anything.

Author: Puckman751 from United States
5 October 2006

I a preview of this movie on TV one night and decided to go see it on a rainy day. I liked Billy Bob Thorton in "Bad News Bears" and "Bad Santa" and hoped that this movie would be like one of those. It's not. Unlike Billy Bob's other film's, in this one, he has no one to work with. Micheal Clark Duncan comes off flat and Ben Stiller's cameo is weak and pointless. I think the biggest problem I had with the film was John Heder. I didn't like him in "Napolean Dynamite" and I mildly liked him in "The Benchwarmers". He's just to bland. You can't relate to him and he doesn't steal any scenes like the main character should. The story is the same old story with a mild twist at the end. The producers weak attempts at jokes fall flat and the acting is so sub par is bad. Don't waste your time or money on this film.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Rubbish, terrible and not very good

Author: seawalker from Birmingham, England
7 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I only went to see this because I wanted to avoid the hordes of popcorn eaters making their way into "Hot Fuzz". I won't say that I wish I hadn't bothered, because I'm of the opinion that any film is worth seeing, but "School For Scoundrels" is truly rubbish, terrible and not very good. Lame is also good word.

Not funny enough. Not nasty enough. Not pacy enough. Way too polite and amiable. Where was the farce and the violence and the pain? Billy Bob Thornton sleepwalks his way through his part, and that is a shame because he could have been great, and we know that with the right material Jon Heder can be incredibly funny. Such a shame. What were they playing at? It should have been better.

According to IMDb "School For Scoundrels" was inspired by the 1960 movie "School for Scoundrels or How to Win Without Actually Cheating!". Don't believe a word of it. Practically the only elements they took from the original was the title and a comedy tennis match. If only they had remade that movie, which is a little British gem. Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas (the ultimate cad), Alistair Sim.


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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I've already seen Anger Management

Author: keithwrightnc
9 March 2007

...and this was way too close to the plot of Anger Management to really enjoy. The only difference was that this was "for real" and Anger Management was a total ruse with everybody in on the plan.

The only think I'd like to see from this is a movie from the storyline of Becky and Diego. I think Becky as an overbearing wife to Diego would be a freaking hoot!

I wish I knew who played Eli's bride at the end...she is uncredited. She looks too much like Lindsay Lohan.

I don't get why they met in the American Museum of Natural History.

I would have like to have seen Dr. P get it from his wife.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

John Heder is awesome

Author: sacoody from United States
3 October 2006

This movie did have me laughing out loud. John Heder is one of the best "acting" dorks in the movies today. While I am not a Billy Bob Thorton fan he was good in this movie also. All of the "losers" that played in this one, they were cast with a good eye. They were all believable. I do agree with the PG-13 rating due to the language in this movie. I wish someone would make a really good movie without all the cussing. It isn't needed. Ben Stiller was hilarious as usual playing the part of the crazy hermit. But John Heder stole the show as the nerdy guy trying to win the girl. He is destined for the big times I think, because he is so funny, seemingly without trying.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

It's the fault of the advertising

Author: tantalus21 from Canada
3 March 2007

I'll be honest, I enjoyed this movie immensely, twice in two days, actually. In fact, the second time I watched it, it was in a small den with 14 or so people. In an attempt to find the group behind one the songs ("Set Me Free" by The Kinks), I came on IMDb like I usually do. However, I was amazed when I saw the reviews. I was expecting a 7, or a 6 at least, but a 5!? I was surprised, but I'll never push a movie on someone. I looked at some of the comments and saw what I severely dislike. Comments saying that the movie wasn't as good as the original and comments saying that it was barely funny. It's sad when people criticize a movie for not being as good as the original (such as when it happened with Dawn of the Dead). The fact is, they have to change the movie or it isn't a remake, and for the last time, they couldn't use the original actors because Ian Carmichael is in his late eighties and Terry Thomas is dead. There are far too many people who think that they can't appreciate both films, or that by spouting off the alternate name of the original and saying that the original is twenty times better makes them great. I've seen the original, and I don't prefer it. I found it reminded me of My Fair Lady (that's not a good thing), although I thought My Fair Lady was at least tolerable. But then, whether you like the remake or not, the original will always be there. The second problem resulted from advertising to the wrong crowd (such as with Girl Next Door). John Heder tried to make the jump to a semi-dramatic role, which people weren't expecting at this point, that coupled with the fact that the commercials made it seem like an average 'Go in, Laugh, Leave' movie, the entire crowd was people expecting a non stop laugher. Billy Bob Thornton didn't impress me in this one, which surprised me more as he was mentioned first in the credits. He seemed to try harder during some scenes, which could just be a result of having to pretend to be lying. Even still, it just didn't feel right, although, he did a fairly good job overall. John Heder has shown he can do more than just comedy now, hopefully leading to more roles such as this one. Many are saying it's the worst movie ever, but I have one thing to say, no movie is worse than Airplane.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

How many times is Billy Bob going to play this role???

Author: TonyManChi from Lisle, IL USA
30 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

About 20 minutes of humor and heaven knows what you call the rest of this movie. Sadly disappointing. I sat down thinking, "Bad Santa", "Bad News Bears" and now this? Then the previews came on & he's in another movie where he is the nasty ex-gym teacher who now married a students mother and he acts the same. I always thought he was a fine actor, but don't understand where he is going.

As far as this train wreck - what the heck was the rape talk all about? All I can figure is a they thought a Ben Stiller walk on would save it. But, to be fair, the funny parts were pretty funny, but few & far between. Billy Bob needs to find a script where he can show his talents.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Not as funny as I hoped, but was a good watch

Author: IamtheRegalTreatment from United States
23 September 2006

School for Scoundrels is a movie about a group of men who sign up for a class in order to improve their self-esteem and motivate their lives. Taking lessons from a crafted Professor, each student increases their ability to succeed in life and enjoy it. Featuring Jon Heder, we knew there were going to be many stupid funny moments. I was surprised at how professional he was in this movie.

I thought that Billy Bob Thornton was excellent. He really portrayed his role well as the professor and showed us his leadership side. All the thought processes he had to go through in the movie show intellectuality and poise as a teacher. Truly a good job I thought on his part.

Shown as a comedy, School for Scoundrels was much less what I anticipated. Not terribly funny, but mildly entertaining. The plot was well thought out and run, especially towards the end. The relationship between the three main characters made the movie. Overall, it was an okay film, but I wish there was more... don't we all?

5/10. Fun to watch, but I'd wait until it is broadcast on TV. Save your money for blockbusters.

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11 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Dull and dumb.

Author: Torgo_Approves from El Paso!
12 March 2007

Poor Jon Heder. It must be hard to find decent roles now that he's known as Napoleon Dynamite to anyone who knows his name. But seriously Heder, why did you accept this script? I'm sorry to say it Heder, but "Gosh! You're such an IDIOT!"

Alright, forget the fact that the plot is a direct rip-off of the much funnier Anger Management. Forget the fact that Billy Bob Thornton unsuccessfully reprises his Bad Santa character minus the excessive drinking and f****ng. Forget the fact that the film makes traumatic rape memories a running gag. The fact of the matter is that the film just isn't funny. Seriously, how did it fail? How do you cast Billy Bob Thornton as a complete asshole and Jon Heder as a hapless loser - the parts that these two were born to play - and fail to make it hilarious? How does Thornton + Heder + Luis Guzman + David Cross + Michael Clarke Duncan + Ben Stiller add up to a film which is just so... NOT FUNNY? It simply doesn't make sense to my tired brain.

I guess it could be because the script is so incoherent not even Kubrick could've made a decent movie out of it. It has very few funny jokes and it barely knows what it wants to be. Comedy or drama? Romance or thriller? A heartwarming, intelligent comedy masterpiece or a lazy cash-in on Thornton's popularity? Well, I think you know the answer to that last one.

The film's pacing is way off; as the film rushes to its conclusion (a plot twist even the kid from Bad Santa could've seen coming a mile away) it feels like we've only watched half a movie. The lack of any real laughs, an engaging plot, the rehashed characters, it all makes for an utterly unsatisfactory comedy which isn't worthy of Billy Bob Thornton.

Much like this review, School for Scoundrels is lame and a waste of time. Don't see it.

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11 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Funniest Parts are in the trailer--Wait for DVD

Author: jaxelrod from United States
23 September 2006

This is a renter. There were some funny scenes, mostly all of them shown in the long theatrical trailer, which basically gave away most of the story.

The dude from Napolean Dynamite played the identical character from that movie; maybe he's not acting. He was still very funny, and Billy Bob was good as well. Ben Stiller had a small part, and his character was moderately funny.

I had high expectations for this movie. They didn't crash, but fell short. I liked 40-Year-Old Virgin much better. There were some really funny scenes, but recommend that you wait and rent this one.

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