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Also, I didn't get the chance to see Hugo in theaters...it wasn't a big hit where I live, so the theater pulled it out pretty quickly. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is scheduled to be released soon, so I haven't seen it in 2011, and the Descendants never really opened where I live, so unless a special date was scheduled for it's release, I'm pretty sure I'll have to rent it. Too bad, as I heard they're all very good films.
no particular order, except we're starting from my favorite and, quite frankly, simply one of the best movies I have ever seen.
Pour Que Plus Jamais (2014)
The film is dedicated to the memory of the mother of the director, assassinated in 2009. While that was a touching move and while the movie certainly has noble aspirations, this movie, from a purely cinematic point of view is nothing short of awful. Hilariously awful, might I add.
I won't try to sum up the plot of the film like I usually do because I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was about. One minute it's about cultural diversity in Montreal, next it's about a conflict between families in Haiti and eventually it turns into a woman becoming a fugitive from Haitian authorities. These all events all feature the same woman, and is supposedly a continuous telling of her story, but I can barely make the links between the different parts of the story.
Marie-Ange Barbancourt overacts in just about every scene she is in. She is, however, much better than all the supporting actors in this film. One I can think of right now is the judge during a court scene taking place in Haiti whose sentences feel overly written and whose intonation is even worse.
The film features some very funny moments (although they aren't intentional), such as when Marie-Ange's character visits a person and they have small talk for a minute or so before they start yelling at one another insults that I'd frankly never heard of in my life. Other scenes include Olympic medalist Bruny Surin and another actor playing some overly cartoonish cops (with a special gun handshake...yep you read that right)...I mean I can tell that the director wanted to show them as being evil, but there really are no motivations for their actions. Their actions are unexplained and do not make sense, and it's even funnier when the rookie cop starts shooting randomly in the air and his superior tells him that he's learning fast. Another scene involves demonic possession, and my question is this...why? It didn't bring anything to the story, and was never referenced again.
In short, if Quebec ever wanted to respond to Tommy Wiseau's The Room, this would have to be the movie. Studying film in college at the moment of this review, it should be noted that I haven't even talked about the film's technical problems yet. Frames that look pretty weird, sound that just lags from scene to scene (it will either just cut during dialogue or will feel way too low...one scene in particular that comes to mind is a scene in which a washing machine makes more noise than the characters talking. I cannot believe that nobody saw that during post- production)...This film is absolutely terrible.
A Final Word: A friend of mine works in a theater. He states that on Saturday, during the whole day, only one person bought a ticket. That same person got a refund 20 minutes into the movie. Yesterday, the theater was empty except for me and this friend, and another woman, who walked out after 40 minutes. That didn't matter because we didn't have to contain our laughter anymore. If anybody walked by our auditorium, they must've thought we were watching the comedy of the century.
Taken 2 (2012)
When too much is kind of like too little...
The original Taken is an action movie that I liked a lot. It's been a while since I last saw it, and yeah, I was a younger and less mature viewer back then, but what I remember is that it was an awesome action film. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this second film all that much.
Bryan Mills and his family have re-adapted to their own life back in the United States following the events of Taken. One day, Bryan has work to do in Istanbùl, and convinces his daughter and his ex-wife to join him on the trip. Their daughter hopes that they will get back together, and sends them off on a date. Little do they know, however, that an Albanian old man and his bunch of goons are seeking vengeance for his son's death in the first movie, and they kidnap both Brian and his ex-wife. Bryan escapes, and with the help of his daughter, will try to save his ex-wife.
The movie could have been genuinely awesome, and yet so much went wrong with it, it's almost unbelievable. The idea of the dad and the daughter teaming up to save the mother/ex-wife wasn't a bad one, and could have been executed very decently had the relationship between the two not relied so much on clichés. Brief example of such clichés: Daughter thinking she can play Cupid by trying to get her parents back together, overprotective father not too happy of the idea of his daughter having a potential boyfriend. It just seemed so cliché and added nothing at all to the story.
The action scenes were awful, and that is probably due to the sloppy editing. In one scene, Bryan is being a bad ass and disarming three armed Albanians at once, but it is pretty difficult to make out anything going on at all. Most of the time, they're too over-the-top. I don't mind surrealism here and there, but when the action is too unbelievable, I tend to stop enjoying it. Example, one car chase scene is actually well-shot, but I couldn't quite get over the fact that the girl who was driving a manual car had never even passed her automatic driver's license. The only real action scene I liked was at the end, some pretty intense hand to hand combat between Bryan and one of the henchmen.
Even the villains are bad. Rade Sherbedgia is an actor I really like (Boris the Blade is one of the best characters ever). In here, he just looks bored, and with reason, too: The scriptwriters give him nothing to work with. He sits on a couch and waits for his dumb-ass henchmen to call him. He fires a gun once, and - spoiler alert - it is empty. His henchmen are idiots, too. I'm no expert in shooting a weapon, but it makes perfect sense to shoot at something you can see, that way you have more chances of hitting your target. While Bryan hides behind a wall, the two henchmen shoot at the wall with no result (thick walls?). While they reload, Bryan gets out of cover, and shoots them dead. Rinse and repeat all along, and you've got a Taken 2.
Other irregularities are present as well: The girl throws grenades all around town and the police never shows up, the henchmen don't look carefully in the closet when the girl is hiding (Normally you would think of looking behind the clothes?). And that's only part of what the film has to offer if we talk about stupidity.
Still there's some positive to be had: Liam Neeson still gives an excellent performance, he's really into character. Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen are also very good as supporting actresses. The beginning is a bit long and relies a bit too much on clichés if you ask me, but at least it was well acted and engaging. Finally, that one hand-to-hand combat scene I told you about earlier is also really awesome.
Overall, there's not many redeeming things out of watching this movie. Maybe you'll walk out a smarter and more mature viewer after pointing out all the irregularities in this movie. There's some positive to be had, but most of the action is sloppy and not thrilling, which is exactly why I watch an action film: to be thrilled. This is the kind of movie that you wait for cable TV to show in a couple years, but it is not worth the rental price and definitely not worth a movie ticket at the theatre.
I checked Dredd out of curiosity one evening. Having never seen the ''Judge Dredd'' with Stallone and having only heard negative stuff about it, I will not compare the two together. But all I can say is that the 2012 Dredd is simply put, an amazing action film.
Dredd tells us a story of a violent city in the near-future where cops have the right to kill criminals on the spot depending on the severity of their offences. The main character, ''Dredd'' (Karl Urban), has a rookie for the day, a telepath by the name of Anderson (Olivia Thirlby). On her first training assignment, Dredd and Anderson must inspect a murder scene at a residential sector ran by Ma-Ma (Lena Heady). As soon as they arrive, the building is put on lock down, and the cops must shoot their way to the top if they want to survive.
The story of Dredd shares many similarities to ''The Raid: Redemption'', but don't be afraid of paying to see the same film: both shine in their respective ways. The Raid was all about awesomely-choreographed fight scenes, some of which were pretty brutal. Dredd on the other hand, appeals more to a modern American audience who wants a typical point-and-shoot type of action film. Dredd shines in delivering a simple story that still manages to keep the viewer interested in it all movie long.
As the lead character, Urban is amazing, while his co-star Thirlby is also very good. The two main leads have a great chemistry together. To all those skeptical of Urban, do not worry, for the Dredd character fits him perfectly. I think that Dredd is probably one of the most epic character I've seen on the big screen this year, slightly behind Tom Hardy's Bane.
The action is amazingly shot. Director Pete Travis shows very good usage of slow-motion, which can lead to certain parts to be very intense. Speaking of intensity, Dredd never shys itself of showing blood and gore, and is very worthy of it's R-rating. So if you're sick of all the PG-13 action films like for example, Taken 2, this movie is really for you.
I had no choice but to see it in Real D-3D. How was the 3-D you ask? In my opinion, it was pretty good. I probably wouldn't have paid for it if I had the choice, but what I got was pretty solid. The scenes with the drug, SLO-MO in particular are very well made, especially with 3D. As the name of the drug implies, you get those scenes in slow-motion, and those slow-motion scenes are usually largely propelled by 3D.
If it's not too late, if Dredd still plays in a local theatre near your house, then do yourself a favour and rush out to go see it. It's very well worth your time and I'm still thinking about it a month after I've seen it. Definitely going to buy the Blu-Ray to watch it again and again.
The Hunger Games (2012)
Why all the love?
I really enjoyed the novel by Suzanne Collins (not so much the sequels, Catching Fire recycled way too many elements from the first novel and I didn't even bother reading Mockingjay), but I was very disappointed with this movie. Let me enlighten you (I'll try to compare with the novel as much as I can, but mind you it's been a while since I read it).
For starters, the beginning seems stretched out a lot. And I mean, A LOT. For the first hour and a thirty minutes or so, we are given descriptions of how the games will be. Through interviews, talk shows, press conferences, seeing the tributes train and prepare for it, etc... The way the film is constructed at the beginning is, in no ways, amateurish, and is actually pretty well done, but I started lacking interest in it about 50 minutes in. It just isn't all that interesting after a while.
By now, after the hour and a half of massing pumping and hyping, you would expect the last half of the movie to be epic, to be impressive, yes? Unfortunately, it isn't. The problem is that the filmmakers tried to market a very violent novel for mature teenagers with a violent premise to kids. The camera keeps shaking constantly to not show any details, and it is annoying, because you end up practically not seeing anything at all. You have to be very, very focused on the screen to make out practically any action occurring in the second half.
A lot of things also seem pointless...Peeta's camouflage in the dirt being the most pointless of all. How useful was it to the story? He showed it to Katniss, as if to waste our time, and never used it after...
The film could also have used more screen time for Haymitch. Woody Harrelson is perfect for the character, and in the novel, Haymitch had some pretty interesting things to say. But, in this movie, Haymitch is so underused that we barely get to see his drunken antics and his powerful thoughts. Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket is really annoying...No fault of Banks, the character is just plain annoying, and yet she has more screen time than the 100 times more interesting Haymitch. Effie Trinket really bothered the hell out of me.
Still, there's some positive to be had: The acting. Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant as Katniss Everdeen. Her performance is enough to carry this huge-budgeted overlong film on her shoulders when the film needs it most. Always in character, Jennifer Lawrence shows us all her talents as an actress. It was the second time I saw her in a movie since the amazing X-Men First Class, and I can't wait to see more work out of her. Josh Hutcherson delivers the merchandise in a performance slightly inferior to Lawrence's. Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Wes Bently, hell, even Lenny Kravitz gives in a respectable performance. And I have nothing negative to say about not one, but two great climaxes. I liked that the film doesn't end all happy-go-lucky like traditional Hollywood movies, but it foreshadows a sequel, which, I sincerely hope, will be better, darker, and braver than this movie.
Overall, this is a film that could have been so much more. I do not get all the love it has been getting. While all the actors give great performances (Jennifer Lawrence especially), the action is underwhelming and the build-up to the action is way too overlong and packed with unnecessary details. If you want an idea of what The Hunger Games should have resembled, watch the Japanese movie Battle Royale. Now that is one very intense movie.
DISCLAIMER: I'm not a Battle Royale fanatic trying to bash The Hunger Games, I actually first heard of Battle Royale after watching this movie. I just think that, personally, after having viewed both, Battle Royale is much better than The Hunger Games. (I strongly recommend reading The Hunger Games over the viewing of the film).
I haven't reviewed a film in forever, so I thought to myself ''Why not review the last movie I have seen?''. Well, last night, my trip to the theatre was to see Seth MacFarlane's TED. I'm pretty familiar with Seth MacFarlane's comedy, and while I'm not always fond of it, I do kind of like it. However, with MacFarlane, it's usually a love-it-or-hate-it kind of comedy. As a result, TED could have easily gone one way or the other. Luckily for us, Ted goes in the right direction, and while undeniably very raunchy and very crude, those who are not offended by such humour will be in for one very, very funny ride.
John is the least popular kid in the neighbourhood. One Christmas Eve, he is given a teddy bear, and while the teddy bear isn't alive per Se, it automatically becomes John's best friend. One night, little John wishes for his bear to come alive, which is exactly what happens, and the two are now really best friends. It's a really cute story at first, but what happens 27 years after? Well, John (Mark Wahlberg) and his bear, ''Ted''(voice of Seth MacFarlane himself) are stoners and John, at 35 years old, works in a car rental company. John is in a relationship with Lori (Mila Kunis), a very patient and mature girl who, despite loving him too, believes that Ted is a nuisance to her relationship with John. In order to get the best of both worlds, John lets Ted go, helps him find a job, and other things like that...
I'm not saying more. I could go on and on about the plot, but I don't feel like spoiling anything. What you do got to know though is that TED is a very, very funny comedy. It works on pretty much every level. Seth MacFarlane's branch of humour is worthy of the early Family Guy episodes, back when it was any good. It is also easily recognizable in TED. Whether he's bashing Jews on a Christmas Eve or having someone pick up a piece of sh!t from the floor, there are many gags you could actually picture seeing on television. Of course, there are many pop culture references as well. However, those don't always work as well as the other gags, but still, when they work well, they're very funny. I'm thinking of an opening gag and a closing gag aimed at some today and past stars which had me up in stitches, and that, long after the movie was ended. The movie also kind of feels like a thriller near the end with a pretty tense car chase. A few other parts, near the end mostly, emotions were present. Not in a crying-your-heart-out kind of way, but more like a Aww-that's-sad kind of way.
Of course, both leads are great in their roles. Mark Wahlberg is surprisingly solid, constantly replying with perfect comedic timing and sometimes a surprising amount of emotion to...well, a teddy bear, who doesn't even exist. Mila Kunis also has her funny moments, but besides a climatic decision and being the one who wants Ted and John's bromance to end, she doesn't really bring anything useful to the movie (I blame the way the character was written, because Kunis was perfect for the role.) Undeniably, the real star of the movie is Ted himself. Not only does he look surprisingly realistic for a CGI teddy bear, but he's quite the entertainer. And while most of what comes out of his mouth is profane, it's also very funny. In fact, if Ted were an actual comedian, I wouldn't hesitate one minute to buy tickets for his one-man show. I'll give a special credit to Giovanni Ribisi (who also starred in Contraband, opposing Mark Wahlberg earlier this year), who is awesome as a stalker, but I won't say much more.
Overall, like I said, TED goes one way or another. For me, it definitely went the right way. It was hilarious and entertaining enough to warrant a full price ticket at the theatre. Let me put it this way. TED is up there with 21 Jump Street in terms of 2012 comedy. MacFarlane fans, you do not want to miss this movie. MacFarlane haters, enter with an open mind and you might exit pleasantly surprised. Average moviegoer looking to go on a date or to go see a movie? Why not try out TED? Before I used to give 10's out as a way to say "Highest recommendation", but I don't give 10's out like that anymore. 9 is a really great mark, and that is what I'm giving to TED, because that's exactly what it deserves.
The Devil Inside (2012)
Where do I begin? This movie is awful, in every aspect of the word.
Further justifications: Every thing sucked in this film. The acting was very wooden. Fernanda Andrade is not a good lead actress, but she is hot, so I guess the film could score mild points for that...but the rest of the cast is just incredibly bad (Hmm...That's a bit of a stretch...Suzan Crowley is pretty freaky as Maria Rossi), but every other actor looks like they couldn't care less about the film. They look annoyed, even more annoyed than the audience watching it. It's as if the project was something very boring for them and they couldn't wait to get the hell off of it.
I understand this is mockumentary, but whoever was handling the camera sucked. Did he just discover the zoom button? Because the fact that the camera would close up on faces and then back continuously really annoyed the $h!t out of me. Finally, I felt there was a lack of scares: I jumped once, which is the same place I jumped in the trailer (the one where Maria Rossi starts to laugh suddenly). The scriptwriters decided to get lazy as well, I suppose, because right when the movie is about to get interesting, it cuts to black and ends, telling us to check a website. What's that if it's not telling the audience to f--k off. I felt like I had been insulted.
Bottom line: I knew from the start that this movie would be bad. A friend of mine convinced me to go with a few girls, who chose to see this movie. If only I had listened to my first instinct.
Look, this movie made 33 times it's budget on opening weekend (33 million dollars for a 1 million dollar budget). The studios don't care about the people who watch this film anymore, and quite frankly, you shouldn't care about this movie either. It's not worth seeing in theatres - wait - It's not worth seeing at all! When is Hollywood going to realize that over doing mockumentaries just gets annoying because they don't scare us anymore. Hollywood, never, ever, release a film this bad again! 1/10
Best of 2011?
Warrior tells the story of Tommy (Tom Hardy), a marine, who comes back from Iraq. He's angry at his father Paddy (Nick Nolte), for past actions, and refuses to forgive him, although he does train for a ultimate fighting championship called Sparta, in order to win enough money to help the ex-wife of his dead best friend to support her family. Meanwhile, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), a school teacher, has to live with his two daughters and wife Tess, and needs money to pay his house after a heart operation for one of his daughters pretty much stole him of all his money. He decides to enter an ultimate fighting championship called Sparta in order to make enough money to pay his house, and trains with one of his good friends. The brothers Tommy and Brendan will then realize that if they each win everything, they'll come face to face with each other, and both have their own reasons for winning and their own reasons for hating each other...
I'm not going to lie, I was expecting this film to be really good, and it totally blew my mind away. Warrior is not necessarily an ultimate fighting movie. The fans of UFC type of fights (such as myself) will get their share of what they want, but they might have to be patient a bit and wait for the second half of the film. Instead, we seem to be abording different themes: Redemption, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Brotherhood and Family, to name a few.
The story is written in such a way that you cannot help but feel the need for both protagonists to win the ending fight. Sure, some might vote a little more for Tommy, others might root more for Brendan, but in the end, you don't want either of them to lose. Sure, the story might be a little unrealistic: Two unknown fighters training for barely a few weeks can outclass fighters who have been training for years for this tournament, but it's all done in a way that you end up forgiving it for that because of the ending.
The ending fight is the best moment of the story. Most would think it would end in a cliché-type of ending, with both fighters winning or a draw or some type of bull$h!t!, but it's in fact much more profound and emotional than that. The actors play perfectly their role of torn people wanting to end their feud in the ring once and for all, accompanied to the sad sounds of ''About Today'' by The National. Nick Nolte is a terrific actor in this film, and I do hope that the Academy recognizes him with not an Oscar nomination but rather an actual Oscar in his hands. Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy's performances are both terrific, but I felt that Hardy outclassed Edgerton, perhaps not by much, but at least slightly. Hardy's confused and dark character is portrayed beautifully, and I do hope it could result in an Oscar nomination for the role.
With that being said, I do believe Warrior to be the best film of 2011 so far (though be aware, at the time of this writing, I have not seen Drive or Moneyball yet). With enough beautiful, fighting to keep up pumped and cranked up, some emotional scenes that might make the toughest of men cry, and an incredible distribution, Warrior should definitely be nominated for the big Award in January. If you haven't seen this film yet in theatres, run to it now! Definitely buying the DVD when it comes out.
Killer Elite (2011)
Could've been so much more...
Killer Elite is a Hollywood made version of supposedly true events. It pretty much retells the story of a mercenary Danny (Jason Statham) whose best friend and mentor Hunter (Robert De Niro) is kidnapped by a rich Arabic man, who in return, wants to avenge the death of his three sons to the hands of British S.A.S. agents. At the same time, an S.A.S. agent by the name of Spike (Clive Owen) tries to prevent the deaths from happening.
This is pretty much a typical Jason Statham flick. If you like one of them, then chances are you pretty much like all of them. At times, the action feels just like ''The Mechanic'' (who came out earlier this year). As for the performances, Owen and De Niro give out some strong performances. While their performances aren't exactly what I'd consider Oscar worthy (I'm talking about two actors who were nominated for/won Academy Awards before), the performances still remind us that they are, even today, some really great actors. Statham is as good as ever, but this comes from a Jason Statham fan.
However, the film could have been so much more, and I know what I'm talking about. The opening scene, followed by De Niro's ''escape'' from the Arabic men, are very epic scenes. I actually wanted the film to continue in the same direction as it's beginning. However, the film turns typical Hollywood/Statham movie, and the action (although the film says it's inspired by true events) quickly becomes over the top. Furthermore, a part of the film seems to slow down the plot for nearly 20-30 minutes...The dialogue at times also feels awfully cheesy.
So overall I'll give it a seven out of ten. Not because it's a bad movie per Se. I'm sure typical Jason Statham who pay to see this in theatres will get what they're looking for. But simply because it could have been excellent movie, and that it unfortunately decided to go down another path. Still, for the most part I was entertained, with the first 15-20 minutes and the Clive Owen/Jason Statham fight being some of my favourite action scenes I've seen this year.
The Bourne Conspiracy (2008)
It's not worthy of the name ''Bourne''
First off, I have to say that I am a big Jason Bourne fan. I've seen every movie so many times (I own them all on DVD), and I'm currently reading the novels by Robert Ludlum and Eric Van Lustbader. Since I am a big Jason Bourne fan, I was walking around the video game store and, at a fairly low price (15$) found The Bourne Conspiracy. I was hoping this game would be GREAT!
Boy was I wrong! I don't know why I got my hopes up so high. This is pretty much just another licensed title based on a movie or series. In other words, it's not that good, and it feels rushed.
The game pretty much follows the story of the Bourne Identity, while some other scenes and missions follow the back story behind Jason Bourne and help us better understand this character.
The game is repetitive really quickly. Run through a mission from checkpoint to checkpoint. Along the way you'll have a few goons to fight or shoot at, and if you're lucky, a few objects here and there to interact with. A few bosses can pop out of nowhere at times and attack you, just punch them with a few combos and perform take downs on them. But that's not all, they get up after take downs, so you have to rinse and repeat over and over again until you defeat the bosses. Sometimes, it feels like it's been 20 minutes you're fighting the same guy over and over again.
The fighting and shooting mechanics suck. Because the camera angles refuse usually to cooperate, it's a chore getting your cross hair directly on top of your target. Fighting probably wouldn't feel all that painful if it offered more combos, if the enemies you are fighting weren't frustratingly difficult (there are times when they are) and, most importantly, if it didn't happen that often. Another control scheme was with driving. Although it happens only once in the game that you drive a car (thank god!!!), the car controls itself so horribly it was worth mentioning it.
Elsewhere, there's not much fun to be had. During the most climatic moments of a cut scene, you'll be asked to press A button that appears on the screen just once. You can't tap it too late, or Bourne will die. A rhythm game is as climatic as things get in the Bourne Conspiracy. This ''minigame'' also happens when you take down multiple targets at once, or when evading take downs from bosses.
But the game does have it's positive points. It does look pretty good for one. And the sound acting is beautiful to hear. The story is quite good and interesting, and progressing through it is my only motivation to passing the game. Notice how everything else but the game play is great about this game? This leads me to believe that, as a Bourne film, it would've been awesome. In fact, since this is based on the Bourne Identity, it was an awesome movie. But as a game, maybe it was rushed or I don't know what, but it doesn't really work out well. If you really want to try this game, wait 'till a friend buys it by mistake and ask to borrow it from him or her, or at the very maximum, rent it.
Bad Teacher (2011)
Good comedy, but not without it's faults...
I must say that my hopes were kind of high after seeing the red band trailer for Bad Teacher. In Bad Teacher, we are shown the story of Elisabeth Huksey (Cameron Diaz), who is a teacher in a junior high. She smokes pot, drinks alcohol in class, swears like a sailor and doesn't care about the education of her students (makes them watch movies like ''Scream'' instead). She's just in it for the money. Throughout the film, her goal is to save up as much money as possible in order to pay for her breast implants, which she desires a lot in order to seduce Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), a new substitute teacher, even though Russell Gettis, the gym teacher (played by Jason Segel), has a crush on her. Meanwhile, the state bonus for the best teacher in the state could help Elisabeth get her breast implants, but she will have to tough it out with Amy Squirrel (played by Lucy Punch)...
In short, I guess that anyone who read the above synopsis knows where the movie is going. Although the film isn't always predictable, there are many times where it is. In fact, I predicted what the ending would be 35 minutes into the film (well at least part of it, because another part of the ending is totally random). The gags are, for the most part, hit-and-miss: when the gags are funny, they make you laugh, and I mean they make you laugh a lot. But there are times where they miss, and when you can easily hear a little cricket sound throughout the silence of the audience. Elsewhere, Lucy Punch's character was probably meant to be shown as an obnoxious woman, but she got onto my nerves so fast that when her jokes appeared, she just didn't make me laugh so much (although I don't blame Punch for that: Maybe directing???)
But my main complaint with this film is that the story really seems to go nowhere. The story focuses on Elisabeth trying to get her implants all along. It never/rarely does anything constructive or creative to elaborate on her situation. There isn't much of a story in there, just a bunch of situations here and there where Elisabeth is in some kind of a pickle. Also in the story, the character of Russell Gettis (pleasant though is, all thanks to Jason Segel) wasn't necessary at all to keep the story going. As far as I can tell, he's pretty much there as a minor tool to make sure the movie keeps going on. And what about the kids? The movie is called Bad Teacher but we rarely see what's become of her students except for two of them. I was expecting something a bit (yes that's a bit of a broad comparison) like School of Rock, where the children do play a role in the story: maybe her kids helping her get the money for her implants would have actually brought the story somewhere.
However, as much as I am bashing about it, there are a lot of positive things to say about this movie too. Cameron Diaz as Elisabeth Hulsey was perfect: The role seemed written for her. She shines in this film. Timberlake, Segel, and Punch also shine in their roles due to roles that also seem to be written directly for them, which sort of makes you realize how natural they feel in their characters's shoes. And just like I mentioned before, there is some pretty funny stuff in this film, and when it's funny, you will laugh out loud quite a bit.
That being said, this film is far from being a masterpiece. I felt it was lacking pace and that it lacked a real story to interest the viewer. If you're a teen (movie's target audience) and are searching for a raunchy comedy, then maybe you should go see it. But for anyone else, I'd recommend to wait for the DVD release or for it to air on TV. All in all, a disappointing film, but still one that shines in some places thanks to the performances of it's actors and some clever jokes here and there.