June 24, 2011, - 5:50 pm

Weekend Box Office: “Bad Teacher,” “Buck”

By Debbie Schlussel

I did not see “Cars 2” because I did not see the first “Cars,” and that wouldn’t have been fair since, per my rules, I saw “Breakin'” before I saw “Breakin’ 2:  Electric Boogaloo.”  (To those of  you who really believe I actually threw away two hours of my life on “Breakin’ 2,” I’m just kidding.)  However, “Cars 2” does feature a fan/friend of this site, Larry the Cable Guy a/k/a Dan Whitney, a true conservative and a great guy (I have even been on the Git’R’Done 1.)  So, I support whatever he’s doing.  Here’s what I did see:

*  “Bad Teacher“:  There are a lot of movies I like about bad people–bad Santas (“Bad Santa”), bad cops (“Bad Lieutenant”), etc.  But “Bad Teacher?”  Um, no thanks.  Sometimes bad is good.  This ain’t one of those times.  Sorry.

While this was better than I expected, it was still pretty awful.  Vile, juvenile, disgusting, and laced with four-letter words, gratuitous shots of naked breasts and erections.  Yup, most movies these days have been brought down under the rush to imitate the vulgar Judd Apatow.  I laughed a few times, but not as much as I should have for a comedy.  Oh, and of course, the pro-life character is a geek in this movie.  Aren’t they always, in the world according to Hollywood?  The thing I liked most–no, the only thing I liked–about this movie was Cameron Diaz’s awesome haute couture designer wardrobe and shoes.  Diaz is looking tired and haggard, these days.  The body still has it, but the face has hit the wall along with this horrible script and storyline.

Diaz plays a vain, shallow, alcoholic, pothead, lazy, incompetent middle school teacher who’s been dumped by her rich boyfriend. She thinks that if she gets breast implants, she will attract a rich guy.  So she steals, cajoles, and otherwise scams her way into getting the nearly $10,000 she needs to pay for the implants.  While a gym teacher (Jason Segel) chases after her, she chases after the wealthy substitute teacher, played by Justin Timberlake.  Timberlake turns out to be geeky and strange, and pro-life.  As I noted, this is deliberate.  The conservatives are always weirdos in Hollywood’s telling of any story.

Diaz spends all day showing her students movies, while she sleeps at her desk, smokes pot in her car and displays other bad behavior.  All the while, she is being shadowed by a goody-goody teacher who is jealous of her success in “just getting by” and scamming and is trying to take her down.  Predictably, like most Hollywood movies these days,  the good teacher is the villain and the bad teacher is the heroine and gets rewarded.  Yay, Hollywood.  Great message. And Diaz’s character is so miserable, with zero charm. Yet, we’re supposed to root for this con-man criminalette in a skirt. HUH?

If you liked this and you are over 30, you really need to grow up.  This movie wasn’t aimed at me or my demographic.  It’s clearly for 2o-something slacker frat boys and moronic girls who smoke pot, love the slutty Kardashians, and loathe good taste and behavior.  And for them, there is a scene of Cameron Diaz in a sexy car wash romp along with the in-your-face erection.  Classy.  And, like everything else in this movie, it’s gratuitous and pointless . . . other than to separate you from your $10.  Don’t fall for the ruse.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Buck“:  Loved this documentary about a great American cowboy and one of the many decent, real men still left rural, G-d’s Country America.  Buck Brannaman is “The Horse Whisperer,” on whom the Robert Redford movie was based.  And Redford makes an appearance in the movie.  But don’t let that fool ya.  This is about a down to earth man who lives modestly in an RV he drives around North America for most of the year.  Some people are street wise.  And some, like Buck, are barn wise or great rural outdoors wise.

Brannaman trains people how to tame their horses in a humane and gentle way and has a magic and sparkle that leaves the animals quiet and docile without any sort of harsh discipline.  He learned that in reaction to his abusive alcoholic father’s beatings and as a way to make something of himself as he lived in a foster home.  Although I am often annoyed by the need to  portray every great American somehow “damaged” by abuse, I still loved this movie for the story it told of a quintessential American in a working class environment.  Brannaman is also a businessman and small business owner, but you’d hardly know it as you watch him and his folksy ways and skill.

I could have done without Brannaman telling about how he watches Oprah and how she says men should help with chores.  Even he seems embarrassed by saying so and chortles at this revelation.  But other than that, it’s simply a fun, relaxing, escapist look at Americana.  It’s kind of an unvarnished Ralph Lauren ad with working class cowboys instead of the wealthy polo player/male model types the designer presents.

Brannaman speaks occasionally about his brother, who is also a horse whisperer, but we never see the brother anywhere in the movie, something that’s never explained.  Perhaps they do not get along and in researching this, it appears they are something of competitors in the business and have strikingly different personalities.  But we meet Buck’s daughter, a cowgirl in the making, Buck’s wife, and Buck’s foster mother.

I enjoyed this.  Even if you’ve never ridden horses and aren’t a horse person, you will still enjoy this.


Watch the trailer . . .

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17 Responses

So I take it Buck would be a good movie for a horse crazy 8 year old girl? (The current reigning cutest 8 year old girl in the world)

OT: Probably, though she might not understand everything that’s going on (and there is some discussion of his alcoholic father beating him as well as a seen of a very wild/crazy horse, both of which could be slightly disturbing to a kid). DS

Occam's Tool on June 24, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    The American Spectator guy thought that Bad Teacher was a great parody of America under Teacher’s Unions. Guess not. Too bad.

    OT: Um, why the heck would you read the site of anti-Semites, losers, and morons a/k/a American Spectator? The same site that lied for Hannity, praised Egyptian “democracy” sponsored by the Muslim Brotherhood, and was for years the eager host to anti-Semites Pat Buchanan and Taki? DS

    Occam's Tool on June 29, 2011 at 10:46 am

I saw Bad Teacher. It seems I hated it even more than you, Debbie. Diaz parades through the film with her million-dollar smile and star charisma while she lies, cheats, frames, blackmails, drugs and manipulates everyone around her for whatever she can get. It’s possible this was intended as a black comedy like the recent Hesher film which takes pride in reversing all morals and decency, but I doubt it. Directed by Hollywood brat Jake Kasdan, this movie oozes with the slimy, moral bankruptcy of that city.

Viewers get a good look via subtext at the ongoing culture war between slick, dope-smoking, foul-mouthed, cynical opportunists like the character Cameron Diaz plays and square traditionalists who sing Christmas carols, naively trust their fiancees, and try to stay perky while teaching children in the classroom. This is hip liberalism vs. awkward, square conservatism, with much condescension towards the squares.

I was especially annoyed by the laughter which I heard from the women in the theater audience who genuinely seemed to love this Diaz character as she slimed and scammed her way through the film.

The trailers made this film look inspirational, as if Diaz, once she gets tough, will finally begin to have a real effect on her students. And there were plenty of references in the film to other inspirational movies like Stand and Deliver, Lean on Me and Dangerous Minds. This was definitely not them, though. It was more like Bad Santa without any wit or heart.

Burke on June 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Cameron Diaz, that’s what you get for screwing up Alex Rodriguez!

Bob Porrazzo on June 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Cameron Diaz is the ugliest woman in Hollywood. I have no idea how she is a movie star.

matt on June 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Buck deserved 3 Reagans and REAGAN RANCH! Lol.

Buck Starts Here on June 24, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Not that my opinion of a woman’s looks count for much, but even I would say Cameron Diaz was hot…10-15 years ago. Aside from a few roles (Being John Malkovich, My Sister’s Keeper), she always comes across as playing a lukewarm version of herself.

Debbie- is this a new rule you’ve adopted since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, as you mentioned in that review that you hadn’t seen the previous four. Based on years of reading your reviews, I’m guessing you’d like the first two, be slightly put off by the third, and I can’t imagine why anyone liked the fourth.

Robert on June 25, 2011 at 3:45 am

Naked breasts and erections. A guaranteed draw for the teen crowd, to whom this sludge is directed. Reviewing these teen flicks is a waste of time. Whether good or pathetic, this crowd will go see them. As our culture and society sink into the abyss, we can all look back and ask, “What happened?” And why didn’t we stand up to the end of our society?

JeffT on June 25, 2011 at 9:45 am

Hi Debbie,
I’ve done natural horsemanhip training for some twenty years. I haven’t seen ‘Buck’–hated the book, ‘The Horse Whisperer’, so I don’t know what prompted me to see the movie; which had a considerable amount of misleading and erroneous footage about horses and a trainer’s relationship to them. I’m familiar with Brannaman, and, while I admire his over all philosophy, as an instructor he leaves much to be desired. There are far better “Horse Whisperers” than Buck Brannaman, and they(we) hate being called ‘Horse Whisperer’ because they rightly recognize that skill in anything has virtually nothing to do with some mystique-like “gift” that few have; but rather, hours of hard work and patience. Then, after all that hard work and patience, one needs to pay careful attention to these ego-less animals (Their absence of ego makes their communication very pure, which can be confusing–particularly to those of us who live in So.Cal.) and, as opposed to ‘Whispering’ to them, need to ‘Listen’ to them.

Thanks for your candid review of ‘Bad Teacher'(as if I should expect anything else from you). I’m a former school teacher, so I wouldn’t have paid ten cents to see it let alone ten dollars. If the writers had any guts they might have told the story of a teacher who fought an educational system that has pre-adolescents sitting down and trying to listen for six hours a day–then labels them ADHD and loads them up with drugs; or who fought a system that puts countless billions of dollars into pandering to the illegal influx, and virtually zero dollars into being sure that teachers abide by the child development strategies and learnings of their college years…Just curious…Did the C. Diaz character have any of the girls in the gym class have their arms held down so she could slam the war ball into their guts?
Naah…Didn’t think so. The best to you Deb………….pb

shegundala on June 25, 2011 at 11:23 am

Knowing who made a movie often helps with the hidden messages. Cameron Diaz is a longtime, vocal anti-marriage activist who believes that marriage oppresses and demeans women and children, and believes that the secular state should replace the family. So, she is a “bad teacher” because she rejects her government job – which should make her into a independent woman who does not rely on a husband, father or brother for her income or security – and her opportunity to mold children into progressives (which honestly is how the left sees public teachers, which is why getting them high salaries and job protections is so important to their agenda … they don’t want “merit pay” because requiring kids to read and write gets in the way of political indoctrination) so that future generations will be progressive. Instead, she is bad because she only aspires to be the #1 enemy of the feminists, which is a stay at home wife and childbearer to a white, affluent Christian heterosexual male. So, it isn’t her actions that make her bad, it is her traditional worldview, her rejection of the feminist ideal, that make her bad.

So, why not make a movie about THAT and not bother with all the crudity? Well, if they did, no one would see it but the art house crowd that looks at Woody Allen movies, “Boys Don’t Cry”, “The Kids Are All Right” and stuff like that: people who already share their worldview. They want to win people over to their propaganda without them realizing it. It is like getting a child to take medicine that tastes horrible. What did drug companies and pharmacists start doing? Putting the yucky medicine inside a candy coated or gelatin pill, so the kid ingests the medicine without noticing it (or while barely noticing it).

So, the slacker frat moronic stuff was the candy coated shell to disguise the hard core radical feminist message at the center. So, if you see enough of these, you are going to wind up despising marriage (because “bad, immoral, selfish lazy people want to take advantage of that institution”), hating traditional people (because they are a bunch of square, naive hypocrites who not only get taken advantage of, but deserve to be taken advantage of) but idolizing “independent” single mother teachers (and other government employees) without even knowing why.

It is being marketed and in the mainstream media is being reviewed as a dumb, silly summer comedy for the Hangover/Bridesmaids/Judd Apatow/Adam Sandler crowd. (Even the ad campaign, which was designed to draw people in by making them BELIEVE that it was about Diaz having inappropriate relationships with her students, was part of the plan. But the truth is that feminist Hollywood is extremely unlikely to cast a woman – and a public school teacher at that – as a sexual predator. That is, unless she is an evangelical.) But that is a core part of the subversive angle that Hollywood does all the time.

Diaz knows that her time in Hollywood is just about up. She probably figures that if by making this movie she can get one girl to break off her engagement, get her law degree and become a NOW or ACLU activist who tries to follow the career path of Obama’s Supreme Court justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elana Kagan (both single!), this movie will have been worth her while. It is just another version of the Disney anti-marriage feminist propaganda “Alice in Wonderland” aimed at a younger demographic from a couple of years ago.

Gerald on June 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Gerald, I enjoyed your take on Cameron Diaz. And your assessment of crap films like “The Kids Are All Right”.

    Like most so-called fiercely, independant women, Diaz is a FRAUD. And being that she was never married, I reckon she has quite a sour opinion on something she has NEVER done and per usual…as most annoying narcississts do…she is projecting and shame-dumping because it’s not the smart peeps (who pick right and act nice) who have great marriages that she hates…it’s her OWN skanky self.

    She thinks she is deflecting the truth because she has never met a man who respects her enough to marry her…just uses her up and dumps her. Deep down, she is angry that Matt Dillon, Jared Leto and that ugly, 70’s crotched-haired Justin Timberlake used her and dumped her. As DS says…so sad, too bad.

    Easier to blame a society for her lack of self-worth. But the smart ones know the truth.

    And she acts all above it all but she melted down as most women do when Timberlake left her used-up arse for Jessica Biel…now also disposed of. The truth is women don’t EVER like to be dumped by a man they care for…even if they act as if they didn’t care. If she were truely what the feminists want to be (but never can be), she’d shrug and move on once cuckholded. That ain’t ever gonna happen!

    Ladies, there is NOTHING feminist about letting a guy get what he wants most without a symbiotic relationship, respect and a convenant. Try to sell that load of crap to some other dummy.

    Skunky on June 26, 2011 at 8:46 pm

friend of mine, a stable owner and horse trainer, took lessons from Buck and that is how he trains his horses.

pat on June 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Diaz has been looking tired and haggard for a decade..

Brian Cuban on June 26, 2011 at 10:46 am

Correction: Buck’s brother Smokie is not another “horse whisperer”…he was in the coast guard.

Shequndala: Clearly you do not know anything about Buck. He does not call himself the Horse Whiseperer. Nor does he call himself a horse whisperer. He doesn’t even call himself a trainer. He calls himself a horseman. The Horse Whisperer is a work of fiction. You are passing judgment on someone you know nothing about and could use a little Buck in your life.

Two Things on June 27, 2011 at 11:45 am

I always enjoy Debbie’s incisive film commentaries. But I would wholeheartedly forgive her and in fact applaud her if she chose to skip reviews of predictable, politically correct Hollywood mass-market garbage and focused instead on more independently-produced or conservative or new international cinematic treasures (all of which can use the attention). I imagine, however, that the freebie DVDs, glossy press kits and gourmet dinner screenings the big Hollywood studios can afford are simply too seductive an inducement. Even a bad review from Debbie and other great film critics draws attention to films that pours more money into Hollywood studios so they can make more garbage. And the cycle continues…

R: Huh? Are you kidding me? Please show me the glossy press kits and gourmet dinners? Cuz’ I get none of those. The DVDs–some are free (but I’ve usually already seen them or hate them or both). Most aren’t. DS

RoboSlater on June 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Cameron Diaz? I’d hit it.

Richard on June 29, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Saw Cars 2 with my family today. I wish it would have been reviewed, because going in I didn’t realize it would be a hit piece against “big oil”.

Basically the plot is that the owner of the largest newly found oil well makes a fake unstable bio-fuel using a false identity. Using the unstable bio-fuel as a means to make the public lose confidence in “green” fuel and turn back to “big oil”. Lightning McQueen’s friend Tow Mater saves the day and everyone leaves the theater with evil thoughts about “big oil”.
The plays on 007 and spy play add some excitement to the plot, so it’s a film kids enjoy. But it’s Disney using the stage to play the go green, oil is evil game. As if there’s enough corn/plants on earth to fuel all our cars, NOT.

It’s a film worthy of 3 Obama’s.

Drill baby drill!!!

In response, when we left the threaer, I went and filled up the family car with Ethanol free gasoline. But all I ever use is Ethanol free, the real gasoline 🙂 . (Better MPG than that 10% ethanol based stuff and better for the engine.)

Independent Conservative on July 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm

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