Bad Teacher May Deserve a Sequel

Bad Teacher

Diaz and Smith in a bar. Photo from: aceshowbiz.com

I rarely think a movie needs a sequel, but Bad Teacher is on that short list. The movie, starring Cameron Diaz, tells the story of a lazy, irresponsible teacher who is beyond materialistic and selfish. I’ve seen this movie dozens of times on TV, but recently I watched the unrated extended version. After that, I knew why it needs a sequel – in a good way of course.

  • It’s a good comedy. There have been some pretty good ones over the last few years, but most modern comedies try to shock the audience or gross them out (eg. excessive vomiting). However, Bad Teacher is funny because of the dialogue. Sure, there is one bathroom scene and it can be a little immature, but the dialogue and conflicts are well written. It is pretty adult but not over the top or trying to disgust you.
  • Fun, distinct characters. The people make or break it. The story can be solid, but if the characters suck, the movie will. Bad Teacher has a great cast who feed off each other, and in many cases, opposites attract. I’d love to see these characters together again. Aside from Diaz, the movie stars:
    • Lucy Punch (crazy but good teacher who cares about the kids), Jason Segel (cool gym teacher who likes to smoke weed), Justin Timberlake (preppy, geeky substitute teacher), Phyllis Smith (teacher and the best best friend ever), and John Michael Higgins (dolphin-loving principal).
    • Diaz is terrible, but you can’t help but like her. She’s selfish, manipulative, mean, and horrible with kids. And it’s so funny. Smith is a great asset to the movie because she seems like the average teacher, but she’s fun and the most supportive person ever. People need to be that kind of best friend. Punch plays a great teacher – the kind who freak us out a little with their enthusiasm for learning – and I could so see Segel as a gym teacher in another life.
  • School environment. I really like movies that take place in schools, especially when they’re not dramas. Bad Teacher portrays the school life well. For example, Diaz receives a $37 gift card from the staff as a going-away engagement present. I was surprised by how well the actors play teachers, and I know a lot of teachers. The kids are great too. Noah Munck (Gibby from iCarly) and Kathryn Newton (teen girl in Paranormal Activity 4) are two students you may know.
  • The end. SPOILER alert! At the end of the movie, Diaz starts a new school year as a guidance counselor, doesn’t get the boob job, and is dating Segel, which is a cute match. It’s a very good ending because she is much better at counseling, but I want to see her in that role. Diaz as a guidance counselor would be awesome. Her advice is real. The kind of advice that’s sometimes hard to give and take (I give a lot of this kind of advice, so I can relate and appreciate it).
  • The sequel factor. The movie isn’t highly rated, so a sequel will probably never happen. However the end wraps everything up so well, if you enjoy the movie, you want more. That’s a good sign of a good movie. You watch it, enjoy it, and think I could rewatch that or I wish there was more. Good films make the audience want more.

If you like comedies or want to chill to a movie, check it out. It’s good fun.

Tool: Awesome and Underrated

Tool, Schism 2010

Tool, Schism 2010
Photo by Luki.r – Flickr

Tool. What can I say? For those of you who don’t know the band, they’re a multigenre band from Los Angeles who’s been around since 1990. They are my No. 2 favorite band, behind U2.

I don’t write about music often because it’s often too close to my heart. However, if I practice what I preach in some if you want to write posts, that’s exactly what I should do – be honest and open.

Chances are if you grew up in the ’90s, you know Tool. They emerged around the same time as Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana, etc. You know, when music was actually good.

They’re considered metal, but I classify them as multigenre because they embrace industrial, rock, and many more.

For this reason and more, here’s why they are awesome and underrated:

Unique: Many bands try, but no one comes close to sounding like them. Maynard’s voice is one of a kind and often hypnotic. Tool is the only band I can sleep to anytime. The lyrics are deep, sometimes dark or fun, and always powerful. The bass is heavy, and the band has some of the best bass lines I’ve ever heard. Other bands try to cover Tool songs, and often fail because no one can replicate them.

They do what they want: Tool releases and album every five or so years. In fact, the last album came out in 2006, and there’s talk of a new one, but fans know until it comes out, it’s just talk. They do whatever and play whatever they want. As one of the biggest bands in the metal genre, their music is not available on iTunes. They tour occasionally, but Maynard has two other bands and his own winery, Caduceus Cellars. Musically, they don’t care if you like them or listen to what they put out, they just do it. And do it well.

The live show: I’ve been lucky enough to see them twice – Lallapalooza ’97 and in 2012 in Georgia. Two very different performances, and both were unforgettable. At both shows, the crown sang every word to every song. I haven’t experienced that at any other show; no other fans are as die-hard as Tool fans. The light shows are like what I would think an acid trip is like. The music hits hard and resonates deep in your body and soul.

Maynard James Keenan: Tool could not be Tool without the entire band, but I have incredible respect for frontman Maynard. The beautiful thing is he doesn’t act like a frontman. He doesn’t have to be in the spotlight; in fact, he avoids it. At the 2012 show, he stayed in the dark silhouetted the entire show. Some criticized him for it, but if you know him, you know he may have not felt it that night. He may also have decided to show he’s not the only member who is important. Whatever the reason, he always does what he wants. He’s not a diva about it, either.

The music: I have been a Tool fan for 20 years. I can listen to them no matter what mood I’m in. There’s so much power and emotion in the music, it can make me angry or evoke emotions I’ve suppressed. It’s not a bad thing because the music allows me to admit and confront the issue. On the other hand, sometimes it calms me in tough time. I remember playing the song Aenima on repeat after a pet’s passing. I can drown out and forget the world when listening to Tool. Not many bands can do that for a listener. It’s an experience.

So, there you have it. Feel free to share your thoughts below, and check them out if it’s your thing!

Family Feud: For Families or Just Adults?

Family Feud, one of the most popular game shows of our time, has been around since 1976. I have seen the show progress throughout my life, enjoyed yelling answers at the T.V., and calling contestants idiots for not thinking of obvious answers.

Until recently, I hadn’t watched it in years, so I was a little unprepared a few weeks ago when my son and I were watching.

The question: Name something a woman puts in a male stripper’s g-string.

Ummm… what?

I didn’t freak out because he is a teenager, however I thought about all those families with small kids who may be watching. I can only imagine an 8-year-old asking, “Mom, what’s a g-string? What’s a stripper? And parents having some tough decisions to make.

Sure enough, my kid asked what a g-string was. With pink cheeks, I chose the honest answer even though I would have rather said, “a string in the shape of a G” (wink, wink). One answer was “her mouth,” which I did feel was a bit much. Isn’t this supposed to be a family-friendly show?

This is what inspired this post. Family Feud isn’t really for families. It hasn’t always been either. In fact, in the ’70s the show was slightly promiscuous with host Richard Dawson, but not because of the questions, but because he was a ladies man who loved the flirt and kiss them. Some questions provoked “adult” words, like sex, but for the most part it was nothing shocking, especially for the late ’70s and early ’80s.

As the show progressed with the times, it became more tame. Either I was conditioned to it as a kid (the last time I watched it with host Ray Combs), or I didn’t care, but nothing seemed very thought-provoking or too grown up. In the early 2000s, hosts Louie Anderson and Richard Karn brought the show into the 21st century, and I admit I only watched a few episodes, thinking it was a little boring or predictable.

Now in 2015, with host Steve Harvey, there’s definitely some spice, and most questions are way too adult for younger audiences. Recently, I’ve seen answers on the board such as “hot nurse”, “hoo hoo” (in reference to a female’s part), and heard questions like “name one thing you’d do if your husband was wearing a thong.”

I’m not opposed to the show, just opposed to it airing during early evening hours when many families are flipping channels before/after dinner. I’m a little surprised its allowed due to the content and the fact they won’t even show cartoons that are too adult before 9 p.m. It seems like bad taste, and I would hate for a small child to know too much too soon from watching a “family” game show that’s very age specific – 13 and up seems appropriate.

Overall, I enjoy the show, but I do warn those with younger kids to keep flipping channels for a few years. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, and enjoy these clips!