Bad Teacher (UK - BD)
Chris takes a look at the Blu-ray release of this recent Cameron Diaz comedy...
Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a foul-mouthed, ruthless, and inappropriate teacher. She drinks, gets high, and can’t wait to marry a meal ticket to get out of her bogus day job. When she’s dumped by her fiancé, she sets her sights on a rich, handsome substitute (Justin Timberlake) while shrugging off the advances of the school gym teacher (Jason Segel). The consequences of her wild and outrageous schemes give her students, co-workers, and even herself an education like no other! (Taken from the Sony synopsis.)
This Blu-ray release includes an extended cut of the film, dubbed the 'School's Out Edition', which runs around five minutes longer than the theatrical release. Curiously the original version isn't included. The additions are mostly short scene extensions rather than entirely new scenes (although there are a couple of those), and don't really add a great deal to the proceedings.
Bad Teacher's 1.85:1 (1080/24p AVC) image looks like a lot of the other modern comedies I've seen on the format. It has a bright colour palette, with plenty of highly-saturated primaries that pop off of the screen, a moderate push towards the warmer end of the spectrum, and slightly hot contrast. Detailing is very strong throughout, and there are no discernible artefacts (film or digital) to contend with. All things considered it's at the top end of the spectrum visually. It's a pity that the film does little to set itself apart from many similar features visually, but that's no fault of the Blu-ray, which is impeccable from start to finish.
The visuals are accompanied by an unremarkable, yet perfectly functional DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. It delivers strong, centralised dialogue across the board, a reasonable amount of ambience (general school chatter, applause, that kind of thing), the occasional discrete effect (cars moving through the soundstage), and moderate bass to reinforce one or two key sequences. Music is also given plenty of presence in the mix; in fact it's probably the most prominent element save for the dialogue. Basically it does its job well, but owing to the nature of the source it's never going to win any awards or serve as demo material.
The Blu-ray Disc includes everything found on the DVD release of the movie, including deleted scenes (05:44 HD), outtakes (03:53 HD), and a couple of featurettes ('Way Behind the Scenes with Jason & Justin' (05:38 HD) and 'Raising More Than Funds' (03:31 HD)). There's also Blu-ray exclusive material in the shape of a gag reel (04:58 HD), 'Jams Yearbook-Hidden Moments (which is an interactive yearbook feturing outtakes with the cast), and an additional three featurettes ('A Very Odd Blacksmith Story' (02:08 HD), 'Swimming with the Dolphins (03:35 HD), and 'Good Teacher' (04:04 HD)). The usual movieIQ+sync and BD-Live stuff is also included, but who uses that? Oh, there's also a deleted footage marker that, when activated, pops up whenever a scene not included in the theatrical cut appears. To be honest it's all pretty fluffy stuff and I would have liked more substance.
I caught a showing of Bad Teacher earlier in the year and I came away unimpressed. This second viewing on Blu-ray hasn't done anything to alter my opinion of the film and its biggest problem is that it's just not funny enough. I expect more than two or three laughs from my comedies, and Bad Teacher barely made me chuckle that many times in either its theatrical or extended forms. Having said that, I appreciate that the film has its fans, and they won't be disappointed by what's on offer technically. The Blu-ray has exemplary visuals, solid audio, and a reasonable collection of extras (when judged against similar titles), so I have no problem recommending the disc if you were more enamoured with the feature than I was.
* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Chris Gould
Release Date: 31st October 2011
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 German, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Spanish, Dolby Digital 5.1 Catalan, Audio Descriptive 5.1 English
Subtitles: English, English SDH, German, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish, Turkish
Extras: Jams Yearbook-Hidden Moments, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Gag Reel, BD-Live, movieIQ+sync
Easter Egg: No
Director: Jake Kasdan
Cast: Cameron Diaz
Length: 98 minutes
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