Bad Teacher - School's Out Edition Blu-ray Review
However you feel about the movie itself, Bad Teacher looks indisputably great on UK Region Free Blu-ray, coming complete with an excellent 1080p video presentation in the movie’s original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen. Detail is fantastic throughout, from wider shots to close-ups, simply never faltering, and never suffering from all the digital defects that often come part and parcel with a sharp release – namely edge enhancement, which is nowhere to be seen. Thankfully the film still has a nice filmic layer of grain, with none of that troubling heavy-handed DNR to spoil your fun. The colour scheme is broad and contains some brilliant shades, rich, vivid reds and blues, and perfectly natural skin tones, with strong black levels to round off the colours, allowing for excellent shadowing. If you’re going to nitpick – there is little 3D pop and a couple of very brief instances of crush, but overall this is demo quality material even if it isn’t quite perfect.
On the aural front things aren’t quite as impressive, but they are not far off – which is a noteworthy feat for a comedy. Accompanying the movie we get a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which is very good indeed, but which is understandably limited by the material on offer. Dialogue-dominated, thankfully the dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout – largely dominating the front and centre channels for the majority of the runtime. Effects are mostly atmospheric; a couple of revving car engines and minor prangs give the surrounds something to do, but the rest is purely ambient observation, which comes across reasonably well, but is certainly not as immersive as the best tracks out there. The score, a fairly forgettable affair, still works well for this kind of movie, and engages throughout, presented well across the array, and even adding a smidgen of LFE throttle to the low end of the proceedings. Certainly not making a demo quality presentation, this is still a very good track which provides a solid accompaniment for the movie.
There are quite a few extras adorning this disc, but they are neither all that informative, nor all that funny – and the bittiness of the presentation is awful, with few extras lasting more than just a few minutes.
Way Behind the Scenes with Jason and Justin – This 6 minute mock-interview has the two supporting actors faking an antagonistic discussion of the movie. Actually reasonably funny, but it’s the exception in terms of these extras, and far too short to be of any actual worth.
Raising More Than Funds – A 4-minute focus shot on Diaz’s explicit car-wash shenanigans, with all-round back-patting and praise for the actress, but little depth and little outright comedy.
A Very Odd Blacksmith Story – Just two minutes with one of the co-writers, making a mountain out of his molehill of a cameo. Skip it.
Swimming with the Dolphins – This takes a similar look at the actor who plays the headmaster.
Good Teacher – We also get a brief 4-minute collection of cast and crew snippets, reflecting on what they believe to make a good teacher.
JAMS Yearbook: Hidden Moments – This is an interactive yearbook for the cast of characters, which offers up some text quotes and trivia and allows you to click through to individual behind the scenes segments on the specific cast member. Unfortunately there’s very little reward, the clips extremely short and the effort to go through them all comparatively unrewarding.
Outtakes – 4 minutes of Outtakes, split into four different scenes: Boner, The Bachelor, Amy Yell and Russell Rejection, I can’t really see much of a difference between these and the Deleted Scenes, and none of them are all that interesting.
Deleted Scenes – 6 further scenes, making for an extra 6 minutes: Dr. Vogel Discusses Breast Enhancement, Robot Picnic, Boner Patrol, Scott Reads Tom Sawyer to Class, Springfield State Capital, and Elizabeth Confronts Student. None of them are worth your time, with Robot Picnic being the only one that shows any kind of amusement value.
Gag Reel – Arguably the only actually funny extra, this 5-minute gag reel benefits from having Diaz and Segel laughing for real, often unable to take each other seriously, and play it straight. It’s genuinely contagious, and you wonder whether a few more honest, natural moments in the movie would have worked well too.
Finally we get a series of Trailers and Previews to round off the disc.
I was actually looking forward to this latest Cameron Diaz vehicle; the trailer looked amusing, and the premise – reminiscent of Billy Bob Thornton’s Bad Santa – had great potential in the R-rated comedy ranks. Unfortunately the best moments of the movie, largely the chemistry between Diaz and minimalised co-star Jason Segel are relegated to the side-lines in what is a fairly disjointed, distinctly average comedy. It’s packed with odd (and not in a good way) characters and an against-type, slightly-too-old-for-the-part Diaz herself, and whilst there are a few laughs to have, there’s also plenty of potential squandered.
On Region Free UK Blu-ray we at least get excellent video and very good audio, and fans will be pleased that the disc is not bare-bones, even if the numerous extras are, in reality, fairly tiny and throwaway. Certainly those who enjoyed the movie will not be disappointed by the release, but for those who are considering giving it a chance, I’d recommend a rental before you risk a blind buy.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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