Weekend Movies: ‘Cars’ Spins Out While ‘Bad Teacher’ Gets An “A”

There’s no question as to which new movie will be the weekend box office winner. ‘Cars 2’ is the family-enticing sequel to Pixar’s major merchandise seller ‘Cars‘, while ‘Bad Teacher’ is a raunchy, irreverent and relentlessly crude adult comedy that resembles ‘Bad Santa‘. Pixar flicks are always huge money-makers, even though this one definitely does not deserve to be.

Like I said in my review, ‘Cars 2‘ is Pixar’s first full-blown let-down. As if the fact that the central character, Mater, is the most annoying character ever created by Pixar weren’t enough, the film’s dumb humor and predictable spy plot put the nail in the coffin. Time of death: six minutes. Nothing that happens after the sixth minute is of any entertainment value to anyone, save boys ages 2-10. Everyone else, kiss your $10 bucks goodbye – maybe even $15 if you paid for 3D.

Everything about ‘Cars 2’ reeks of product placement, as if the only reason the film was made was to fuel the ‘Cars’ merchandise that hands Disney billions of dollars. But the one noteworthy achievement of ‘Cars 2’ is its amazing 3D rendering. As I’ve publicly stated several times here in The Bonus View, I do not like 3D. For me to rave about a film’s 3D truly means something. While ‘Cars 2’ definitely falls onto my “Films I’ll Never Watch Again” list, I might have to break my own standard just to see the 3D again.

Bad Teacher‘ is like a much funnier version of ‘Bad Santa’. Take a drug-abusing, crude, blunt, vile alcoholic with the worst ambitions, place him/her in an unfitting profession that forces him/her to work with annoying kids, and you’re bound for comedic gold. ‘Bad Teacher’ successfully pulls off what ‘Bad Santa’ tried to. Watching Cameron Diaz transform into a nasty she-devil is hilarious. She has no tact, and bluntly tells both kids and adults why they suck and why they’ll never achieve their goals. She’s vain, shallow and superficial – not to mention comically brilliant.

For those who love Conan O’Brien and his zany antics, ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop‘ opens with a limited release this weekend. The documentary takes you through Conan’s life shortly after losing ‘The Tonight Show’ and hitting the road with his 44-show “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television” tour.

Anyone who loves Conan will love this film. For those who think he’s just “okay,” it might change opinions. But those who hate Conan will loathe every minute of ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop’. Literally, he is completely incapable of stopping – both his entertainment job and his comedy.


  1. Jane Morgan

    My dislike of Cameron Diaz adds another movie to the list of great films I will never watch.

    Looks like the only fun I’ll be getting out of this weekend is watching these two underperform at the box office, while rooting for ‘Midnight In Paris’ to remain in the Top 10.

    Why is ‘The Tree Of Life’ only playing on 1/10th of the number of screens as ‘The New World’ or ‘The Thin Red Line’? It that an indication of quality?

    • Onslaught

      Jane, the movie is going wide on July 8th, it’s still just in limited release for the time being. Nonetheless, it’s at least a better film than the New World.

    • Luke Hickman

      I, too, cannot stand Cameron Diaz – but she pulls it off very well. Give it a rental in the future. If you like crude comedies, it’ll make you laugh.

      I’m glad that ‘Midnight’ is officially Woody Allen’s highest grossing movie in 25 years. It’s brilliant! I’m glad you’re rooting for it too.

      If you couldn’t tell by my review, I tried to emphasize the audience that will “get” ‘Tree of Life.’ It’s one of those films that people will either fawn over or look at as purely pretentious. I don’t think quality has anything do with it, it’s the small audience that will actually see it.

      Where do you live? It’s been open for two weeks here in SLC, so I would have assumed that it’s almost everywhere by now (on at least one screen per city) since we get everything WAY late on the platform here.

      • Jane Morgan

        I live in the spleen of Wisconsin. ‘The Tree Of Life’ isn’t playing within 40 miles.

        I doubt we’ll have to wait long for the blu-ray. I hope the transfer is as good as ‘The Thin Red Line.’

        • Luke Hickman

          I really want to own ‘The Thin Red Line’, but part of really doesn’t want to buy it in case they release his super-star studded 5-hour original cut. I’m dying to see that version!

          • Jane Morgan

            The 5-hour original cut was a work print, assembled by his editor, without the director’s input. It matches the 200-page screenplay that’s floating online.

            Malick watched it, without sound, reel by reel, taking notes of which shots he liked, that he could pastiche into his official masterpiece.

            The mythical super-star cut will never be released, as it doesn’t represent the director’s intent. ‘The Thin Red Line’ blu-ray is the definitive edition.

  2. Oh and just about every family I know thoroughly enjoyed Cars 2, they all went to see it this weekend and had a great time with it, so there goes your “no entertainment value for anyone” idea 😉

    • I totally agree Chaz. Everyone I know lived Cars 2. And many have said it was better than the first.

      As for Rotten Tomatoes, If a movie has a low Tomatometer score but good Viewer score, it is a sure thing I will enjoy it.

      I find most movie reviewers HATE mainstream movies and love on independent & artsy crap.

      I actually heard a MALE reviewer on At The Movies, exclaim how some movie really made him feel like he was a poor pregnant Mexican girl living in poverty… (I believe it was A. O. Scott)

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        Most critics don’t hate mainstream movies. Most critics hate bad mainstream movies. When a mainstream movie — think Toy Story 3 — deserves to have boatloads of praise heaped upon it, the high majority of critics are happy to oblige. When a mainstream movie — think Cars 2 — is middling, and gives the audience next to nothing in terms of creativity or emotional resonance, the high majority of critics are not going to review it well.

        • Thats the problem, critics have no idea how to tell other people what THEY are going to think of a movie, since a critic cant just sit down and enjoy anything, they’ve trained themselves to pick apart every movie they watch, so something simple and entertaining like Cars just automatically gets chewed to pieces because they have to analyze it and compare it to every other Pixar movie out there, obviously with Cars 2 blowing away expected box office, the critics were completely wrong this time

          • EM

            Having been a critic and reviewer, I disagree with Chaz’s assessment. Analysis can decrease one’s enjoyment of a movie, but it can also increase enjoyment. To not analyze at all is to not be a Homo sapiens. The real problem with going by reviews is simply that different people react to movies differently. That’s not to say that reviews can’t be helpful, but they must be read, well, critically.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            Box office figures NEVER prove that crtics are wrong! (They don’t prove that they are right either, for that matter).

            If box office figures were an indicator of quality, the top 10 all time biggest movies list would look entirely different.

            Cars 2 didn’t really blow away expectations. If you read the write up about the weekend on boxofficemojo, you will see they weren’t all that impressed.

            I read a lot of prognostications putting it in the 65-70 million range before it came out.

            I don’t read reviews of movies to find out whether I will enjoy them. I read reviews to find out how critical opinions are describing the movie. I don’t think it is a critics job to tell anyone whether they will like a film or not. It’s their job to discuss the artistic merits, or lack thereof, of the film.

            Cars 2 must be compared to other Pixar films, especially its predecessor. This is the easiest way that someone can accurately discuss what it brings to the table from an inspiration standpoint. It just so happens to be lacking in many of the areas that other Pixar films really excelled. This means that most of the reviews are going to say many negative things about it. We — critics and general audiences alike — have come to expect nothing but the best from Pixar.

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