**UPDATED** A new Muppets film coming; but no Jason Segal!?!?

The Vulture is reporting that a deal has been reached with James Bobbin, director of The Muppets and original co-writer Nicholas Stoller to begin writing a script for a sequel. Unfortunately, the story also points out that the deal did not include Jason Segal as co-writer. This is disappointing news because Jason Segal was, in my opinion, the force behind getting The Muppets made. Segal made no attempt to hide his love of The Muppets and his love of the characters came through on screen. Hopefully, Segal will still come back to reprise his role from the film. I’d be happy to see him return.

Check out the full story from The Vulture here.

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Bad Teacher (2011) – review

Director: Jake Kasdan

Cameron Diaz – Elizabeth Halsey
Lucy Punch – Amy Squirrel
Justin Timberlake – Scott Delacorte
Jason Segal – Russell Gettis

Running time: 92 minutes

There have been many memorable acting performances in which teachers are portrayed: Edward J. Olmos as Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver; Michelle Pfeiffer as Louanne Johnson in Dangerous Minds; and Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society just to name a few. Add Cameron Diaz as Elizabeth Halsey in Bad Teacher to that list. All four had a strong influence on their students; Escalante, Johnson and Keating were positive influences, whereas Halsey’s influence is enough to make one question a school’s hiring practice. She’s lazy, disinterested in her students, and clearly has one goal in mind…to find a rich a man that will take care of her. If that’s not influencing your kid on how not to turn out, I don’t know what is.

The cast of Bad Teacher is terrific, from top to bottom. Cameron Diaz is a riot throughout the movie, whether she’s being seductive, devious or a cold hearted bitch. Elizabeth Halsey is someone easy for her colleagues to dislike, but as a viewer I found myself rooting for her. Diaz appears to genuinely enjoy the role she’s been cast in. Justin Timberlake looks and acts the part of a geek, which appeared to be the intended result. J.T. is a rising star in film, and with his good looks, charisma and talent is capable of standout performances in anything he does; I can’t say that he’s very memorable, but he is convincing in the part. I was unfamiliar with Lucy Punch, but thought she really held her own surrounded by a talented and experienced cast. The back and forth between Punch’s Amy Squirrel, the ‘good teacher’, and Diaz’s Halsey is extremely entertaining and is what drives the film. Jason Segal isn’t in the movie very much, but when on screen he adds additional hilarity in a subdued way. Minor supporting roles played by John Michael Higgins and Phyllis Smith assist in drawing attention to the fun.

Bad Teacher

The closest comparison to Bad Teacher I could think of was Bad Santa. The difference being that I felt Bad Santa was excessive in its use of profanities. There would be cursing when there just wasn’t a reason or need for it. In Bad Teacher, the profanity and raunchiness were hysterical regardless of how over the top. There’s one particular scene that comes close, but it’s done with purpose to further the story. There are easily going to be people who find this type of movie offensive or excessive. I’m just not one of them. I’m confident that with a weaker cast that Bad Teacher would have just been a bad movie. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, and the strength of the film lies in the performers.

Oscar worthiness: none

Summer movie Grade: B- (an improved script would have made this a solid A)

Age appropriate: 18+ (not something you want to take your mom to though)