School for Scoundrels (2006) Preview

Jamie, Patrick and the rest of the team backflip their way into the Fortress. Halfway through his third backflip, however, Patrick notices something is off. “Stop! Stop backflipping!” he yells and once everyone is reoriented they notice the same thing. The halls of the school building are completely empty. Their steps ring out in the empty hallways until they finally reach a set of heavy steel doors. Jamie and Patrick fling them open, instantly bathes in an eerie blue light emanating from the doorway. They gasp. They find themselves in the ethereal beauty of a submarine pen. A submarine pen? On the grounds of the school? But why? Suddenly they begin to hear the cracking sounds of slow clapping and from behind the submarine emerges Jamie and Patrick themselves. But it can’t be, can it? “No, my sweet Bad Movie Twins, you haven’t been betrayed by yourselves. We have won!” the Jamie double cackles, before they both pull off their latex masks. Jamie and Patrick aren’t surprised to see it’s actually two Mikey Time Cops. The Time Cops pull their guns and laugh maniacally, but Jamie and Patrick just smirk. “Sure, sure, you’re gonna shoot,” Patrick says before they both theatrically motion for one of them to kick the other in the testicles. And yet nothing happens. “Oh shit,” Jamie mutters, “are you both bad Mikey Time Cops?” They nod, confused as to what else they would be. This looks like the end for our heroes. But wait! Suddenly there is a loud pop and from a hole in the sky a large machine falls and crushes the bad Mikey’s. Out from the steaming time machine walks Lou Cash. “You did it you scoundrels!” he screams, much to the delight and confusion of everyone there. That’s right! We are watching School for Scoundrels as a transition to the next cycle: Films adapted from European films a.k.a. Merde. We got so very close to getting a roster of all French films, but could resist a couple out of the box. So let’s sit back and enjoy School for Scoundrels adapted from the 1960 British film, School for Scoundrels. Let’s go! 

School for Scoundrels (2006) – BMeTric: 33.2; Notability: 55

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 24.8%; Notability: top 8.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 27.1%; Higher BMeT: Date Movie, The Wicker Man, Ultraviolet, Pledge This!, Little Man, Basic Instinct 2, Material Girls, Zoom, Big Momma’s House 2, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Black Christmas, The Marine, The Shaggy Dog, DOA: Dead or Alive, Pulse, Phat Girlz, Eragon, Scary Movie 4, The Grudge 2, Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, and 42 more; Higher Notability: Poseidon, The Wild, The Da Vinci Code, Eragon, Scary Movie 4, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Happily N’Ever After, Click, The Pink Panther, Smokin’ Aces, The Guardian, The Black Dahlia, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Zoom, The Shaggy Dog, A Good Year, Lady in the Water, Factory Girl, All the King’s Men; Lower RT: The Contract, Kiss Me Again, Karla, Pledge This!, Material Girls, Happily N’Ever After, The Covenant, Zoom, Big Momma’s House 2, Deck the Halls, Basic Instinct 2, Date Movie, Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, Gray Matters, Ultraviolet, When a Stranger Calls, See No Evil, Annapolis, Stay Alive, Pulse, and 47 more; Notes: Way higher IMDb rating that I expected, but sticking nicely below/around 6.0. The Notability is off the chain though! Solid for a comedy.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Nerdy guy who lets people step all over him is recruited by a mysterious entrepreneur who runs a class for worms in need of turning. But our would-be hero isn’t prepared for his “teacher” to start playing dirty tricks on him. Most contemporary comedies are too crude for our taste, but this one is terminally bland and never takes off as it repeatedly promises to do. Remake of the 1960 British comedy.

(Interesting. I think if this is made today it is probably very heartfelt, while also being crude (but in a way that teaches the hero that it is worth it not to be, you know?). I am surprised though, I would have figured this was just the right year to have a horrible no-good remake of a film like School for Scoundrels that aged horribly.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh-nQKB8fwg/

(A hard r in the trailer itself really is a bold move. The mid-00s were a wild time. Also the film looks aggressively not funny.)

DirectorsTodd Phillips – ( Known For: Joker; The Hangover; War Dogs; Road Trip; Old School; Starsky & Hutch; Future BMT: The Hangover Part II; Due Date; The Hangover Part III; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Apparently he originally directed Borat, but quit due to creative differences with Cohen.)

WritersTodd Phillips – ( Known For: Joker; War Dogs; Road Trip; Old School; Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan; Starsky & Hutch; Future BMT: The Hangover Part II; Due Date; The Hangover Part III; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Nominated for four Oscars, three for Joker, and one for the original Borat.)

Scot Armstrong – ( Known For: Road Trip; Old School; Starsky & Hutch; Search Party; Future BMT: The Heartbreak Kid; The Hangover Part II; Semi-Pro; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Wrote some sort of remake of Problem Child? There isn’t even a poster on IMDb, so I can’t even make fun of that.)

Hal E. Chester – ( Known For: Curse of the Demon; School for Scoundrels; The Weapon; Crashout; Joe Palooka, Champ; Gentleman Joe Palooka; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Wrote the original. Was uncredited here, which is interesting since he was somehow still alive when this was made! He was 85 years old.)

Patricia Moyes – ( Known For: School for Scoundrels; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Irish, and similarly wrote the original. Died in 2000, so didn’t get to see this made.)

Stephen Potter – ( Known For: School for Scoundrels; The Shipbuilders; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Wrote the original novels that the original film was based on. Obviously wasn’t alive for this film, he would have been 106. That would have been a trick. He died in 1969.)

ActorsBilly Bob Thornton – ( Known For: Tombstone; Love Actually; Princess Mononoke; Blood In, Blood Out; Monster’s Ball; Friday Night Lights; Sling Blade; The Judge; Puss in Boots; Dead Man; The Informers; A Simple Plan; The Baytown Outlaws; U Turn; Faster; The Man Who Wasn’t There; Bad Santa; Intolerable Cruelty; Parkland; Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; Future BMT: London Fields; Indecent Proposal; Entourage; Eagle Eye; Our Brand Is Crisis; The Alamo; Bad Santa 2; BMT: Armageddon; Going Overboard; On Deadly Ground; School for Scoundrels; Mr. Woodcock; Notes: From Arkansas, won an Oscar for writing Sling Blade. Has been married six times, including to Angelina Jolie famously.)

Jon Heder – ( Known For: Napoleon Dynamite; Just Like Heaven; Blades of Glory; Monster House; Surf’s Up; Reality; The Sasquatch Gang; Walt Before Mickey; Mama’s Boy; For Ellen; Life Happens; Christmas Eve; Ghost Team; Weepah Way for Now; Bling; Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit; The Tiger Hunter; Unexpected Race; The Little Penguin Pororo’s Racing Adventure; Moving McAllister; BMT: The Benchwarmers; When in Rome; School for Scoundrels; Notes: Became famous for Napoleon Dynamite. Does a lot of voice acting these days.)

Jacinda Barrett – ( Known For: The Last Kiss; Hide and Seek; Middle Men; New York, I Love You; The Human Stain; The Namesake; Ladder 49; Campfire Tales; Ripley Under Ground; Seven in Heaven; Matching Jack; So B. It; BMT: Poseidon; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Urban Legends: Final Cut; School for Scoundrels; Notes: From Australia, and was on the fourth season of The Real World, which took place in London. Hasn’t done much since the show Bloodline ended in 2017.)

Budget/Gross – $35,000,000 / Domestic: $17,807,569 (Worldwide: $24,470,583)

(Not great at all. And given the absurdly stacked comedy cast this film sports, that budget makes perfect sense.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (36/138): School for Scoundrels squanders its talented cast with a formulaic, unfocused attempt at a romantic comedy that’s neither romantic nor funny.

(A talented cast indeed. Just watch the trailer. David Cross, Paul Sheer, Matt Walsh, etc.! It is crazy good.)

Reviewer Highlight: It feels as if director Phillips was scrounging desperately for morsels with comic potential and came up empty-handed. – Claudia Puig, USA Today

Poster – Howls for Hooligans

(Wow, that’s a bad poster. Like F level bad. Funny cause that’s not typically the poster I think of for the film, but sometimes it’s difficult to figure what was really used to advertise. There are so many words. But fine, the font has a little vim and vigor so it’s a D.)

Tagline(s) – Too nice? Too honest? Too you? Help is on the way. (B)

(It’s too long, but otherwise it’s actually not bad in concept. Like it’s got a rule of three in there. Also it is a little clever curveball. All good things and then saying don’t worry, this asshole will help you. Just needed to figure out a way to tighten it up and make it flow.)

Keyword(s) – dimension

Top 10: Sin City (2005), Spectre (2015), The Others (2001), Scream (1996), Equilibrium (2002), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The Mist (2007), Death Proof (2007), 1408 (2007), Scary Movie (2000)

Future BMT: 86.6 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), 82.8 Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011), 77.5 Who’s Your Caddy? (2007), 77.0 Superhero Movie (2008), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 68.6 Pulse (2006), 66.9 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 64.9 Scary Movie 4 (2006), 61.8 Cursed (2005), 59.0 Apollo 18 (2011)

BMT: Scary Movie V (2013), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), Halloween II (2009), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), My Boss’s Daughter (2003), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Dracula 2000 (2000), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998), Phantoms (1998), Boys and Girls (2000), Texas Rangers (2001), Reindeer Games (2000), Halloween (2007), School for Scoundrels (2006), Fortress (1992), Senseless (1998), Impostor (2001), Mindhunters (2004)

Best Options (European Remake): 33.2 School for Scoundrels (2006)

(Oh yeah! The only one available baby! Indeed we had to move School for Scoundrels from the comedy spot because it needed to be here. It is a bit insane just how many Dimension films we have left. We could almost make a whole new cycle from it … might be missing a romance. Unclear.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michael Clarke Duncan is No. 5 billed in School for Scoundrels and No. 4 billed in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (5 + 4) + (2 + 2) = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Ben Stiller’s cameo was shot in two days in California because he was unable to fly to New York for filming, due to a scheduling conflict.

Director Todd Phillips first offered the lead role to Howard Stern (Phillips is a big Stern fan), but Stern had to turn it down because he was about to leave terrestrial radio for satellite radio and did not have the time to film a movie. The role eventually went to Billy Bob Thornton.

Diego (Horatio Sanz) says, “Things are going to change, I can feel it,” quoting Beck’s song, “Loser.”

Aziz Ansari’s unnamed character’s only dialogue is a short scene with fellow classmate Ernie (Jon Glaser). The two actors would later have major roles in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” as Tom Haverford and Councilman Jeremy Jamm respectively.

To date, this is Todd Phillips’s only movie that isn’t distributed by DreamWorks or Warner Bros.

Dr. P’s rules “From the Bar to your Bed” are: Be dangerous, it’s cool. No compliments, *ever*. Always get the girl alone. Wherever you are, the place is lame! Relate to her. Lie, lie, and lie some more. (Gross)

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