Double Feature Duel:
An Inconvenient Truth vs. Bad Teacher
Bout #8: The bout that rounds out the Philadelphia Quadrant pits another documentary against a narrative. This has not been good for documentaries in the past. And if An Inconvenient Truth loses to Bad Teacher, something is broken.
Title: I love the subtle confidence of “An Inconvenient Truth” and its implications in the politics of prioritizing the information our government is willing to allow us to know. Bad Teacher hits us over the head in case we’re dumb. Which their clientele is. (Point, Inconvenient Truth, 1-0)
Funnier: Sure, there were moments in the .pptx that were amusing, but a movie of a Powerpoint presentation, however globally significant, loses to throwing dodge balls at the faces of helpless children. (Point, Bad Teacher 1-1)
Better Turn: Geez. I guess we’ll call the part where Cameron Diaz finds out about the bonus for her kid’s performance on a test the turn, since it gave her a goal. And though it exists, where it’s hard to really pinpoint a turn at all in the PPT, I still can’t give it a point, because it didn’t really have one. (Point, Inconvenient Truth 2-1)
Better Ending: In Bad Teacher, Diaz realizes she was a gold-digging bitch and decides instead to just be a bitch. An Inconvenient Truth all but proves that we’re all going to die if we don’t change something. (Point, Inconvenient Truth 3-1)
Better Message: Even if running unopposed, I wouldn’t vote for Bad Teacher here. It teaches that you can cheat, lie, do drugs and treat people horribly as long as you pin it on somebody else who is actually trying to help people in this world. (Point, Inconvenient Truth 4-1)
Better Acting: An Inconvenient Truth had too much Gore for me (ha!). And besides the greatest hits of all the sitcom supporting actors, I enjoyed this movie mostly to see the maturation of Justin Timberlake’s acting ability, stepping into a role where he was an antagonist of sorts. And he rocked it. And a documentary should never win this category. (Point, Bad Teacher 4-2)
More Creative: Toss up! Bad Teacher is mostly made in the same formula that Hollywood has found to work in many many other movies. But An Inconvenient Truth was a PPT presentation with a sprinkle of exposition into the life of Al Gore. However, the scene where Jason Segal exposes Timberlake as an idiot is pretty awesome. (Point, Bad Teacher 4-3)
Poster: The smokestacks that blow out smoke in the shape of a hurricane, indicating that what we do really does affect the world we live in. It’s brilliant. Probably the best in this round of 16. Throw into that the tagline “By far the most terrifying movie you will ever see” and you got my vote. (Point, Inconvenient Truth 5-3)
Watch again: I will hopefully never watch Bad Teacher again, whereas I want to see An Inconvenient Truth again already. It had a lot of information and unlike Inside Job, I could understand more than 5% of it. (Point, Inconvenient Truth 6-3)
Overall: Good for you, documentary. It can happen. If you are up against a particularly bad movie. Bug scale: An Inconvenient Truth – 7.5 bugs; Bad Teacher – 3 bugs.