In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_zqamxwv5mxkk6w0xulw7pwsteof

Keanu

Keanu is fun, and even sometimes outright hilarious, but it doesn’t live up to the skills of its central performers.

Thumb_large_duksgz4wurypn9yyqplujgsjfrn

Ratchet & Clank

At some point, the movie has to rely on the things at which it previously poked fun.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

High School High

  |  

High School High” opens with a big laugh (“Produced by the producer formerly known as David Zucker”) and goes downhill. Zucker, associated with the “Naked Gun” movies, wants to do the same thing here for the urban high school genre, but the movie makes two mistakes: (1) It isn't very funny, and (2) it makes the crucial error of taking its story seriously and angling for a happy ending.



Jon Lovitz stars as Mr. Clark, a teacher at the posh Wellington Academy (the switchboard operator answers the phone with “Are you white?”). He finds himself at the inner- city Marion Barry High School, where on the statue out front the flag has been replaced with a crack pipe. Bumper stickers boast, “Proud Parent of a D-Average Student.” Career Day offers two choices, the Marines or the Michigan Militia.

His only friend in the school is Victoria, played by the fetching Tia Carrere as an optimist who believes in education and even in Mr. Clark. The classroom is the usual collection of rebellious louts, and of course the principal is an uncaring martinet (played by Louise Fletcher, the original Nurse Ratched). But through the help of one student who cares (Mekhi Phifer), Clark is able to inspire great changes.

Movies like this depend on wall-to-wall laughs, and more laughs on the back walls. In the best of the genre, almost everything is a joke in one way or another. Here the targets are easy, and after some potshots, the movie begins an inexorable drift into actually trying to follow its plot to its logical conclusion. You get the feeling with some of the Zucker films that after each draft, David he cracked a whip over the writers and said, “More! Fifty percent more gags!” Not here.



Popular Blog Posts

427: Ten years without Jen, twenty-six with

Reflections on a marriage, and what came after.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

A Deeper Look into Sam Mendes' "Spectre"

FFC Gerardo Valero reexamines the 2015 James Bond film "Spectre" after the dust has settled.

"The Hateful Eight" vs. "Pulp Fiction": The Devolution of Quentin Tarantino

FFC Gerardo Valero discusses the devolution of Quentin Tarantino by comparing The Hateful Eight to Pulp Fiction.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus