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

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_nnkx3ahyot7p3au92dnglf4pkwa

The Congress

"The Congress" is a roll call of the orgiastic pleasures and bountiful comforts that art provides, and, a reminder of what waits for us when…

Thumb_as_above_so_below_xlg

As Above, So Below

It's that rare found-footage film with a strong premise, a memorably eccentric style, and plenty of energy to burn. It's also poorly conceived, and hard…

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
Other Articles
Channel 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

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

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

Different rules apply

White privilege, lived.

Ferguson, Missouri: Third World America vs. Atlas Shrugged

An FFC looks at the horrible situation in Ferguson, MO and what it says about where we are and where we're going.

Interview: Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse on what Hollywood’s love of blockbusters means for the rest of us

An interview with Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse, author of “Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, ...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus