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More Movies You May Have Missed

November 6, 2010

As you may have guessed if you read my previous film reviews, I am a cinema enthusiast.  The Denver Film Fest is in town, but here are some movies you probably didn’t, and won’t see there.  If you look carefully, however, you might be able to catch some of them in Denver’s Far Northeast.

Teacher from the Black Lagoon

I was surprised there wasn’t a larger crowd at this one.  Given the current social climate regarding teachers, I would have expected a larger turnout.   Viewers may have been detracted by the story’s  stale, predictable plot.  This is a story in which the teacher is bad, B-A-D, bad, and has only sinister motives regarding the children under his tutelage.  Also, he is a union member so he spends his time on frivolous pursuits (eating of bon-bons, watching soap operas, and the like) instead of instructing.   Featuring Nicolas Cage and an adorably sassy ensemble of young newcomers who ferret out the truth about their teacher and expose it to the community.  I did enjoy the final, Scooby Doo-inspired scene, in which students pull the mask off the teacher, revealing a reptilian head.  “I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you darn kids!” scowls the teacher as he is hauled off by Arne Duncan.

The Principal and the Pauper

A plucky young teacher goes into the most challenging of urban schools armed with a college degree and the confidence that she can make a difference.  Before long, she realizes that things aren’t quite as simple as she had pictured.  To make matters worse, she slowly realizes that her principal is ineffective as a leader, uninformed about current practice, and even somewhat lecherous.  She then learns that this drain on the system makes  2-3 times the salary of most of the teachers working directly with students.  There is an obligatory scene of the young lass crying in her beer as she realizes that life is unfair, just after the sneering principal splashes her with a mud puddle as he cruises by in his Lexus.  Local versions available nationwide. Not worth the price of admission but plenty of people seem to be buying tickets.

The Good Teacher

This movie was popular in the not-so-distant past but the current version is not getting much attention.  It’s about a hard-working, well-intentioned teacher who rises to meet the needs of her 30 students, despite the challenges presented by such factors as excessive workload, inadequate resources, and difficult home-lives that affect some of the students. It’s not an action film, exactly, nor is it a comedy, although there are elements of both.  It would probably best be described as a naturalistic story that follows a year-in-the-life of a teacher.  I am afraid that the nation’s increasing appetite for faux-called reality TV will limit this selection’s box office appeal.   That’s a pity, because it is a story worth watching.

Those are my impressions of the latest films but judge for yourselves. Please share any titles that I might have missed.  I’m almost always up for a movie!


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