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I've seen the movie about nine or ten times, so naturally many of the
jokes--which I found hysterical at first--aren't that funny anymore. But I
don't think they could've done a much better job at spoofing high school
flicks like "Dangerous Minds," "Lean on Me," "The Blackboard Jungle" and "To
Sir, With Love." There are lots of witty moments that hit the
The jokes are not over-the-top, nor are they filthy and vomit-inducing like many recent spoofs. It's from the writers of "The Naked Gun" and the talent really shows.
Jon Lovitz is funny, like usual. Tia Carrerre has never looked hotter, and serves as great eye candy. Louise Fletcher is appropriately creepy as the principal, who is sort of like a female version of Joe Clark--she also roams the hallways with a baseball bat.
The young stars like Guillermo Diaz, Mekhi Pfieffer, Natasha Gregson Wagner and Brian Hooks are very good and their timing is just right.
I would probably praise this movie a lot more if I submitted this comment after my first viewing, but trust me--it's very funny! But, like many broad comedies of this kind, it's not as enjoyable on repeat viewings. After having seen the latest spoof, "Not Another Teen Movie," I'm able to appreciate this film a lot more. This is a spoof with wit and structure, and even has a few subtle in-jokes: the school is titled Marion Barry High. You get it?
My score: 7 (out of 10)
Jon Lovitz is possibly the most under-rated Saturday Night Live
alumnus. While Mike Myers, Adam Sandler and others have gone on to
bigger things, Lovitz has primarily been background fodder for the
other ex-cast members. And he's good at this, but he's also good on his
own - as this movie proves. High School High was the best school movie
parody of its time (before "Not Another Teen Movie"), taking "Dangerous
Minds" and making a plot we should actually care about and enjoy. And
we also have Tia Carrera (not to be confused with Asia Carrera).
Lovitz plays a history teacher who wants to turn a school full of unwanted students into a fleet of tomorrow's best and brightest. With help from his street smarts and an intense chicken race scene, he might just accomplish his goals. But, oh no, what happens when a rival gang steals the tests or the class valedictorian turns to dealing drugs? You're just going to have to watch and see. Recommended (unless you don't like Lovitz, but then you have no sense of humor anyway).
Although it was co-written by David Zucker, this comedy is more conventional than, say, the "Naked Gun" series; it doesn't have the same rapid-fire, relentless pacing. However, it does have a number of successful gags (when the teacher enters the ghetto area, his car radio will play ONLY rap music), and, of course, the gorgeous Tia Carrere....wow! (**)
A naive but dedicated educator (Jon Lovitz) decides to teach at the
roughest high school in L.A. and once he arrived at this new job, he
finds out the conditions at this school is tough, violent and students
don't want to know anything about higher education. This educator
befriends with an beautiful teacher (Tia Carrere) and an student (Mekhi
Phifer), who wants an education. But this student has troubles with his
previous gang members, especially with the leader (Guillermo Diaz). Who
still wants him to sell drugs on the streets. This educator also has
trouble with passionless principal (Oscar-Winner:Louise Fletcher) but
he finds a way to teach his most unlikely students and giving them hope
for education, which they never had before.
Directed by Canadian actor:Hart Bochner (PCU) made an amusing comedy that spoofs films like "Dangerous Minds", "Stand and Deliver", "The Deer Hunter" and other memorable films. Lovitz is extremely likable and he has some very big laughs in this silly comedy. Although this comic spoof is unusually realistic at other moments also. The film has an good message for any students for those who wants an education and to have a bright future but it is also hard, what it's wants to be. Ambitious to be sure but always watchable. Written by David Zucker (Airplane!, Baseketball, Ruthless People), Robert LoCash (CB4:The Movie, Naked Gun 33 1/3:The Final Insult) and Pat Proof (Hot Shots 1 & 2, Bachelor Party, Police Academy). (*** ½/*****).
Yes, I'll grant you this movie is less than perfect. The storyline doesn't
always make sense. Not every joke works, but the movie's batting average is
high enough to justify seeing it. And it's funnier to me than every Adam
Sandler/David Spade/Chris Farley movie I've ever seen, in part because the
three of them are nothing but annoying.
Jon Lovitz, on the other, is a likable everyman you can root for. He
carries the movie. Lovitz is an underrated comedian who always makes the
material seem better than it is. His delivery and timing help make this
movie enjoyable. And of course, Tia Carrere is absolutely gorgeous.
I'm not saying "High School High" is a classic. But I was amused by it. Like any Zucker production, the gags come fast and furious. They don't all work, but enough hit the target to make it worth seeing.
Spoofing 'Dangerous Minds,' 'Lean on Me,' and others, Jon Lovitz stars
in 'High School High' as an ambitious, optimistic teacher from a prep
school who wants to prove to his father that he is perfectly capable of
inspiring his students at an inner-city high school. While there, he
inadvertently becomes involved in a turf war between two rival students
and their idiotic posses.
Time capsule movie spoofs the mid 90s scene of hip hop has one gag after another, but is probably more destined for laughs for younger teenagers or first-time viewers. I caught this movie on cable after not having seen it in a few years and didn't think it was as funny as I first remember it. Best recommended for Jon Lovitz fans, as he always does well as the clueless doofus. With Tia Carerre, Louise Fletcher, Mekhi Phifer, and Guillermo Diaz.
Underrated but lovable film which takes all the cliche high-school movie scenes (many of them awful), mixes large dollops of political incorrectness, throws in sophomore humor only a guy could love, and tops it off with a fun good-guys-win-in-the-end finale. Ever affable Lovitz and ever gorgeous Carrere are an oddly suitable couple and Fletcher is filthy evil (and that's before you know the ending). Lots of furious gags in the Zucker tradition (the school nurse stapling condoms to info cards is an example). Look for `The Hughley's' Eric Allan Kramer as a muscle man who likes to frisk just a wee-bit too much.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Fans of comic satires like Airplane! and Naked Gun should find
themselves right at home with a 1996 comedy called High School High.
The film stars Jon Lovitz as Richard Clark, a teacher at a well- known private school run by his father, who, in order to get out from under his father's thumb, decides to take a job teaching at Marian Barry High School, a tough inner-city high school where most of the students are barely literate. The simple story finds Clark working to raise the GPA's of his students in order to win a citywide school contest while pursuing romance with an attractive co-worker (Tia Carerre).
This film takes pot-shots at films like The Blackboard Jungle and Dangerous Minds, but does it in an outrageous way, but that is to be expected from a film like this. As a matter of fact, David Zuker, one of the geniuses behind Airplane! was one of the contributors to the screenplay here.
As expected, the gags come fast and furious and Lovitz plays his role with just enough of a straight face that makes most of the silliness going on around him funnier than it should be (though Lovitz is no Robert Hays). There are some fun supporting turns from Louise Fletcher as the hard-nosed school principal, Mekhi Pfifer as a troubled student, and Guillermo Diaz as a gang leader, but it is the lightning-swift tempo of the comic gags that keeps this one relatively entertaining for most of its ride.
High School High is a very decent spoof comedy written by comedic
geniuses Pat Proft and David Zucker. You recognize all these ordinary
high school dramas like Dangerous Minds, The Substitute, High School
Confidential and many others. And off-course there's many very absurd
scenes that is very common to screenplays by Zucker.
Also you can enjoy performance of Jon Lovitz. His character Richard Clark isn't stupid and clumsy like we know all Leslie Nielsens characters but just naive. At the same time Lovitz doesn't leave a strike that he is taking it all too seriously. Louise Fletcher's and Tia Carrere's performances were in full seriousness at the same time. They both played like in usual roles in usual high school films.
High School High is a bit underrated but might not be as brilliant than the other films by Zucker/Craft but still it has it's moments.
Jon Lovitz uses his clueless schmuck persona to play a new teacher at
the prototypical inner city school, where violence and disorder are the
order of the day. The film is a parody of all the
idealistic-teacher-saves-the-bad-kids movies. Part of the fun is to
identify the film references as they occur, so I will not list them
here. Actually, this film also contains references to many other
(mostly teen) movies.
Don't expect Bergman or Scorcese. The humor is low brow and the sight gags are predictable. But the film is playful. And its predictability is part of the fun, as it recreates iconic moments in teen films and gives them a silly twist.
If you like "Airplane", this film may be for you. If you prefer "The Seventh Seal", you don't know who Jon Lovitz is, do you?
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