Assassination of a High School President
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Index 43 reviews in total 

73 out of 109 people found the following review useful:

Completely awesome

Author: cremins03 from United States
1 October 2008

I saw this film at Sundance at the Salt Lake screening. I have to say I was really surprised by how much I liked it. This is NOT your typical high school movie. It's the antidote to say movies like High School Musical. I'd call it Rushmore meets the Usual Suspects or John Hughes on acid or something. The characters were great, Bruce Willis was excellent and most of all it was absolutely, laugh out loud hilarious. I can't believe this film hasn't come out yet. I'm really looking forward to seeing it again. I get the feeling it could go on to become one of those Lebowski type comedies. There was so much stuff packed in there that it should get better every time you see it.

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45 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

The name's Bobby Funke...I write for the paper

Author: kal07
5 October 2009

"The name's Bobby Funke...I write for the paper" as soon as this dialogue came up in the opening few minutes, I thought hmm...maybe this film would be interesting. As it turned out, after about 90 minutes from that time, I think it was an interesting film but not entirely. As ambiguous as this sounds, the film almost entirely was carried off by the good performance from its lead Reece Thompson. He was just about perfect for the role of Funke.

The pace of the film is very nice and the story{mystery} unveils nicely. Though predictable at times, the screenplay never gave up all its cards before the climax. The music was well suited and the side characters did their job well except for a few.

Now the biggest culprit is Mischa Barton. For some reason she was never convincing enough and always appeared very phony. Least to say she didn't immerse herself into the character. Though we all know she is not famous for her acting skills, she didn't put her 100% behind the role. For all her fans there is some good news...she shows off her boobs in this film.

Now, this film is no Oscar winner or a GEM or one of the best ever and I'm positive the film-maker never intended it to be BUT its quite enjoyable if you can look beyond Mischa Barton and to a small extent the predictability of the plot. I must add, it has quite a few funny moments. The dialogue is good at some instants and horrible at others.

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33 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Great adaptation of Chinatown set in High School

Author: cadillac20 from Culver City, California
11 October 2009

While some may compare this to Brick, the 2005 similarly-set High School film noir, Assassination is much more comparable to Chinatown, which is clearly it's biggest influence. In fact, you'll see lines lifted right out of the film. But is it good? Yes, actually, it's quite good. Clearly, the filmmakers here were not taking this quite as seriously as either Brick or Chinatown, and it pays off with a fun, funny, sometime campy, film noir with a good mystery and some well acted roles.

The writing presents a stylish script with dialogue that is often funny and over the top. Bruce Willis is especially mentionable as a veteran-turned-principle who pines over his time spent in the military taking out bad guys and his hate for chewing gum. He's perfectly over the top. Reece Thompson also does a great job as the lead character, playing up the gumshoe role with relish. It's fun to see him be him and follow him on his journey.

One line in the film goes something like "high school is simple...yet it's not." The film does a particularly good job of showing this throughout in scenes that inspire laughs. We have a suspension hall that acts like a prison, and is presented in such a way as to inspire this comparison. We have an assassination attempt that...well, I won't spoil it. But suffice to say, this scene in particular demonstrates exactly what I am talking about. It's a good revelation of how high school can be: in the end it seems simple, but while in, high school can be anything but.

The film is very entertaining and should be fun for anyone looking for a good noir. It's not serious like it's inspirations, but it does contain a good mystery, some good acting stints, and some fun dialogue. I recommend it for anyone looking for something slightly different to watch on a Saturday night.

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36 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

A slamdunked cult classic with smarts to spare...

Author: guringo
4 October 2009

It's the coming-of-age of a gum-chewing gumshoe, from geek to sleek, in the 'meanhalls' of the school that never sleeps. And as such, it's one hilarious genre-spoof that actually works on all levels, the kind that when you're not laughing out right you're grinning from ear to ear. I'd even say it drives a stake thru Twi'blight, especially in regards to the hyper-true-love-of-the-super-mature-movie-teens.

I loved the 'school as prison' backdrop- Shawshank meets Hamlet 2 sort of thing, but neither over-the-top nor under-fed. The bad guys are neither psychotic nor one-dimensional while the good guys (and gal), well, they're not angels and this, again, is pitch-perfect and so refreshing compared to the usual Hollywood polarization.. and kudos on the editing, the dialogue, the pace - everything really.

One questionable casting choice however is Mischa Barton. I can't seem to come up with a better alternative and she is OK but nothing more -as opposed to the rest of the cast. She seems to have some kind of acting-facial-paralysis, very noticeable in her last scene, and for her sake, I hope she learns to transcend this botox-haze she shares with Kirsten Dunst among others. But this is truly a minor (possible) blemish in an otherwise awesome little movie where the whodunnit is somewhat gratuitous but then, you wouldn't want it any other way.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A Mixed Bag

Author: gradyharp from United States
7 April 2011

ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT is a big step above most of the teen movies that focus on potty mouth dialogue and absurd situations just to get laughs. Writers Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski have come up with a script that is sometimes smart but ultimately full of holes in deciding where it wants to take the original premise of this high school movie. Director Brett Simon seems to sort of let the movie flow as it develops, preventing a tight telling of a story with potential.

Bobby Funke (Reece Thompson, a promising new talent) is a nerdy newspaper reporter who is never able to finish a story. Student Body President/basketball star/ladies' man Paul Moore (Patrick Taylor) seems to have everything Bobby wants, including the attention of the school's most beautiful girl Francesca (Mischa Barton). As fortune would have it a crime happens - the SATs are stolen from the office of Principal Kirkpatrick (Bruce Willis playing Bruce Willis) and Booby is on the investigation and story, a story that points to Paul as the perpetrator. Bobby's nerdiness is transformed by his attention and by the affections of Francesca, and soon the school collapses under the cloud of the crime. It is how the 'crime' is inspected and resolved that ends the film. For Bobby Funke it is a matter of 'What price glory'.

The cast is fresh and it is a pleasure to see some new faces with promise. Whether it is the director's or the sound mixer's fault, much of the dialogue is swallowed by the soundtrack, a problem thankfully solved by turning on the subtitles. This is a movie with promise from all involved and it will be interesting to see if it has an impact on teen flick quality.

Grady Harp

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A quirky, fun, little gem of a movie

Author: Tcarts76 from United States
27 September 2012

I had never heard of this movie and found it laying around in one of my friends large DVD collections. After reading the back I thought I would hate it. I don't know why I torture myself watching movies that I think are going to make me cry to the gods to stop people from making these horrible artsy films, but I do. It seemed like a low budget stylized sort of art film that managed to pull in some mid level stars and in aging one in Bruce Willis. Not my kind of film. I was wrong!(apparently ignoring my gut turns out to be a good idea, but usually it's still torture)

This was really a fun quirky, little movie that I actually enjoyed. The story is fairly sophomoric. A high school cheating scandal that the student newspaper, and the grizzled old war veteran Principal (Bruce Willis) are trying to get to the bottom of.

The acting in this one is admittedly over the top, but that is the strength of this movie. It is suppose to be over the top which provides the humor throughout. Mischa Barton plays the pretty girl, so that was no stretch, Bruce Willis's tough guy image works wonderfully for his character as well.

I won't get into the whole plot/ storyline as anyone can read it above, but it was a pleasantly surprising, humorous story that I would definitely recommend. I am usually not even into this kind of movie but I really enjoyed it. It was much better than sitting through another stupid Harry Potter movie that's for sure.

So if you find yourself bored with nothing to watch, pop this fun little gem in the DVD player. Its a fun one that I think is definitely underrated and worth a view.

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22 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Hilariously serious high school noir

Author: Andrew DiMonte (NoArrow) from My House, Canada
17 November 2009

"Assassination of a High School President" is a pleasant surprise: a high school noir comedy where the joke is how seriously it takes itself. It never leaves the classroom - nothing that happens in it is too ridiculous - but it maintains a consistent sense of epic importance that successfully subverts, and is subverted by, its own fairly mundane story. On that level it's sort of brilliant; we understand how important the events of the story are to the characters while never losing track of how comically meager they are to us, the seasoned moviegoers. Now, just reading that, I can't imagine a more effective way of representing secondary school.

The story is this: (wannabe) star reporter of the school newspaper Bobby Funke (Reece Thompson) gets a puff piece on student body president Paul More (Patrick Taylor) at the same time a stack of SATs are stolen right out of Principal Kirpatrick's (Bruce Willis) office. Kirpatrick appoints Bobby as his head investigator and it turns out the two stories are deeply connected. More than that I will not say, although keep in mind this film is closer to Wes Anderson than James M. Cain.

And another thing it isn't is Rian Johnson's "Brick." Its 2005 genre predecessor and "Miller's Crossing" rip-off, that was the film where Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a down-and-out student playing two high school gangs against each other. It's the movie this one has been most compared to, unfavourably, although the two are nothing alike. "Brick" was a film of dead weight, a leaden "drama" with aged and dreary characters and a story meant to confuse and depress you. It was a gangly, nearly incomprehensible movie that's gained cult status mainly, I think, because most of its fans don't understand it. It was a movie with a story and setting that never came together, and with a sensibility and technique more heavy-handed than the worst Hollywood message movie.

"Assassination" just wants to make you laugh, and, in the process, laugh off the petty issues that plague high school life (I can see it being almost therapeutic for kids facing those problems today). It sparkles with an understated wit and has a real atmosphere to it; with stylish, brooding cinematography and dialogue that's one third noirspeak and two thirds teenage dirty-mindedness. It never plays above or below its own maturity level, at once broadly funny and fiendishly clever.

It's also a showcase for a host of young actors who are likely to become the Steve Buscemis and Robert Downey Jr.'s of their generation. Reece Thompson is note-perfect as Bobby, a classically straightlaced gumshoe-in-training who can't seem to catch a break. He holds the movie on his back and shows some real star power. Taylor is hilarious as the air-headed president, and Bobby's three stoner friends - Tanya Fischer, Luke Grimes and Vincent Piazza - inject their scenes with a put-upon camaraderie. Mischa Barton, Adam Pally and Melonie Diaz also shine.

The old pro's have a lot of fun with the material: Willis, Kathryn Morris and Michael Rapaport. Willis is particularly strong as the scene-stealing principal. He's a deadly serious, tough-as-nails man who can't stop talking about his tour of duty in the Gulf War - perhaps not the most appropriate coaching technique for a group of adolescents. His dialogue is spotless, timing perfect and intensity - palpable. Every scene he appears in elevates the material to a heightened level of pulp/pop culture craziness; you almost can't believe that's actually Bruce Willis standing there, having so much fun, almost impersonating himself. I'd go so far as to say Willis deserves a Supporting Actor nomination for his work here.

It's an effective comedy and an interesting mystery. It has a lot of fun with its premise instead of sticking to it with an almost dutiful monogamy like "Brick" did. It's well-made enough to make its director, Brent Simon, someone to watch out for. It's not perfect, the conclusion lacks some umph, but that only makes sense considering the film's last line: "Forget it Bobby, it's High School." 8/10

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Poor Movie

Author: Ahmed Dawod from Egypt
28 January 2012

I was encouraged to watch this as it is classified as comedy here on IMDb. And I'm in love with Comedy movies. So I got the movie and watched it and for my disappointment I closed it from the half of the movie. I didn't find any comedy in the movie nor any action.

I really regretted watching this movie as it was very boring, I could hardly complete it again after closing it twice in the middle. The story is not that cool, it is not hilarious as some members reviewed it and it is not so interesting.

I recommend not wasting your time watching this movie and I don't know how it got more than 6 rating stars.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

High School Confidential. . .and Wackiness

Author: madbandit20002000 from Queens, New York, USA
9 July 2010

Either it's heaven or hell, the four years of high school define us, like it or not, preparing us for adulthood. Some of us are already "old" by that time and the lead hero, Bobby Funke, of the breezy, smart aleck school satire/mystery/coming-of-age opus, "Assassination Of a High School President", is definitely one of them.

If he's not correcting the way people pronouncing his last name (the "e" is silent); noting his grade status, despite his baby face (sophomore); trying (and failing) to get his driver's license or downplaying the event of him being tied to a giant penis made out of snow (!), Funke (Reece Daniel Thompson of "Rocket Science") is trying to be a wunderkind newshound at the Catholic high school he attends, St. Donovan. Problem is he hasn't finished a piece.

So, the paper's editor (spunky Melonie Diaz of "Raising Victor Vargas") assigns Funke to do a piece on class prez/basketball player Paul Moore (Patrick Taylor). Moore's basically a himbo, but also becomes a patsy when the SAT tests scores are stolen from the principal's office. Seeing himself akin to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Funke rolls with the story and becomes a hero. He even gets the amorous respect of Moore's ex-girl, the popular Francesa Fachini (Mischa Barton of "The O.C.").

However, things are more sinister, especially involving Moore's successor/Francesa's step-sib, handsome but sleazy Marlon Piazza (Luke Grimes of the TV drama, "Brothers and Sisters") and that puts Funke is a tight squeeze between high school popularity and journalistic integrity.

An entry at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, "Assassination" is a dark, witty romp that plays on the inanities of high school by putting them in a mystery/pulp noir bag. Sure, "Brick" did it before, but "Assassination" has more humor, subtle and loud, thanks to first-time feature film helmer Brett Simon (did some music videos) and tyro scribes Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski (both were crew members on "South Park").

A younger version of Tom Cruise but with likable geekiness, Thompson shines with an old man complex (he's probably the only student who knows who the aforementioned reporters are!). He wants to belong, but the environment's twisted and immature, despite it being a Catholic high school. Barton's pretty durable in the junior femme fatale role, not deserving the attacks from people who probably never went to an acting class.

The surprise here's Bruce Willis (how the **** did he get in this and you know what he's been in, mother******) as the school's hard ass principal, war vet Jared T. Kirkpatrick, who has a zero-tolerance policy against gum chewing and reminisces about his Gulf War days. Like Adam Baldwin's John Casey of "Chuck", Kirkpatrick's a mentally jittery trigger who resents being in a mundane workplace, infested with social scofflaws.

Some of said individuals help with Funke's investigation, including perverts Dutch Middleton (Joe Perrino) and Ricky Delacruz (Vincent Piazza, also of "Science" and "Boardwalk Empire") and jailbait stripper Sam Landis (Cameron Diaz-like Tanya Fischer of the new TV version of "The Defenders").

The faculty's nuts too. Josh Pais ("Teeth") is a Spanish-language teacher who has an inappropriate lust over the students. Nurse Platt (Kath Morris of "Cold Case") is no different but more hippie-like. Michael Rappaport ("Hitch", "Big Fan") is an overgrown teenager of a basketball coach who's actually a English teacher. The inmates have taken over, people.

With cleverness and echoes from "Chinatown", "Rushmore", "The Usual Suspects" and "Assassin of Youth", "Assassination" is a nice nutty take on how high school can be both cruel and hysterical. It's a nice movie to watch on a Saturday night, if nothing's good on the TV.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Might as well be an audio book

Author: bowmanblue from United Kingdom
24 October 2014

I don't know what's wrong with Bruce Willis. He seems to be starring in more and more of these 'straight to DVD' films these days. I can't see him needing the money while he's still making Die Hard films, so why does he do it? Here, like so many other (non cinema) films, he puts his face on the front cover of the DVD box and various promotional material to lure people like me into thinking he's in it for more than a few minutes. In truth, his part is little more than an extended cameo.

The film is about a school that is entirely populated by stereotypes. The nerdy boy likes the hot girl. There are arrogant jocks and a host of other clichés. Then, when some test papers are stolen, the hot girl wants the nerdy boy to investigate for the school newspaper. So follows a sort of 'detective story' only with no actual detectives and in a school instead of a seedy criminal underworld. Plus the lead character narrates constantly. If he walks into a gym, he tells you he's going to walk into a gym then goes on to list every person taking part in a physical activity inside. Seriously, it was like watching a film with the director's commentary on! I was watching this film and it's never a good sign when you start wondering how long it's been on for. I guessed 45 minutes. I checked on the DVD timer and found I'd only watched 15 minutes. I'm afraid I couldn't last any more than 30 minutes of this.

Maybe it got better after that and, if I did myself and the film a disservice, I apologise. But the opening half an hour was so dull, full of clichés and over-narration, I just couldn't bring myself to watch it any more.

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