Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Learning Curve

You guys have got to check out this movie:

Girlfriend found it through Netflix because she's been on this "movies about teaching" kick, what with her recently acquired educator status and all. We've seen some good stuff and some bad stuff along that vein, but this movie, Learning Curve (sometimes called Detention) is by far the best thing we've ever seen. And by "the best thing we've ever seen" I mean, of course, "the most fascinatingly bad, yet we're unable to turn away, thing we've ever seen." Naturally.

Let me give you the horrifying facts of Learning Curve:

Fact #1: It features a protagonist, a substitute teacher named Mr. Walmsley, who's got the most aggressive Dad-beard in the history of movies. He's practically a Muppet from the nose down and it's disconcerting to watch him speak with the knowledge that he hasn't got an arm up his ass.

Fact #2: It's, at least at first, a movie about a school overrun by "bad kids." The bad kids are, of course, all played by actors so suburban-ly high-school-drama-department that they come off about as threatening as the cast of The O.C. The script's idea of acting tough consists entirely of swearing, throwing one, ONE, book and having a student with the most arrogant sideburns I've ever seen attempt to sexually assault a female teacher. Keep in mind, this "sexual assault" is portrayed by the student leaning on the teacher up against some lockers. Again, all of these kids could be knocked over with a light shove.

Fact #3: After a looong hour of our Mr. Walmsley being variously manhandled and abused by our group of ur-Outsiders, he devises an unlikely, easily discredited job placement field trip that allows him to kidnap the main offenders. Of course, everyone is fooled because this movie takes place in an alternate reality where fact-checking doesn't exist. He takes them to a ranch and tortures them by putting them in electrified cages and making them be naked. This is disturbing until it becomes clear the he has no intention of harming any of them in any way.

Fact #4: During these "torture" scenes, there's just an inordinate amount of penis. I mean really unnecessary. There are boobs too, for sure, but the ratio of boob-to-penis is way out of whack and it's kind of like watching an episode of Oz, but without, you know, the class and talent.

Fact #5: Also, in an effort to break his students down, he used the Toni Basil song, "Mickey," played on a loop, as a form of psychological warfare. Yes, it's an irritating song, but... why? At any rate, it's clear that the producers paid a lot of money for the rights to that song because we hear it roughly 28 times during the film. Oh, and we don't ever hear any other song. Or music. They spent their whole music budget on "Mickey" and I think that's hilariously sad.

Fact #6: It turns out that Walmsley's insidious plan is to force these kids to learn a lot of useless knowledge about math, language, and economic philosophy. What? Exactly.

Fact #7: And, because we just can't get a break, the entire movie takes place in Texas. Not only that, but it was filmed on location in Ft. Worth, which is only a few miles away from my hometown. Seriously, can nothing good come out of Texas? Besides me, of course.

Anyway, check out Learning Curve because there's way more weirdness than what I've outlined above. Also, click here for the best IMDb movie comment EVER.


Anonymous mmyers said...

I think that review was written by a supercomputer that was built by one of the stars of that movie.

4:03 PM  
Blogger C.R. III said...

On the education-movie tip, stay away from "The Piano Teacher", also. Ugh. All I remember is a scene where the main character huffs a kleenex she's just retrieved after a guy leaves the "Preview Booth" of an adult theater. Oh, and she tries to have sex with her mother.

On an unrelated note, how the hell do human beings survive when it's, like, FOUR FREAKING DEGREES?! I can't hang with that.

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Giggleloop said...

I love the Olde Style writing skills of the "Author" of that review, with the Capitilization of all Words Of Great Importance, and the fact that all the "Actor"'s names needed quotation marks. Wow. :D

8:15 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

C.R. III... I've actually seen "The Piano Teacher"; it's on the list of snooty movies we film school grads are supposed to loooove. I thought it was just okay. That director's (Michael Haneke) stuff is pretty overrated in general, my opinion.

mmyers & giggleloop... I know, isn't that just insane? It's like a frightening glimpse into an unquiet mind.

9:23 AM  

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