Thursday, June 14, 2012

School's out, then back in


It's that time of year again when all the kids get summer break. This week is, technically, a break from school for me before I start two summer courses on Monday. So what did I do? I watched Robert Rodriguez's "The Faculty."

Remember this flick from 1998, back when "Scream" was the cream of the crop? Kevin Williamson put it together and somehow got the ultra-indy Rodriguez behind the camera. It's you usual fare, full of teens too good-looking to actually be in a real high school. Even the nerdy kids-- in this case Elijah Wood and Clea Duvall-- aren't bad-looking. There's no pimples, but there is at least an attempt at how bullying affects some school kids.

But what's really great are the adults, the titular faculty. Famke Janssen doesn't look much older than the kids she's supposed to be guiding. Robert Patrick is pitch-perfect as the hard-ass football coach. And everyone's favorite fake news anchor Jon Stewart plays the science teacher.

The movie is well-paced but that's all Rodriguez. He doesn't get to show off much of his own style, but that's what happens when you get suckered into this kind of filmmaking. The "teens" act like teens, the adults act like a-holes, and there's an alien. It's sci-fi horror! You know, because in remedial English no one can hear you scream.

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