Movie Review: Bad Education (2020)

I am so thankful for HBO existing over here in Sweden. This means I got to watch this movie the day after it aired in the United States. Yes, I am bragging. Not as an insult to those who can’t watch it, but just because I’m happy over this luck I have. Anyhow, review time.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gents… “Bad Education”.

Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) is the superintendent of the Roslyn school district in the state of New York. He’s beloved by all, always taking time to assist colleagues and students, being a real beacon of hope and success. But as we follow him through the movie, we start to find out that he and his colleagues may have some shady, monetary dealings going on. I really enjoyed the story here, as it takes a very fly-on-the-wall approach to its storytelling. While it makes clear that some of the shady shit going on isn’t okay, it doesn’t necessarily take a side and say that anyone here is an outright bad person, instead just presenting the facts, pimples and shiny smiles alike, allowing the viewer to take their own stance on things. It also has an interesting tone, more often than not going for a more darkly comedic approach rather than straight drama, which I think really adds some extra flavor to proceedings. It’s an interesting story told in a nuanced and engaging way.

The characters are flawed, colorful, layered, and just overall quite interesting. Hugh Jackman plays Frank Tassone, the charismatic superintendent at the center of the story. He’s friendly, charming, coming off as the perfect man to lead the charge in getting a school district to the top. But as we soon find out, he may or may not have a few secrets of his own. Hugh Jackman is excellent in the role, giving a relatively subdued performance where you can read every little emotion and thought in his eyes. Next we have Allison Janney as Pam Gluckin, Frank’s colleague, and also the person who keeps tabs on the economy in the school(s). And as you might expect from that description and the fact that she’s played by Allison Janney, she’s quite an intriguing presence in the story. And Janney is great in the role. I love her chemistry with Jackman as well, they are a lot of fun together. Next we have Geraldine Viswanathan as Rachel, a student at one of the schools in Frank’s district. She’s a bright young lady, working as a journalist for the school paper. She’s one of the more interesting supporting players here as she gets plenty to do, and Viswanathan does a really good job in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Ray Romano, Rafael Casal, Annaleigh Ashford, Stephanie Kurtzuba, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Abels, and it was good. It has a bit of a classic vibe, leaning mainly on string-based arrangements, with the occasional woodwind to back it up. And I think it works well for what happens in the movie. There’s also one or two licensed songs used throughout, and they decently well too.

Based on the article “The Bad Superintendent” by Robert Kolker, “Bad Education” was written by Mike Makowsky and directed by Cory Finley. And I must say that I am impressed by that side of the movie. There’s a slickness to it all. Finley really gives scenes a nice flow, you can tell that he is in full control of the situations, giving us directing that really made the movie have an interesting and engaging vibe.

This movie has so far been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“Bad Education” is a really well made biopic that tells a really interesting tale. The story’s really good, the characters are interesting, the performances are great, the music’s good, and the writing/directing is great. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Bad Education” is a 9,77/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Bad Education” is now completed.

Stay in school, kids. Even if shady shit could be going on.

Movie Review: Get Out (2017)

The Month of Spooks continues. And on our plate today we have a newer movie… so let’s just get into it.

Ladies and gents… “Get Out”.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is a young man who is about to meet his girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents for the first time. He is a bit worried though since he’s black, and she’s white. And when they arrive at the parents’ house, everything seems fine. However, Chris soon gets the feeling that something is off about this whole thing and experiences one of the strangest weekends of his life. So now we have our horror plot. What I liked about it is that it doesn’t necessarily feel like your typical horror movie plot, it takes some really interesting twists and turns and it handles everything in a pretty unique way. It is also a commentary on liberal racism, weaving that into the narrative very well. Overall it is an incredibly fascinating plot. It has a decent amount of threads going through it, but they never feel messy. Great plot.

The characters here are all quite interesting in some way. Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, the young man having to go through all of this. He’s a likable guy with a pretty good life, however he is nervous about meeting his girlfriend’s parents. And seeing him go through all this shit, experiencing all kinds of emotions is interesting, and I found myself really caring about him. And Kaluuya is fantastic in the role. Allison Williams plays Rose, Chris’ girlfriend. When we meet her she is simply a reassuring and supportive girlfriend that I found very likable. And I won’t say more other than it’s interesting to see some of her development here. Anyway, Williams is really good in the role. Bradley Whitford (whom I barely recognized here) plays Dean, Rose’s father. He seems like a good guy at first, downright charming. And through the movie we get some interesting developments from his side. And Whitford is great in the role. Catherine Keener plays Missy, Rose’s mom. She’s a psychiatrist and she has some interesting things going on about her throughout the movie. And Keener is great in the role. We have Betty Gabriel as Georgina, one of the servants at the parents’ house. She’s kind of weird and I thought she was a pretty fascinating character. And Gabriel is great in the role. Then we have LilRel Howry in a smaller role as Chris’ best friend, Rod. He’s more of a comic relief type of character, and he’s just great, he made me laugh without feeling out of place. Then we have Marcus Henderson as Walter, the groundskeeper at the parents’ house. He, like Georgina, is quite weird. And Henderson is great in the role. Really, this is a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Abels (with some help from Timothy Williams) and it was pretty great. It’s eerie, dramatic, tense, and just overall pretty unique. It all helped set a unique mood/atmosphere for the movie, and I appreciate it quite a bit for that. There were also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout that I thought worked pretty well in their scenes.

This movie was written and directed by comedian Jordan Peele, once again proving that comedians are a bunch of fucked people… also, he did an excellent job with both those things. His directing is tight and tense, keeping me on edge for most of it. It also has a very weird and uneasy atmosphere, giving it a fairly unique vibe. It is quite tense, and it is pretty scary. There’s also some comedy in this, but it never really feels out of place, as it blends fairly well with the tone. And I have to mention Toby Oliver’s cinematography which is… fantastic. So many cool shots, such a great looking movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 99% positive rating (100% if you go by “top critics” only) and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 84/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

“Get Out” is a fantastic directorial debut from Jordan Peele. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Boo!*. My final score for “Get Out” is a 9,88/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Get Out” is now completed.

I don’t know what to put here.