Monday, June 24, 2013

High School

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Dont' do drugs, kids...unless they are free.  If that happens, try the hell out of them.

High School – 4 out of 5

I’m not ashamed to admit it but I was a stud in high school. The ladies loved me, the guys wanted to be me—oh, who am I kidding. I’m no different now than I was in high school. I couldn’t get a date, I thought a fun evening involved less booze and more Dungeons & Dragons and movies, and I was no stranger to getting my ass handed to me by jocks.  Some things I learned about jocks though:  Don't feed them after midnight, don't get them wet and don't expose them to direct sunlight. However, this film is less about the horrors subjected to the nerds of the public learning institution and more about the drugs involved in the public learning institution.

High School is all about an overachiever named Henry (Matt Bush) who makes the mistake of getting high on the demon weed (marijuana) with an old chum of his; Travis (Sean Marquette). He soon learns the sickening truth that his future at MIT and school valedictorian may be in jeopardy when the school’s Dean; Dr. Leslie Gordon (Michael Chiklis), decides that the entire student body must submit to a drug test or they will get their asses expelled. Now, in order to cease his promising future from being destroyed, Henry teams with Travis to get the entire school high; hence, essentially destroying the Dean’s plan (he can't punish the whole school, after all). So the two steal the most potent form of marijuana ever created by drug-genius Psycho Ed (Adrien Brody) and bake up the trippiest pot brownies in all of existence…and feed them to the entire school!

Where did they learn how to do this plan?
The answer:  They learned it from watching you.  ALRIGHT?!?  THEY LEARNED IT

First off, if you haven’t tried a pot brownie, I highly suggest you do because they are fun as hell—wait, I probably shouldn’t openly advocate the use of a completely harmless, but incredibly vilified, drug in my review…

But seriously, they are fucking awesome!

Moving on!
High School is just absolutely funny—which was kind of a surprise for me because, despite my feelings towards cannabis, I find most stoner comedies to be pretty weak and find most of them require you to actually be high in order to laugh at their very basic, very unfunny humor that rarely goes beyond punchlines like, “Ha ha…weed.” High School is actually a film that you can laugh your ass off while stone cold, disappointingly sober…of course, I imagine that a nice pot brownie may only make things better…but don’t ever do that kids, or you’ll find yourself as a stand-up comedian who is an amateur movie critic on the internet. What I’m saying is, that if you do drugs, you’ll just end up making your life AWESOME!!!

The movie isn't going to win points for make-up, however.  Unless I missed the scene
where he got the "look through this telescope and get the pirate treatment" prank.

The story has nothing but a solid foundation for real, honest comedy that involves drugs and it doesn't cross the line of being a drug movie that fails at being a comedy, like so many stoner comedies do.  If there were any problems, they were so minor in the film that it really had no impact on my enjoyment. Sean Marquette as Travis can, at times, be a little overbearing and feel like he was trying too hard to be funny and, also at times, Matt Bush as Henry, feels too weak to be a main character and not strong enough to carry the film. However, both of these men will then come out of left field and put those fears to rest as they do something incredibly entertaining and amusing. Everything else about this movie was just super, amazing and fantastic to sit through.

Sour Apple Candy Balls!  He's looking right at us!

The way the film handles being high is terribly amusing. It jumps back and forth from being realistic (I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I saw the students start to smack their lips due to dry mouth) and, other times, it's really over-the-top—but over-the-top in a funny way; not in “that’s not what happens” way like when you had to see Shia LaBeouf’s mom take the weedy treat in Transformers 2…of course, that was only the beginning of the film’s problems.

Damn, drugs are fun...but don't try them kids.  It's not like anything good has come from them...
like great music or the soothing of pain.

The performances of the other players were incredibly strong and really made this movie not only extremely funny but just a solid movie to sit through. Adrien Brody was great to experience as the eccentric genius drug dealer that had an affinity with talking to his frog (yeah, you heard that right). It was a role I’ve never seen him in before and, was actually surprised, that this Academy Awarding winning actor could pull off convincingly and with a sense of silly thrown in, as well. Without a doubt, though, the biggest highlight of the film for me was Michael Chiklis as the Dean.

Chiklis and demon faces in the clouds--two awesome highlights!

I haven’t seen Chiklis do a comedy-infused role since his days as the Commish (or that time he played Curly) but ever since The Shield, his role as the hard-as-all-fuck cop; Detective Mackey, has made it hard for me to see him play a role that has a humorous edge—or even an outright hysterical edge like in this one. And, I’ll just say it for no reason here: Chiklis as The Thing was the only thing I enjoyed about the Fantastic Four movies.

Yes, he looks exactly like someone he would have arrested and brutalized in The Shield.

Chiklis as a rock monster aside, he really was the funniest thing in this movie for me. His unique comb-over, the way he read his lines, the way he played the soft-spoken, strangely creepy character really made all the gags and scenes he was in really hit a home run and kept this movie hilarious the entire time. There’s a lot of great things going on in this movie but Chiklis was the one EPIC thing.

I didn't think it was possible for Chiklis to become a sex symbol but here we are.

High School has all the potential to be a really generic stoner comedy that basically is an hour and a half of some dudes on break from Spencer’s gifts with blood-shot eyes munching on Doritos and saying, “Huh huh…weed...bong...420...another weed reference.” The reality is, the end product was a solid story that was unending with its hilarity. It’s actually less of a stoner comedy and more of a comedy that just so happens to be about getting stoned.

Colin Hanks eating Cheez-Its...stop drilling movie, you've struck oil!


Hey! I just finally got the title…ha ha…high.

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