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Teachers

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    mandymanslaughter
    Junior Member

  • Teachers



    Released by: Olive Films
    Released on: Apr 28, 2015
    Director: Arthur Hiller
    Cast: Nick Nolte, JoBeth Wiliams, Judd Hirsch, Ralph Macchio, Allen Garfield, Lee Grant, Richard Mulligan, Laura Dern, Steven Hill
    Year: 1984
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Teachers delicately moves in a space that has been tread on many times: a realistic look behind the politics and antics of the American school system. The movie pivots on a lawsuit brought upon JFK High by a former, illiterate student. Arthur Hiller directs this foray into high school life, which stars Nick Nolte as the teacher trying to keep it all together.

    Alex Jurel (Nick Nolte) can barely make it in to work on Mondays, and he definitely doesn't show up on time. The film opens on Jurel being cajoled into the school on a particularly chaotic beginning of the week. There are too many call-ins and not enough subs, a stabbing victim, and a law firm trying to glean depositions from the teachers on behalf of their client's lawsuit. It becomes pretty apparent that, at least for most of the faculty, the illiterate student, or any students for that matter, is pretty low on the worry list. Keeping the school from being sued at any cost: Priority #1.

    The film does feel at times like your typical 'Dangerous Minds--Stand and Deliver'-esque tale, but all in all does a great job of being different. There are no real heroes that shine throughout the film without having their respective Achilles heels. Teachers is dramatic with some comedic moments(a mentally disturbed man posing as a substitute teacher and doing a hell of a job at it is one), and fortunately there are no overly sugary-sweet scenes that make you want to pinch a baby's cheek. Nick Nolte gives a convincing performance as the cool teacher who tries his best, despite wanting to give up when forcefully put between policy and what is RIGHT.

    That being said, the film does lack a bit of uniqueness when it comes to creating the characters of the students. Pretty much each archetypical representation is here: the misguided loners, the misguided pretty girl, the nerds, the jocks…on and on. While some moments feel genuine, others feel very much constructed and take away from the authenticity of the film. The teachers and administrators themselves are portrayed so poignantly and honestly; this juxtaposes with the lack of student development. However, I realize I'm nitpicking: the film is called “Teachers” for a reason.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Teachers is presented in an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1. This Olive film Blu-ray disc lives up to the quality of many of their releases. The opening credits are a bit wonky and grainy, but these problems do not transfer over to the film itself. For the age of the film (with some wear noticeable on the transfer), colors are saturated and detail is well preserved. Skin tones are a little muddy upon close-up inspection, but fine detail holds up.

    The film features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix. Dialogue is clear and highly supported in the mix, and other sounds taking their rightful places in a supportive manner. There are no noticeable issues to report.

    There are no special features on this Blu-ray presentation.

    Bottom Line:

    Teachers provides an insightful look behind the closed doors of high school politics and administrative decision-making. The film is at times touching without being overt, comedic without overreaching, and gives a fresh perspective on a previously explored topic. With the teachers being so fleshed out, the students seem a bit two-dimensional. At the end of the day, Teachers is a fine release, but perhaps not an irresistible one.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















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