MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Monday, September 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 73.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

Chalk

Comment on the Isthmus movie reviews, write one yourself, discuss upcoming flicks, recent DVDs, and other realms in the world of cinema.

Chalk

Postby GenericUsername » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:55 am

Okay, so I went in with high expectations after hearing the buzz about Chalk. Maybe that was the wrong thing to do? I didn't see Amelie until 4 years after it came out on DVD and I was still disappointed because of the expectations.

The movie started off with some great moments, mostly humorous slapstick/silly vignettes. From there, it sort of got lost in its own attitude ("I'm a cool movie and if I make you laugh, I don't have to prove anything else"). I felt there was an "ode to something" about the whole movie. The opening scene was very reminiscent of the British version of The Office and the documentary 1941 House (where the characters can privately spill their guts to a camera in a special room) and other mockumentary movies (Series 7, Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman).

There were no cringing moments, or happy-for-the-shy-self-loathing hero moments. It seemed to struggle to get through the school year while trying too hard to come up with the next joke or hold the different stories together moving forward. Mr. Lowry was forgotten about during one big section of Mr. Stoop, and I heard a few people do the "ooohh yeah" when he came back on the screen. Generally not good when a character is forgotten that easily.

The screenplay was choppy, probably for reasons stated above. The stories were many, but none of them were emotional investments. That's probably why almost half the way through I started thinking how long of a run I could fit in before Air Guitar Nation.

I felt the movie had it's really good moments that gave us a peak into the social environment of high school from an adult's perspective. What it lacked was inspiration to be it's own movie, to let the characters come into their own being, and to create any sort of antagonistic feelings to keep the viewer involved. It's almost like the movie wanted to be Mr. Stoop - to be our friend and make us laugh. I'm all for laughing, but not at the expense of the rest of what makes a film.
GenericUsername
Senior Member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:25 pm
Location: Middleton

Postby morriskatze » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:58 pm

I'm a high school teacher and a lot of the movie hit home for me - not only the funny parts, but also the struggles the characters experience.

Mr. Stoop mostly made me cringe with his shameless self-promotion and obvious lack of knowledge, and I felt good for Lowry when he finally started showing some skill at coping with the myriad pressures of a classroom.

And, yes, it had an "ode to something" feel. I guess I'm a little vain, so it pleased me to feel the ode was to me and others in my profession. :wink:

I was a little disappointed that Lowry only barely seemed to edge the other characters out as a focus of the movie - that did give it a sort of fragmented feel in terms of having a strong protagonist (or not). On the other hand, letting all those characters tell their stories so completely (even if it did take a big page from Christopher Guest's book) also helped flesh out the realities of the profession, which seemed to be a major aim of the film.

Perhaps stylistically it's not the most original movie, but teacher's stories are so rarely told well (i.e. without a lot of sap or sensationalism or just plain fantasy) that I have to love this movie anyway.
morriskatze
Senior Member
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:03 am
Location: Madison

Postby forman » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:04 pm

hy...
speaking about movies... i saw few day ago in my very first time the "god father" movie...
it is a good one... :) now i understand what people have talking about all this years!!!!
anyway i like horses... i use to raid on them...
so if someone interesting: horsesring.com
great site....
all the best to you all
forman :D
forman
Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:37 pm

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:18 pm

forman wrote:hy...
speaking about movies... i saw few day ago in my very first time the "god father" movie...
it is a good one... :) now i understand what people have talking about all this years!!!!
anyway i like horses... i use to raid on them...
so if someone interesting: horsesring.com
great site....
all the best to you all
forman :D

This is THE BEST forman spam post ever. EVER.
TheBookPolice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8365
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: The mystical Far East


Return to Movies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar