187 (1997) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This film doesn't have much going for it except Samuel l Jackson. I don't think Jackson is capable of a bad performance, but he doesn't really have much here to sink his teeth into. He's at his best when he's playing a funny, cocky, bad ass mofo. Here he's playing a pensive, soft-spoken, good-ass mother-honorer who quotes Thomas Wolfe. He does it well, but  - well, who cares? They could have hired Robin Williams to do this crap.
Jackson plays a teacher who is threatened and beaten in a New York school. He decides to pull up his stakes and move to California, where he makes ends meet with substitute teaching until he can land a gig. 

He ends up in an environment where candy-ass administrators have turned control of their schools over to bullies, and teachers are just Christians to be thrown to the lions.


Karina Arroyave is seen naked on Jackson's couch. Herr breasts are seen clearly, but the rest is hidden by her pose.

Jackson and Clifton Collins Jr are seen naked except for a covering over their actual johnsons.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1. One of the very best DVD transfers I've ever seen, in terms of image quality.

  • no significant features

The rest of the movie is divided into:
  • the usual "dedicated teacher" cliches
  • a plot in which the school's worst students are killed and maimed mysteriously. Although we don't actually see Jackson do it, we assume that it must be him, and he doesn't deny it when asked directly.

Violence begets violence. Some students think Jackson must be the perpetrator, and eventually the two sides must meet face to face. Speeches ensue.

It's a competent movie, but with no surprises. 

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a half stars. Ebert 2/4, Berardinelli 2.5/4, Maltin 2.5

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.3
  • With their dollars ... it was  a weak underperformer. Made for $23 million, it grossed only five million domestically. 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C. Watchable, but uninspired

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