Open Thread for April 2, 2010

If this were a day earlier, you might think we were April Foolin’ with this Open Thread. But we’re not! Biggest news this weekend is the opening of Clash of the Titans, the hyped 3-D remake of the adaptation of … Continued

If this were a day earlier, you might think we were April Foolin’ with this Open Thread. But we’re not!

Biggest news this weekend is the opening of Clash of the Titans, the hyped 3-D remake of the adaptation of the synthesis of the appropriation of half a dozen Greek myths. The critics distrust it, giving it an average score of 46 on Metacritic. Is it time for an epoch-shattering war of moviegoers versus film reviewers? No. But we had to ask.

Question: What will you be using “Release the Kraken!” as a euphemism for over the next 2 to 5 months?

And while I’ve been trying to go more than a week without commenting on a celebrity death, this one bears note: Jaime Escalante, the Los Angeles schoolteacher depicted in Stand and Deliver (and featured in OTI tentpole 40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes). After retiring from teaching calculus to inner-city students, Escalante went on to combat drug smugglers in Miami, root out human replicants in L.A. and lead the last survivors of a Cylon attack on a search for the fabled planet called Earth.

Question: Favorite “tough teacher reaches out to inner-city students” movie?

Could Jaime Escalante teach calculus to the Kraken? Or is there something else you want to discuss? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.

10 Comments on “Open Thread for April 2, 2010”

  1. fenzel #

    Question #1: I’ll probably say it before going onstage at an improv show.

    Question #2: My favorite “tough teacher reaches out to inner-city students” movie is _Only the Strong_, a 1993 movie about a former special forces soldier who is hired by an inner city high school to connects with a group of troubled kids by teaching them capoeira — and busts up a drug ring by getting in a series of unlikely battles a nefarious capoeira gang. It is either better than or about as good as it sounds:

    Here’s a video somebody made of clips from the movie with a song that is heavily featured in it:


  2. Matthew Wrather #

    Re #2
    I cite as a special case of the “tough inner city students” movie the 1994 classic Renaissance Man, in which Danny DeVito is tasked with teaching Shakespeare to a group of young soliders or basic trainees or something. It hits all the cliche notes, is the only film I know to feature a Shakespeare training montage, a performance of Romeo and Juliet (I think) as a contrived rap, and a stirring rendition of the St. Crispan’s day speech in the pouring rain while the rest of the squad is doing pushups.


  3. DaveW #

    Wrather – IIRC, the “rap” is regarding Hamlet’s “to thine own self be true” speech. That said, I’ve gotta agree with Renaissance Man.


  4. KeiraH #

    #2: “Blackboard Jungle” most definitely! Its a 1955 film where the inner city kids really beat up the teacher and ruin his life, but he eventually gets through to them and turns their antisocial behavior around somewhat. Its got some great 50s music and a young Sidney Poitier as the major asshole teen!


  5. Gab #

    1) Already used it in DnD last night.

    2) Wrather, you totally stole my thunder. But, well, ACTUALLY, the rap scene is of _Hamlet_’s general plot, not just the “to thine own self be true” part. Rago *does* do a bit with saying the line to a rhythm (to get a student to sound as though he has “come out of the coma”), but the real rap performance is a summary of the play the students write and perform for him.


  6. lee OTI Staff #

    Is “Stand and Deliver” the basis for that one episode of South Park where Cartman keeps saying, “How do I reeeech these keeeds?”

    If so, I wonder what percent of the American population is aware of the latter and not the former.


  7. neubauer #

    Re #2 At the time it came out, I really liked that one with the Coolio hit that inspired Weird Al’s “Amish Paradise.” The teacher was Michelle Pfiefer. Dangerous Minds? I think that movie was the reason I bothered to watch Stand and Deliver, which I expect I would find to be a superior film now that I am not 13.


  8. Sam #

    Having just watched the new clash movie, I came away wondering if it was an experiment in one-liner technology to cram as many as they could within its time restraints.
    Also, seeing this movie in 2D, it is painfully obvious which scenes they wanted you to see in 3D. This factor, as well as the choreography seems like an allusion to the over-the-top absurdity of the ’81 version of the film.
    I have no idea what to think about it still.
    But to the point of what, ‘release the kraken!’ would be used to euphemize, perhaps something along the lines of when performing a cross-test of knock-out mice for gene mutation.


  9. Gab #

    Happy Easter, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    @Sam: IIRC, they actually added the 3D stuff as an afterthought and had either been completely or *almost* completely finished filming when it was decided to make _Clash of the Titans_ a 3D film. If it looked convincing enough for it to seem as though there were scenes constructed to play into the 3D, then that’s probably a good thing for the 3D but bad for the original conception- but would mean the worries expressed about 3d quality (and it potentially looking crappy like _Superman Returns_… I shudder) in the pieces I read about the change a few months ago were relieved.

    Since we’re discussing 3D a bit, I just watched the trailer for the new _Resident Evil_ movie. They definitely play up the new James Cameron technology aspect in it. I saw it here:

    I’d recommend full-screen- there are some small details easily missed in the small version, like how there are not one, but TWO hot chicks killing things!

    To overthink the trailer a little more, I think it’s another example of the masterwork involved in trailer making (and I still insist there should be a “Best Theatrical Trailer” category of some kind at the Oscars- or would if I truly cared about the Oscars). For one thing, watching it twice made a bigger difference in terms of potential story because it isn’t until the singing is actually heard when I realized (the first time) why the music seemed so eerily familiar- it’s a remix of “The Outsider” by A Perfect Circle. Just to yank some of the lyrics out, the first line, “Help me if you can,”- humanity’s plea to Alice for assistance, since she’s the only one that can save us!!! “Disconnect and self-destruct one bullet at a time/ What’s your rush now? Everyone will have his day to die?”- Even so, Alice, don’t sacrifice yourself for us! Every time you kill a zombie, you lose a little more of your humanity!!! Etc. Perhaps this is all mindless dribble, but even if it’s a bad movie (let alone R:E movie- that’s another topic), and any meta-knowledge about song-choice aside, it looks as though it’s going to be very, very sweet eye candy (even watching it small- it looks visually stunning. THANKS, Mr. Cameron!). And for men *and* women alike, since not only are there TWO hot chicks, as previously stated, but there seem to be some rather good-looking men in it, too. And if there’s anything a straight, action-loving woman like me appreciates in action/horror movies, it’s good visuals and effects and good-looking men. (Am I being objectifying? You betcha!)

    And maybe this all comes from my love for the video games and thus the movies, too, so sorry if I’m boring you.


  10. Akilah #

    #2 – Lean On Me is the ABSOLUTE BEST tough teacher schools inner city teens movie. Although Stand and Deliver is a close second.

    I’m also fond of the one with Antonio Banderas as a dance teacher (Take the Lead!) because it combines teaching with dancing, and I love a good dancing movie almost as much as a good teaching movie. Or vice versa.


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