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directed by Pat Mills
Canada 2014

 

YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON TELEVISION's Pat Mills makes his feature film directorial debut as washed-up former child actor Dave Gold who, upon being fired from his latest non-union voiceover job, learning that he has Stage 3 Melanoma, and thirteen days to come up with the rent - decides to rechannel his positive energies into helping young people. Faking a resume and stealing the identity of viral guidance counselor Roland Brown, David manages to land a temporary position as a high school guidance counselor by vice-principal Brenda (voice artist Tracey Hoyt) who quickly lets power to go her head while the principal (ORPHAN BLACK's Kevin Hanchard) is away. A freak in high school for building a friend out of his mother's panty hose and bring it to school with him, David finds the apathetic teaching staff as bullying and catty as the students, with the gay gym teacher (David Tompa, THE SHRINE) trying to out him, drama teacher Ms. Simms (Jane Moffat, MAMA) trying to engage his cynicism, and the toxic married wood shop and home economics teachers the Schlitzs (A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE's Ian Matthews and comedienne Jen Goodhue) trying to figure out "what's his deal?" Initially sticking to the script by offering praise and patronizingly attempting to get down to their level, David discovers that it is far easier to be himself with the students seeking help from him than the adults in his life (including his agent, his long-suffering sister, and his demanding landlady). Over shots and joints, he advises shy Rhonda (Eleanor Zichy, HAUNTER) to flirt with the dumbest guy she can find, promiscuous valedictorian Meaghan (Claire Mazerolle) to show all of her fellow sluts you can be smart and like sex, finds drug dealer John (Alex Harrouch) a more challenging curriculum, stands up to and gets his ass kicked by bully Desmond (David A. Wontner, KEYHOLE), and bolsters the self-esteem of bullied-at-school and abused-at-home Jabrielle (Zahra Bentham, FOXFIRE). It is his popularity with the students, however, that draws suspicion from the faculty; and David discovers that he still has farther to fall before he must face the music. The semi-autobiographical comedy mines some of the same material as BAD TEACHER but with a character more sympathetic even at his most dysfunctional. The stakes are higher and more devastating but, however subversively entertaining out protagonist is, we are not entirely sure we want him to get away with everything as we come to realize just how desperately in need of help he really is. The tone remains light even as the film dips into some dark territory, but that is perhaps fitting since it is seen through the eyes of a character simultaneously aware of his social limitations while deluded about his ability to rise above an imperfect world.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 21 August 2015 (USA)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:20:15
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.49 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English (Descriptive Audio) Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English SDH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
� Interview with director Pat Mills (16:9; 12:56)
� Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:36)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: November 24th, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 8

 

 

 

Comments

Strand Releasing gives this Canadian indie an impressive high-bitrate dual-layer, progressive, anamorphic widescreen presentation. Apart from the exterior scenes, the surround channels are mainly dominated by the source music selections. A descriptive audio stereo track is also included. The optional English SDH subtitles are problematic when a line of dialogue and its reply appear together onscreen without any effort to distinguish them as separate utterances.

Extras include an interview with writer/director/star Mill who reveals that the script is about fifty-percent biographical in that he was a child star but he was never famous enough to peak and fall as far as some (he also notes that today's child stars are documenting their downfall with social media). The film's trailer and previews for other titles are included.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 


 



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