Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks #48: Movies Set in a High School, Secondary School or the Equivalent



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share three movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you're up to it one of each.For further details visit the series main page here.


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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Movies Set in a High School, Secondary School or the Equivalent

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As usual I set up my own parameters for today's theme. Firstly, a majority of the setting has to be the school. Second, I excluded all teen comedies since we already had a teen comedy week and lastly no boarding school movies as we've already had that too. So here are my picks:


The Breakfast Club (1985)
I can't help but pick this movie for this theme; it's set 100% in a school. What happens when a student from each clique are forced to spend several hours together? Some very emotional scenes as they confront each other prejudices.

The Chocolate War (1988)
Based on a YA novel, the story centers on Jerry who as part of a secret society initiation ritual is tasked to refuse selling chocolate boxes for the school's annual fund raiser. I know that might not sound like the most appealing premise but some bad stuff goes down when Jerry continues to refuse selling beyond the number of days he was ordered, as his own little act of rebellion against the school's corruption. Little did he know that his actions escalates the power struggle between Archie, a student who is the mastermind of the school's secret society, and the corrupt school headmaster resulting in Jerry becoming an outcast picked upon by the other students. I love the book so I was thrilled when I found out it had already been adapted way back in the 80s. The book has such great villains; I wished the movie had the gritty performances to flesh out those characters. The movie also certainly tones down the sinisterness of Archie's schemes and the overall bleakness of the novel; still, the movie was an interesting watch.

Speak (2004)
I know I've mentioned this movie quite a number of times but it's so good and yet so under seen. It's also perfect for this theme; a majority of the scenes are set in the school and shows the its social structure. It even has that scene like in Mean Girls where they introduce the cliques but with less of a humorous tone and more to highlight how the protagonist doesn't fit in none of them.

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So that's it...my three picks. What three movies made your list today?


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20 comments:

  1. Breakfast club, classic film. I've only seen it once, but as its referenced almost everywhere, I can feel its impact. Not heard of the other two, Speak looks interesting...

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    1. The Chocolate War is quite a popular YA book, it's one of those banned books as well. Although I don't think the movie got much notice. Speak is based on a YA book as well and yes it is very interesting, I can't mention it enough.

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  2. I really liked the novel Speak -- I don't know why I haven't seen it yet. And two thumbs up for The Breakfast Club!

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    1. Oh do watch it. It's a well made adaptation.

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  3. Can't go wrong with The Breakfast Club. I think it's the best John Hughes movie of them all. I've never seen Speak and never even heard of The Chocolate War. Sounds like I have some work to do. Great picks!

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    1. I think TBC is my fav of his movies.

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  4. Gosh I haven't seen Breakfast Club in years but it's perfect for the week and makes some perceptive observations about high school. I've heard of but haven't seen the other two, I'd forgotten about there being a film version of Chocolate War. I'll have to correct that.

    Here's my three plus a little known extra:

    Brick (2005)-Attempt to make a modern noir in a high school setting is unique for sure. Laced with deadpan humor and anchored by a strong performance from Joseph Gordon Levitt as a loner who involves himself with a drug ring to try and find out what’s happened to his girlfriend when she disappears.

    School Ties (1992)-In the 1950's David Greene, a Jewish teen, wins a football scholarship to an Ivy League prep school, advised by the coach he keeps his faith to himself. Despite some cultural differences he is welcomed into the elite group at first, he grows close with the young men, falls for a girl and all is well. However eventually his secret is discovered and along with simmering resentments the prejudice of some conspire to put at risk all he has achieved and his hopes for the future. The cast is filled with actors, Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris O’Donnell, who at the time were on the rise.

    Up the Down Staircase (1967)-Well acted drama of a young teacher's struggle to adapt to a tough inner city school. Some of the sheen has worn off the topicality of the issue since there have been many versions of it but this is a fine rendering of the tale with excellent direction from Robert Mulligan. In the lead Sandy Dennis is the best she ever was on screen keeping her signature flutters and twitches to a minimum.

    Honorable Mention-2:37 (2006)-Dark complex drama of the interwoven lives of a group of high school students and a horrendous tragedy that binds them together. Small Aussie drama was one of the first credits for currently rising actress Teresa Palmer, has some very unsavory elements and is grim, grim, grim but well-acted.

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    1. I thought you would have seen The Chocolate War since you usually watch the older movies. Curious what you'd think of it....have you read the book?
      I've vaguely heard 2:37, although can't say that I know what it's about.

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  5. How did I not realize (or forget) that there was a film of The Chocolate War? One of my favorite books!

    Breakfast Club is ESSENTIAL.

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    1. Ok you have to watch it. No one seems to have seen it and I'm curious what people think of it especially those that know the book.

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  6. Good call with Speak! That movie is criminally underrated.

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  7. I've only seen The Breakfast Club, but it doesn't get any better than that. The Chocolate War and Speak are both YA titles that, as a middle school English teacher, I probably should have read by now. Good picks!

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    1. Yes...I think they're both award winning books too.

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  8. Hi!
    My picks https://sarahblogger94.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/thursday-movie-picks-movies-set-in-high-school/

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    1. You can add your link through the add link button instead of here.

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  9. Only seen The Breakfast Club, but was enjoying it until the ending. Where does the sporty guy and the crazy girl's relationship come from? Did I miss something?

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    1. I agree with you on the ending; why did they have to pair up?

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