Friday, September 21, 2012

Hollywood Gets it Right?

Maybe not, but the Teaching Underground isn't afraid of low-brow and October 12 will definitely be movie night in my family. "Here Comes The Boom" is Kevin James' latest cinematic masterpiece in which he plays a burned out teacher inspired to take up cage fighting to raise money for the arts program at his school.

If you're looking for a "brain rest" on a Friday night after a hard week of work, this looks like the film. Judging from the trailer, James' character is one of those teachers that fit the negative profile. Lazy, going through the motions, incompetent, etc. But, when he finds out that funding cuts threaten the arts at his school, he gets inspired to make a difference.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but that's never stopped us at the Underground from having an opinion before, so here's what I think. You can't make a movie about teachers in 2012 without showing at least something negative, but here's what I think I like about this film.

First, regardless of his presentation at first, this teacher obviously cares about his students and his school. Enough to get the crap beat out him. That's true of most teachers I know. Mostly. I can't imagine any of them would actually enter the octagon and take a pummeling, but we'd go to some pretty extreme lengths for the benefit of our students and our school.

Second, it's getting cliche to say, but school funding is getting tough. Too many people think it can be done on the cheap. My district is far from poor, and we're still better off than most, but each year, we see the quality of education further hampered by funding restrictions. I know, more money doesn't naturally equal better education, but it's like that whole "money doesn't buy happiness" proverb-- it sure does help. This film seems to portray the fact that school programs take a hit when funding drops.

Third, it co-stars the Fonz! I haven't kept up with his career since he so expertly jumped the shark, but he's transitioned from the leather jacket wearing rebel to the coat and tie professional very well judging by the trailer.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to just watching a film with no hidden agenda or messages about education or school reform, a mindless diversion from time-to-time is good for the soul.

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