Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Back to School Movies, Part Deux!

posted by Douglas Howe

Kris Rasmussen is one of the smarter people and better writers in the blogosphere, but I do have some alternative choices for my Top 5 Back to School Movies list (this is her list).
A great movie around the theme of school is one of the best ways parents can engage their kids in talking about what’s going on there, since the typical “how-was-school-fine-mom-what’s-for-dinner?” thing doesn’t always go too far!
There are so many to choose from, and frankly I think most of the truly honorable mention flicks are older. The 50′s gave us “Rebel Without a Cause,” with James Dean offering a welcome change from the cleany-white nice boys of the day. “American Graffiti,” “Carrie” and “The Last Picture Show” had much to say about the 70′s while 1978′s “Grease” is among the most enduring campus films of all time. The 80′s could have been called the “campus movie decade” as it gave us “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Peggy Sue Got Married,” “Lucas,” “Say Anything,” “Heathers,” “Back to the Future” and those on my Top Five list below. The 90′s brought “Clueless,” “Boys N the Hood,” “Election,” “Dazed and Confused” and “Hoop Dreams.” This decade hasn’t given us much, except for maybe Kirsten Dunst’s “Bring It On.”
Here are my picks for the Top 5 Back to School Movies:


“Mean Girls.” Before Lindsay Lohan became, well, whatever she is now, she was known as a fine young actor and her skills showed in this one, along with Rachel McAdams and Regina George. The catty social claws that teen chicks bring out in social situations are brought directly–even painfully–to light in this well-written film where there’s at least enough comedy to make it enjoyable, yet still poignant.
“Dead Poets Society.” I agree with Kris on this one, although frankly I don’t need any of it after the first 20 minutes. To hear Robin Williams’ speech and then ask anyone I’m watching it with: “What do you want to accomplish before your run is done?” is an inspiring conversation with meaning.
“The Breakfast Club.” I thought it was sorta cheesy back in the 80′s when I watched it, but it stands the test of time. Everyone adult anywhere was at one time a high school student in the early stages of finding that nuanced balance between who we were and who it was we wanted to become. Watching it today, you’ve still gotta get over some of the 80′s look and vibe, but it’s worth it for the reflective watcher.
“Hoosiers.” Made in the 80′s about a high school in the 50′s, rarely has a movie been about sports been so little about sports. Gene Hackman’s role as coach is representative of every authority figure a teen has to deal with, and in this one, they get it right when the main character recognizes that the tough love sent his way is real love. If there was an Oscar for movie endurance, “Hoosiers” would be a nominee.
“Stand and Deliver.” I grew up in Southern Cal and Garfield High was just over the hill in L.A. As a suburban guy, we saw the inner-city schools as pretty much semi-unsafe and definitely unaccomplished. How wrong I was, and Mr. Escalante’s work was representative of what many, many inner-city teachers were and are doing for kids there. “Stand and Deliver” is an awesome low-budget movie that inspires any audience to higher achievement and accountability, whatever our station in life.
Special Honorable Mention: “Teachers.” Would have made the list if it weren’t made in the 80′s. A great movie that takes us into the human side of teachers. Nick Nolte, Laura Dern, Morgan Freeman, Steven Hill (Law & Order), JoBeth Williams, Judd Hirsch, Ralph Macchio, and Crispin Glover (“Back to the Future”) lead the all-star cast.
Rent or buy a campus movie next weekend and enjoy the inspiration, the nostalgia and–if you have kids–the purposefulness of a natural discussion about what we all have in common, both the young and the young at heart.
Lindsay-Lohan at LocateTV.com



  • jestrfyl

    How could you forget the great guilty pleasure of Jim Belushi’s “The Principal”. It also had a stellar cast including Lou Gossett Jr and Esai Morales. OK, it was violent and kind of stretched reality. But there are days when — well, it scratches and itch once in a while, not often.

Previous Posts

Couple Alert! ‘It Takes A Church’ Show Makes a Match
The GSN show, 'It Takes a Church,' confirms that love matches are possible. Bachelor and business owner Randy Phillips opened his heart to the members of his church in Tempe, Arizona, allowing them to play matchmaker and help him find his leading lady. Eight contestants went through a series of

posted 4:48:49pm Jul. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Tom Petty Gets Political
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' upcoming album, Hypnotic Eye, reveals a political side of the famous song legend. In a recent interview with Billboard, Petty was very candid about the inspiration and his overall feelings about the Catholic church and other things political. "Playing Dumb," a tra

posted 10:24:01am Jul. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra Launch Sixth All - New Meditation Experience 'Expanding Your Happiness'
Registration Starts Today Monday, July 14 at Oprah.com/meditation Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra announced the launch of their latest, all-new meditation experience "Expanding Your Happiness," which is open for registration starting today at www.Oprah.com/meditation.  The free 21-day meditation

posted 11:56:20am Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Anchor Stuart Scott Honored at ESPYs for Perseverance
ESPN’s anchor Stuart Scott offers strength to many on air. It’s not only for his smooth delivery or a career that’s spanned over two decades-it’s fighting a deadly form of cancer since 2007. This week Scott, 48, was presented the 2014 Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs by actor Kief

posted 10:01:07am Jul. 18, 2014 | read full post »

WORLD WIDE EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS from 'The Good Lie' Starring Reese Witherspoon
“The Good Lie,” a new movie from Warner Brothers, stars Reese Witherspoon as Carrie Davis, a woman who agrees to help a group of Sudanese refugees who win a lottery for relocation in the United States. Film director Philippe Falardeau brings the story of survival to life, displaying the power of

posted 8:42:17am Jul. 15, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.