• Strictly Films

Bad Education; Cory Finely is About to Take in Many Calls After This Certified Gem. Grade: B+

Bad Education tells a story about a school district in New York called Roslyn, in which beholds a beloved superintendent named Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman). He knows all students names even when after they graduate, he remembers what they wanted to be when they grow up, seems like an incredible guy that cares about the kids. Unfortunately there has been shady events taken place in this school district. One fine afternoon, one of the school districts kids went on to buy a couple grand worth of house supplies. Turns out all the stuff bought was purchased off the school districts card. Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney) had to surrender $250,000 worth of purchases, as well as surrender her job as well. Where all blame is on Pam, more people were involved in this horrendous crime of fraud, betraying the parents and students of this beloved school district.

The Cinematography was pretty good, there’s quite a few gorgeous shots of the houses and even the football field at the school. The Score was solid as well, enjoyed the music partaking in this film. The cast all in all was pretty great as a whole. Hugh Jackman playing the superintendent Frank was honestly great, this is one of his best performances to date. The character Frank could fool anyone honestly. His good looks, his charming personality, the way he listens to each individual, it’s no coincidence just how he got away with being an evil mastermind. As time goes on... You can truly see the true colors of Frank, as it becomes even harder to look at him where it was so easily to do so before. Behind the plastic surgery, you can see a monster unfold right before your eyes. I believe the scene where Frank goes berserk in the third act, will pretty much guarantee Hugh Jackman a nomination this upcoming Oscars. Allision Janney playing Pam was also great as well, she’s quite great playing these horrible mothers... It’s becoming a common trend in her career. At first I did felt bad she got all the blame at first, but then I realize all the items she purchased with the school districts card... Yeah, there’s no sympathy for her to be found anymore. Ray Romano appearances are limited in this film, but I found each appearance to be delightful, it t’was a solid performance. Geraldine Viswanathan playing Rachel, whom broke the story of corruption going on t’was pretty good as well. Hats off to Rachel whom had the guts to break this story, as she aspires to become a successful journalist... Well this was surely not a bad start towards her career in that field.

I have a couple flaws with Bad Education, which one was agreed upon Chris Stuckmann’s point of view. Felt the beginning of this film to be worry some, as it didn’t exactly started on a high note, where I had doubts in what I was watching. Wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a bad beginning, it’s just a beginning that made it felt like this was going to be a boring film, which thankfully wasn’t at all. Also whomever was in charge of being the auditor in the finances of this school district... How exactly can one be this conned?! I kind of agree with Frank here, how exactly can one let this all slide under the rug?! Seems ridiculous if you ask me. For some reason it took me awhile to watch Bad Education, knowing damn well this is why I got an HBO account in the first place. I really enjoyed Cory Finley’s debut feature Thoroughbreds, as I thought that was a pretty good film. With Bad Education... It looks like Cory Finely is going to get more calls in the future, this film absolutely ROCKS!

The story itself is a well written crime story, filled with many great setups and pay offs. I mean it all starts with the setup with Frank, you figure this guy can do no wrong. Turns out: This guy is a complete scumbag, as he has all these students and parents fooled. I think in some way Frank does actually have a heart for his students, I mean the way he interacts with them makes him out as a genuine guy. I feel the fallout from his character is simply due to the idea of Greed. Frank’s first encounter with the School Districts Card simply came from an accident. He realize that he could get away with it, as making up some fake company names to justify the expenses, as the enemy known as greed completely took over. I wouldn’t say the same with Pam as she knew damn well what she was doing from the start, it’s not like she wasn’t receiving a lovely income in the first place for to make these ridiculous expenses. As for the last shot I did however had a problem with it at first, but now giving it some time, I understand what it all meant. In Frank’s eyes having his School District Number One meant everything to him, even if he was cheating his way to the top, he was willing to do anything it takes to get there. It just proves that Frank has become completely delusional towards his reign of corruption, as that was his excuse in partaking in this corruption in the first place. That could’ve been his objective, but stealing millions of dollars in the process?! On what?! First Class Plane tickets, plastic surgery, and other nonsensical items?! How is this bettering your school?! Before Covid-19 this film was already being distribute by HBO first hand, as I can honestly say this doesn’t belong on a television network, this should’ve been in theaters. This film is WAY TOO GOOD to be restricted on a television screen, surprise other companies didn’t jump on board with this one, HBO got a certified gem under their belt.

Overall, Bad Education is a great film and is certainly one of my top favs of the year so far. Highly recommend checking this one out on HBO or renting on available digital platforms like ITunes, Amazon, etc. Definitely worth the time and money I do say! -Mitch Smietana

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