Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Three O'Clock High (1987, Phil Joanou)

Three O'Clock High is a very fun, fast paced, and often times just surreal and crazy film. It certainly lives up the cult status that it has achieved and it's also one of the best teen comedy films that I have seen from the 80's so far.

The film is basically an adaptation of sorts of High Noon ,but set in a high school. The all around nice guy senior accidentally runs into the new kid at school who happens to be a violent bully and it doesn't take long before he challenges him to a fight at Three O'Clock. From then on the film follows the nice guy as he tries to get out of the fight in every single way until the showdown arrives. What's fun about this is that the film builds up a string of entertaining scenes by using the surroundings of a normal high school day. So, you have a pep rally, lunch, quick breaks between classes, and a boring science class to become showcases for fun.

The main point to why the film bursts with this odd sense of amusing oddness is because it is really just another excuse to showcase the unique cinematography of great cinematographer turned mediocre director, Barry Sonnenfeld. The guy goes all out on this one and does his work as if he is working on another Coens Bros. film. It really is what made the film stand out a lot to me. You just can't beat this guy when it comes to fun cinematography. I just love his stuff.

Another thing worth pointing out is the score by Tangerine Dream. I still don't know who exactly this group was at the time or what was their claim to fame was. I just know that I really loved their score for Moonlight Mile and now their score for this one. Sure, it sounds very 80ish but there is just something about it which makes it stand out.

Oh..and this is also known as Steven Spielberg's stab at producing a teen comedy. It's very odd that he chose to remove his name from the credits since the final product is a lot better than other teen films during that time.

- B+

1 comment:

tgodd said...

tangerine dream were pioneers of electronic music. influenced everyone from david bowie to iron maiden