Substitute, The C-, C+
US/1996/Color/Widescreen 1.85:1 or P&S/Dolby Digital
5:1/114 minutes/Directed by Robert Mandel/Starring Tom Berenger, Ernie Hudson/Live/46
Mercenaries, drug dealers, school
teachers, student toughs, slimy lawyers, and corrupt officials are all thrown together in
this totally unbelievable urban action movie. Attractive and dedicated school teacher Jane
Hetzko is roughed up when she challenges disruptive students. Fortunately her boyfriend
Shale is a mercenary who comes tot he rescue before the attacks results in worse than a
broken leg. The injury forces Hetzko to call in a substitute teacher as her replacement,
but Shale surreptitiously decides to take the role himself and give the students his own
unique teaching outlook. But this is no Blackboard Jungle or even Dangerous Minds.
It takes ridiculous turns as Shales mercenaries must challenge the local drug
cartel. Get out the guns guys.
A number of solid actors are wasted in this out-of-control, predictable
and unoriginal movie. T om Berenger is convincing in the
role of Shale. Berenger even sports a facial scar reminiscent of his best role in Platoon.
Okay, hes tough. Shale can beat the best of them. Berenger goes through the motions
of trying to make Shale an interesting character, but hes a slave to the silly
screenplay. The always appealing Diane Venora is wasted in the role of Shales girl
friend. She spends most of her time hobbling around in a cast with little support(sic).
Ernie Hudson smiles through the heavy role as former cop Principal Rolle.
Warning: This not a DVD demo material. Many
scenes are washed out with a poor contrast ratio. This is one DVD that could use some
heavy handed use of the sharpness control, though the result would be excessive
grain along with acceptably sharp images. Color is inconsistent and muted. The
product is only as good as the overall production and if care isnt taken in both the
video transfer and the MPEG encoding, the result can be a sub-par product. . DVD is
not necessarily the next coming of home video.