Reviews harsh filmed-in-Howell ‘High School’; I’ll see it during a matinee

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That “High School” sat on a shelf for two years since it rode the film festival circuit should make everyone think twice — maybe even three times — before shelling out full price for a ticket.

The stoner comedy, filmed in large part at what is now Parker Middle School in Howell, is opening at theaters across the country on June 1. The film stars Academy Award winner Adrien Brody; Colin Hanks, of “Band of Brothers” fame; and Michael Chiklis, who won several awards for his lead role in “The Shield.”

Combine the troubling late release with some pretty bad reviews and it appears “High School” may not be spending much time in theaters.

Roger Ebert, dean of movie reviewers, gave the film two stars, writing: “‘High School’ is a pun. Get it? This is one of those stoner comedies that may be funny if you’re high — but if not, not.”

The decision to screen “High School” at midnight at the Sundance Film Festival was a wise decision, Ebert said, as “midnight movies are often attended by audiences who walk in already giggling.” He called the movie “labored” and “lame,” and advised seeing it only during daylight or early evening hours “unless you already have a running start.”

You can read the rest of his Chicago Sun-Times review by clicking here.

John Marshall wrote in the Huffington Post that the movie is “lazy” and “half-baked.” Click here to read his review in its entirety.

Richard Corliss wrote in Time Magazine that the film could be a “feature-length PSA: an admonishing Reefer Madness for this generation.

Reviewers on the Rotten Tomatoes site gave the film a 42 percent on the Tomatometer.

While most of the reviews trended decidedly negative, Film Journal International said that the film was “a loud hoot,” “ripping with broad comedy and anti-establishment jabs.”

You can judge the movie for yourself. “High School” opens at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 1, at the MJR Brighton Towne Square Digital Cinema 20 at 8200 Murphy Dr. Click here for complete showtimes and ticket information.

I’ll be seeing the movie, for sure, if just to see what my Howell neighborhood looks like on film, and you can be sure it will be during the bargain matinee.

You can read my earlier post about the filming of “High School” by clicking here.

About Maria Stuart 211 Articles
Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse. You can check out her website by clicking here.