Three O'Clock High Reviews
New kid comes to school with stories circulating about how bad he is and when a school journalist gets picked to do a story on him he gets challenged to a fight after school with him for the attempt.
Looking Back On It I Feel That This Movie Is Like A Stupide Funny
"Saved By The Bell"
Teen Comedy With More Of An Edge Of Drama & Violence Added On To It.
For Me The Film Was Definitely Entertaining & On My List Top 10 List Of Movies That Should Never Be Remade.
I Give This Film An A - (Amazing)
The intro scene of Three O'Clock High essentially dictates how the entire film will end up playing out. It all happens in the style of a stereotypical 1980's problem solving montage against the backdrop of a nostalgic soundtrack, and this ends up happening consistently over the course of the film. Considering that the film takes a style over substance approach, its rather good that Phil Joanou found a distinctive style to settle on.
The story itself is a very simple one. In keeping with its 80's roots, Three O'Clock High is full of thin character archetypes and simplistic plot dynamics The protagonist is a very geeky character whose natural attitude drags him down with the wrong crowd, and it does't take much for it to happen. The course of the story changes in the matter of once scene where things become suddenly intense from there and the pace speeds up even faster. The story remains simplistic the entire time and is structured to unfold as a series of conventional dynamics all in a quick rush. The success of the film ends up predicated all on how much the viewer takes joy in 1980's movie tropes. For me, I found that the way that Phil Joanou put them to use in Three O'Clock High was very original, if shallow and a quite silly.
The tone of the film is interesting. As a film very heavy on its 80's style, there is a genuine charm in the film which is full of nostalgic value and atmosphere. Running at such a fast pace, Three O'Clock High is essentially a fast journey through countless 80's movie tropes with a sense that it is taking them seriously and yet pointing fun at them at the same time, effectively giving the film a comedic mood with a touch of drama. Frankly, the general charming mood of the film and overall style of it all transcends the thin nature of the story and ensures that the experience is a fun one. Even though I got lost in the energy of the film I will admit that it was a little too silly at some moments as well as being predictable at heart, but there is just a genuine sense of 80's charm from this film which comes partially from the fact that the lack of recognition that the film or the cast have makes it an underrated high school comedy cult classic.
In terms of genuine film style, Three O'Clock High does a surprisingly good job for a film with such a low budget. The entire film is a convincing one which uses a lot of colourful scenery from its high school setting which it captures with an innovative style of cinematography. Intending on creating an intense atmosphere, the cinematography in Three O'Clock High makes strong use of zoom techniques which give the film the feel of one from the classical era, effectively bringing along the western elements implied by the presence of a story based on High Noon. There are many moments in the film which feature the quick editing of a music video, and this is key in consistently keeping the film quick-moving. And when this combines with the close up cinematography of the film, it effectively packs Three O'Clock High with a lot of stylish imagery.
And on top of all that, the thin characters of the film are made into charming tropes by the performances of the cast.
Casey Siemaszko proves to be the ideal lead for Three O'Clock High. Casey Siemaszko is the living embodiment of the the stereotypical high school geek. Though he is not a stereotypical nerd, Casey Siemaszko captures a neurotic and overbearing persona which fits the role with ideal energy. He has a restrained persona about him which progressively becomes more charismatic as the story progresses and gets more intense. This effectively gives the film a protagonist who actively develops with the story, and the entire time Casey Siemaszko is able to keep up with all the cliches by matching them with an appropriately stereotypical persona and a genuinely likable charm. His line delivery is subtle at first, but it becomes progressively more involved and brings the audience closer to the character. By keeping his awkward persona active throughout all the plot dynamics, Casey Siemaszko keeps the comedic nature of the film alive. He really ensures that the film surrounds him well by actively keeping up with the energetic pacing with plenty of physical involvement in everything going on around him. Casey Siemaszko proves an effective lead for Three O'Clock High for such a largely unknown actor, and his low proflile status adds to the everyman nature of the part.
Buddy Revell is an underdeveloped supporting character. Keeping with the trope nature of the film, Buddy Revell is a stereotypical high school bully. Yet there are times in the film where Three O'Clock High makes a genuine effort to add something more to the character, perhaps to add a sense of genuine drama to the film. Unfortunately, the shallow nature of the film buries the potential beneath a heavily conventional archetype. But considering that the film is full of these in every way imaginable, it can't be considered too much of a problem. And even then, the performance of Richard Tyson is an effective one. His screen time is limited, but the amount of emphasis that the other characters put behind the antagonistic nature of the character is lived up to whenever he's on screen. He essentially establishes a combination of Michael Deluise and a young Harrison Ford, standing with an intimidating stature and delivering his linese with as sense of cleverly articulated anger. The role doesn't demand much from him, but he easily delivers on his promises with an intense line delivery and a genuine threatening demeanour. Richard Tyson is a powerful touch.
The presence of Jeffrey Tambor and Phillip Baker Hall is also welcome.
So though Three O'Clock High is a shallow film packed with 1980's cliches, it embraces that notion with a fast pace and a lot of comedic energy which gives it a charming nostalgic mood.
Well worth a rental!