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Samuel L. Jackson , John Heard , Kevin Reynolds    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product Description

After surviving a brutal attack (Instrument used was a board with nails in it) by a student, teacher Trevor Garfield moves from New York to Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An underappreciated masterpiece June 15 2004
Having attended an inner city high school, I will attest that while some of this was exaggerated, similar things do happen. I think the director took a lot of creative license and pushed things to a bit of an extreme with Garfield and Cesar's characters, but it only served to improve the quality of the film.
This is less "Dangerous Minds" or "The Substitute" than it is "Taxi Driver". Samuel L. Jackson does a superb job with his character Trevor Garfield, a man of deep moral convinctions and idealism who crumbles psychologically throughout the film. The way it is shot, along with the ominous soundtrack, creates an atmosphere of palpable doom and chaos. Garfield's speech to a fellow teacher who is beginning to realize the odd connection between the disappearance of troublesome students and his relation to them is really disturbing. The director should have worked more on the "teacher snapping" bit and had it a little less covert, but overall I would say this movie falls into cult classic, if not classic, range. The darkness is unforgettable, and the film does raise some relevant issues as to how people with values interact with those who have none. There is a certain flavor to this movie, somewhat inarticulate, that for me makes it worthy of the most lavish praise. This is no uplifting, Sidney Poitier film of redemption. It is simultaneously a vigilante film and a comment on conscious man and his place in the world. This is a must own, for Jackson's performance and the powerhouse ending.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Pyrrhic Victory: Teaching America's Forgotten Nov. 27 2003
"187" does not provide the viewer with a realistic insight into America's schools. Science teachers do not stalk students and then drop them with morphine injections, launched from a bow. But I did not pick up "187" expecting the classic teacher-makes-a-difference-in-children's-lives film. The very title moves one away from this depiction. Instead, "187" provides an interesting look into the job of educators when they are dealing firsthand with the violence that exists in many of America's communities.
One thing that I would have liked from this film is a slower transition from Samuel L. Jackson's former self to his newer self. The audience believes that they know his character and (quite suddenly) he has snapped and we are a bit unsure of the movement. This film is an intense experience-I found my nerves quite strained at the prospects of the chaos that exists in these communities. Above all, this film neither glorifies the student's actions nor the teacher's retaliation-a fact that prevents it from becoming a simple bloodbath movie. One leaves this film with a sense of loss on both sides and the utterly hopeless situation that we have created in our school systems. Jackson's character does, despite what some may say, have an impact on the students he teaches. But his victory is not without devastating losses; a Pyrrhic victory, as the movie (not so subtly) alludes.
Word to the wise: this is not an uplifting film. Do not rent it thinking you're in for a "To Sir, With Love" experience. Just read the title. But if you're in the mood to look at the darker side of life (think "Requiem for a Dream"), by all means.
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1.0 out of 5 stars What a Shame Nov. 26 2003
What a Shame
Reviewer: Kris from Portland, OR United States
What were they thinking? In order to know the depth of stupidity of this film, you must judge it in relation to its contempararies. "Dangerous Minds", "Lean on Me" "Blackboard Jungle" and even the lesser "Hard Lessons". These films present a world in which teachers truly touch the lives of their students. The closest one to this film would be "Lean on Me." Based on the life story of principal Joe Clark, this film definately has a harder edge to it than the other films, and tells of the extreme measures that sometimes must be taken in order to achieve a safe haven. The other films in this list, while good in their own right, the character's achieve their goals rather easily considering the opposition. "187" on the other hand is a revenge fantasy/bloodbath that is ultimately an insult to those who actually attempt to affect change in the forgotten parts of our country by giving hope to those who believed they had none. For those of you who want a meaningful film rent one of the above, for those of you who like this film may I suggest "The Substitute". I haven't seen it, but from what I heard it is another film with a homicidal teacher, at least it might have the action you crave without the ridiculous pretention of "187"
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Movie About (And For) Students! May 21 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This film shows that teachers can have two jobs:
1) As teachers, but gererally only to the kids who want to learn.
2) As social workers/therapists, but generally only to the kids who do NOT want to learn.
I think it's fair to say that most kids who do NOT want to learn could use an attitude adjustment. As the film illustrates, helping some students adjust their attitudes (i.e., grow emotionally) can be an enormous challenge. And a background in clinical psychology/social work would certainly better prepare a teacher for this challenge!
I encourage students who are NOT interested in school to watch this film because:
1) IF they identify with the student characters in the film, THEN they may grow vicariously along with them.
2) They may see the point of view of their teachers for the first time. Specifically, that teachers (and by extension, anyone) can honestly care about them, regardless of their repeatedly disrespectful behavior. As the movie illustrates so well, SED (severely emotionally disturbed) kids may NOT be able to believe that anyone, including a teacher, cares about them. Thus, kids with similar trust issues who watch this movie, may appreciate and become more respectful of their teachers IF they start believing that their teachers really care about them.
3) They may begin to appreciate/respect their teachers more once they realize how challenging a teacher's job can be.
4) Finally, it helps to have a popular star like Samuel Jackson glorifying the image of the teacher.
In conclusion, recently I have began substitute teaching at a middle school in Mountain View, CA. Generally, I spend most of my class time with those students who are the least interested in learning.
I commend the makers of this important film for teachers AND STUDENTS!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars its good
this is a great movie has some pretty cool gansters in it and sh*t(i had to use the asterisk and dont be a b*tch and say its gangstas not gangsters) but why did it take place in... Read more
Published on June 22 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars not latin its HISPANIC
wow this movies was mind blowing. the ending reminded me of the 'godfather' movie. samuel jackson and clifton gonzalez give an amazing performance and i really like watching them... Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars R U DUN
Glis was very frapper. She had denarpen Farfie's mardsen. She couldn't galp a giberter for Farfie. Instead she wharked to plimp a mardsen binky for him.
Published on Nov. 18 2003 by Matthew Scamell
5.0 out of 5 stars ****A great movie with the great SAMUEL L. JACKSON ! ****
The gangs are ! Anybody know that ! But when a true story recount as a professor who has only his job in his life to survive while he is embarked in a bad almost murder to himself,... Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2003 by B. ALAIN
4.0 out of 5 stars KOS was and is a TAGGING CREW not a gang...
I own this movie and thought it was good. All though the directors and people who saw the movie, must really have no knowledge about the L.A. street scene. Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2003 by "mflabiz"
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam jackson
If you dont like this movie, theres somthin wrong with ya, aiight peace
Published on Sept. 11 2003 by SeriousDon
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE
This movie really tells what goes on in gangs and how teachers feel and deal with gang members. It was non-stop action and kept you thinking and on the edge of your seat. Read more
Published on July 8 2003 by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful performance
Mr. Jackson gives one of his best performances ever in this film! The story is subtle, until the middle when there is a twist that isn't expected. The teacher played by Mr. Read more
Published on June 3 2003 by Damian P. Gadal
3.0 out of 5 stars Orange tinged vision of LA Hell
It grabs you by the throat--you don't want to see it but you cannot stop.
Bogs down a bit with some uncharacteristic behavior and laughable impossibilities, but the movie... Read more
Published on May 31 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Kids gone wild ?
This film is a gritty innner city look at a teacher pushed over the edge,by street punks and a system that does not care. Very chilling scene at the end makes your jaw drop. Read more
Published on May 26 2003 by "jsolloway1"
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