Download General Education Movie and Watch General Education Online

The trailer for the upcoming comedy film General Education hit the web yesterday. It appears to be an indie, but is lacking any kind of edge. It also appears to be a comedy, but without any noticeable laughs. I am confused about the market for this particular movie.

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The film chronicles Levi Collins’ (Chris Sheffield) stay at summer school so that he might go to college on a tennis scholarship (yes, they have those apparently). This follows a family tradition, supported strongly by his parents, who are played by Larry Miller and Janeane Garofalo. The two comedians are featured rather prominently on the poster art, even though it appears they only have bit roles in the film. The sole line that Miller has in this trailer shows him doing that typical upper-middle class WASP routine that he has down so well.

Download General Education Movie
Download General Education Movie
Download General Education Movie

The trailer suggests that General Education opens in “select theaters & iTunes” on August 24. If it were to come to D.C., E Street Cinema would probably house it, but that doesn’t seem likely. If fact, I’m hoping this film will bypass local cinemas altogether. The trailer is lacking both the funny and cool elements it’s trying so desperately to sell to its hipster demographic. To find out more about the film, visit its Facebook page here. The film stars Sheffield, Garofalo, Miller, Maiara Walsh, Elaine Hendrix, Bobby Campo, McKaley Miller and Mercedes Masöhn.

General Education Download
General Education Download
General Education Download

Tom Morris’s General Education, a tepid, well-meaning saga of high school woes, could be screened immediately on the Disney Channel with nary a cut, and that’s the problem. The whole enterprise lacks a soupcon of edginess, a modicum of wit, or an iota of originality.

Endlessly insipidity aside, the screenplay by Elliot Feld, Jaz Kalkat, and Morris was clearly pulled together for no other reason than the need for a bunch of buddies to start calling themselves “filmmakers” — at least that’s how the super-clichéd, slightly offensive final product comes off. Well, you might not be offended if you don’t object to viewing a screaming queen of a pederastic college recruiter endlessly hitting on young men. Then there’s Charles (Skylan Brooks), an often barefooted, black thirteen-year old playing Stepin Fetchit to the film’s teen hero. No shoes? He runs faster that way. The young man does swim, however, so there goes that stereotype.

Download General Education
Download General Education
Download General Education

But what’s surprising about this blathering tale of Levi Collins (Chris Sheffield), a young man who will not get into college unless he passes a science course in summer school, is how well and affably acted it is for the most part. Morris clearly knows how to direct (when he restrains himself) and Danielle Aufiero and Amber Horn clearly know how to cast. With the exceptions of the one-note, unfunny Larry Miller as Levi’s mayor dad and the constantly mugging yet never acting Tom Maden as the obnoxious bad boy, the cast is applaudable. Sheffield, Brooks, Bobby Campo as his lovesick brother, McKaley Miller as his mime-oriented sister, and Maiara Walsh as the object of Levi’s affection all rise far above the material they’ve been handed. Janeane Garofalo is especially fine as the alcoholic mom who feels she’s being abandoned by her aging brood and preoccupied spouse.

Yet with its hackneyed outlook and lack of a moral core or a purpose, General Education is little more than a defective episode of Saved by the Bell. – Brandon Judell

Mr. Judell is currently teaching “The Arts in New York City,” “American Jewish Theater,” and “Theater of the Sixties” at The City College of New York and is Coordinator of The Simon H. Rifkind Center. He has written on film for The Village Voice, indieWire.com, The New York Daily News, Soho Style, and The Advocate, and is anthologized in Cynthia Fuchs’s Spike Lee Interviews (University Press of Mississippi) and John Preston’s A Member of the Family (Dutton). He is also a member of the performance/writing group FlashPoint.

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