Friday, October 27, 2006

Lambada !

Every now and again, I'm reminded why I love reviews. The following is a review of the movie "Lambada"

From a Lambada standpoint, the film falls far, far short of Lambada dancing expectations. I surmise that the producers of this film merely attached the "Lambada" title to the film in order to capitalize on the Lambada dance craze.

This film follows the clandestine educational hijinx of a man called "Blade," aka Carlos Gutierrez and Mr. ( ). By day Blade teaches at an upscale Beverly Hills high school (Stonewood High) and by night he teaches ghetto kids at a nightclub (which only serves Pepsi) called "No Man's Land."

Blade teaches the kids who frequent "No Man's Land" a number of subjects; history, grammar, but primarily math. And his teaching methods are cutting edge: he teaches one young man math by using a protractor on the pool table. But his lessons often last a mere two to three minutes because Blade needs to get some dancing in before he goes home to his wife!

Why Blade can't simply teach the educationally deprived ghetto youth in the late afternoon or early evening is anyone's guess, and the charm of the film. Blade's mission in life is to give these poor kids hope. For, as we learn midway through the film, as Blade struggles to gain street credibility, he is "a homie!"

The protractor is a recurring theme and a symbol that is present throughout the film. We see the protractor used in a number of highly creative ways and at interesting times. (Instead of studying at home, Ramon sits in the corner of No Man's Land using his protractor to do his homework).

All in all this is a highly recommended film. Love it for what it is, instead of what it isn't-- I've seen this movie about five or six times now and LOVE IT! The reason is that it was so horribly produced, completely predictable and in it's strange but familiar (to all of the "dance movies" of the 80s) way offers a very condescending view of urban minority youth and the problems they face.

But how can you miss seeing the "Galaxy High" bus? Graffiti spray painted rolling through the rich neighborhoods? Or Blade on his Harley? Or the dancing? (Which isn't even Lambada dancing!!!)

It's a must see movie. If you rent it you'll buy it.


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