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Back To School (SE)
DVD disk
Aug 22, 2007 By: Quigles
Back To School (SE) order
Director:
Alan Metter

Actors:
Rodney Dangerfield
Sally Kellerman
Burt Young

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When his son decides he wants to leave college, a nice but loudmouthed rich businessman enters the school as a student in hopes of encouraging him.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Rodney Dangerfield is the type of comic actor who if you like him, you're bound to like his movies. But if you don't, any possible appeal the production may hold is lost. As is the case with BACK TO SCHOOL, in which the very thin story relies almost entirely on a constant string of mildly amusing one-liners. In other words, it's just Rodney Dangerfield delivering stand-up comedy in a school environment. This might work a bit better if, (a.) the dialogue was actually funny, and (b.) the movie's characters didn't laugh harder at his jokes than the audience is supposed to.

On the bright side, there are no ridiculously over-the-top gags or painfully idiotic clichés (though there are hundreds of little ones), so normal college comedies will probably appear juvenile in comparison. The most outlandish comedic moments you'll find here fall more along the lines of Rodney walking on campus in his bath robe, or talking back to the teacher in his expected Dangerfield-ish way ("Hey, Professor, take it easy! I'm not a fighter, I'm a lover!"). Although, I suppose there's also the sequence in which he's hired people from NASA to do his homework... But even then, it's presented in such a simple and straightforward manner that it never feels as absurd as it most definitely should.

The highlight of the film is seeing a young Robert Downey Jr. as Dangerfield's son's oddball best friend. Despite not being given much to do, his presence is consistently amusing and attention grabbing. I just wish I could say the same for the rest of the film.
THE EXTRAS
There have been some problems in the past with DVD editions of BACK TO SCHOOL, so fans will be pleased that this version has almost none.

School Daze: The Making of Back to School (17:05): A retrospective featurette shown with newly filmed interviews, including all of the main cast/crew (except of course for the late Rodney Dangerfield).

Dissecting the Triple Lindy (6:00): A discussion about the film's climactic diving sequence, and the creation of it.

Paying Respect: Remembering Rodney Dangerfield (10:00): A short but satisfactory look back at the man many held in such fond regard, with plenty of interviews and clips of his movies (as well as some of his stand-up comedy).

Kurt Vonnegut in Memoriam (1:10): This is a quick look at the late Kurt Vonnegut, and his involvement in the film.

Original News Wrap: From Rocky to Rodney (3:20): Burt Young discusses/compares his work BACK TO SCHOOL with his efforts as Paulie in the ROCKY series.

Original Sports Wrap: Rodney: A Diving Force (1:30): A brief behind-the-scenes look at the movie's central dive, the Triple Lindy.

Also included is a Photo Gallery, the film's Theatrical Trailer, three TV Spots, and lastly, some Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you love Rodney Dangerfield, you've probably already seen and loved this supposedly "classic" '80s comedy, making the "Extra-Curricular Edition" a must own. For everybody else, it's entertaining enough that you shouldn't change the channel when it comes on Comedy Central, but that's it.
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