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CHALK: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
It's the beginning of a new year at Harrison High. The self-conscious Mr. Stroope (Chris Mass) is convinced that his time has come - this year he will be furnished with the golden title of "Teacher of the Year," if only his smarter students would stop using words that he can't understand. Mr Lowrey (Troy Schremmer) has an agonizing first year on the job as history teacher and the men aren't much interested in the spunky and officious Coach Webb (Janelle Schremmer). But "not all P.E. teachers are gay" and she pines for some romantic company. Her once best friend, the newly appointed assistant principal, Mrs. Reddell (Shannon Haragan), doesn't seem to have time for her either, as her new power post is all-consuming . . .

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It's an appealing idea to take the teachers' POV for a mockumentary, and Chalk rides on some well observed lessons in pain by a small group of teachers at Harrison High. The insiders (teachers) should find this an excruciating movie as it hones in on the worst fears of teachers and exploits their insecurities. And it's surprisingly subtle.

Teacher Stroope (Chris Mass) is desperate to win the Teacher of the Year award and his journey to the all important debate is one of the most complete and dramatically satisfying strands in this multi-strand film. It's a black roller coaster which the writer/actor delivers well.

Likeable Janelle Schremmer is great as the pushy coach whose friendship with newly appointed Assistant Principal Reddell (Shannon Haragan) is strained by the demands of the job. The latter confesses to the camera of the home video being compiled through the film that she hasn't had sex for three weeks. So the needs of her coach friend come second ...

But it's Mr Lowrey (Troy Schremmer) who has the worst time in his first year as a teacher; his subject is history, and so is he.

Although Mike Akel's film is not as complex or as laugh out loud funny as the best of Christopher Guest's mockumentaries, Chalk is a funny, entertaining movie, and includes a spelling hornet segment, in which the teachers have to spell and explain street slang.

Published September 18, 2008

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

CHALK: DVD (M)
(US, 2006)

CAST: Carlye Bonner, Kaytea Brock, Wendy Campbell, Dan Eggleston, Jeff Guerrero, Shannon Haragan, Jerry Jarmon, Glen Lewis, Chris Mass, Janelle Schremmer, Troy Schremmer, Jacqueline Seaborn, Jeffrey Travis

PRODUCER: Mike Akel, Angie Alvarez, Graham Davidson, Chris Mass

DIRECTOR: Mike Akel

SCRIPT: Mike Akel, Chris Mass

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Steven Schaefer

EDITOR: Bob Perkins

MUSIC: Chris Jagich

PRODUCTION DESIGN: n/a

RUNNING TIME: 83 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 2.0

SPECIAL FEATURES: None

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Beyond Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: September 17, 2008







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