Dangerous Minds (1995)

DANGEROUS MINDS boasts a winning performance from Michelle Pfeiffer 
and that's about it.  She's a marvel as real-life teacher LouAnne 
Johnson, an ex-Marine whose innovative teaching techniques help her in 
"combat" against a distracted, disillusioned inner-city "audience."  
She captures their attention by demonstrating karate, handing out 
candy bars, and, in the farthest leap from reality, getting them 
interested in reading by reciting the lyrics to "Mr. Tambourine Man."  
[ Insert sound clip of William Shatner singing same. ]

In *this* version of LouAnne's story-- which is believable for all 
five minutes-- the students can read *and* write, presumably because 
they're rarely distracted by sex, drugs, or rounds of ammo.  Another 
stretch is Pfeiffer's character, who apparently has no life outside of 
the classroom.  (A subplot with Andy Garcia as the boyfriend was cut. 
He probably kept blushing at her accent.)  She spends all of her time 
with her students, the only students in the only period that we see 
her teaching.  Talk about dedication!

The loss, here, is that DANGEROUS MINDS never goes far *enough* away 
from reality to make a difference.  The soundtrack is juiced, but not 
the story.  It's neither real enough, nor *unreal* enough to be 

Grade: C+
Copyright 1995 by Michael J. Legeros 

Originally posted to triangle.movies

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