Here at The Nerds Templar, we get a lot of movies sent our way to watch. Some are new, some are older. We get Blu-rays, DVDs, online screeners and everything in between. Sometimes we just don’t have time to write a 1000 words about every movie. Sometimes the movie doesn’t deserve a 1000 words. We do like to discuss the movie though and in those situations we do articles like this, Review Round-up.
Up first we have Teacher of the Year. The DVD artwork shows Keegan-Michael Key the biggest, but unfortunately he’s not really the lead in this one. It hit DVD August 2015, but I think the film is much older than that. With Key & Peele, Key has become a big named star the past couple of years so I get why they put him bigger on the cover, to get people thinking it’s his movie so they watch it. The film is a fake documentary style movie about a teacher who won teacher of the year. Think The Office, but with teachers and as a movie, not a TV show. The film never decides if it wants to be a comedy or drama. It has a couple of laughs, but with Key and the Sklar Brothers, it should have had more. At times it’s showing how bad our school systems are today and how students are more interested in their cell phones than learning. Other times it’s more focused on the teachers and their lives especially the lead. There’s also a side story about a teacher being accused of being naughty with a student. It’s not terrible or anything, but it had a lot of potential to be really good. I don’t know if I liked it or if I’d ever watch it again, but I did like Key’s character and wished it was more about him.
Next we have Race for the Yankee Zephyr from the MGM Limited Edition Collection. You may also know it by the name Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr. This 1981 film stars Ken Wahl (TV’s Wiseguy) and Donald Pleasence. Pleasence discovers an old plane wreck stacked with WWII gold and treasure. With the help of Wahl, a helicopter pilot, he tries to save the wreck and its fortune. Unfortunately others are on the look out for it and try to get it first. Wahl wasn’t a bad actor before his accident and troubles and he handled roles like this with ease. He was a good looking guy that did small action well. The film is like a buddy action movie with comedic relief. I had never heard of it till watching it. I can see a lot of people having fond memories of it. It’s not great, but it’s interesting enough if you like buddy treasure hunt movies.
Third we have Australiens. Yep an Australian sci-fi comedy. This could be a big cult flick down under, but I think a lot of the comedy gets lost in translation. Yes I know they speak English, but every place has different styles of comedy and they each have their own references they think are funny. I will say for a low budget film, the special effects look pretty decent. It’s all CGI of course, but I liked the look of the aliens and ray guns. I don’t know if I liked it, but I didn’t not like it if that makes sense. I’m sure I’m missing most of the jokes being American and I did like the concept. The one guy getting shot over and over again was funny though. I loved the zombie movie Wyrmwood out of Australia so I was hoping to like this a lot. I can see why people would like it though and I think they did a lot for their budget.
Fourth is On the Threshold of Space from 20th Century Fox Cinema Archives. The artwork and name sounds like a cool, campy old science fiction film and that’s a genre I love. Unfortunately it’s more about training Air Force pilots to be in high altitudes and nothing about being in space. It’s from 1956 so it might have been mind blowing in its day, but today it’s slow and uneventful. It’s literally the same guy doing training exercises so he can go higher into the sky. It came out years before we got to the moon and it’s because of men like this that we got there. Maybe people saw it back in the day and it inspired them to become pilots or early astronauts, but today it’s long forgotten training with equipment that are museum pieces and relics. If your parents/grandparents watched it 60 years ago, maybe they’ll like it now.
Last we have Joseph & Mary. I’m not the most religious person in the world so clearly I’m not the target audience for this film. It’s a Dove Faith Friendly approved film and stars Kevin Sorbo and Lara Jean Chorostecki as Joseph and Mary. It’s about the birth of Jesus and his early life up to around age 12. If you’ve read the Bible, was raised a Christian or have seen any film about Joseph and Mary you know the story already. They can’t find a place to stay and give birth in a manger. They leave because King Herod is told about a miracle boy. There’s a side story about Elijah, a rabbi, wanting revenge on the man that killed innocents including the son of his wife. That revenge comes into play later on, but at that point he is friends with Joseph and his son Jesus. If you are a person of faith, you’ll like it. It’s well made and straight forward. If you don’t have faith, well there’s not much of anything new here. These Dove approved films are very popular so I know there’s an audience for this for sure. That’s just not me, but I can respect what it is and what it’s trying to do. If you enjoy watching these films with your family, then definitely pick this one up.