Higher Learning

1995

Crime / Drama / Romance / Sport / Thriller

Synopsis


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Director

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as Malik Williams
as Kristen Connor
720p.BLURAY 1080p.BLURAY
1.06 GB
1280*720
English
R
23.976
02 hr 07 min
P/S 8 / 45
2.05 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976
02 hr 07 min
P/S 16 / 58

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jrfranklin01 8 / 10

Well-Rounded View of Extreme Points of View

The film's design seems to be the alpha and omega of some of the major issues in this country (U.S.). We see relationships all over at the university setting for the film. Befittingly, the obvious of student v.s. teacher is present. But what the film adds to its value is its other relationships: male v.s. female, white v.s. black, and the individual v.s. society. But most important of all and in direct relation to all of the other relationships is the individual v.s. himself.

I was amazed at how bilateral a point of view the director gave to showing the race relations on campus. Most films typically show the injustices of one side while showing the suffering of the other. This film showed the injustices and suffering of both sides. It did not attempt to show how either was right, although I would say the skin heads were shown a much crueler and vindictive (quite obvious towards the end). The film also discusses sex and rape. It is ironically this injustice that in some ways brings the two races together, for a time. Lawrence Fishburne does an over-the-top performance as the sagacious Profesor Phipps. He crumbles the idea of race favortism and instead shows the parallelism of the lazy and down-trodden with the industrious and positive. Other stars that make this film are Omar Epps, Ice Cube, and Jennifer Connelly. Michael Rapaport gives an excellent portrayal of a confused youth with misplaced anger who is looking for acceptance. Tyra Banks make her film debut and proves supermodels can act.

Higher Learning gets its name in showing college as more than going to class and getting a piece of paper. In fact, I would say the film is almost a satire in showing students interactions with each other, rather than some dry book, as the real education at a university. It is a life-learning process, not a textual one. I think you'll find "Higher Learning" is apropos to the important issues at many universities and even life in general. 8/10

Reviewed by Molotov_Clocktail 6 / 10

Am I insane or . . .

Maybe I'm crazy, but the exact things that everyone seems to find wrong with the movie are the things that I think makes it good. Like everyone was saying that all of the white characters are bad and all of the black characters are good, when that is apparently not the case. Why does Remy become a skinhead? Because the black guys in his dorm rejected, humiliated, and belittled him. In a way they drove him to it. Who's to blame here? In no way does Singleton let the black characters off the hook here. Many of them are portrayed as violent and irrational. Omar Epps's character is good example of where Singleton points out another dangerous attitude that has nothing to do with white people. The character thought the world owed him a break because he was black and underprivileged and the teacher is the one to call him on it. Or as someone in a another post pointed out, sorry to quote you, "Black self-pity," which the film does not excuse, but rather addresses with the same skepticism as it does the more generic issues everyone else seems to be concentrating on (racism, neo-naziism, date rape, lesbian cults.) So ask yourself, did this film genuinely leave you with the impression that it glorifies the behvoir of certain characters based on their race? Or is it maybe just that since the director is black you have a preconceived notion that he will be partial to the black characters?

So where a lot of people seem to think the message is black=good white=evil, I see it as It doesn't matter who's wrong and who's right because we need to put our differences aside and get along (almost equally clichee, I know, but still a different message entirely) Signed, white dude

Reviewed by Backlash_Jack 2 / 10

All the fun of an After School Special

Yes, people are racist. People are even racist in college. That's a good point, and the issue of racism has been dealt with many times before in countless films. What sets Higher Learning apart from the pack is that it deals with the issue of racism in the most ham-fisted and predictable way possible, oh yeah it's in college too.

This film deals with this problem of racism the way Frankenstein deals with most problems, it bashes you over the head repeatedly in a brutal and sluggish manner. Most of the characters are cartoonish, one-dimensional, caricatures (lesbian feminist, angry black man), that react to situations as dramatically and predictably as possible. Instead of defying stereotypes this film is overpopulated with them. The angry black men feel cheated, feminists hate men, etc. (one feminist even holds a sign that reads "Dead Men Don't Rape." See what I mean?) I don't want to give anything away, but in this movie if someone seems like a shifty loner or a date rapist they'll probably behave exactly how you expect them to. The changes the characters go through seems obvious to everyone but the people in the movie. The big twist in the plot hinges on whether or not the violent neo-Nazis will act like violent neo-Nazis. I'll guess you'll just have to watch to find out what happens.

Another problem I have with this movie is that it's supposed to be "gritty" and "hard-hitting," but they make Nazis the bad guys. I agree Nazis are evil, but that's my point. Everybody thinks Nazis are bad; we're not breaking any new ground here. Nazis have been portrayed as villains since the 1930's. The film doesn't challenge any viewpoints or make bold statements. It just deals with issues we all know about in a clumsy, after-school-special like, manner. Being anti-rape, anti-racist, and anti-Nazi isn't exactly taking a hard stance on a controversial issue.

Higher Learning is predictable, cartoonish, and in a word stupid. Avoid at all costs.

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