Summer School: Life’s A Beach Edition

DVD Reviews | May 29th, 2007

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Starring Mark Harmon, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Kirstie Alley, Dean Cameron
Written By:
Directed By: Carl Reiner
Studio: Paramount Pictures
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What is the worst thing that can happen to any kid? Summer School. You suffer all year with classes & tests. Then you flunk and have to keep going during those gorgeous summer months is just torture. This wacky 80s comedy is just about that. Starring Mark Harmon as Shoop, the gym teacher who gets picked unwillingly to babysit a band of miscreants, losers and dweebs and they all end up learning a thing or two from each other. Carl Reiner directs this underachieving 80s comedy that is a favorite of mine.

Shoop just wanted to hit the beach and surf all summer in Hawaii with his girlfriend. Instead, he gets picked by Vice President Gills to teach summer school. Funny thing is that Shoop is a gym teacher and has to teach English. You can imagine how well that’s going to turn out. Mostly the kids in the class are screw-ups, and don’t have any patience for education, neither does Shoop. In the beginning its all cool and fun with field trips all over the place like to the beach, the zoo, and amusement park. One of my favorite 80s moments is when they all go the beach. Foreign exchange student, Anna Maria, played by the beautiful Fabiana Udenio, shows up in a real skimpy bikini. Wowza! For everyone though, its not just all fun and games and soon the fun stops pretty quickly when Vice President Gills catches wind of their little activities instead of actually the kids learning. Shoop is then threatened to be fired and must decide to either teach the kids or just take a hike and leave. The typical 80s movie style comes into play here when they are decide to do the right thing and all the kids learn from Shoop some invaluable life lessons. Stuff like lamas classes, taking a road test, and how to talk your way out of getting arrested for public intoxication. All very important kid lessons. Shoop of course learns a few things from the kids as well.

The extras on the disc are pretty cool. I really enjoyed the Inside The Teacher’s Lounge which is a flashback to the film with updated interviews with the cast and crew. It was weird some of the kids all grown up and see what they look like today. They all seemed to really enjoy their time on the set of the movie. I didn’t realize Carl Reiner was the director of the film until I saw the featurette. Summer School Yearbook was also a fun featurette with more interviews of the cast and director but this time it was more interviews back on the set and when the film originally came out.

This version of the DVD is much better because of the extras on the set. The previous set had nothing on it pretty much. The film is not the funniest 80s comedy but does have more than a few laughs, especially from Dave and Chainsaw. I still quote lines from that movie. “Can you call my mom and tell her I’ll be home….NEVER!” It also doesn’t have the strongest story but it’s fun and always good to pop on the tube every now and again.

-Commentary by Director Carl Reiner and Actor Mark Harmon
-Inside the Teachers’ Lounge
-Summer School Yearbook
-Theatrical Trailer
-Photo Gallery

-ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
-ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Mono CC
-FRENCH: Dolby Digital Mono



Favorite Scenes: 1st day of Summer School, Field Trip to the Beach, Trip to Zoo, Classroom Horror Payback
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 97 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: