Teacher is a 2019 drama film written, produced, & directed by Adam Dick (Turkish Coffee & Break a Leg). It’s based off the 2016 short of the same name. It was produced by Markie Glassgow (Killing Eleanor, Once Upon a River, Come As You Are, & Chasing the Blues), Ted Reilly (When Jeff Tried to Save the World, Hunting God, High Voltage, & The Law of Moises), & Kelly Waller (Heirlooms, Brothers from the Suburbs, Public Housing Unit, & Selected). It follows the downward spiral of a high school English teacher (played by: David Dastmalchian from The Dark Knight, Ant-Man 1/2, The Belko Experiment, Twin Peaks, & Blade Runner 2049) after going through a rough divorce & having issues at work.
He goes to disturbing lengths to protect his two favorite students Preston Walsh (played by: Matthew Garry from The Dreamers, The Sacrifice, & Birthday Cake) & Daniela Lopez (played by: Esme Perez from Chicago Med & Sirens) from bullies like Tim Cooper (played by: Curtis Edward Jackson from The Falls: Covenant of Grace & Chicago P.D.). He was traumatized as a kid with the same situation & he refuses to let it happen with these kids. He challenges the power of a wealthy patron Bernard (played by: Kevin Pollak from Casino, The Usual Suspects, A Few Good Men, Willow, & The Whole Nine Yards/The Whole Ten Yards) within the community. Will he go too far to make everything right again????
Teacher is a nice little independent film that shows what happens when a man loses his grip on reality. David Dastmalchian gives the best performance of his entire career as the teacher who cares too much about his students that will do anything to protect them from this dark & disturbed world. You might recognize him as one of The Joker’s henchmen from The Dark Knight or as Kurt in the two Ant-Man films. He was also on Gotham & The Flash so in the comic book universe he is a very familiar face but he’s the actual lead in this rather than a small cameo or a small supporting role. It’s kinda like the education version of Travis Bickle & he really shines in this. Comedian Kevin Pollak is ruthless here & he plays a great villain that makes everything worse in this. He is abusive & ends up pushing these other characters over the edge. Curtis Edward Jackson also gives a good performance as a bad kid but later on you find out why he acts this way & it makes the role more complex. He played Tim in the original short also. The rest of the supporting cast provides what this feature needs when it comes to driving the story. It takes you through troubles at school & what it creates the bullies that cause all those problems. It has some intense moments that keeps you on your toes until the very end. This small picture uses all it’s resources wisely to create a quality final product plus it has a serious message that sticks with you way after it’s over, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Cinedigm on this disc! It has the 20 minute original 2016 “Teacher” short that inspired this full length feature from the same writer & director. The cast includes Jay Reed, Curtis Edward Jackson, Adam Hinkle, Stephen Cefalu, & Maya Moravec. This was an awesome bonus to check out after seeing Teacher. It was really cool to view some of similarities but it had some major changes from this full length version so it’s a nice companion piece to it. It’s a entertaining short but I am glad that it got expanded into a full feature. The same actor that played Tim in it. It also has 7 “Deleted Scenes” that end up being almost 9 minutes. It has some extended character moments here but I think they made the right choice when they left them on the cutting room floor since it had a nice flow & edit to it. It’s a nice extra to go along with the first version of this project. It has a “Trailer” for the film. It was also released on blu ray. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!