August 12, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I, II, III & IV • Page 19 ‘The Class’ details tough job of an inner-city teacher grew into their characters. This extra shows how director Laurent Cantet and Begaudeau, who was a teacher in real life and wrote the book on which “The Class” is based, got the kids to be natural on camera. “I Love You, Man” (Paramount Home Entertainment) finds Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), newly engaged to Zooey (Rashida Jones), suddenly realizing he has no close guy pals to ask to be his best man. Hoping to find such a friend, he embarks on awkward and often hysterical “man dates.” When he meets larger-than-life, fun-loving Sydney Fife (Jason Segal), they bond, but that leads to a rift in Peter’s relationship with Zooey. Segal’s brash, often outrageously behaved Sydney draws Peter out of his shell of ordinariness. Rudd is very good at playing awkward, and many of the scenes in which he tries to look cool come off as comic highlights. Jon Favreau as Peter’s foul-mouthed poker playing friend and Andy Samberg as his gay brother are both excellent and add laughs. The film is an amusing buddy film in which the focus is the hunt for the right buddy. A comically gifted cast and a carload of irreverent gags make for lots of laughs but if you are sensitive to strong language, beware. The R-rated film contains lots of profanity. Blu-ray extras include deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, makingof featurette, and commentary by director John Hamburg, Rudd, and Segal. “Alien Trespass” (Image Entertainment), set in 1957, is the tale of a fiery object from outer space that comes crashing into a mountain top in California’s Mojave Desert, bringing the threat of disaster to Earth. Out of the flying saucer escapes a murderous extraterrestrial creature, the Ghota, whose mission is to destroy all life forms on the planet. Urp, a benevolent alien from the spaceship, is the only one who knows how to stop the monster, but to do so he must inhabit the human body of astronomer Dr. Ted Lewis (Eric McCormack). With the help of Tammy (Jenni Baird), a waitress from the local diner, he begins a race to neutralize the Ghota before it consumes all the local inhabitants and uses the human fuel to multiply itself and conquer the world. Inspired by such 1950s sci-fi B movie classics as “The Thing,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” and “It Came From Outer Space,” “Alien Trespass” is a wonderful homage to the films and the era. There is an intentionally retro feel to the movie, the actors are standard B-issue, and the “big (continued on Crossword page) Francois Begaudeau teaches inner city Parisian kids in ‘The Class.’ by Dennis Seuling Hollywood has never really nailed what it’s like, day to day, to be at the front of a classroom filled with urban youths who may not see the value of what is being taught. It is an often grueling job. The French film “The Class” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), available in Blu-ray and DVD formats, takes place in a large school in an impoverished part of Paris where Monsieur Marin (Francois Begaudeau) is trying to impart knowledge of the French language to a group of ethnically and racially mixed 14- and 15-year-olds, many of whom are recent immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Several compensate for low self-esteem by acting out. This teacher is likable, competent, and serious about his subject. Set almost entirely within the school, “The Class” is structured episodically and covers a full school year. Scenes in the classroom dominate, but the viewer also sees teachers meeting to discuss students’ progress, parent-teacher conferences, kids playing soccer in a narrow, concrete school yard, a teacher having a meltdown prompted by the underperformance of his class, and Monsieur Marin pushed to the edge. This is a riveting movie. The unpredictable rawness of the daily routine can include near-fights and kids testing the teacher, while the teacher attempts to encourage and provoke thought. Things do not get tied up neatly. By the end of the school year, some students have learned while others have not fared as well and fear their academic future is in jeopardy. “The Class” captures the difficulties and rewards of teaching in public schools, underscoring the innumerable obstacles a teacher faces every day. 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