30 March 2004 | drtturner
I bet against him, but Sir came through again
Someone who knows how much I adore Poitier's no nonsense demeaner and noble characterizations taped this film for me one evening when I informally voted that it would not be worth my while to make a b line home to see it. Though I appreciated the favor, the tape sat on my shelf for many a year. All I recalled about the production were the brief previews that served as ample warning that the film would aire. Truthfully, I was kind of Poitiered out. Nobody went around public speaking talking about his book and showing clips of his works as much as I did. I particularly enjoyed the Bill Cosby pairings of comedies, the "In the Heat of the Night" and "Shoot to Kill" cop flicks and the career founding race films that literally and figuratively were black and white. The first "To Sir with Love" was passable but finding difficulty joining the lofty ranks of the aforementioned 3 category favorites. With "Fame" and "Good Will Hunting" among my favorite school theme films and "With Honors" and "Breakfast Club" doing admireable jobs at rounding out that theme category, I found it hard to believe there was a place for a partially commited to Poitier project to have any impact. For all intents and purposes, I wrote this project off and kind of kept my distance from it the same way a boxing fan might refuse to go see a very old Ali take on Berbick. Almost a decade after first recorded I watched this "To Sir with Love 2" and was surprised to find that it has it own healthy niche'. The first few minutes shows the 80 year-old thesbian playing a teacher moving about the city with a theme song that sounds both dated and amateurish, however this cheesiness is only misleading and does not hint of the good stuff that follows if you stick with it. There are plenty of good teaching techniques peppered with periodic morale lessons. Blunted violence and self censored language may come across as humorous or unrealistic, however it does not take away from the overall message and in the end plays a major part in the movie's charm. For the umpteenth time, another score for Poitier, even though I thought he was done.