Everybody's a critic - 'The Emperor's Club'

Friday, November 29, 2002

One star

In "The Emperor's Club," Kevin Kline stars as Mr. Hundert, a Western Civilization teacher at a private boys school in the 1970s. Mr. Hundert conducts a series of tests about Greek history. The student with the highest score has the honor of being crowned Caesar for the year.

Mr. Hundert has done this for the past 34 years, but this year things are different. A late enrollee named Sedgewick who doesn't care for school disrupts Mr. Hundert's class daily. Later when Sedgewick is humiliated in front of his classmates, he realizes he doesn't want to be looked at as the dumb kid anymore and decides the only way to prove himself is to be crowned Caesar.

While at times I found myself enjoying this film, it was quickly killed by the boredom that would set in periodically. The quality acting and enjoyable movements couldn't make up for the lack of inspiration and weak storyline. I recommend that you pass on this film.

- Tim Bearden, sales

Four stars

This movie is not an action-packed thriller that has you sitting on the edge of your seat. There is no blood or guts. Sexual innuendo is tightly reigned.

It IS enlightening, profound and moving. It challenges the viewer to measure the value of life -- "not through a single failure or a solitary success" -- but through constant effort to attain excellence exhibited in actions displaying virtue and principle in day-to-day life decisions.

Be it student, teacher, or senator, humankind is portrayed with all our potential for personal greatness, keeping our weaknesses neatly obscured from public scrutiny. We are rescued by our overwhelming ability to overcome those frailties. The strength of character we are taught by those who influence us positively during the course of life can help us only when we acknowledge our faults, take responsibility and then take action to right them.

The message is clear: "Conquest without contribution" is unremarkable both in history and in the hearts of man.

- Karia Marquart, realtor

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