cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

The Emperor's Club

Starring Kevin Kline; Emile Hirsch, Embeth Davidtz, Rob Morrow, Edward Herrmann
Screenplay by Neil Tolkin
Based on the short story "The Palace Thief" by Ethan Canin
Directed by Michael Hoffman

IN SHORT: A one note story that doesn't make the jump from the printed page. [Rated PG-13 for some sexual content. ]

Professor William Hundert (Kevin Kline) believes that part of his role as a teacher, and assistant headmaster at St. Benedict's School for Boys is to mold the character of the future leaders of industry and politics. The "Emperors" of the title are the phenomenally wealthy individuals who can send their children to this exclusive institution of learning. The setting is 1972, the female students are across the lake at St. Mary's, and Hundert is about to face his greatest challenge, Sedgewick Bell (Emile Hirsch), the trouble making son of a US Senator from West Virginia. Can Hundert stop the young man's path down the road to corporate corruption or will he be able to mold a fine, upstanding citizen who will use his inherited power and prestige to better us all?

Forget about subplots or parallel stories, folks, that's about all there is to The Emperor's Club, an adaptation of a short story whose centerpiece -- at least in this film -- is a "Mr. Julius Caesar," a school competition best described as Trivial Pursuit, the ancient Greco-Roman History edition. Can you answer questions like "Into how many administrative regions did Augustus divide Rome?" (There's a test on the website, if you'd like to give it a try)

Films about student-teacher conflict can work. Films about contests and challenges can work but if you don't know the difference between Marcus Aurelius and Julius Caesar, there isn't enough meat on the bones of The Emperor's Club to hold your interest. This is the time of year when we see many one story films, all of which shine a light on a particular actor's performance. They are released at this time of year because this is when decisions about Best Of lists influence the nominations made by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts. The Oscar people.

The Emperor's Club fails just for that reason. While we are introduced to St. Benedict's Headmaster (Edward Herrmann) and a younger teacher (Rob Morrow), Neil Tolkin's script fails to introduce by name the one character who will play a major role in derailing Professor Hundert's hopes and dreams. There's a very minor romantic subplot featuring Embeth Davidtz but the overall project plays like a novel that's been gutted, rather than a short story that has been enhanced.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Emperor's Club, he would have paid . . .



amazon com link Click to buy films by Michael Hoffman
Click to buy films starring Kevin Kline
Click to buy films starring Edward Herrmann
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.