*** Official SCHOOL OF ROCK Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "School of Rock". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    School of Rock [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] out of 5

    Despite an undeniably and likably goofball persona, Jack Black's presence is generally most entertaining when delivered in small doses. Bursting with manic energy and an affable glow of mock-confidence, JB has livened up more than a few dreary flicks...while sinking the few he was meant to carry. But no more! Mr. Black officially has his cross-generational breakthrough with School of Rock - a movie so breezy and charming that it makes you forget how old-hat it truly is.

    With a plot structure wedged together from the most popular comedy conceits of the past fifty years (snobs vs. slobs, inspirational teacher, cute kid cadre, goofball redemption, etc., etc.), Richard Linklater's School of Rock certainly isn't bucking for any awards in rampant originality. But since so many like to bemoan the fact the there's very little that's new under the marquee these days, it's always worthy of mention when an obvious "formula flick" transcends its blueprint and manages to deliver a meager amount of substance along with its boatload of source material.

    Plus it's actually very funny.

    Most of the solid yuks come courtesy of Mr. Black, longtime oddball character actor, hero of movie freaks, headliner of "Tenacious D"...and all-around Hollywood nutcase. The kind of comedian one wants to like...which made Shallow Hal all the more exasperating to sit through: not only was the flick strained and false, but Black was actually "toned down" in an effort to make a more cineplex-friendly leading man. Well, screw that. Jack's made his name by being an unpredictable, wobbling, keening, strutting maniac...so why not play UP to those strengths?

    Such is the case with School of Rock, a potentially A-B-C generi-comedy concept flick that's salvaged at every turn by the infectiously funny leading man and a collection of kid actors more sincerely personable than seriously precocious. Wedging Jack's insane presence among a classroom full of pre-teens sure feels like a winning formula to box-office success (kids love the guy), yet we're fortunate enough to have this High Concept (a la Adam Sandler) concept presented with an admirable degree of comedic flair. And the flick's not above resorting to a few decidedly un-PC bits, which I both noticed and silently cheered.

    The plot sees Dewey Finn (JB) pretending to be "Mr. Shneebly" - a substitute teacher for a class full of spoiled-yet-sweet kids. After snowing the stuffy schoolmarm principal (a resoundingly amusing Joan Cusack) and his fellow teachers, "Shneebly" begins focusing his students' attention to arguably the most important thing in anyone's life: Rock & Roll! See, Dewey was a rambunctious grass-roots rocker himself before his jerkwad buddies fired him from the band just before the oh-so-important Battle of the Bands and now Dewey aims to build his little classroom into a power of pre-pubescent rock power and...

    Like I said, High Concept Comedy Schtick all the way, plot-wise in any case. In simplest terms, Jack Black IS the movie. Think Jack's a funny guy? Then see this one, because this is his largest and strongest and most consistent piece of work to date. His interplay with the kid actors is endearingly crafty. Jack's too sly to resort to schmaltz.

    As each successive plot point pops up (principal implies she knows about the Big Secret, but it's a misunderstanding; one parent takes outspoken exception at the new Jimi Hendrix curriculum; Dewey's got a smarmy nemesis gal back home to deal with..), you'll find yourself having too good a time to gripe about how familiar most of it feels. Plus it's a perfect flick for teens and parents alike; grown-ups should dig the constant rock references and the funny bits, while the teenagers will dig Jack Black being crazy ol' Jack Black. And because it's not watered down to a Disney-fied degree, School of Rock never really feels like a Family Flick. Teenagers HATE "Family Flicks"!

    If filmmakers like Linklater (Before Sunrise) and Mike White (The Good Girl) are going to commit to their inevitable "Big Studio Sellout" (whatever that means), it's reassuring to know that they'll do so with just a bit of the wit and craftsmanship that they brought to their Indie Flicks. Think about it: this movie could so easily have been Daddy Day Care Part 2. Ugh.
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Damn funny movie with a manic performance by Jack Black, and with a good supporting cast of children musicians on display. Just go see it, and have a good time.

    I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.
     
  4. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    I did notice Ebert's rant about ratings. I have to second that. Why in the **** is this movie PG-13? I also had the pleasure of rewatching Airplane! last night, a tame PG with drug use, boobs, a woman in bed with a horse, and far worse language (plus many other items too amusing and offensive to remember). Long story short, it's depressing.

    Back to the film, Scott summed it up well. Nothing here is new, but it's not pandering or stupid, and Jack Black has a lot of charm. Speaking of Shallow Hal, JB has a real skill with kids, and I noticed it in that film as well. It's hard to explain why he works so well, but he does, and it's fun to watch [​IMG]

    8/10

    Take care,
    Chuck
     
  5. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Great flick. The most laughs I've had in a theater this year, except for The Hulk. [​IMG]

    And now for some coffee from my goblet of rock...
     
  6. Yoshi Sugawara

    Yoshi Sugawara Stunt Coordinator

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    A fun, feel-good movie that's actually a family film without you realizing it is. Jack Black is hilarious, and the kids seem very real and are likeable as well.

    Nice buildup to the end, and I thought Joan Cusack also did a great job.

    8.5/10
     
  7. Chet_F

    Chet_F Supporting Actor

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    "I did notice Ebert's rant about ratings. I have to second that. Why in the **** is this movie PG-13? I also had the pleasure of rewatching Airplane! last night, a tame PG with drug use, boobs, a woman in bed with a horse, and far worse language (plus many other items too amusing and offensive to remember). Long story short, it's depressing."

    Sorry to rain on your parade but there was no such thing as PG-13 when Airplane was released. Now how the studio got away with not having to get the film rated again for it's DVD release is beyond me.

    To the REAL issue here. The title does the film justice because this movie ROCKS!!!!![​IMG]

    I REALLY enjoyed this film. Jack Black is TOO funny. There are some issues with believing that this scenario could happen but once you get beyond this the movie just shines. I grew up with this era of music so everything struck a chord with me(no pun intended). The music was great, the kids were spot on. It's your typical family movie but funny none the less. I also agree with Yoshi. This is a family movie without you even realising it is. Pretty predictable but the hilarity of the content simply destroys anything bad you can say about this movie.

    I would give it ****1/2 out of *****
     
  8. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Caught this last night. Yes, as Scott & others have said, very predictable, old hat formula...but somewhere and surprisingly so, this film grew on me and I cared. Funny, and a nice escape.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm guessing the dvd could have some really funny outtakes.
     
  9. Trenton McNeil

    Trenton McNeil Second Unit

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    Fantastic movie! We were impressed that they finally let Jack Black out of his cage. It was painful to watch him in "Shallow Hal" and this more than redeems the man.

    I could have used an entire performance of the 'encore' number rather than a fade, but the first performance of the BOTB more than carries the weight of both scenes. [​IMG]
     
  10. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    Predictable plot, but great flick nonetheless. Being a HUGE Jack Black fan, it was great to see him let go for an entire movie. And the kids were pretty good as well. This is a great family film, and I too am amazed it is PG-13. WTF???!!! Overall I'd give it [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] out of [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  11. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    Should be a great fun DVD. I'm getting it. The song should be nominated for an Oscar. That Battle of the Bands performance gave me goosebumps, seriously.
     
  12. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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    Fun flick.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2 out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I finally caught this yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. Jack Black and the kids were great. Is it far-fetched? Yes. Is it an enjoyable movie with with fun music? Yes. I loved both the opening credit sequence and the performance over the ending credits.


    [​IMG]
     

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