Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Wednesday Review: School of Rock

This week I’m reviewing a film from a few years back called School of Rock.  It’s a film starring Jack Black, who plays Dewey, a failed musician that decides to be a substitute teacher, in place of his friend, at an elementary school where he gets them together to form a musical group for a Battle of the Bands contest he wants to enter. It’s a fun film with, surprisingly, a lot of educational information on music and musical history. It’s a different style and genre that I usually review, so I’m going to have to think a little differently on this one. Anyway, he’s the review, enjoy.

School of Rock title card.
Here's the song they play at the end of the film, for a taste of the music in the film:

Review after the break.

The opening scene is at a club or bar of some sort; and Jack Black is part of the band on stage playing. He is, of course, looking like an idiot, and the other band members don’t look too thrilled about his performance. The audience think they suck, and Jack Black can’t crowd surf. All and all, things look crappy.

Odd, isn’t it, that Dewey’s roommate Ned (Mike White) is being asked by his girlfriend if he’s tired of letting people push him around, yet she’s pushing him to kick his roommate out at that very moment? Furthermore will continue to push him around throughout the film?

The bassist on Dewey’s band sounds like he has trouble stringing two sentences together.

The school is the best in the county, and they just hired Jack Black ... well ... that school won’t be the best much longer.
Dewey and student Summer discussing the band project.

BAHAHA! There’s a kid in this class named Freddie Jones. He also happens to have blonde hair and likes to think that he knows everything. I wonder if he solves mysteries and sets elaborate traps too ...

I don’t think you’re allowed to decide when recess is. I mean, I’m pretty sure that even in boarding schools, recess is always at the same time every day, and the whole school gets it. You can’t just decide that recess is happening for that one class right then and there.

Black’s a terrible teacher. But at least the music selection for the film is good.

What’s amazing is that all the kids are actually playing their instruments in this film. Gotta love children with talent, you know they’re gonna go on to be something big. At least, they could, if they wanted to.

The Asian kid WOULD want to do a science project. What’s with the stereotypes man? Not all Asians are rocket scientists!

WOW! These kids are better at singing than the entire cast of Glee! What a surprise! Yes indeed. I am shocked by this news. Wow. *cough sarcasm cough*

Man, that cafeteria food looks delicious! Except that corn ... I hate corn. Still though, makes me wish I had food to eat here.

Despite his ... strange ... way of saying it, at least Dewey knows what’s best for the kids and can help them out. I mean, the kid came to him thinking he wasn’t cool enough to be in the band, but Dewey let him know he was cool. It’s small, but, it’s something that I think is worth being in the film. A lot of kids feel that way about themselves, this may help them realise they’re cool too. Movies have that affect on people.

“Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym.” I couldn’t agree more. Why do I fear I will become a teacher someday now?
Dewey teaching Rock History.

I’m not gonna lie, Dewey could be a really good teacher, at least, a teacher of music anyway. All the effort he puts in and the passion he has for it makes you just want to get in there and learn too.

There’s so much good rock music in this film. Not just the music they play, or the songs they reference, but even the film’s score, which consists of more rock music, is phenomenal!

Despite being a really good teacher to them for music and a really good inspiration ... they missed out on week’s worth of education. I mean sure, a lot of the time kids never take it in anyway, or forget about it after a while, but at least it’s there, somewhere inside their memory. These kids missed out on all that. Thinking along that line, what if they wanted to do other school activities? Like art, or gym, or science? They miss out on it!

Once again Dewey knows what’s best for the kids. A girl doesn’t want to sing in front of people because she thinks they’ll laugh at her because she thinks she’s fat, but he’s able to tell her she’s beautiful ... in his own weird way. None the less, she feels more confident just like the other kid. Another scene worth putting in because a lot of people, not just kids, adults too, go through that. Where they think people won’t like them because their overweight. I’m glad some films make an effort to make people that think that way feel better, or at least they try to anyway.

It seems Dewey is evolving too. When one of his kids runs off he’s worried sick about him. Not only that but he also gives this kid another important lesson on what life can be like and where you don’t want to end up. He also tells off some posers and tells them act responsible. All-in-all, it was a good scene full of good lessons and character development. At least this film has character development, unlike a lot of Hollywood films nowadays.

“It’s a rare blood disease ... stickittotheman-neosus.” Lulz

Maybe it’s my DVD, or maybe it’s my computer, or maybe it’s the editor’s fault, but this film has some bad audio mixing at times. The volume at times will randomly go down for a few seconds then back up. And not just dialogue, or music, or ambient sounds, but everything. It’s annoying.

Hahaha ... Schoolhouse Rock reference. “It’s a magic number.”
Band practice.

The principal ... whatever her name is ... Joan Cusack anyway, she looks so awkward out drinking with Dewey it’s hilarious! Now I want a beer. Damn me not having money!

Awesome ... we get a shot of the school ... with a random janitor ... raking the leaves.

The classroom number is 21B. If only there was another two there ... the classroom could be Sherlock Holmes’ address: 221B.

Not gonna lie ... I really hate Ned’s girlfriend.

At least Dewey has both a heart and a conscience; he really cares for those kids.

On a side note and completely unrelated to this review: it took me a very long time to figure out how to spell “conscience”. I needed to use a combination of phonetically spelling it out as well as using spell check. Now I know how to spell it though: con, science.

HA! The kooky old bus driver. Has no clue what’s going on.

HA! Take that you stupid bitchy girlfriend! Ned showed her up! Gotta love that.

Great thing to do, all the parents are angry at the principal for letting some random dude teach them, then you waltz in and say “I’ve just been informed your children are missing”. Yeah, because that’s not gonna make things worse.

Dewey’s replacement on his old band looks like an idiot on stage there. I mean, what’s he doing spinning around in circles, swinging his hips? He looks so stupid!

So they enter the contest and don’t win. But I like how there’s only one person in the audience who is cheering on the winning team.
Battle of the Bands.

BAHAHA! I never noticed that when the band comes out to do their encore every kid pushes around Dewey’s replacement guy as he walks off stage. And he ends up tumbling down onto the stage. The douche.

Man, check out the list of songs in the credits! Phenomenal!

Overall School of Rock  is a great film that people tend to overlook a lot. It has a lot of good morals, character development, an interesting story, a great musical selection! It’s a little boring on the various shots used, basically just the usual Hollywood style look. There were some good comical moments, some awesome moments that just reminds me of being a kid, and some great moments between characters. I like how the antagonist wasn’t a person, but more the idea of a person.

Overall I’d rate the film an 8/10. Stick it to the man!

School of Rock playing at the Battle of the Bands.

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