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

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
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)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
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
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
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

OFCS

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

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
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

School of Rock

Starring Jack Black; Mike White Joan Cusack, Sarah Silverman, Miranda Cosgrove, Joey Gaydos Jr., Robert Tsai
Screenplay by Mike White
Directed by Richard Linklater
website: www.schoolofrockmovie.com

IN SHORT: Best family comedy for post single digits of the year (so far). [Rated PG-13 for some rude humor and drug references. 112 minutes]

We can't say that we've ever thought very much about Jack Black, whose slovenly pose rarely rose to the level of a second rate Belushi wannabe. Yes, we noticed Black in High Fidelity but that supporting role sure wasn't enough to score a name above the credits (which went to co-writer John Cusack, for those with really short memories). Now there is School of Rock, a solid and funny from start to finish comedy that, while it does not do much to change the usual JB shtick, it sure gives us more than enough opportunity to like, and more importantly laugh along with the character on screen. Yeah, Jack Black is flat out terrific in School of Rock, one of those very rare film outings that should appeal to both kidlets and their parents. That's wishfully thinking that rap has run it's course among the young but we can dream, right? So here is the first film of the year to ask the musical question: Do you remember Murray the K? Alan Freed or... uh, The Ramones?

The century's been over for years folks. Time to move on for everyone except musician Dewey Finn (Black) for whom rock ended back around 1972 (which, we guess, is also around the year of the character's birth, give or take).The perennial unemployed Finn has been camped on the floor of best friend Ned Schneebly's (Mike White) apartment. Ned's permanent girlfriend Patti DiMarco (Sarah Silverman) is fed up with the loser on the floor and has been pressuring her beau to evict the dude. Dewey's big goal is to win the WROK Battle of the Bands competition, and the big check and record contract that comes with it. But when his band decides to go it alone Dewey is pushed to the limit. He accidentally intercepts a phone call with a job offer for substitute teacher Ned and voila! A false identity is born -- $650 a week nets a lot more than passing the hat in the local rock 'n' roll clubs at two in the morning. And, besides, teaching? How tough could it be?

Think of it this way: the kidlets at Horace Green prep know that $15,000 a year tuition is supposed to go a long way. A fat sub sleeping in the teacher's chair ain't going to cut it. When Dewey -- sorry, everyone thinks he is "Ned" -- realizes that no one in his class has the slightest idea who Aretha Franklin (or any of a long list of classic musical names) is, the man steps up to the plate.

Fifty years after Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly and Bill Haley and Elvis Presley set everything in motion, you'd think the "parents hate rock and roll" thing would be rather passé, right? It is, but this script concentrates on the overseeing headmistress (Joan Cusack) who is more tightly wound than an clock about to burst its spring, though she does like Stevie Nicks' solo stuff -- it's important to note that Dewey's definition of what comprised "good" rock seems to end about 1972. He's wrong but he's, relatively, young. The film soundtrack adds many of the rest of the important bands that first popped in the 70s.

Why does it work? Black and soundtrack aside? The answer probably lies in co-star Mike White's script. We've been very entertained by White's earlier stuff, like the surprising Chuck & Buck (though, strangely enough, not by Jack Black's earlier outing in White scripted Orange County.)

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to School of Rock, he would have paid . . .

$8.50

Simply: School of Rock is a great comedy with a kick ass soundtrack which, according to the credits, features a Kiss cover of a Ramones classic. Cranky could plotz.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Richard Linklater
Click to buy films starring Jack Black
Click to buy films starring Joan Cusack

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.