July 28th, 2004

Knight

School of Rock


Jack Black, Joan Cusack / Genre: Comedy

The Birdman cometh! I don't know how many of you are familiar with the career of Jack Black, but I first became acquainted with his work through his musical project "Tenacious D" through a friend, and have received much amusement from his antics since then. inclusive of collecting all downloadable music including rare and hilarious pieces like "Sasquach", "Spiderman", and a vocal version of the Star Trek theme - all of which they do perform at their concerts, incidentally. I was initially attracted by the cover featuring a rendition of Tarot Card # 15: "The Devil". When it comes to music, as anyone will inform you, Jack Black loves to, above all, ROCK. He tends to focus on the rather exaggerated and epic aesthetics reminiscent to that of the Spinal Tap and KISS spectacles with a musical bent partial to Led Zeppelin and AC/DC in particular with a contagiously exuberant effervescence and comedy-style conducive to an eternal man-child, which is always a pleasure to observe, and with the right person, even participate in.

Now the lokian jester has starred in another film {for those unfamiliar, he has also been an actor for a number of years, acting in releases such as "Shallow Hal" and "Saving Silverman"} named "School of Rock" in which he plays a musician in need of some quick money - but being unemployed and recently ousted from his own band, who were basically jealous because he frequently "stole the spotlight" with his prolonged guitar solos and stage-diving antics; so from this, he seeks revenge upon those who did not appreciate his talent, subsequently garnering the cooperation of some 4th-graders to revive his Heavy Metal vision, by impersonating a "Mr. Sneebley", his room-mate, disillusioned ex-band-mate, and substitute teacher, intercepting a call intended for him.

He eventually meets up with the Principal {Joan Cusack, whom you may recall as playing the role of the despicable "Debbie Jilinsky" from Addams Family Values}, and after a series of secret musical instructions, convinces her through charm and inebriation to allow his class to go on a specialized "field trip" for some Beethoven, but is really "The Battle of The Bands". So after determining each student's talent, places them to participate in the aptly named "School of Rock", and they perform marvelously despite the protests from horrified parents {who along with the Principal, learned that he was an imposter}, and a doubtful event promoter {whom Finn convinced to have them perform because they were dying from a rare disease - which sounded remarkably similar to "stick it to the man"}.

Quite a fun movie overall, and I also particularly enjoyed the ending sequence during the "concluding jam", as it were.

The DVD includes a "making of" featurette , "The Diary of Jack Black" {in which he visits K.G. for an improvised session with the complete D!}, the kids' diary, the music video, previews, and an imploration unto Led Zeppelin, that they allow a song of theirs be included in the film, which it was.

So there you have it - the character of Dewy Finn and Jack Black are not at all too far removed, and this film works around his personality.

Rating: 4/5.

Draconis Blackthorne, shadowgram, Dracomet

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