Sunday, October 12, 2003

Movie Review: School of Rock

In School of Rock, Jack Black plays more or less the same character as the music-obsessed Barry, his role in High Fidelity. The main difference is that where Barry's taste in music was willfully obscure as a form of password to the indie-cred secret society, Dewey's interest is straight up rock and roll.  Belle and Sebastian never merit a mention, but neither do the Beatles, because they never rocked hard enough. The premise is that Dewey, hard up for cash, takes a gig as an elementary school substitute teacher, a position for which he is completely untrained. To beat the boredom, he teaches the 10-year-olds the only thing he knows: rock music. They hit all the key points: the Who, Led Zeppelin, the Clash, the Ramones, AC/DC, Yes, Rush, Kiss. The movie is hilarious not only for nailing obsessive rock fandom but also for Black's wonderful physical humor. The guy can do the wave with his eyebrows, for starters.

For some reason, my fellow audience members did not share my enthusiasm for the cameo by the Mooney Suzuki. They don't get to play or even speak, but of course they look cool. And they cowrote the movie's title song.  Maybe we'll see them perform on Oscar night. If nothing else, the kids in the School of Rock look like they could beat up those magic-endowed students at Hogwarts.

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